Luke 14 Part 2–Inclusion and Sacrifice

Jesus was committed to the preparation of the apostles and others that would follow Him.  So, every message had an important component to their development.  In this story, the lessons were about opening the family of God, and about counting the cost of following God.

In the first part, Jesus tells the story of the bridegroom being snubbed by the family and close friends.  As that occurs, the bridegroom then invites others outside the original group to fill the hall.  Jesus was foreshadowing the spread of the Gospel.   Jesus came to be the Messiah for Israel.  But, after the Jewish nation rejected Jesus, in Acts, we learn that God opened the hall and led gentiles from around the globe to be a part of the family at the wedding feast of the Lamb.  In Romans 1:16, Paul writes, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, it is the power of God unto salvation to anyone that believes. First to the Jew, and then to the Gentile.”  God’s plan was always to reclaim the entire world. 

Next, Jesus discusses the cost of following Him.  No matter how one slices it, Jesus was clear–He must be the center of the believer’s life.  Jesus and the salvation He provides must never be an accessory nor an afterthought.  Our Lord wants His chosen to understand that being Christ’s disciple is an all or nothing proposition.  It does not mean that we do not live our lives and do our jobs, it simply means that as we do, we do all things in a way that reflects and honors Jesus Christ.  Jesus was not being harsh or mean, He was simply making clear that following Christ is the life, not simply a component of our lives. 

Paul said it best, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” We conduct our lives with Christ at the core.  Not as an afterthought or occasional token. Our faith draws us to be like Christ and to share the Gospel with any that will listen.  That is the calling, and that is the life.

God Bless You


When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

The Cost of Being a Disciple

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Luke 9 Part 3–Who Jesus IS

Luke continues to spotlight amazing moments in the life and ministry of Jesus.  One of those moments was the moment when Jesus asked the group who people were saying that He was.  Jesus knew, of course what the people were thinking and saying, But He wanted His chosen guys to ponder it a bit.  So, when He asked, the answers were all over the board–John the Baptist, Elijah, one of the other prophets from old.  In Jesus discussion, that was warm up question.  Then Jesus asked the main question.  “Who do you say that I am?”  Peter, always blunt and always 1st says, “You are God’s Messiah!”  

That statement must have exploded through the group..  It would have been stunning to see the eyes of the other disciples and the reactions they gave.  Jesus had performed some amazing miracles.  He spoke of life and of God in a way no other prophet or preacher had done.  He was a man of authority and His following was great.  He calmed storms, cast out demons, healed the sick, fed the masses, and raised the dead.  Still, at the end of the day, it was a huge leap of faith to acknowledge that Jesus was the Messiah.  Peter was the faithful one.  He rose and took the lead.  Scripture shows that Peter was not perfect, but there is little doubt that he was all in.

In our day, we see how the story played out.  We know that Jesus is the Messiah.  We know he was not simply a prophet, a good teacher,  or a Rockstar.  We know that Jesus was God and is God.  He made himself nothing and took on the form of man. He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2). 

With the historical perspective that we have, we can be as confident as Peter when we announce that Jesus is the Messiah.  We must live our lives in a way that honors the love and sacrifice Jesus made.  If we will, He will lead, provide, and protect us until we are with Him, in eternity.  Help me, Lord to honor You as my Messiah!!!

God Bless You


Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”

19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”

Jesus Predicts His Death

21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

Luke 6 Part 3–Loving and Judging

Perspective changes everything.  Imagine being an all-knowing, all-powerful, and omnipresent God.  Not only could you control all circumstances and overcome all obstacles; but you have known what the obstacles were and when those obstacles would occur since the dawn of time! That is the God we serve.  Jesus came to help people understand that this very God personally loves and cares for each of the people on earth.  This is not a God that is either distant or aloof. This is a God that truly loves His own and would do and give anything to save them.  

With that in mind, Jesus called the folks He met to do the same.  Love people.  Make the love unconditional.  Love them simply because that is what God does–loves us.  Also, quit judging the folks you disagree with.  Nobody knows each of us like God knows us–still, He loves us completely and perfectly.  Jesus called His followers to practice the very same lifestyle.  No more Loving “IF” or loving “Because” we simply love folks.  Our only acceptable “Because” is Because God Loves US!!!!  it is not an easy request.  it requires a faith that clings to a perfect God.  

We cannot place our faith in people, they always disappoint.  We cannot place our faith in science, money, history, or power–those things change constantly.  We must place our faith in the one constant–Our Heavenly Father, Adonai.  As it says in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!”  As Jesus began changing the world, His message was that we needed to accept this amazing Love that God demonstrates.  He also emphasized the critical nature of our sharing that unconditional and non-judgmental love with all the folks we meet.  If we will do that, we will truly experience the power of God in our lives!  Believe me, that power is darn well worth it!

God Bless You


27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Isaiah 66–Isaiah’s Concluding Prophecy

So, in closing , God makes His position clear; I created all this!  The heavens are my throne and the earth my footstool! Please know that it is not your sacrifices that impress me, it is your hearts.  Make no mistake; I know the difference.  I watched my beloved speak of me with Love–and they are persecuted.  I hate it, but, know this–that behavior will not go unpunished.  As any father, I will love my kids–I absolutely adore them.  So, those that harm them will face the wrath of an angry Father.  

But here is the thing, I love My kids from every nation and people. I will bless those that love Me no matter where they are from or who they are! Conversely, there will be no mercy on those that hate Me and prey on My people.  there will be a reckoning like none other.  In short, be ready for I will be back, and you will know it when it happens.  In the meantime, I love you and will be there with and for you until My return! 

Few would say that God was not making His conclusion clear.  He loves His own.  It is not a thing that you can pretend.  Seek first His kingdom and righteousness; and all these things will be added to you! Matthew 6:33

Help me , Father, to walk in your ways and live a life worthy of Your Love.

God Bless You


This is what the Lord says:

“Heaven is my throne,
    and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
    Where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things,
    and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord.

“These are the ones I look on with favor:
    those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
    and who tremble at my word.
But whoever sacrifices a bull
    is like one who kills a person,
and whoever offers a lamb
    is like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever makes a grain offering
    is like one who presents pig’s blood,
and whoever burns memorial incense
    is like one who worships an idol.
They have chosen their own ways,
    and they delight in their abominations;
so I also will choose harsh treatment for them
    and will bring on them what they dread.
For when I called, no one answered,
    when I spoke, no one listened.
They did evil in my sight
    and chose what displeases me.”

Hear the word of the Lord,
    you who tremble at his word:
“Your own people who hate you,
    and exclude you because of my name, have said,
‘Let the Lord be glorified,
    that we may see your joy!’
    Yet they will be put to shame.
Hear that uproar from the city,
    hear that noise from the temple!
It is the sound of the Lord
    repaying his enemies all they deserve.

“Before she goes into labor,
    she gives birth;
before the pains come upon her,
    she delivers a son.
Who has ever heard of such things?
    Who has ever seen things like this?
Can a country be born in a day
    or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor
    than she gives birth to her children.
Do I bring to the moment of birth
    and not give delivery?” says the Lord.
“Do I close up the womb
    when I bring to delivery?” says your God.
10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
    all you who love her;
rejoice greatly with her,
    all you who mourn over her.
11 For you will nurse and be satisfied
    at her comforting breasts;
you will drink deeply
    and delight in her overflowing abundance.”

12 For this is what the Lord says:

“I will extend peace to her like a river,
    and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried on her arm
    and dandled on her knees.
13 As a mother comforts her child,
    so will I comfort you;
    and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

14 When you see this, your heart will rejoice
    and you will flourish like grass;
the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants,
    but his fury will be shown to his foes.
15 See, the Lord is coming with fire,
    and his chariots are like a whirlwind;
he will bring down his anger with fury,
    and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For with fire and with his sword
    the Lord will execute judgment on all people,
    and many will be those slain by the Lord.

17 “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord.

18 “And I, because of what they have planned and done, am about to come[a] and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory.

19 “I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans[b] and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. 20 And they will bring all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the Lord. “They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels. 21 And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites,” says the Lord.

22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. 24 “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”

Isaiah 53–He May Have Endured my Pain, But Don’t Call Me Shirley

This is the most beautiful and specific prophecy about the coming Messiah.  It has been the verse for some of the most beautiful music.  It describes in such detail the sacrifice made by our Lord.  We often forget the level of pain and degradation that the Lord Jesus suffered on our behalf.  In Philippians 2, we are told to have the same attitude as Christ. Who being God, already did not need to attain immortality or authority over all. Yet out of Love for us, He emptied Himself of His Godhood and became a man.  Being in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient to Death–a death on the cross.

Isaiah’s description of the Lord’s sacrifice goes to the very heart of that.  He was GOD! he created the universe. So, to live humbly as a carpenter and then an itinerant Rabbi was quite a step down.  Then to spread the message of the Father’s Love and desire for relationship with us; only to be at odds with the leadership of HIS chosen people…not easy to take. Finally, to heal, raise the dead, feed the masses, and cast out the enemy; knowing all the time these people would demand His execution, uugh. 

It was the most beautiful way for God to demonstrate His love for us.  For Isaiah, well he had the first preview of what would become the greatest event in history.  He saw the thing that would, in fact divide time.  He forecast this life hundreds of years before as if he was watching it in HD.  That is why we should trust God.  He created us and a plan to save us despite our wicked nature. What a prophet and what an evangelist. Thank You Lord, for the prophetic markers to remind us of our Lord’s love and sacrifice for us!

God Bless You


Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

Joshua 8 Part 2–The Victory Party

The people of Israel obeyed.  They wiped out Ai. They were able to take the plunder from the victory without fear, and the campaign to claim their inheritance had begun in earnest. The post battle victory party looked a bit different than one would think.  The Israelite people gathered in front of two mountains, they built an altar, they made sacrifices and then Joshua read to the people all the words of the law.

It was not an option to miss the reading.  whether native or foreign born, if one was to be a part of Israel, they would listen and know God’s law.

It was apparent to Joshua as the new leader and shepherd of this people, that they needed to remember the importance of trusting and following God. Moses had instructed the people to build the alter here and they made that a priority. 

It is quite possible that after the extreme circumstance of the recent days, that spending a day listening to the law and making sacrifices did not seem like great fun.  Yet, these people did so without grumbling or complaint.

God must be the priority. In victory or defeat, we must continue to seek God and follow Him.  If we will, God promises us, as His people to meet our needs and direct our path.  Joshua knew this better than any of the people. He had been watching the results of failing to follow God his entire adult life.

So now as the leader, Joshua was careful to listen to God, follow Him closely and lead His people toward the Lord and not away from Him.

We also must live a life that leads people toward God and not away.  We must listen to the word and seek God in prayer and fellowship.  It is not always convenient; it is certainly not always fun–but it will help us to face our battles with confidence and it will help us to prepare for our eternal inheritance. 

Paul said it best in Colossians 3:1-4, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

God Bless You


Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, 31 as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings. 32 There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on stones a copy of the law of Moses. 33 All the Israelites, with their elders, officials, and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the Lord, facing the Levitical priests who carried it. Both the foreigners living among them and the native-born were there. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the Lord had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel.

34 Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law—the blessings and the curses—just as it is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the foreigners who lived among them.

God Does Provide. Genesis 22 Part 2

<It is rarely easy, it is often challenging but, it is always rewarding to trust God. Big or small, walking by faith is always the right answer. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son…but God was not. God had provision ready. He allowed Abraham and history to see that faith is always correct.

Abraham’s faith showed his son and the world that God loves us and will not ignore our needs or our willingness to follow him. In our lives, we have opportunities daily to trust him. The more we do the easier it becomes to follow him any and everywhere.

As we follow, like Abraham, we impact those we know and those to come. We can never know how great his impact will be on our lives and the lives we touch. That is why each day we must continue to trust and serve him.

God Bless You

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.&It is rarely easy, it is often challenging but, it is always rewarding to trust God. Big or small, walking by faith is always the right answer. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son…but God was not. God had provision ready. He allowed Abraham and history to see that faith is always correct.

Abraham’s faith showed his son and the world that God loves us and will not ignore our needs or our willingness to follow him. In our lives, we have opportunities daily to trust him. The more we do the easier it becomes to follow him any and everywhere.

As we follow, like Abraham, we impact those we know and those to come. We can never know how great his impact will be on our lives and the lives we touch. That is why each day we must continue to trust and serve him.

God Bless You

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.;It is rarely easy, it is often challenging but, it is always rewarding to trust God. Big or small, walking by faith is always the right answer. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son…but God was not. God had provision ready. He allowed Abraham and history to see that faith is always correct.

Abraham’s faith showed his son and the world that God loves us and will not ignore our needs or our willingness to follow him. In our lives, we have opportunities daily to trust him. The more we do the easier it becomes to follow him any and everywhere.

As we follow, like Abraham, we impact those we know and those to come. We can never know how great his impact will be on our lives and the lives we touch. That is why each day we must continue to trust and serve him.

God Bless You

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

Live Like Christ–But Do it in His Power 1 Peter 4

There is a sense of urgency–We should be living as though Christ is returning…Because he is! It is so easy to become complacent in these current circumstances.  No matter how comfortable things seem, we are living for eternity.  That means we seek God, we love others and we act as he would act.  The great news is that we do not have to do it in our power.  The Holy Spirit comes and fills us and guides us to living a Christ like life. 

So what does that life look like, well according to Peter their are three major components–Love, selflessness and humility. If we are selfless and humble, it does not mean we act like EEOre.  It only means that we are always looking for ways to promote others and show them Christ in our lives. Loving others means that we see the from God’s perspective and as members of our family.  We accept them as they are but steer them to the wonderful journey with Christ.  Life is about selfless, loving humility.

Living that kind of life is a sign we are looking to eternity–not simply existing for today!

God Bless You

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Follow Me–1 Mark 1 part 3

How easy is it to follow the Lord.  Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself take up his cross and follow me.” Luke 9.  When Jesus started out, he was looking for men that were to become the pillars of the church. He did not go to Jerusalem, he went to the shores of the sea of Galilee. There he found Andrew, Peter, James and John. Four men, all gainfully employed, simply walked away from all they knew to follow the son of God.  In the days to come, these men were able to share time, trials, meals and their hearts with the one true God.

They were the first to experience a personal relationship with God.  Until that time, God had a relationship directly with prophets, priests and kings.  Now he would begin building personal relationships with folks like us. The question is– are we willing to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him.  Would we walk away from our worldly life.  Would we submit to his plan and leadership.  Andrew, Peter, James and John left everything. In exchange, they were a part of something that changed the world.  Jesus wants us at all costs—help me Lord to follow you the same way.

God Bless You

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

I Samuel 25 continued–Sacrifice Saves

Abigail did not know David.  She had no reason to believe her plea would make a difference.  But, her wisdom caused her to make amends and attempt to right what her husband had botched up.  She was honest, vulnerable and confident that God would protect her…and he did.  What an amazing story .

In our lives we are sometimes faced with situations that are not of our making. We are left to clean up messes left by those around us.  While it is easier to ignore them or convince ourselves that it is not our problem—often, a contrite heart and an honest spirit can repair the damage even when done by others.  God demonstrated his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  As we live like him, we lead sacrificial lives.  We are ready to step out to serve others whether they deserve it or not.  Like David, God will honor such a life.

God Bless You

18 Abigail wasted no time. She quickly gathered 200 loaves of bread, two wineskins full of wine, five sheep that had been slaughtered, nearly a bushel[b] of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes. She packed them on donkeys 19 and said to her servants, “Go on ahead. I will follow you shortly.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal what she was doing.

20 As she was riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, she saw David and his men coming toward her. 21 David had just been saying, “A lot of good it did to help this fellow. We protected his flocks in the wilderness, and nothing he owned was lost or stolen. But he has repaid me evil for good. 22 May God strike me and kill me[c] if even one man of his household is still alive tomorrow morning!”

23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say. 25 I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests.[d] But I never even saw the young men you sent…32 David replied to Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! 33 Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. 34 For I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you, that if you had not hurried out to meet me, not one of Nabal’s men would still be alive tomorrow morning.” 35 Then David accepted her present and told her, “Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband.”