Category Archives: Luke

Oh, my Word!

“It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.”  Luke 16:17.

The greatest book ever written!

It is new every morning or whenever you read it.

It can comfort.  It can instruct.  The ways it can impact are limitless.

I am finding His Word to be timely. Yesterday was the day a verse about praising God (Psalm 147:1) was part of my reading. “It is pleasant and fitting to praise the Lord.”  There was great reason yesterday in my household to praise God.

His Word is “living.”  I read it each day to find a spot that speaks directly to me.  It has not failed to work for me.

Today the certainty of His Word is assured.  What a comfort!  What a blessing!

I was thinking about how easily available His Word is.  What if I lose/forget my Bible?  No problem with extras on hand and copies online.  It, like God, is always in my midst.

I suspect that many are overwhelmed by the Bible.  Where do you start?  What about the hard-to-figure sections?

My initial approach was to read it from end to end to see what was in there.  There were tough patches but there were more-than-enough places where I could understand and learn from.

I am now reading UNTIL I find a place that hits me.  I never know how far that will take me in the assigned passage.  So far, I have not gone far before something is “living” for me.  Today I am reminded of the greatness of His Word.  Boy, do I know that to be true!

Conclusion: His Word is awesome.

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Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Ford

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

Someone is not telling the truth.  And we humans may never know which one.

BUT God knows.  He is omnipresent.  He doesn’t miss a thing.

What I’ve said/thought/done will be revealed on Judgment Day.

One of the two mentioned in the title aren’t worried……..yet.  The liar assumes that he/she has gotten away with something.  But he/she hasn’t.  God knows.

Telling one lie often goes forward into a trail of them.  I “never” touched my sisters.  They cried/screamed just to get me in trouble!  At least that’s the way I remembered/told it.  Lies.

I must ALWAYS remember that God is ALWAYS where I am.  He doesn’t step out.  He doesn’t fall asleep.  He’s with me.  Since this is true, I MUST behave accordingly.  In fact, I must behave that way so much that it becomes the natural way I behave.

I ran into trouble today in the car.  The conversation got heated.  Unkind words were exchanged.  Did I forget that God was in the car with us?  Sure sounded like that.  I got away with nothing.  There is not “getting away” with anything when God is omnipresent. The truth of what I did was that I damaged my relationship with both God and the passenger.

I must live as if God is in my midst, BECAUSE He is!!

Conclusion: God is where I am right now and will be present wherever I go.  I must live accordingly.

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Sent ahead

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.”  Luke 10:1.

I never read this verse all the way through until today.

I always got the “sent out” part and how those sent out were to act.

Today I noticed in the first verse that the appointed 72 were sent ahead to places He would be going to.

They were part of the preliminary group.  The Main Event would follow.

I try to apply what I read.  What’s here for me?

I must be prepared and willing to serve God.

I am certainly “sent” to represent Him where I am.  That would be true of every believer.  One commentator said that “there’s no unemployment in Christianity.”  We all have something to do for Him.

Jesus is going to return to earth.  He has put me here to prepare my part of the earth for His return.

How do I do that?  I must be in union with Him.  I must be mindful of Him.  I must be willing to “prepare the way” for His return by spreading the Good News in any way I can.

I must not over-estimate/under-estimate the results.  He will be with me.

Am I willing/able to be “sent?”

“Conclusion: I am on earth ahead of His return.  Am I acting like a “sent out” one?

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Use what He gives me

“Therefore consider carefully how you listen.  Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”  Luke 8:18.

If God gives me an insight, I need to take advantage of it.

I have had thoughts come to me that were beyond my own limited thinking.  Often it has been a way to do something that has been troubling me.  It behooves me to look into the thought given, not just ignore it.

The disciples were getting special teaching from Jesus.  He was interpreting for them, one of the parables He had told.  Jesus is saying to them, in today’s verse, I’m giving you insights, if you want more of them you will need to act on what I’ve given you.

I am reading Scripture daily.  The point is to get to know God better.  To figure out what He wants me doing or not doing.  What I learn needs to be implemented in my life.  This verse states that the more I use of His given wisdom to me the more He will give me.  What could be better!

Conclusion: I need to learn from God and apply what I learn.

 

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You have a problem

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Luke 6:41.

God can judge perfectly.  He’s never done anything wrong.

I do not have the same ability.  I am a sinner.

When I judge someone else, I leave myself open to the accused rightly questioning me about my flaws.

I judge folks all the time.  “Why did you do that?”  “What were you thinking?”  And on and on.

The “fun” really begins when someone asks me the same questions!  Talk about going after the “judge.”  Instead of addressing the flaw, I choose to bring up something the accuser did.  It isn’t usually pretty.

Jesus identifies me as flawed.  Flawed people can’t rightly judge anyone else.

The minister I heard this morning was into this text as part of his study of Romans 2.  My judging can only be done with discernment.  How does that work?  My judging starts after I realize that I am a sinner with problems of my own.  With that in mind, I am less likely to come down hard on someone else who has erred.

This does not mean that I am oblivious to sin in others.  It means, instead, that my judging has limitations.

Conclusion: I judge only after realizing that I am a sinner myself.

 

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Peter at his role-model best

“When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’”  Luke 5:8.

I spend time fishing in the summer in Maine.

I found a pond that I like and fish there exclusively.

I fished as a kid growing up in Turners Falls in the Connecticut River, which was down the hill from where I lived.

When I moved to Worcester and then on to college I stopped fishing.  Later I moved to Hamilton (MA), and, even though there was a lake across the street, I did not do any fishing.

When my wife and I started summering in Maine, my interest in fishing returned.  I knew little about fishing and had little equipment, but I was “hooked.”

I bought some equipment and began to use a canoe that had been in the family.

I found a place seven miles from our summer house that was hard for others to get into (narrow channel led into it) and began to fish there regularly.

There were few places to park and if more than one other person was there you were out of luck.

When I first went into this pond, I fished in the middle of it with worms mostly in the middle of the day.  I would regularly see another fisherman in there at later hours who was fishing along the edges of the pond.

He was from New Jersey and I remember, as if it happened yesterday, the day we got together because we were both leaving the pond at the same time.  He asked me how the fishing was going and asked me what I was trying to catch.  I said that I was trying to catch bass but had not been able to.  He told me that the bass are along the edges, mostly in the shallow water.  He said that he was catching all kinds of bass and he told me the type of bait he was using which was not worms.

I have now been fishing in that pond long after the last time I ever saw the guy from New Jersey.  What he told me back then is still true after all these years.

That brings me, finally, to today’s story from Luke 5.  Peter was the guy from New Jersey.  He fished for a living.  He knew how it was done.  You fish close to the shore and you fish at night.  Everyone “knows” that.

Along comes Jesus.  Peter had recently witnessed Jesus taking a fever away from his mother-in-law.  He had probably seen others healed as well.  But Peter had gone back to fishing.  And then Jesus came back into his life, but this time in Peter’s space.

Jesus used Peter’s boat as a place to preach from.  NT Wright in his commentary on Luke writes that there were coves where someone in a boat could speak to a bigger audience and could be better heard from a boat.

When the speaking was done, Jesus made a strange request to Peter (the guy from New Jersey).  In a daylight setting, Jesus told Peter to take his boat into deep water and fish.

The night before Peter and his expert friends had fished where and when you were supposed to fish and struck out entirely.  Now they were being told to fish when and where you weren’t supposed to fish.

Here comes an important part: “But because you say so, I will let down the nets,” says Peter.

Peter must have doubted the validity of Jesus’ advice.  How could Jesus know more about fishing that he did?

BUT Peter did what Jesus told him to do!

I must do what Jesus tells me to do in the space I’m in.  He knows the folks in my midst better than I do.  When things get challenging, He doesn’t say, “You take it from here.”  He knows my situations better than I ever will.

And sure enough, when Peter and his friends obeyed God, a miracle became a reality.  They caught fish like they had never done before, at a time and place they had not caught them before.  Jesus could work in their situation because they did what He wanted them to do.

I don’t think that Jesus revolutionized fishing on the Sea of Galilee long-term that day.  I am sure that the way to catch fish returned to being done in close to shore and at night.  BUT on this occasion Jesus wanted to teach men, who would become disciples, that He was God and Someone they should follow.

I need God’s intervention in every part of my life.  How can He work where I exclude Him?  He can’t!

Peter is a terrific role model in this story.  He did what Jesus told Him to do despite surely having doubts.

Peter let go of his “I’ve got this one” thinking and put His trust in Jesus instead.  What a way to be!

Conclusion: I cannot attempt to run any of my life.  I need Him involved in every second of it.

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Being Godly in the obvious things

“When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.”  Luke 2:39.

These folks did what they were supposed to do.  They went to Bethlehem and then Jerusalem.  Later, they would go to Egypt.  No questions asked, they did what they were told.

I continue to be amazed by my difficulties in doing what I’m told.

The Bible says a lot of “Do this,” and “Don’t do that.”  Most of the time clearly stated.

Why do I have so much trouble obeying the obvious?

Treating other people badly has been a constant source of concern for me.  I know exactly what the Bible says about how I should treat others who love God.  There’s no wiggle room.

I regularly want to blame others for my behavior.  “They did this, or that, so I reacted the way I did.”  Must not work that way……..and I know it.  I am accountable for my behavior.  No matter what comes along, I’m required to be Godly.  Someone says something I don’t like?  Doesn’t matter.  My response MUST be Godly!

This is yet another instance in which I know that in my own strength I will make a complete mess of things.  I do not have the capability to pull off “Godly” without being full of God. Therefore, I must be filled with Him.

How about when things are going smoothly?  I must be filled with Him.  I cannot acquire any self-confidence.  My confidence must come from my relationship to God.  In Him, I can do the Godly thing.  Without Him?  All bets are off!

Conclusion: I must be filled with the Holy Spirit to live a Godly life.

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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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