Scripture: It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” Luke 23:44-47 NIV
Observation: At his death, Jesus changed a life.
Application: Throughout Luke 23 Jesus was taken back and forth between Pilate and Harrod as each tried to pass the buck to kill him. Never-the-less, Jesus was finally condemned and taken out and crucified. At the very moment of his death, God’s plan was completed and a way to access the Father was provided for us. The first believer in that plan, the gospel, was one of Jesus’ killers, one of his crucifiers. At the instant of Jesus’ death the temple curtain was torn, from top to bottom (from God to man) and a non-Jew, a Gentile, a killer was rectified before God. How cool is that picture? Instantly, Jesus makes the bad good!
Prayer: Father, thank you for providing an instantaneous path to you through Christ. Amen
Scripture: Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High. Psalm 7:8 NIV
Observation: David was a man after God’s own heart and it was that chasing after God that made David righteous.
Application: Are we ready to be judged based on our righteousness, on our integrity? I’m not sure that I am. I feel very unrighteous and unworthy most of the time. I don’t question my integrity but my past haunts me. Satan knows that about me and he uses it to get me to call into question my standing with the Lord, my righteousness. Praise God that Jesus is my righteousness. I can never be worthy on my own. It’s Jesus’ righteousness that makes it possible for me to be deemed righteous.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for standing in for me and for being my righteousness. I could never be considered worthy without your sacrifice. Help me to honor you in my daily life as I interact with others and always behave lovingly and with integrity. 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: “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. Luke 12:8 NIV
Observation: God wants us to let the world know that we love Him and aren’t afraid to admit it.
Application: The hardest part of being a Christian is living as a Christian. We put off our old self and put on the new–except when we’re with this group or those peolpe. It’s been said that being a Christian is the easiest thing in the world and it’s the hardest thing. All we have to do is acknowledge that Christ is God, He died for our sins, and He rose three days later to reign from heaven–that’s the easy part. Now we have to live like we believe it–that’s the hard part. We have to love others just like He loves us. Love those who hate us and want to love them to Christ. This isn’t easy and we can’t do it alone. God knows that. That’s why we have the Holy Spirit. He is our petitioner, our protector, and our guide. We have but to call on Him through prayer to give us the right attitude to be the Christian that we should be. When all else fails, call on the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit as our protector and guide. You know that we can’t do Christianity alone. Thank you for providing a way that we can be strong when we are weak. Amen
Scripture: In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds,search your hearts and be silent. Psalm 4:4 NIV
Scripture: Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? Luke 11:39,40 NIV
Observation: Sin starts deep inside. How easy it is to hide our sin from others and even from ourselves if our outside looks good.
Application: It’s my responsibilty to look within myself and ask the lord to reveal sin hidden in my mind and my heart. This time must be taken in his presence away from the world and it’s distractions.
Prayer: Father, search me deep within and show me the sin I hide behind “my Christian disguise.” Help me lord make my inside full of you…then the beauty others will see will not be mine but yours. 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: For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Luke 8:17 NIV
Observation: God knows and sees all. He knows before you even admit. He’s the ultimate lawyer–without the lying!
Application: Wow, how many times do I grumble, lust, act hatefully, or just plain hate, and then think “Oh how clever am I?, I can sin and get away with it. All I have to do is repent?” God will not be mocked and my sin/repent, sin/repent act can wear a little thin. God deserves better from me than a little worldliness here, a little God there. This is difficult for me to write because that scripture convicts me. I struggle with much sin in my life and always seem to sin knowing God will forgive–that’s dangerous! I (we) must intentionally put God’s desire for my (our) life ahead of my (our) own worldly urges. James 4:7, “submit to God, RESIST the devil, and he will flee from you.”. That scripture must become part of my (our) being, my (our) character. I (we) owe it to God and to myself (ourselves).
Prayer: Father, help me to put James 4:7 into my heart and help me to make it part of who I am. Forgive me for the sorry Christian that I truly am. Amen
Scripture: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. Luke 6:32 NIV
Observation: We are to love our enemies.
Application: As I write this the local news is on. A story about the killing of Dr. Tiller has just run. This passage speaks to me of the hatred for his enemy which drove Reoder to murder being in direct contrast to the Lord’s teaching. While abortion is wrong–the punishment for that crime is the Lord’s to give, not ours. Our responsibility is to pray for Tiller’s heart change, not ending his life.
Prayer: Father, help me to love those who hate you and me. Amen