Not Easy … Luke chapter 9

Following Jesus is not easy. Anyone who thinks being a Christian means you have an easy life is mistaken. Jesus sends His followers into a world that at times can be hostile to Him and His followers. Jesus may ask us to do near impossible tasks. But He never sets us up for failure. He will always provide the resources necessary to do what He wants us to do.

Following Jesus means listening to Him and trying to accept and understand what He says. Following Jesus may uproot us at times, send us to unexpected places or give us a new perspective on life. Easy? No! Necessity? Yes! Priority #1!

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Not Normal … Luke chapter 8

Jesus did not live a normal life or conform to the normal expectations people had for the promised Savior. He included women in His circle of followers. He told simple stories with deep meaning. He healed the sick, drove out demons and calmed the winds and the waves. He brought a little girl back to life.

Jesus was not normal. If we are going to follow Him our lives should not be normal either. Jesus gives us a new life, New purpose and priorities. His Spirit guides us and helps us to live as Jesus followers. That is not normal. It is better than normal.

Encounters … Luke chapter 7

Have you ever thought about how many different people you encounter in a day or a week? How many of them do you recognize and engage in conversation, know but try to ignore or don’t know and avoid?

Jesus encountered many different people as He travelled around Israel. He was impressed by the faith of a Roman military officer without even meeting him. Jesus stop a funeral procession to bring the son of a widow back to life.

Jesus answered the questions from the followers of John the Baptist by pointing out the things He was doing in fulfillment of the Prophet Isaiah. He was given the cold shoulder by a religious leader who had invited Jesus to his house. A “Bad Woman” showed more love and respect for Jesus than the man who invited Jesus to dinner.

Maybe we should take a little more time to see and care for the people we meet. Jesus did!

The Ideal Life … Luke chapter 6

Jesus’s description of how His followers should live is very challenging. It is the ideal. But we don’t and won’t reach that target on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to inspire and empower us. We need Jesus to forgive us and pick us up so that we can try again. We need God the Father to hold us in His arms and assure us of His love.

With the Lord’s help we can love and pray for our enemies. Instead of judging, we can forgive. We can do the good things God wants us to do when we build our lives on Christ.

Calling, Healing and Forgiving … Luke chapter 5

Jesus didn’t go looking for the brightest and the best by the world’s standards. He called common working class fishermen and a despised tax collector to be some of His Disciples. He hung out with the rejects of society.

Jesus used His powers to heal the sick. His greatest gift was forgiving sins. He said a time would come for the Disciples to fast, but not while He was physically with them. Jesus did show them how important prayer is by taking time to be by Himself to pray. I need to do more of that.

The Temptations … Luke chapter 4

The Temptations were not just a singing group back in the 60’s, temptations are a reality of life. After His baptism, Jesus was tempted to use His powers selfishly, to compromise His relationship with God the Father to gain political power and to amaze people so that they would believe in Him. They were all temptations to gain success and avoid the Cross. Jesus said no to the temptations and yes to God’s Word and Promises.

Jesus was tempted to settle for giving people what they wanted and tempted to limit His ministry. He didn’t give into the temptations.

We are tempted every day. The Temptations may be to do different things and come in a variety of ways. But they are all designed to damage our relationship with God by disobeying Him or by putting our personal wants and desires ahead of God.

God can help us overcome temptations if we remain rooted in His Word and connected with Him through prayer. Don’t let the temptations bring you down.

The Advance Man … Luke chapter 3

John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. Today we might call John the Advance Man. Luke gives us some very clear references to the leaders of the time. He places Jesus in history.

John called people to repent, to change their way of living. Jesus would do the same thing, telling people to let the Spirit of God work in their lives and change them to become more like the person God created them to be.

This chapter ends with genealogy of Jesus. Luke is making it clear that Jesus is a real person, that He is from the family trees of Abraham and David and that He is ultimately the Son of God. Jesus is God with us and God for us.

Jesus will return. His followers are His advance people today, sent to prepare people for Jesus. That begins by preparing ourselves first so that we can tell others about Jesus. Christ the King is coming again. It is time to repent and believe in Him.

Christmas in July … Luke chapter 2

We do not know the exact date when Jesus was born. The New Testament doesn’t tell us the day or month. But the Gospels give us enough information to place Jesus’s birth in a specific year or two and exact location. God entered the world on the first Christmas to save people from their sin.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem as the Prophet had promised. The Good Shepherd was first visited by shepherds. He was recognized in the temple when He was an infant and stayed in the temple when he was 12 years old.

It is Christmas every month we celebrate the gift of God’s Son.

Fulfilled Promises … Luke chapter 1

Luke’s was not the first Gospel account written. Luke was the Doctor who travelled with the Apostle Paul. He may have had the chance to talk with Mary on a trip with Paul to Jerusalem and learned about the conception and birth of Jesus from her.

God had promised to send someone to prepare the way for Jesus, the Promised Savior. John, the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah would be that person.

God had promised that the virgin would conceive and give birth to a son who would be the Immanuel, God with us to save us. Mary’s son would be the fulfillment of that promise.

The Gospel According to Luke has been called the Gospel for the Gentiles because of how it is written. Luke clarifies things so that the person who is not Jewish can understand. I think Luke would be the Gospel for people exploring the Christian faith to read first today.

Don’t Miss The Ending … Mark chapter 16:1-8

Something happened to the original ending of the Gospel of Mark. Someone wrote a new ending that is not included in most versions of the Bible today or is noted as not original. We know this because of Biblical archeology and a number of ancient manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark that have been discovered since the time of the King James Bible.

Don’t let that fool you. Mark’s Gospel ends with the resurrection. An Angel told the women who came to the tomb early that Sunday morning that Jesus had risen just as He said He would. The story isn’t over until we look inside the empty tomb, see and believe that Jesus is alive. Sin, death and Satan have been defeated. Our privilege is to open the empty tomb for others to look inside, see and believe too.