Luke 15 Part 2–The Prodigal

Of all the parables, few are better known than the parable of the prodigal son.  It is the story of men’s frailty and the love of our Heavenly father.  As the story unfolds, an impetuous and selfish young son took his inheritance and left home. He squandered the money and then fell into poverty and despair. In a moment of lucidity, the prodigal decides to go back to his Father and work for Him.  When the prodigal returned, he was met by a Father that loved him, and forgave his sin, restored his life, and celebrated the return. 

Next, we see the prodigal had a brother that was left behind to pick up the pieces.  the brother watched the Father endure pain and worry caused by the prodigal’s departure and absence. In addition, the brother assisted the Father in the work of rebuilding and maintaining their home and business and he remained faithful.

When the prodigal returned and all seemed forgotten, the brother was bitter and felt abandoned. Hadn’t he been faithful, hadn’t he done everything he was supposed to?  Why then was the celebration for the brother that failed? As the brother sat alone in the garden sad and bitter; the Father came and loved on the elder brother.  The Father recognized the brother’s faithfulness and promised to reward it.  But, for this day, the celebration of the return and life of His brother was the right thing for both Father and brother.

God reveals several great truths in this story. 

First, God the Father loves us. whether faithful or fallen, He never gives up or turns away from those that seek Him. He adores His faithful ones, and all He has is theirs.  He also has plenty for those who fall completely on their face, but then repent and return.  That is what makes our Heavenly Father so amazing. God wipes the slate clean and allows a fresh and full start.

Second, when we fall away and fall apart, if we will confess and return, the Father will accept us back with open arms of love and forgiveness. He is the God of another chance.  He wants our devotion, and He will love us through any trial or temptation.  It is critical, however that we return.  We must recognize where we have fallen and return to the Father on His terms.

Finally, God never forgets His faithful ones.  He will celebrate the ones that return, and rightly so.  Remember, however, He never forgets those that stay and follow faithfully.  The Lord reminds them that all He has is theirs.  He reminds them, they need not fear, they too can celebrate repentance and restoration.

As we face this chaotic world, we need to pray for revival, and, as God answers that prayer, we must welcome back all that return and celebrate the victory with our Heavenly Father.

God Bless You


Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Luke 15 Part 1–The Lost Stories (Sheep and Coin)

Luke highlights God’s Devotion to us by relating Jesus’ parables about the lost sheep, coin, and son.  These parables highlight God’s incredible devotion for the lost.  In the first story Jesus speaks of the danger a shepherd is willing to risk saving a lost lamb.  He would leave the 99 in his flock to find the one that was lost.  And when found, He would love the lost lamb, carry it to safety and celebrate the lamb’s return without a worry for the other 99.  

Next, Jesus speaks of a lost coin.  In this parable, Jesus highlights the lengths, depths, and effort the owner would take to find a lost treasure. Neither darkness nor filth would stop the master’s search for the treasure.  When found, one sees the relief and celebration for the return of that treasure. At this point, the crowd could relate–but could they really?

God considers each of us as precious treasures.  There is no length too far, no risk to big, no search too exhaustive to find and bring his treasures back.  He truly loves us and cannot emphasize enough the lengths he is willing to go to save us.  There is absolutely nothing else in the world that matches our Father’s love for us, His sheep, His treasure.  If we could help the world to understand the depth and length of God’s unconditional love for us, one would think they would immediately accept Jesus, God’s restorative Gift of Life.

God Bless You


Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 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.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Luke 8 Part 1–The Parable of the Sower

Of the messages from the Lord, the parable of the sower is both one of the most convicting and freeing messages Jesus shared.  In a sense it is very convicting.  When we realize we are to be sharing God’s message, it is a very daunting reality that many will hear the message but not be changed.  Life happens, and people reject the message, fail to grow because there is no follow-up, or simply allow life to choke out their walk with God.  Still, as we are faithful, with His message, God draws people into the kingdom, and they draw others until the Gospel wins the day.

So, while it is important that we share the Gospel, it is equally important to realize once sown, we do not control what happens to the message.  Sure, we need to follow up and disciple those who we know have received Christ, but we cannot stop people’s personal choices and life’s incredible attack.  That is God’s job through His Spirit in men’s lives.  Jesus was making clear that the message gets out there. God makes sure of that.  What men do with that message is all over the board.  We, as His chosen, need to share boldly and love unconditionally as we minister.  We are not the judges, we are the planters, crop caretakers, and harvesters of the message.  We allow the Lord to do the work and change lives. As Paul reminded us in Romans1:16, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe!”

God Bless You


Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.

Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him: “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets[a] of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:

‘When they look, they won’t really see.
    When they hear, they won’t understand.’[b]

11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. 12 The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. 13 The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. 14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. 15 And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.

Luke 7 Part 3–John, and the Crisis of Faith

Clearly, the crowds had moved on.  For a time, John the Baptist was the Rockstar.  People came from everywhere to see and be baptized by this man of God.  He spoke with authority and preached repentance to a world that had abandoned their faith.  He was rough and burley.  He was so different from the norm, that people would come to see him simply because of his oddity.  But, when they heard him speak of Messiah–well then hope was restored.  

Then, the day came when Jesus started his ministry.  John announced Jesus and baptized him.  John knew Jesus was Messiah–he had known it from the time they met in their Mom’s wombs!  Still as Jesus grew in popularity, John’s following dissipated.  His disapproval of Herod’s behavior landed John in jail awaiting execution.  John’s faithful team kept him up to date about what was happening and the growing popularity of Jesus.  There in the jail, John questioned his purpose and his call.  John sent his guys to confront Jesus–Are You the one?

Jesus, as he had with so many others, sent back a message of comfort and peace.  “Tell John what you have seen–the healing, the opening of eyes, the casting out of demons and the raising folks from the Dead.  In a word, Jesus assured His cousin that while His ministry was different, their purpose was the same.  Jesus was changing the world and Its picture of the Heavenly Father.  Jesus was not mad.  He did not take offense at John’s crisis of faith.  Instead, Jesus reminded all that were there–a large crowd, to say the least, that John was a superHero.  He changed the course of many lives and prepared the way for Messiah.  Still, compared to God’s chosen, Jesus reminded the people that even rockstars pale in comparison.We, as His people, are children of God. 

We will stand with the Lord for eternity.  When life gets hard and circumstances seem hopeless, we must take our hope from that promise! John knew and we must cling to the fact that Jesus Christ is enough. He must be enough in both good times and bad.  He must be our sufficiency whether we are hungry or well fed.  He has to be the center of our faith.  Jesus comforted His friend because sometimes it is hard to see the miracle that is sitting in front of us.  Because of Jesus, we are able to be in a personal relationship with God, Our Heavenly Father.  That is a great gift.

God Bless You


John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”

21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’[b]

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

Luke 7 Part 2–Taking a Step Off the Beaten Path

As doctor Luke continues to tell our Lord’s story, He makes a brief diversion.  He takes us off the beaten path to a farming community of Nain.  Jesus happens onto a funeral. A widow is burying her only son.  The procession is coming out of the city gate and Jesus and His guys meet up with them.  Jesus sees the widow, the community, and takes compassion on the widow.  Jesus raises the son from death and returns him to his mom.  What a great story!

That is, however, only part of the story.  To understand the depth of love and grace God has for us, let me throw out a couple extra facts.  Nain was well off the beaten path to other communities.  Jesus would have had to be going there for a specific purpose.  It was a long and arduous walk to the edge of a mountain.  So, Jesus walking there to coincidentally meet a funeral precession is simply unlikely.  Truth be told–Jesus set out very early that morning to meet a woman in great need.  He was the only solution to her life–a life that was now decimated.

Luke’s sidetrack was one of the great character revelations demonstrated in God’s word.  It is a physical example of God’s personal care.  This widow in this small farm town lost everything when her son died.  Her dear boy, her protection, her livelihood, and her standing in the community all now lay in a coffin.  Jesus went way out of His way to meet the widow, the coffin, and the boy to restore what this woman had lost.  The people in the town were rightfully amazed, but this was a small town–so what.  The “so what” is the reminder that God loves us personally! He will travel anywhere to meet us in our times of need; and He will restore what we have lost.  

I love Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It is a spiritual version to Jesus journey to Nain.  God knew our need and he went way out of His way to meet us.  He comes to our funeral and restores us.  We can never forget that God’s sacrifice was not made at a point that we deserved it.  No, He made the sacrifice only because He loves us personally and completely. 

Thanks Lord, for allowing Luke to demonstrate that character trait in the little town of Nain.

God Bless You


Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. 12 A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. 14 Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” 15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.

16 Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, “A mighty prophet has risen among us,” and “God has visited his people today.” 17 And the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside.

Luke 5 Part 2–Meeting People Where They Are Hurting

As I grow older, I am more amazed with the patience of Jesus as He dealt with the religious leaders.  They were in effect, His team.  They represented the chosen people of God. Yet, as they stood and watched God do amazing things–all they could muster, was the ability to criticize and second guess God’s work.  Jesus did not let that slow him down though.  He was on earth to show people God from a human perspective. 

He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers and taught the masses that God was personal and loved them.  He wanted their worship to be awe and wonder, not fear and loathing.  So, He met folks right where they were.  He touched the leper not only to clean his flesh, but also to rid the man of the stigma of being untouchable.  Jesus forgave the paralytic–not to show off, but to address what was rendering the man paralyzed–not physically, but in his heart.

God continues to reach out to us right where we are.  Our needs are often a symptom of a deeper wound or issue.  He wants to go deep and cleanse us from the inside out.  Often, our prayers do not encompass what is really killing us.  We need to seek God and ask Him to show us what is enslaving us.  Then we can receive the Lord’s grace that allows Him to truly heal us.  I hope each of you have an amazing Thanksgiving and truly embrace all that you have to be grateful for.

God Bless You


12 In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. 14 Then Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened. He said, “Go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy.[c] This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

15 But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

17 One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.

18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”

21 But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 23 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man[d] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

25 And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”

Luke 3 Part 1–Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

As with any great event, Jesus ministry started with John the Baptist preparing the way.  John, Jesus’ cousin, was sent by the Lord to start the transformation to welcoming the Messiah.  John was a wonder.  He traveled through and told people to repent and get ready for the coming Messiah.  He preached a life of selflessness.  He told those that could exploit to be content and do what was right.  He told soldiers to be content with their pay. He told tax collectors to be content with a reasonable tax.

Mostly, John was charged with the duty of preparing people for the coming of Jesus.  The people had been waiting for hundreds of years, so a little prep would be useful.  So God called John to be that person to make the announcement.  He had forewarned the people in Isaiah that John would come on the scene to set the stage.  Now the time had come.  John had a special role and, in his time,, he became quite well known and many followed Him.  But John knew his time was limited, so He simply made the most of it.  He would tell anyone that was willing to listen of the Lord’s coming and the need to prepare their hearts.

We need to live our lives prepared as well.  Jesus will return.  In the meantime, we need to live as one content with all that God has provided.  We need to live as new creations.  Our daily lives should be filled with faith, hope and love.  If we will walk in that way, we will model the life John called those in his day to lead.  We will live a life honoring to God and modeling the life of Jesus!

God Bless You


In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.’”[a]

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[b] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.

Luke 2 Part 1–The First Christmas

The very story of Jesus birth is itself a miracle.  In a time when dogma and religious rule were critical, God brought His Son into the world in a most unorthodox way.  Born of a virgin, from a small town in Israel.  Born in the town of Bethlehem because of Roman rule. Welcomed by angels and visited by shepherds. Jesus’ story is itself an Amazing Journey.  Jesus’s earthly dad, Joseph had a great heart–he was ready to walk away from Mary–his fiancé, to hide her shame–but like Zacheriah and Mary, He was visited by the Angel and given the job of raising God’s son.  He must have been a great man because He raised a great son.

The Christmas story is a wonder.  God was proud to bring his son into the world, but as such, God knew the journey ahead would be difficult.  From birth to resurrection the battle would be spiritual.  Jesus would face every trial a man faced, He would send a new message that Adonai was a personal God, not simply a national symbol.  That he offered men the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Him and would give eternal life to all that believed.   In addition, He would demonstrate ministry in a way never shown to God’s people.  He would embrace the disenfranchised. He would feed the hungry, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, love the unlovable and call out the self-righteous religious leaders for their complete disregard of God’s calling to be a nation of priests.

This birth was more than a minor miracle–it was the beginning of restoration that would restore God’s plan and people top the place of love and honor they were promised.  As His chosen, we are the benefactors of that first Christmas.  We see the result of the baby born to a virgin and laid in a manger.  We are gifted with abundant life on earth and eternal life in God’s presence. No wonder angels sang, shepherds celebrated, and magi traveled from distant lands.  This was the birth of the Savior of all mankind.

God Bless You


In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.[[[MATT 1

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. ]]]

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Luke 1 Part 4–Mary’s Confirmation and Celebration

What would you do? Mary, a young teenager and promised bride to be, was visited by an Arch angel. She does not question the Angel’s veracity or even the message.  Still, Mary does what many in her spot would do– she ran to her Aunt Elizabeth to simply ask, “What now?”  There is little doubt that her head was spinning with the overwhelming thoughts of being pregnant, a virgin, betrothed, and carrying the Messiah. 

Then, as she enters the house of Her aunt–wife of one of the Levitical temple servants, ancestor of Aaron. Immediately the future Herald of Christ (John) jumps in his mother’s womb.  Elizabeth was then filled with God’s Spirit and affirms what Mary was already told by Gabriel. One can only imagine the boost that gave the heart of this amazing young woman. 

 Mary responds, according to Luke, with a heart of praise and conviction to carry and raise this Child. She would do so to honor God, fulfill the Abrahamic covenant, and change the world.  Luke’s is the only Gospel that took the time to look at the precursors to the birth of our Lord.  It was an incredible part of the story.  In a time and culture that would have thrown a single mother to the trash heap, God prepared the people who needed to protect and prepare Jesus’s mom for the raising the Son of God.  God would not allow this to happen in any other way. 

Why is it significant?  This back story was reported by the only Gospel writer that was completely independent. He gathered information from many sources to give account for the average seeker that was clear and complete.  Luke thought it was critical for the all to know how widely the world was affected by the life of Christ. As such He looked at family, shepherds, kings, and mystics as they were touched by the Savior.

This story shows believers the absolute passion Mary had for her call.  It adds a clear legitimacy to the life and story of this young woman.  It was not a sweet excuse for a young girl’s mistake, nor was it a fairy tale to authenticate the claims for a misguided rabbi.  It is the clarity for the reality of a very complex event that would change the world.  Jesus is God. He became flesh, and He lived to show the world the heart of God; culminated by His ultimate sacrifice at the cross.

Mary was a singularly critical figure to history because she raised this child. What’s more, she did it with a humble heart and grateful spirit.  We should serve God with a humble heart and grateful spirit as well.  We should model the sacrifice and commitment we have and will see in Luke’s account. The common denominator  is that all involved completed their journey out of their Love of God.  I simply pray that I can have as deep a love for my Lord!

God Bless You 


39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

Isaiah 65–God’s New Heaven and New Earth

Isaiah 65 is a difficult chapter.  It is broken into several parts. It begins with a promise of restoration for the remnant of Israel.  It is a breath of fresh air for those exiled to Babylon.  In the short term it describes the return after exile in nice and hopeful detail.

There is however a clear message of judgement for the rebellious.  God goes into detail about the peoples’ sin, their ignoring God, and worshipping other gods.  He even details eating pork and other non-kosher foods.  It is not God attacking the nation’s dietary laws, it is a Father exasperated by His chosen’s apparent disregard for their national identity and their covenant to trust and follow Him.

The final section, however, is the most wonderful part of the chapter.  It is the Father’s description of what lies ahead.  “See I will create a new Heaven and a new Earth!”  It was not only a promise to Israel, but it was a promise to all God’s chosen.  Face it, then and now there was pain, poverty, injustice, and death.  Families were in disarray, lives were wasted, and people were in states of hopelessness–SOUND FAMILIAR?  This was a loving Father’s reminder to His beloved that this is a dot on a very long line! What we must look forward to is a place of beauty, of love, and of peace.  No more injustice, no more pain, and no more separation from God.

For the nation of Israel, that was a promise that could not come too soon.  From their inception, they were always hated by the world, because they were different! They chose to follow one God and allow Him to dictate their journey! It seemed ludicrous to many and offensive to the rest.  Living lives of selflessness and humility had to be fake and pompous, right?  The promise is clear, if we will trust and follow our Lord, then we will enjoy eternity with Him.  We will live in a new Heaven and new earth without pain, without death, without ridiculous bickering, or injustice. I would humbly argue that such a promise is worth our love and devotion.  It was made for us, and planned for us by a Father that simply loves His own.  Embrace it and follow Him!

God Bless You


“See, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
    and its people a joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
    will be heard in it no more.

20 “Never again will there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
    will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach[a] a hundred
    will be considered accursed.
21 They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
    or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
    so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
    the work of their hands.
23 They will not labor in vain,
    nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
    they and their descendants with them.
24 Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.