Luke 14:25-17:10; John 11:1-37
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Luke: Today in Luke chapter 14 verse 27 we read – "And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." I don’t know about you, but I’m not so good at carrying “crosses.” I’m not so good at taking on perceived burdens. I’m not so good at suffering at all. I like to get my way. I often feel entitled to get a lot of good stuff in my life. . . And yet. . . Jesus says if I am to be his disciple I must carry my cross. And I must follow him. I think sometimes in our culture we want to keep up with our neighbors – be hip; be cool; be relevant; know the latest styles; wear the latest fashions; and this list can go on. Jesus tells us to carry our cross. And truly, this is the eternally hippest / coolest / most relevant decision any one of us can make – to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Nothing else matters.
Beautiful verses today in Luke chapter 15 verses 8 through 10 - ""Or suppose a woman has ten valuable silver coins and loses one. Won't she light a lamp and look in every corner of the house and sweep every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her because she has found her lost coin. In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents."" Do you believe that there was joy in the presence of God's angels when you repented? Or... when you will repent? That is a beautiful thought indeed!
More beautiful verses today (22-24) as we read through the famous Prodigal Son story: ""But his father said to the servants, `Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began."
Bible.org's commentary on our Luke chapter 15 readings today titled "Lost and Found" is at this link.
The story of the shrewd manager in Luke chapter 16 today concludes with some powerful teachings from Jesus. Verses 8 & 9 stand out to me today - "And it is true that the citizens of this world are more shrewd than the godly are. I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven." I like that teaching - we should use our worldly resources to benefit others. I've been thinking about this a bit more lately. And I wondered what it would be like if I went through my days consciously trying to make other people happy. I don't think I've really ever done this over a sustained period. Maybe I've glimpses of using my resources to benefit others. To make them happy. I want to do more of this... How about you? Are you consciously using your resources (time, treasure & talents) to make others happy in your life each day?
Verse 10 is also a strong teaching from Jesus today - ""Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities." I think there was a very popular book out there a while back called "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff." Well, it looks to me in this verse that God sweats the small stuff. And you and I should sweat the small stuff. We need to be faithful in small matters in our daily lives or else indeed we will not be faithful in large matters. Will you join me in sweating the small stuff when it comes to matters of our integrity before God?
Bible.org's commentary on our Luke chapter 16 readings today titled "Does Christ commend the crook or "The Sting?"" is at this link.
Today in Luke chapter 16 we read about the rich man and Lazarus. I have always found verse 31 to be such a great reflection on what it means to have having a soft heart and a strong faith - ""But Abraham said, `If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.' "" Basically, Abraham is saying that people whose hearts are hardened to faith will not even believe it if a dead man returns to them and tells them to repent. They still won't repent even with this miracle. And I believe this is true. Let us pray that our hearts are soft and open to faith and that we can share the Good News of Jesus with others in our life whose hearts may be becoming more and more hardened with each passing day...
Wow. I love Luke 17 verse 10 - "In the same way, when you obey me you should say, `We are not worthy of praise. We are servants who have simply done our duty.'" I wonder if sometimes we do good works for Jesus expecting some praise or return on our works? This is obviously not a good motive. We should simply be obedient to Jesus and not expect praise for our obedience - from Jesus or from others. It is simply a blessing for us to be called to Jesus' service. That is more than enough.
Bible.org's commentary on our Luke chapter 7 readings today titled "Taking Sin Seriously" is at this link.
John: Today in John chapter 11 verse 35 we read the shortest verse in the Bible – “Jesus wept.” Though this may be the shortest verse, I do not believe it is small in meaning. What does it say to you that Jesus wept? What does it mean to you that Jesus wept? I love this verse because to me it shows Jesus’ humanity (while at the same time he is divine). During his time living as a man on earth, Jesus experienced the full range of emotions that you and I experience today. Jesus was tempted. (though, unlike us, he did not give into temptation and sin ever) Jesus was joyful. Jesus was angry. Jesus loved. Jesus wept. Knowing this about Jesus, does this help you to realize that you can approach Jesus with absolutely any situation in your life that you might be struggling with? Do you believe that Jesus will understand you if you are weeping? Do you believe that Jesus will rejoice with you when you are rejoicing? I do. “Jesus wept” says so much to me about who Jesus was, is, and forever will be. Jesus wept.
Bible.org's commentary on today's John chapter 11 readings titled "Dealing with Death" is at this link.
Worship Video:: Today's readings in Luke about the Prodigal Son reminds me of the Jeremy Camp song "Take You Back:"
Have you run away from God? Click here to be taken back into His arms!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "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 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you have repented of your sins. Pray that you are evangelizing others you know to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus. Pray that the angels in heaven will rejoice over the lost you know being Found.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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