Luke 12 Part 1–Perspective and Persecution

It was a difficult day for the Lord.  The crowds were great, the pharisees had committed to getting rid of Jesus and so at every turn Jesus had to confront the pressure of the crowds and attacks of the pharisees.  Still during the chaos and craziness, Jesus stops to give perspective on what lay ahead.  First, Jesus warned His followers to be real and transparent.  He reminded them that the religious leaders looked great on the outside, but their hypocrisy is what pervaded their lives.  They lived as if it was all hidden, but God sees it all and will reveal it.

Next, Jesus gave them a stark perspective–they need not worry about those that would threaten death or injury, that is all they have.  The one to fear is the one that controls what comes after death.  In short, trust God that controls your eternity, not men that control this short present time.  Remember, Jesus said, God cares for grass and sparrows, how much more will He care for His chosen.  So, when you are persecuted, Jesus warned, do not be fearful–God’s spirit will encourage and direct you.  Jesus knew the time had come when the dynamic had changed from Rockstar to savior.  His mission was now to prepare the Disciples to change the world.  He was transparent, He wanted them to know that things were going to be difficult.  As such, they needed to be ready to face what was coming.

The same holds true today.  As a Church, we have enjoyed peaceful worship and unfettered access to God’s Word, His leadership, His community, and His protection.  The time is coming, however, where that will no longer be the case.  In this time, we see constant pushes to restrict worship and the free practice of our faith.  Jesus is reminding us, as He did His guys, we need not worry about persecution, all they can do is kill our bodies. 

We need to focus upon eternity, and on our walk with God–not on those who would deny us our right to worship freely.  It is no small thing to realize that the world hates people of faith.  As the world walks away from God, we must expect His withdrawing His hand of protection, and we must be ready to defend our faith with all we have and are.  In that, however, we can trust God to provide what we need at any given moment.  Look at the sparrows and the flowers–right?!!

God Bless You


Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be[a] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

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 8 Part 4–Faith and Timing

Jesus understood better than any about both God’s timing and His power. Jarius, a synagogue leader, met Jesus and humbly asked Him to come and heal his daughter that was dying.  Jesus was willing and went with Jarius.  The crowd was pressing on every side, but one lady that had tried everything to get relief from a lifetime illness could not get Jesus attention.  She could not reach Jesus, but thought if she could simply touch Him, she would be healed.  In a fortunate twist of fate, the lady was able to touch the edge of Jesus garment.  Her faith healed her, and Jesus sensed it.

Jesus spoke out and asked who touched Him.  Hundreds of folks had pressed up against Jesus.  But both Jesus and the woman knew immediately. She came forward, deathly afraid, and admitted to Jesus she was the one. He encouraged her faith and sent her away joyfully. Then bad news arrived, Jarius’s daughter had died. It was at that moment that Jesus showed His faith and power.  He told Jarius to trust God and His daughter would be healed.  When they arrived at the house, Jesus limited access and told the mourners to just stop.  They laughed at Jesus–but within minutes, Jesus raised the child, handed her over to the parents, and swore them to secrecy.  He then went on His way.  

Understanding God’s timing and power is a function of knowing Him.  Jesus knew God, as He was God. He knew that He was not bound by men’s time or their methods.  He was pleased to see the woman receive healing by touching His garment.  It did not relieve Him however of His desire to save the daughter.  Jesus was and is always concerned for His chosen.  No issues are a surprise to God, and no problem too large or too small.  Both then and now,  God meets the needs of His people in ways another might think impossible.  God was not limited then and is not limited now.  We must simply trust and follow Him as Jarius, the woman, and the apostles did.  If we will continue to follow Him, we can trust the Lord will protect and provide for us.  He may do it later than we think He should, or in a way we do not anticipate.  God will be God no matter what.

God Bless You


Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[c] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”

53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

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.

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.

Isaiah 11–Jesus, The Game Changer

In his delivery of the difficult message to God’s chosen people, Isaiah never seems to give a tough decree without the follow of great hope.  Isaiah had just finished describing the enslavement of the people to Assyria and to Egypt he also talked of the return of the remnant anf the destruction of Israel’s captors.  Then, from that, Isaiah stops and begins a description of the shoot from the branch of Jesse that restores and brings peace.  

In Isaiah’s description, The one that will restore will do so with peace, wisdom, and understanding. There will be no need to raise a sword because he will unify and protect His own.  He will bring peace accross all nations and will rule with wisdom and not with might. Sadly, the description is not the description of most rulers.  The Messiah was not sent to be a mighty tyrant or warrior king, He was sent to seek and to save that which was lost.

Looking back at the coming of the Lord, He truly divided time and taught peace and unity.  He changed the world by reminding us that to be first–one must get to the back of the line.  The great should act with the most humility, and the leaders should be the most selfless servants. 

Then and now, His people are to be the ones to lead the nations to a right knowledge of God and draw them to God not push them away.  Make no mistake, God is all knowing and all powerful. He brings up nations and then takes them down.  He allows men the ability to destroy themselves–but desires most to restore and unify them.  Jesus, the shoot of Jesse, waits to be the change agent; if we will simply trust and follow Him.  Let’s Pray for revival for ourselves, our families, and our nation.

God Bless You


A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 

The Mystery–I Timothy 3 Final

Paul had a method to his madness.  He was doing his best to lay out the plan for God’s people to live by.  He realized that as a family, selflessness was the key to peace and joy.  More importantly he knew we represent God who became man–the great mystery of the world.  We do not often realize the import of the God Man–Jesus.  He created the universe and yet died a slaves death.  The very people he loved and came to save acted as judge, jury and executioner.

In addition, he healed the sick, raised the dead, brought site to the blind.  He cleaned the lepers, gave hope to the hopeless, freed the condemned and fed the hungry.  he dispatched legions of devils and had a host of angels at his beckoned call. This Savior, Lord takes personal interest in each of us-his kids, and wants nothing more for us than to enjoy peace on earth and eternity with him in Heaven.  So the challenge is simple–Live well and act selflessly. 

God Bless You

 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:

He appeared in the flesh,
    was vindicated by the Spirit,[d]
was seen by angels,
    was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
    was taken up in glory