Posted in A Father's Love, Devotions, Holiness, spiritual warfare, The Gospels, wisdom, worship

Luke 22 Part 4–It is Friday, But Sunday is Coming

The scene of after the cross is a very sad part of Luke’s story.  It is that period where it seemed all was lost.  It is also the theme, however, of one of the most hopeful statements used by preachers and evangelists through the centuries.  “It is Friday, but Sunday is coming.”  In the lives of Jesus’ followers, seeing their Messiah dead on the cross undermined all the hope and beliefs they had built though the 3+ years of His ministry.  They were alone, afraid, and completely without hope.  The one on whom they had rested their hopes and belief was now dead.  The Jewish leaders were celebrating, Satan was gloating, and the Father now sat quiet.

We know the end of the story though! Jesus had previewed it several times for His guys.  He would arise on the third day! But those hours in between would be difficult and seem paralyzing.  In addition, even those that still had hope, faced the endless anticipation and fear of those next days.  What if He did not rise? What if this is all there is? It is a debilitating fear that leaves one empty and lost.  It is the same fear the Israelites had just before Moses came on the scene. It is the same fear they had as they marched around the walls of Jericho. It is the what the essence of faith entails.  Believing in what has not been seen–yet.

We still deal with that fear.  As we face these chaotic times, when all the principles and foundational beliefs we have are questioned, it is difficult to continue to believe and follow God. The great hope we have is the same hope that carried Israel out of Egypt, into the promised land, and back into a relationship with God our Father.  In that same spiritual sense, we can hear the old tent revivalist say, “It is Friday, but SUNDAY is COMING!”

God Bless You


50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Posted in A Father's Love, Devotions, spiritual warfare, The Gospels, wisdom, worship

Luke 22 Part 3–The End of the Beginning

Luke looks at Christ’s sacrifice from a great number of angles.  He looks at Pilate’s desperation as he longs to free Jesus, but, at the end of the day, caves to the pressure and hands the Messiah over for crucifixion. Next, Luke looks at the crowd.  The people that cheered only week before were hurling demands for their Hero’s death as if He had personally injured their families.  He showed the soldier’s disdain as they gathered a stranger to assist the Savior as his body had been beaten and bruised to the point of death.

Then Luke looks at the crowd, mourners for whom Jesus has pity. The thieves on either side of the cross.  The Jewish leaders and guards that mocked him with taunts and signs and finally Jesus’ followers that stayed back and watched with horror as their beloved teacher was being killed. Finally, we even see the grief of God as He makes the land dark and rips the temple vail.

In all of that, we also see Jesus. He is pleading for forgiveness of those that are mocking and killing Him. He is mourning for His mourners. He is granting life to the thief that recognized his innocence.  He is making one last effort in His role of human to be humane. 

Interestingly, Christ’s death would be the victory over the very ones that demanded it.  It would signify the end of sacrificial atonement of animals. It would destroy the theocracy then enjoyed by Jewish leaders of the day.  It would finally end Satan’s hold on the hearts of people. We who are yet sinners would now have the opportunity to have a personal relationship with God.

In life and in death, Jesus rose above the holds of humanity and demonstrated God’s unique love and unique character.  Then at the perfect hour, Jesus said it Himself–IT IS FINISHED! just as the modern Christian song says, that was the end of the beginning.

God Bless You


Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then

“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
    and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[b]

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Posted in A Father's Love, devotion, Devotions, spiritual warfare, The Gospels, wisdom, worship

Luke 22 Final–The Trial…

It must have been surreal for Jesus to watch everything unfold.  He had seen this day since the dawn of time.  It is interesting to ponder which of the details that must have stuck out to our Lord.  Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial, the religious leaders stumbling over themselves as they tried to make a case against the Lord.  I am sure that the grief Peter bore as he looked into Jesus’ eyes after denying Him was overwhelming. Judas could not bear his shame, and so he committed suicide.

Meanwhile, the enemy and the Jewish leaders were having a ball.  Here, the one that had beaten them all now stood before the council on trial for His life. During the process, every punch, every slap, every curse thrown at Jesus, was done so for our redemption.  One can only imagine the pain and frustration Jesus set aside as those He came to save were mocking and preparing to kill Him. Still, Jesus faced the mob. He did not interfere with their kangaroo court.  He did, after all, write the law that they used as the basis for their mockery of justice.

His disciples were scattered, and now, all that transpired would happen according to the script that was written as Eve prepared the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The trial was not actually before the religious leaders.  The trial was, in fact, being played out on a heavenly stage. The finding was simply whether God would demonstrate His love for us–in that while we were yet sinners, would Christ die for us? Romans 5:8.

Praise God that He did in fact endure the next hours and day. His sacrifice freed us from the curse our sinful nature bound us to.  We can become new creatures by simply trusting the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:17. What was to come made all that possible.  We can never understand the depth of love Jesus’ sacrifice embodied.  Our prayer needs not to be one for understanding, however. It simply needs to be one of acceptance of the gift, and submission to the amazing plan our Lord prepared and executed to redeem and restore us.

God Bless You


Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus Is Mocked

63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

Jesus Before the Council

66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, 67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”

Posted in A Father's Love, Creation, Devotions, Holiness, spiritual warfare, The Gospels, wisdom, worship

Luke 19 Part 3–The Triumphal Entry to Holy Week

Luke begins the look at Holy week with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. This was the most difficult journey that the Lord embarked upon in His ministry.  Jesus knew every step in the playbook.  He had seen it since before the creation.  It is a very telling hint for us when Jesus sends His guys to retrieve the colt.  The detail of where to go and what to say; reminds us that this video had replayed many times in the Lord’s thoughts.  

Then, as Jesus started into the city, the crowds welcomed Him as a conquering hero.  We must not miss the irony of the colt.  Conquering heroes paraded in on beautiful chargers with banners waving and trumpets blaring.  Conversely, when a king came in peace, would he do so on a colt, non-descript.  Still, the crowds roared and pronounced Jesus’ arrival.  While His men basked in their celebrity, Jesus felt the anguish of His coming fate, and the fate of His chosen ones. Still, He proceeded into Jerusalem, knowing that He would soon complete His mission. Jesus was prepared suffer the pain, humiliation, and separation from the Father.

It is that sacrifice that redeemed us.  Jesus, as the old hymn reminds us, could have called 10,000 angels to stop the trial and crucifixion.  He did not.  In exchange, the Lord simply asks us to trust and follow Him.  Jesus knew all about our lives and all our issues even as the Father proclaimed, “Let there be Light!” We cannot shock or surprise the Lord.  We can, however, follow Him and experience peace and an abundant Life here on earth; as well as, an eternity with Him in Glory.  What a great gift, and what an amazing promise.

God Bless You


After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.” They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Posted in A Father's Love, Devotions, Holiness, Marraige, spiritual warfare, The Gospels, wisdom, worship

Luke 19 Part 1–Seeking and Saving that Which is Lost

The story of Zacchaeus has several great components.  First, we see the lost man’s desire to meet the Master.  Zacchaeus was one of the most hated and powerful men in his community.  As chief tax collector, Zacchaeus had the ear of the Romans and the wealth of the city.  Even with all that power and wealth, Zacchaeus was still empty.  He wanted to learn more about this Jesus that had changed so many lives. Sadly, he could not see Jesus over the crowd.  He had to climb a tree to catch a glimpse.  

Next, we see the perspective of the Lord.  As Jesus passed through, like the shepherd He saw the one sheep that was lost and called out to this man in the tree and told Zacchaeus he was the reason for Jesus being there that day.  It changed Zacchaeus’ Life.  In an instant, Zacchaeus became generous and sought to make amends to all he had wronged.  His heart was redeemed.  What a picture of the power of God. Jesus had truly sought and saved that which was lost.

Finally, there was the crowd.  They were incensed by Jesus’ choice of company that day.  In their minds, Zacchaeus was the least worthy person to be with Jesus. Still, after He met the Lord, Zacchaeus would become a benefactor and friend to those that despised him.  Sadly, the people that should embrace those that need Jesus, were the ones that cast Zacchaeus aside.

In our lives, we need to have Jesus’ heart and not the heart of the crowd.  Jesus saw Zacchaeus in the tree, and He knew Zacchaeus was the point of the journey.  The crowd only saw Zacchaeus sin.  We, as Jesus chosen, need also to seek and to save that which is lost.  We can never lose sight of our mission.  Many people search high and low for a way to be saved, but they cannot see over the crowd.  It is our job to reach out and bring them to Jesus. It is not our job to judge them.  

Finally, if You have tried to find peace through power, influence, money, or any other means, Like Zacchaeus, you will still be empty inside.  Jesus is uniquely suited to fill the void in your life.  Once you give your life to Him, you will be free from the void left in your heart by a world gone mad.  All Jesus asks is for you to accept His gift of salvation, and then trust the Lord to do a work in your heart–just like He did with Zacchaeus.

God Bless You

 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short, he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now, I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Posted in A Father's Love, Devotions, Marraige, spiritual warfare, The Gospels, wisdom, worship

Luke 17 Part 3–When the Lord Returns

The topic of Christ’s return was and is a most difficult issue to tackle.  The apostles, the prophets, and other men of God throughout history have been watching and living in a way that indicates Christ’s return is eminent.  Jesus was clear, when He returns it will be as obvious as lightening flashing across the sky.  There will be no doubt it is the Lord that has returned, and our Lord will be large and in charge.  He also made it clear that it will be in an instant.  there will be no long warning siren or trumpet hailing a future arrival.

People will be doing life when Christ returns. People will be buying, selling, marrying, having kids, working, fighting like any other day.  Then in a flash Christ will have returned.  Knowing this, we must live as the disciples did.  We must live like the Lord is returning tomorrow.  We must never grow comfortable in our lives.  We must never give up or give in.  We must live our lives in a manner that is worthy of the gospel.  Fighting the spiritual battles that each day brings.  We never look back, but instead, press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of us.

In the end, whether Christ comes today or in a thousand years, our lives need to be lived with an eternal perspective.  We need to trust Him and follow closely to the end.  We can never lose sight of His power or of the Lord’s eminent return.

God Bless You


Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”[h]

22 And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.[i] 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35 There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.”[j]

Posted in A Father's Love, Creation, Devotions, Holiness, spiritual warfare, The Gospels, wisdom, worship

Luke 16 Part 1–Money and Masters

MONEY…Jesus tells His disciples that while money is not everything, it is one of the greatest competitors for the throne of our lives.  Jesus tells the story of a manager that has been fired and the manager’s shrewd plan to preserve his future by cheating his boss.  One would think the master would be angry, but, instead, the master is impressed by the manager’s shrewd dealings. 

Jesus then reminds the disciples that they live in a selfish world that gladly lies, cheats, and steals to preserve and better their own lives.  In one recounting, Jesus tells the disciples to be as shrewd as serpents and as gentle as doves. (Mathew 10:16).Jesus also reminds His chosen that no person can serve two masters.  You will love one and hate the other.  It is the struggle with being a believer.  Nothing in our world encourages selflessness.  Everything points to and worships fame, fortune, and everything that goes with it. 

As God’s people, we are called to live differently.  We are called to be good stewards with what he has blessed us with but, not to worship the stuff, worship the Provider.  It truly is a tough journey. 

If we can adopt Paul’s attitude of being content with whatever circumstance we find ourselves facing; then we can be as shrewd as serpents and as gentle as doves.  It is a matter of knowing that God created and owns it all.  He distributes what we need in His way and His time.  We must trust Him and allow the Lord to lead, guide, and direct us through the journey, and, like Israel in the desert, accept God’s daily provision for our lives and be OK with it.  

God Bless You


Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’

“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’

“So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

“‘Nine hundred gallons[a] of olive oil,’ he replied.

“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’

“Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’

“‘A thousand bushels[b] of wheat,’ he replied.

“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Posted in A Father's Love, devotion, Devotions, Holiness, spiritual warfare, The Gospels, wisdom, worship

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.”

Posted in A Father's Love, Devotions, Holiness, Marraige, spiritual warfare, The Gospels, wisdom, worship

Luke 14 Part 1–Humility vs. Self-Promotion

Jesus was now under major scrutiny by the religious leaders.  They had but one goal, get rid of Jesus.  Jesus was invited to a prominent Pharisee’s house for dinner and there, waiting, is a man to be healed.  Of course, it was on the sabbath.  I am sure Jesus was thinking, “Really, healing on the Sabbath again???”  So, Jesus simply asked the leaders the question, is it OK to heal on the sabbath?  They of course did not answer–if they answered No then Jesus had them because as He pointed, they would save their kids and livestock on the sabbath. Doing good was allowed!   If they would have answered yes, then Jesus would have taken away their best trap. It was becoming comical.

Next Jesus talked about living a life of Humility.  He showed that those who try to constantly exalt themselves, will be embarrassed.  Conversely, if one simply lives and acts humbly; God and others will exalt them.  What a gift and what a more lasting honor.  Jesus tried so ardently to help people to shift their thoughts from self-centered survival to an attitude of faith; trusting God to lead and provide. Sadly, the leaders were not grasping the concept.  That was the most frustrating aspect for Jesus.  These were supposed to be God’s best and brightest; but they missed the most important aspect of a life of devotion to God–selfless faith.

In our lives, Jesus still wants us to grasp the principle, Seek God and follow Him.  Then He will meet your needs and lift you up to a life of peace and joy.  The Lord will also prepare for you an eternal life with Him as His chosen.  We need not spend our days trying to earn prominence or self-promoting our spirituality.  That will get us nowhere.  Instead, we simply and humbly follow the Father, then, we can allow the Lord to lift us up.  It is a great way to live and brings peace during chaos.

God Bless You


One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.

Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child[a] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” And they had nothing to say.

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Posted in A Father's Love, Devotions, Holiness, spiritual warfare, The Gospels, wisdom, worship

Luke 13 Part 2–The Personal Nature of Faith

Jesus begins presenting pictures of the transition to heaven.   He uses some vivid examples to assist His followers in understanding what lies ahead.  The first picture is one of Heaven being like a mustard seed.  One need only see the very small mustard seed to think it a forgettable thing.  Still, as Jesus reminds us, it grows into a tree that is big enough to be a community for birds to live in and be supported.  Jesus reminds us that our faith is the same.  While the beginnings are humble, the growth over time is amazing and as we mature in Christ, we not only become mature in Him; but we also support the growth of the community of believers and become a source of strength and shelter for others.

Next, He likens Heaven to yeast.  Yeast seems harmless enough on its own, but as we work it through the flour, it becomes the agent of growth for loaves and loaves of bread and sustenance for many people.  It is like our influence on the kingdom.  If we remain faithful, the spirit will work through us and use us to grow and be a part of the spread of Christ throughout our world.  Like the yeast, His spirit raises the lives of men and makes them priceless change agents and ambassadors for the Lord.

Finally, Jesus speaks to the personal nature of our walk with God.  He uses the picture of a narrow gate.  Not everyone will enter heaven.  When they are not admitted, the people will complain that they were the folks you were preaching at all the time.  Jesus will answer, “OK, but I never knew you, and I have no clue of your intentions.”  These are hard words.  Jesus requires us to invest our lives into our faith and know Him personally.  We live our lives following His lead.  As we do, we will know Him personally.  Revelation 3:20 says it best, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door–i will come in and sup with him and he with Me.”  In the culture of that time, breaking bread was the sign of friendship and relationship. Unless the relationship is personal, there is no trust or commitment. The national relationship of Israel to God was simply not sufficient to know God.  Jesus calls us to know Him personally–not simply knowing who He is, but, knowing His heart and desire to love and care for us.  

Jesus paints three amazing pictures of what we need to know about God and Heaven.  As we trust Him, we will grow, minister, and build a relationship that carries us to eternity. 

God Bless You


18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”

20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

The Narrow Door

22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.