Luke 18 Part 1–Tenacity and Humility

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

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

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

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

God Bless You


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

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

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

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

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

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

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

Luke 11 Part 1–Praying Made Perfect

Prayer is not the preparation for the greater work, prayer is the greater work.  Jesus was praying and His disciples were confused.  So, they asked for direction.  Seems fair, He was, after all, the great Rabbi.  So, Jesus broke it down for them.

First, He made it personal.  Father, not “Oh Great and Mighty One that inhabits the Heavenlies!”  Jesus wanted His chosen to understand that their relationship with God was personal. 

Next Jesus helped the guys to see that God was not a cosmic piggy bank.  He started by showing God respect and speaking words of adoration and reverence.  He acknowledged God’s kingdom and will–were supreme. 

Next Jesus acknowledged that it was God that meets one’s physical and spiritual needs.  Give us our daily bread and forgive us our trespass, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE that have wronged us.

Finally, Jesus closes with asking for direction–in the Matthew version, He also closes with a renewed acknowledgement that God was large and IN-Charge!

The magic really happens after the prayer, though.  Jesus imparts some of the most critical wisdom after the prayer.  In short, He helps His disciples to understand Who God really is.  What decent person when asked for something won’t respond just to get you off their back!–BE Tenacious.  What dad when you ask for something you need; would give you something harmful?  Jesus wanted these men to know that God is a Father filled with a desire to make them their best; but, also, to love and care for them unconditionally.

These men were going to change the world, but they had to trust God and see their relationship with Him as personal, not national. So, do we! Jesus’ model prayer was designed to show them and us our relationship and power–if we follow God.  I learned many years ago about the ACTS prayer model.  Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  First, we acknowledge God’s greatness and supremacy.  Next, we must acknowledge we miss the mark and need God’s forgiveness. Then, we need to look at what God has done and simply thank Him for that.  Finally, with the right heart, we need to tenaciously ask God for what we need–big and small, as we would any loving father.  We need to be confident that God loves us and wants the best for us.

Prayer is so much more about our attitude than our words.  It is talking to God as a Father, and not as an aloof cosmic being.  His entire reason for creating us and sacrificing the Lord, was to be in personal relationship and fellowship with us. Let’s make 2021 the year we embrace that and follow Him closely, humbly, and believing He has this life under control!

God Bless You


 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say:

“‘Father,[a]
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.[b]
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
    for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.[c]
And lead us not into temptation.[d]’”

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”