Scripture: Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her? Luke 13:14-16 NIV
Observation: The Church leaders, Pharisees, and people in the temple that day were quick to accuse Jesus of “breaking rules” or not doing things acoording to what they thought was right.
Application: This really saddens me. This truth is still one of the biggest stumbling blocks for the church and believers today. We spend way too much time being critical of what other Christians are doing. The way is narrow and scripture tells us that many will be left behind, read Luke 13. Only the Father has the authority to judge and correct us. Therefore set your sights on knowing and sharing all about our Savior; let the Father do the judging.
Prayer: Heavenly father look within me and show me the areas of my life where I am judgmental instead of encouraging. Lord teach me how I can affect your kingdom by loving and encouraging others to seek and know you. Amen
Scripture: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” Luke 13:34 NIV
Observation: The Lord is admonishing those around him for not heeding the words of the prophets to their own detriment.
Application: We in this country today are very good at “shooting the messenger.” In many areas of life, social, community, politically, and especially faith the messenger is laughed at, mocked, and ignored. In Jesus’ time they literally “shot” or killed men sent of God. While Jesus wasn’t just a man sent of God, he was God, he was killed for his message. True, that was God’s plan to redeem the world, but the plan worked because men are evil and we would rather “kill the messenger” than accept the message and repent. Our task for today is to embrace the message that Jesus died to bring to us. We must be bold in our faith and willing to share Jesus–even if it means our message might be “shot.”
Prayer: Father, help us to bold in the face of opposition. Amen
Scripture: Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 11:15 NIV
Observation: Are we not the most materialistic beings God created? We judge our life on what we have, cars, home, toys, even our appearance. It takes money to have “perfect” eyes, nose, hips. We covet what others have and will go to extreme means to get “it.”
Application: Re-evaluate your life, priorities, goals. Are they worthy of God? Do they further the kingdom? Are they out-centered or self-centered? Are they full of “wants?”
Prayer: Lord help me, I need to change my focus. Why do I want what others have can I not be content knowing, serving, and following you? Lord have you not provided all I could ever need? Lord help me identify my greedy thoughts and give them to you because laying them at your feet is the only way to let go of them. Amen
Scripture: “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.” Luke 11:43 NIV
Observation: Pomp and ceremony, the adoration of others, all of the best that could be had, those were the things that were important to the religious leaders of whom Jesus spoke.
Application: I don’t know what to write today without becoming offensive. I have many aspects, good and bad, of many congregations of today, flying around in my head. To call any one out could and would be hypocritical of me–me personally. There are churches that are more interested in their appearance in their community than winning souls for Christ; more interested in carpet and stained glass than ministering to their neighborhoods. Who am I to criticize? I am them–I am the church. I too have been given a great commission from the Lord. What have I done with my charge? As I write this I realize that not until I started this daily devotion and sharing had I done much of anything to reach out to others for Christ. I’ve always been pretty content to set back and be a Pharisee, enjoy a little bit of church without having to put myself too far out there. I’d attend, I’d fix s thing or two, here and there, but I wouldn’t really try to do more, to become more involved, to go further out on a limb for the Lord. I know that I’ll never be a Billy Graham, God doesn’t want me to be, He already has one of those. God wants me to be willing. Willing to listen to Him and share a truth now and then. Willing to go out on a limb for Him. The truth is if we aren’t careful we will all neglect our calling, our great commission, and we will become very much like the Pharisees. I pray that I am no longer like a Pharisee.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for being a Pharisee. Put it on my heart to desire to reach out to others with your truth. Amen
Scripture: He replied, “You give them something to eat.” Luke 9:13 NIV
Observation: Jesus’ words to the disciples are words to us as well.
Application: Jesus was literally telling his disciples to feed a multitude of townspeople. His words to us are to figuratively feed, “therefore go and make disciples of all nations” Matthew 28:19a. We are to share the word with those in our sphere of influence. We are to mentor young Christians as they grow in their faith. We are to grow in our faith and as we grow we are to guide others to the Lord. We are to lean on the Lord for our strength and teach others to do the same. We are to spread the word, the “good news” of Christ. Go feed the world.
Prayer: Father, help us to carry out our great commission. Help us to feed the world your gosple. Amen
Scripture: I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”. Genesis 12:3 NIV
Observation: God’s people are a gift to the world. We are not to be of the world but we are to be a blessing to the world.
Application: I have a responsibility to everyone that I meet to be the face of God to them. Help me to remember to be that face in humbleness.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be the Christian that you expect me to be in this world. Amen