Luke 18 Part 1–Tenacity and Humility

As Jesus continued to prepare His disciples for His departure, the Lord stepped back and addressed some basics.  In this discussion, Jesus focused on things that move God and on things that put barrier between us.  First Jesus discussed tenacity.  He told a parable of a heartless judge and a tenacious old woman. The woman hounded the judge day after day until the judge relented.  The judge that did not fear God or man, finally succumbed because the lady wore him out.  Jesus wanted His disciples to understand that they needed to be passionate and tenacious as they sought God.  He needed them to know that there were times when tenacity became more effective than might or craftiness.

Next Jesus addressed the issue of pride.  He told the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.  The Pharisee stood before God proud and smug that he had checked all the boxes and was one of the good ones.  He was so happy he had it all together.  He thought it only polite to drop by ad high 5 God, since the two of them were so much alike.  Meanwhile,  across the room, a sinful tax collector kneeled, in need of a touch from God.  This man knew he was far from perfect.  Infact, the tax collector knew God was his only hope.  Jesus wanted His guys to understand that both of those men were hopeless without a touch from God, but only the humble one was ready spiritually to receive God’s touch.

In our lives, we face a broken world each day.  We do our best to meet the daily challenges, and we seek the Lord’s mercy and provision.  As we do, we can never quit.  We must be as tenacious as the widow and as humble as the tax collector.  None of us has arrived, in fact, we are not even close.  We need to seek God with all our hearts, daily, in fact, continuously, as we recognize our own inability to manage this life without God and His grace.  We are not perfect, nor, have we somehow spiritually arrived.  David, Moses, Elijah, all men God adored were frail and defeated on their own.  Their greatness came as they humbly sought the Lord.

We can do the same–recognize our imperfection, seek God, and follow Him closely. Finally, we must never stop praying for the Lord’s blessing and direction!

God Bless You


Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

I Samuel 25 part 2–Who Does He Think He Is

How could we ever forget what God has done for us.  When David’s men asked for some provision for their protection, Nabal was rude, disrespectful and highly forgetful of the provision of the army that surrounded him.  The arrogance and conceit of Nabal truly ticked David off. He immediately set off to remind this fool of the poor decision it was to discount the protection from God. 

How many days do we act like Nabal? God meets our needs day in and day out.  He does not give us all our desires, but when we realize how much he does provide we have to be idiots—fools to accuse him of not meeting those needs and accuse him of abandoning us.  In this story, we need to see how personally God takes his protection and provision and we need to show our gratefulness as we pray and worship.  Nabal was living high and on the protected and fruitful land.  David was a fugitive and had no home or protection.  We need to be grateful–whether Nabal or David.  We need to be kind—whether Nabal or David.  It is a simple function of dwelling on him and not on the events that shape our day.  Help me Lord to remain grateful and not a fool.

God Bless You

When David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to Carmel with this message for Nabal: “Peace and prosperity to you, your family, and everything you own! I am told that it is sheep-shearing time. While your shepherds stayed among us near Carmel, we never harmed them, and nothing was ever stolen from them. Ask your own men, and they will tell you this is true. So would you be kind to us, since we have come at a time of celebration? Please share any provisions you might have on hand with us and with your friend David.” David’s young men gave this message to Nabal in David’s name, and they waited for a reply.

10 “Who is this fellow David?” Nabal sneered to the young men. “Who does this son of Jesse think he is? There are lots of servants these days who run away from their masters. 11 Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I’ve slaughtered for my shearers and give it to a band of outlaws who come from who knows where?”

12 So David’s young men returned and told him what Nabal had said. 13 “Get your swords!” was David’s reply as he strapped on his own. Then 400 men started off with David, and 200 remained behind to guard their equipment.

I Samuel 15 part 3–Arrogance and Rebellion

 There is a point that is too far. As we journey with the Lord, there comes a time when our arrogance and rebellion set the stage for the remainder of the journey. Cain’s murder of Abel, Samson telling Delilah his secret, and Saul’s decision to run the battle his way were turning points in the lives of these men.  It was at that point they rejected God and he rejected them.  See, as most fathers, God wants for us to be free and blessed.  But as we continue to fight him for our independence, he will ultimately oblige us and allow us to be independent of him and let us struggle with the bondage and misery our independence brings.

We should not favor independence, we should favor freedom.  When God led his people out of Egypt, he was leading them to freedom from slavery.  As they followed–they were truly free. The more they tried to walk away from him, the more they found themselves in bondage. The same holds true for us.  If we can submit to his leadership and truly seek him, we will be free—free to follow and free to experience his peace and provision. But the more we wrestle with him over who will be boss of our lives, the more we find ourselves entrapped and enslaved. Our arrogance and rebellion will be perceived as witchcraft and idolatry.  Truly, the god we then worship is ourselves.  Just as Saul was building a monument to himself at the battle with the Amalekites.   It is simple, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness—and all the remains will be added to you.  Help me Lord to avoid arrogance and rebellion in my life.

God Bless You

But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”