Category Archives: Luke

Prepared

“Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.”  Luke 21:37-38.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Exodus 1-2, Psalm 88, and Luke 21.

Jesus wasn’t resting on the Mount of Olives, He was connecting to God his Father.

Because of the connectedness Jesus had with God, He had the words to draw early AM crowds.

I want to be in a place where I, too, can acquire the words/thoughts of God even if it is early in the morning when I’ll get them.

Jesus spoke/taught like no one else.  He had stories.  He had insights and He spoke the truth.  He was worth listening to.

I’ve been writing lately about starting days with God.  What better way to begin a day?

I must be loaded up with God at the outset of every day.  The immersion (in Him) must be complete.  The “immersion” must be so total that I don’t deviate from Him in the day ahead.

“Lord, more truths about starting days fully attached to You.  There is no getting around it.  There is no Plan B.  I surrender right now to You.  I cling to You from this moment forward.  I love You, Lord.”

I must seek Him when I wake up.

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Understanding myself

“God, I thank you that I am not like other people…” Luke 18:11.

“God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Luke 18:13.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 44-46, and Luke 18.

The Pharisee and the tax collector.

The approaches of the two are obviously different.

Both reflect perspectives of themselves.

The Pharisee compares himself to others and concludes that he is better than them. The tax collector closes his eyes to those around him because he knows that he isn’t.

One assumes that God is pleased with him while the other knows that he has not pleased God.

Where does my approach to God fit in?  If I see myself as in good shape, why would I need Him?

Why does the Pharisee call attention to himself?  I think that his view of God is so limited that he chooses to “remind” God of his goodness…….in case God missed it.

Why does the tax collector act so humiliated?  He realizes that God is great, and he isn’t.  He has messed things up and God is the only One who can rescue him.

The Pharisee seeks God’s recognition.  The tax collector seeks His rescue.

I must realize that I am unworthy.  That I am an ongoing sinner.  That my only hope is for His cleansing.

I NEED His mercy and thankfully He is merciful. He sent Jesus to bear on the cross my sins and their consequences eternally.  What a Savior!

“Lord, You are good. Thank You, for rescuing me, a sinner, from my sin’s consequences.  Forgive me for continuing to sin.  I know better.  Help me to reflect Your mercy for me on those I meet this day.  I love You, Lord.”

One came to be recognized by God while the other came to be rescued by God.

 

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What shall I do now?

“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now?’”  Luke 16:3.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 39-41, and Luke 16.

We all get into those “What should I do now?” moments, don’t we.

And where do we turn when those things come our way?

For me, when good things happen I’m quick to praise God for it.

When bad things happen, I’m quick to go it alone.

Someone does something I don’t like.  Do I react in a Godly fashion?  Do I even spend time determining what a “Godly fashion” looks like?

In those negative times, I foolishly turn to my instincts.  And my instincts are usually, blatantly godless.  In those reactions, I lose traction with God.  I slip back and will need to right things later.  Sometimes to apologize.  Sometimes to re-evaluate my relationship with God.

An indicator of spiritual growth for me will be when I am steady with Him.  I crave being reliably Godly.  I cringe at my reactions (this morning) to something that didn’t go my way.  I know better.

My relationship to God must be tight and constant throughout this day.  Good news?  Bad news?  Godly reactions, no matter what, must be my goal.

I certainly can’t pull this off without Him running me.  My life must be second-to-second with Him.  I must build up a necessary resistance to reacting on my own.

“Lord, I love You.  I ask for Your forgiveness for reacting badly this morning to something that didn’t go my way.  You are in charge.  You tested me……and I failed yet another one.  Empower me to understand that the Godly life I talk about is within reach IF I will stay surrendered to You each second.  Apart from You I can do nothing but mess up.  You are the God I must follow. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Don’t go it alone.

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Why waste time on those losers!

“But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’”  Luke 15:2.

“’I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’” Luke 15:7.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 37-38, Psalm 7, and Luke 15.

Am I now seeing this story right?

I always thought that the ninety-nine sheep represented believers.

I saw the story in context this evening and I believe that in the story Jesus is once again finding fault with the Pharisees.  How?  They had been complaining that Jesus was interested in spending time with “sinners.”

The point is that of course Jesus would rather be with sinners because they had a quality that the Pharisees didn’t: they realized that they were sinners.  The sinners needed Him.  The Pharisees didn’t.

I will always need God.  I cannot get my life right in His sight without a permanent attachment to Him.

In a day of busyness, I have been loose from Him.

To keep myself mindful of Him, I like to repeat, “God, where are You in this moment and what do You want me to see and do?”  When I stop asking that question, I know that I’ve drifted away from letting Him control me.

God wants my full attention.  He insists that I be mindful of Him.  If I allow myself to drift away from Him, I forget my perpetual neediness.  I imagine that my ways are His Ways……and they aren’t.

I must always be the one who is needy.  I must cry out to Him and plead for His rescue during my day.

“Lord, I need You every second.  Forgive me for living apart from You.  Take my life over now.  I surrender it to You.  Direct my paths.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Sinners need God.

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You need to be committed!

“In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”  Luke 14:33.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 33-36, and Luke 14.

Hiding out as “one of them” is not enough.

Being committed to something often means a change from a former arrangement.

I am a believer but does my lifestyle indicate it?

Do I fool myself into thinking that I can get away with a semi-commitment?  God is not mocked.

God wants every part of me.  I am convinced that for me to see Him in action, I must live entirely for Him.

This does not mean that I leave my wife and my surroundings and sell everything I own.  It does mean, however, that I would be willing to do those things if He wanted me to.

When Abraham took his only son Isaac up the mountain to sacrifice him, he certainly was apprehensive.  But he knew, even before he headed up the mountain, that God was running the show and he was committed to God enough to let things be.

My relationship to God must be continuous during each day.  I still like the line I’ve memorized: “God, where are You in this moment and what do You want me to see and do?”  I try to say it frequently.  I am often stopped in my tracks when I say it because I “see” better and do something I may have missed otherwise.

“Lord, I give myself to You.  Take me over.  Run my life.  Prick my conscience when I am off-course so that I can make the changes needed.  I love You, Father.”

Are you afraid of commitment?

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How could he say such a thing!

“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.  What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.”  Luke 12:2-3.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 29-30, and Luke 12.

How easily we are offended by others!

I was at a restaurant this morning and there was a two-some on the other side of the place.  They talked loudly, and it bothered me.  What they were saying was no problem, the issue (for me) was their volume.

In today’s news, President Trump has been accused of using derogatory language about other countries.  The outrage against him is significant for doing it.

How easy for us to see the plank in the other person’s eye!  We are experts at it because we do it so much.

Today’s verses are reminders that we need to remember that everything about us is known to God.

I think of that and realize that there are plenty of “planks” in my own life.  There are things that I know that I shouldn’t have said/done.  I am also positive that there are boatloads of “plankish” things in my life that I have forgotten about or have failed to realize what they appeared to be to others.

My life must be clean before God.  And even if it is, I am not in the position to judge others as a judge would.  This doesn’t mean that I should condone what is wrong, but it means that while seeing others sins, I am clearly aware that I am a persistent wrong-doer too.

The Pharisees came across as self-righteous.  They noticed, loudly, the planks in others.  Good so far.  The problem was that they didn’t see themselves as God sees them.  I must not make that mistake.

“Lord, what do You want me to see and do this day.  Help me to see myself as a sinner among sinners.  In Your sight, we are all needy.  Thank You for covering my sin problem and giving me new life.  Help me to live out that life this day.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Are we more offended by the behavior of others than we are of our own behavior?  I’m betting we are!

 

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God is listening. Has He heard from you lately?

“I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”  Luke 11:8.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 27-28, Psalm 4, and Luke 11.

God is willing, and we are able, but will we?

In today’s story an unhappy person gave his persistent neighbor what he wanted.

God is different: He wants to give us things.

We can connect to God, but do we?

We have a willing God, combined with an ability on our parts to connect in to that “willingness.”  Yet how infrequently we activate our part in this.

It is embarrassing if you spend time thinking about it.  We claim to have a relationship to God and often behave as if we don’t.  What is wrong with us!

My relationship to God must be close and ongoing.  It cannot be occasional and be expected to be taken seriously.

It takes discipline to stay close to God.  There are so many distractions.  I am finding, however, that there are plenty of lulls in which a quick connect (to Him) can happen.  The issues are; (1) recognizing those lulls, and (2) using them to connect.

I have been persisting lately is repeating the line: “God, where are You in this moment and what do you want me to see and do?”  When I say that line I am immediately drawn to seeing what is going on where I am at.  I appreciate the camera on my desk.  I appreciate the melting snow out my window.  I am thankful for the reference books that I have.

“Lord, You are great and You never leave me.  Forgive me for losing track of our relationship.  I want You running me.  Please take charge over me. I surrender everything to You.  Guide me.  Direct my path this day, I beg.”

He is willing and we are able.  Take the next step; make a direct connection to Him now.

 

 

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