Morning Bible Reading…

Declare

Step out today with God’s charge upon you…


We have been called and commissioned to bring the Good News to the world. We each have our place we have been sent to speak love, truth, hope to the people around us. We each have our calling to bring God’s miraculous touch to the world around us. All things are possible when God is in the middle of it! So don’t start today on your own, but ask God for wisdom and to come with you. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide every thought, word, and action you take. Take a look around you, is there someone who will partner with you in ministry? Ask God for more hands for the harvest! Pray without ceasing, God is with you all day, so you don’t need to wait till Sunday or till you show up in church, He will meet you right where you are at. Ask God for wisdom for every situation you will face! Ask God for wisdom for every problem that needs to be solved! Ask God for wisdom to be able to speak hope and life with love to the people around you. Build up relationship with those God had brought into your life! You don’t need to isolate yourself, but you need to love on others and encourage them and help them at their point of need. God hasn’t filled you with a spirit of fear so don’t hold back, He has filled you with a spirit of power, of love, and of sound mind! So grab onto that and put your trust in Him! Stop trying to do it all in your own power and strength, rather allow God’s power and presence to work in and through you to be everything He has created you to be.


Who is your neighbor?

Do you know what you are supposed to do for your neighbor and what you shouldn’t do? Do you love your neighbor? Do you compare yourself to your neighbor? Another perspective would be “who is your neighbor?” God’s Word speaks to us through His Commandments and through Luke 10 on this topic:

13No murder.
14No adultery.
15No stealing.
16No lies about your neighbor.
17No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.
Exodus 20 (Commandments 6-10 speak to your neighbor)
25Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?”
26He answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?”
27He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.”
28“Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you’ll live.”
29Looking for a loophole, he asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?”
30-32Jesus answered by telling a story. “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.
33-35“A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’
36“What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”
37“The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded.
Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”
Luke 10
(so now you know who is your neighbor — everyone – and how you are to treat them – treat them kindly)

 

Don’t allow the busy-ness of life keep you from hearing the truth and finding true freedom!

38-40As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
41-42The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

Do you have what you need? Have you asked for what you are in need of? Do you know how to ask?

1One day he was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Master, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
2-4So he said, “When you pray, say,
Father,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.”
5-6Then he said, “Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’
7“The friend answers from his bed, ‘Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’
8“But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.
9“Here’s what I’m saying:
Ask and you’ll get;
Seek and you’ll find;
Knock and the door will open.
10-13Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?”

There really isn’t a neutral stance. You really can’t be on the fence. You are either for or against.

Are you doing things to help it move forward or falling back? If you aren’t helping it move forward, then you are helping it go backwards. Consider the world around you, if you stand still you are falling behind. Similarly if you aren’t for it, you are against it. So where are you at? Are you on the beach near the river in Egypt? Denial — sometime spelled the Nile ;). There is life going on all around you. There are people who need you to step up, to stand up, to give a hand up right where you are at. Don’t ignore your calling! Don’t think you are neutral, stand for something or you will fall for anything!

“Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…”

Galatians 6:9-10

We see in this morning’s reading how Jesus describes it…

14-16Jesus delivered a man from a demon that had kept him speechless. The demon gone, the man started talking a blue streak, taking the crowd by complete surprise. But some from the crowd were cynical. “Black magic,” they said. “Some devil trick he’s pulled from his sleeve.” Others were skeptical, waiting around for him to prove himself with a spectacular miracle.
17-20Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Any country in civil war for very long is wasted. A constantly squabbling family falls to pieces. If Satan cancels Satan, is there any Satan left? You accuse me of ganging up with the Devil, the prince of demons, to cast out demons, but if you’re slinging devil mud at me, calling me a devil who kicks out devils, doesn’t the same mud stick to your own exorcists? But if it’s God’s finger I’m pointing that sends the demons on their way, then God’s kingdom is here for sure.
21-22“When a strong man, armed to the teeth, stands guard in his front yard, his property is safe and sound. But what if a stronger man comes along with superior weapons? Then he’s beaten at his own game, the arsenal that gave him such confidence hauled off, and his precious possessions plundered.
23“This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.
24-26“When a corrupting spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return, it finds the person swept and dusted, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits dirtier than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place.”
27While he was saying these things, some woman lifted her voice above the murmur of the crowd: “Blessed the womb that carried you, and the breasts at which you nursed!”
28Jesus commented, “Even more blessed are those who hear God’s Word and guard it with their lives!”

So are you making thing better or worse? Are you helping or causing more of a problem? Let’s be problem solvers rather than problem causers or helpers! Let’s be on the side of right, of love, of hope, of truth!


What is it going to take to convince you?

Would my stories of how God has changed my life be enough? Would seeing how powerful and loving God is be enough? Would it take a miracle? The good thing is that it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into heaven, and all things are possible with God! It may seem impossible to us, but without God it is. With God all things are possible!

29-30As the crowd swelled, he took a fresh tack: “The mood of this age is all wrong. Everybody’s looking for proof, but you’re looking for the wrong kind. All you’re looking for is something to titillate your curiosity, satisfy your lust for miracles. But the only proof you’re going to get is the Jonah-proof given to the Ninevites, which looks like no proof at all. What Jonah was to Nineveh, the Son of Man is to this age.
32,31“On Judgment Day the Ninevites will stand up and give evidence that will condemn this generation, because when Jonah preached to them they changed their lives. A far greater preacher than Jonah is here, and you squabble about ‘proofs.’ On Judgment Day the Queen of Sheba will come forward and bring evidence that condemns this generation, because she traveled from a far corner of the earth to listen to wise Solomon. Wisdom far greater than Solomon’s is right in front of you, and you quibble over ‘evidence.’
33-36“No one lights a lamp, then hides it in a drawer. It’s put on a lamp stand so those entering the room have light to see where they’re going. Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room.”

Let your light shine! Open your eyes and shine so that others may be able to see the truth! Don’t put on dark shades and keep yourself from seeing the truth. Keep your eyes open and allow your light to shine so that the window to the soul is able to receive the light of God!


Is it all about a scheme? Is it all about what’s in it for you? Is it all about me, me, me?

Don’t be a fraud. Don’t be walking around putting up front. Allow the inside to be transformed by God and allow the inside out. Allow God’s hand to work in and through your life. Allow your transformation to be the gate for others to witness God’s had at work and receive the hope that is within you.

37-41When he finished that talk, a Pharisee asked him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn’t wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, “I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn’t the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.
42“I’ve had it with you! You’re hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God’s love. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required.
43-44“You’re hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You love sitting at the head table at church dinners, love preening yourselves in the radiance of public flattery. Frauds! You’re just like unmarked graves: People walk over that nice, grassy surface, never suspecting the rot and corruption that is six feet under.”
45One of the religion scholars spoke up: “Teacher, do you realize that in saying these things you’re insulting us?”
46He said, “Yes, and I can be even more explicit. You’re hopeless, you religion scholars! You load people down with rules and regulations, nearly breaking their backs, but never lift even a finger to help.
47-51“You’re hopeless! You build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed. The tombs you build are monuments to your murdering ancestors more than to the murdered prophets. That accounts for God’s Wisdom saying, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, but they’ll kill them and run them off.’ What it means is that every drop of righteous blood ever spilled from the time earth began until now, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was struck down between altar and sanctuary, is on your heads. Yes, it’s on the bill of this generation and this generation will pay.
52“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars! You took the key of knowledge, but instead of unlocking doors, you locked them. You won’t go in yourself, and won’t let anyone else in either.”
53-54As soon as Jesus left the table, the religion scholars and Pharisees went into a rage. They went over and over everything he said, plotting how they could trap him in something from his own mouth.

Keep looking forward

This is a new day so how will you sowing and reaping?


What have you been given today that you will be able to sow into the lives of the people around you? Are you looking for good soil? Are you having to till the soil a bit first to help it be good soil? Are you having to weed and make sure the see won’t get choked out? Might you be in the right place at the right time to be able to reap a harvest? Keep your eyes open today with a generous heart for what God can use your for in the life of others!

There may be someone today that you encounter who has never heard about God. There may be someone today who has never heard of the power and promises of Jesus. You may be the one and only person who gets the chance to share the love of God, the truth, and your testimony of how God has transformed your life and can transform theirs. Be ready as God’s Word tells us in and out of season! Be ready to share the good news that is in you! For it is by the blood of the lamb (Jesus who gave it all on the cross and was resurrected on the 3rd day) and by the words of our testimony that we are overcomers!

The reason some people need to be preparing the soil is that it may be hard and the Word won’t be able to sink in. Another reason some people need to be preparing the soil is that it may be filled with weeds and so weeding so that the Word won’t get choked up or out is required. A third reason some people need to be preparing the soil so that there is enough ground for the seed of God’s Word to be able to take root and not just be a short lived enthusiasm. Being the one who prepares or the one who plans or the one who waters or the one who harvest, they all have a purpose and are necessary. It is God that makes it grow! So consider where you are at and what role you can play to help people come into the truth and the hope and the love that comes from a relationship with Jesus! We all have a part to play. Every part is important. God will get the glory!

11-12“This story is about some of those people. The seed is the Word of God. The seeds on the road are those who hear the Word, but no sooner do they hear it than the Devil snatches it from them so they won’t believe and be saved.
13“The seeds in the gravel are those who hear with enthusiasm, but the enthusiasm doesn’t go very deep. It’s only another fad, and the moment there’s trouble it’s gone.
14“And the seed that fell in the weeds—well, these are the ones who hear, but then the seed is crowded out and nothing comes of it as they go about their lives worrying about tomorrow, making money, and having fun.
15“But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest.
– Luke 8

So what are you going to do with the light you have been given? We are just reflecting the light of the Son and shining it for all the world to see!

16-18“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a washtub or shoves it under the bed. No, you set it up on a lamp stand so those who enter the room can see their way. We’re not keeping secrets; we’re telling them. We’re not hiding things; we’re bringing everything out into the open. So be careful that you don’t become misers of what you hear. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.”

– Luke 8

So be generous! Share God’s Word with everyone you can! Be a pipe God can use to flow His blessings through! Not kinked up, but ready to let everything given to you flow through for the purpose God has given you to receive it! Well maintained like the fire hoses, ready for the next event, right size for the right time, so that God’s will can be shared with those you encounter.

Just because you can’t hear Him, doesn’t mean He isn’t present nor that He doesn’t care nor that you are alone. He will never leave you nor abandon you! During the test you don’t normally hear the teach speaking do you? They are there though! Don’t lose faith nor lose hope! Keep your hope and trust in God! Jesus paid it all so trust in Him!

22-24One day he and his disciples got in a boat. “Let’s cross the lake,” he said. And off they went. It was smooth sailing, and he fell asleep. A terrific storm came up suddenly on the lake. Water poured in, and they were about to capsize. They woke Jesus: “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
Getting to his feet, he told the wind, “Silence!” and the waves, “Quiet down!” They did it. The lake became smooth as glass.
25Then he said to his disciples, “Why can’t you trust me?”
They were in absolute awe, staggered and stammering, “Who is this, anyway? He calls out to the winds and sea, and they do what he tells them!”

– Luke 8

How will you receive blessings and good news? What is your first response? What if the good news came to you today in the midst of your busyness? How would you respond? Would you send them away? Would you receive it with great joy? Consider this:

26-29They sailed on to the country of the Gerasenes, directly opposite Galilee. As he stepped out onto land, a madman from town met him; he was a victim of demons. He hadn’t worn clothes for a long time, nor lived at home; he lived in the cemetery. When he saw Jesus he screamed, fell before him, and bellowed, “What business do you have messing with me? You’re Jesus, Son of the High God, but don’t give me a hard time!” (The man said this because Jesus had started to order the unclean spirit out of him.) Time after time the demon threw the man into convulsions. He had been placed under constant guard and tied with chains and shackles, but crazed and driven wild by the demon, he would shatter the bonds.
30-31Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Mob. My name is Mob,” he said, because many demons afflicted him. And they begged Jesus desperately not to order them to the bottomless pit.
32-33A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged Jesus to order them into the pigs. He gave the order. It was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the lake and drowned.
34-36Those tending the pigs, scared to death, bolted and told their story in town and country. People went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had been sent, sitting there at Jesus’ feet, wearing decent clothes and making sense. It was a holy moment, and for a short time they were more reverent than curious. Then those who had seen it happen told how the demoniac had been saved.
37-39Later, a great many people from the Gerasene countryside got together and asked Jesus to leave—too much change, too fast, and they were scared. So Jesus got back in the boat and set off. The man whom he had delivered from the demons asked to go with him, but he sent him back, saying, “Go home and tell everything God did in you.” So he went back and preached all over town everything Jesus had done in him.

– Luke 8

God’s timing is perfect! He is never late! God’s plan has purpose in every part! The path to take, the people you will meet, the words you can say, the timing of your arrival, the final destination and outcome!

40-42On his return, Jesus was welcomed by a crowd. They were all there expecting him. A man came up, Jairus by name. He was president of the meeting place. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his home because his twelve-year-old daughter, his only child, was dying. Jesus went with him, making his way through the pushing, jostling crowd.
43-45In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”
When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”
46Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”
47When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.
48Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”
49While he was still talking, someone from the leader’s house came up and told him, “Your daughter died. No need now to bother the Teacher.”
50-51Jesus overheard and said, “Don’t be upset. Just trust me and everything will be all right.” Going into the house, he wouldn’t let anyone enter with him except Peter, John, James, and the child’s parents.
52-53Everyone was crying and carrying on over her. Jesus said, “Don’t cry. She didn’t die; she’s sleeping.” They laughed at him. They knew she was dead.
54-56Then Jesus, gripping her hand, called, “My dear child, get up.” She was up in an instant, up and breathing again! He told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were ecstatic, but Jesus warned them to keep quiet. “Don’t tell a soul what happened in this room.”

– Luke 8

Will you take a risk? Will  you allow your faith to make you whole? Will you go out of your way to ask God to intervene in your life or the life of a loved one? Won’t it all be worth it? So what are you going to do today?

Remember to keep it simple! Don’t load yourself down with stuff that will keep you from achieving your purpose! Don’t be held back by the things you have decided to throw in your bag, but rather keep it simple and allow the necessities to be all that you bring so that you can walk lightly and achieve and receive all that you can.

1-5Jesus now called the Twelve and gave them authority and power to deal with all the demons and cure diseases. He commissioned them to preach the news of God’s kingdom and heal the sick. He said, “Don’t load yourselves up with equipment. Keep it simple; you are the equipment. And no luxury inns—get a modest place and be content there until you leave. If you’re not welcomed, leave town. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and move on.”
6Commissioned, they left. They traveled from town to town telling the latest news of God, the Message, and curing people everywhere they went.
7-9Herod, the ruler, heard of these goings on and didn’t know what to think. There were people saying John had come back from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, still others that some prophet of long ago had shown up. Herod said, “But I killed John—took off his head. So who is this that I keep hearing about?” Curious, he looked for a chance to see him in action.
10-11The apostles returned and reported on what they had done. Jesus took them away, off by themselves, near the town called Bethsaida. But the crowds got wind of it and followed. Jesus graciously welcomed them and talked to them about the kingdom of God. Those who needed healing, he healed.

– Luke 9

What do you have to offer? What do you have to give? It isn’t too little if you give it to God to use and to multiply!

12As the day declined, the Twelve said, “Dismiss the crowd so they can go to the farms or villages around here and get a room for the night and a bite to eat. We’re out in the middle of nowhere.”
13-14“You feed them,” Jesus said.
They said, “We couldn’t scrape up more than five loaves of bread and a couple of fish—unless, of course, you want us to go to town ourselves and buy food for everybody.” (There were more than five thousand people in the crowd.)
14-17But he went ahead and directed his disciples, “Sit them down in groups of about fifty.” They did what he said, and soon had everyone seated. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread and fish to the disciples to hand out to the crowd. After the people had all eaten their fill, twelve baskets of leftovers were gathered up.

– Luke 9

Don’t be stingy! Be generous with what God has given you! Generosity begets generosity!

Don’t be afraid! Fear Not, Just Believe! There is a greater cause! Consider it all joy when we face challenges and trial, when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. That’s right in the end you will lack nothing! That’s right you will be perfect and complete!

18One time when Jesus was off praying by himself, his disciples nearby, he asked them, “What are the crowds saying about me, about who I am?”
19They said, “John the Baptizer. Others say Elijah. Still others say that one of the prophets from long ago has come back.”
20-21He then asked, “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?”
Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” Jesus then warned them to keep it quiet. They were to tell no one what Peter had said.
22He went on, “It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the religious leaders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and on the third day be raised up alive.”
23-27Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is embarrassed with me and the way I’m leading you, know that the Son of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all his splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. This isn’t, you realize, pie in the sky by and by. Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God.”

– Luke 9

Don’t praise the event or the situation, let all your praise be towards God! Allow God receive the praise, the honor, and the glory for the testimony you are sharing! It’s not about the stuff, the event, the situation, it is all about what God can do in and through those situations to transform lives. So let’s focus on Him and allow Him to get all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name.

28-31About eight days after saying this, he climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John, and James along. While he was in prayer, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white. At once two men were there talking with him. They turned out to be Moses and Elijah—and what a glorious appearance they made! They talked over his exodus, the one Jesus was about to complete in Jerusalem.
32-33Meanwhile, Peter and those with him were slumped over in sleep. When they came to, rubbing their eyes, they saw Jesus in his glory and the two men standing with him. When Moses and Elijah had left, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, this is a great moment! Let’s build three memorials: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He blurted this out without thinking.
34-35While he was babbling on like this, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them. As they found themselves buried in the cloud, they became deeply aware of God. Then there was a voice out of the cloud: “This is my Son, the Chosen! Listen to him.”
36When the sound of the voice died away, they saw Jesus there alone. They were speechless. And they continued speechless, said not one thing to anyone during those days of what they had seen.
37-40When they came down off the mountain the next day, a big crowd was there to meet them. A man called from out of the crowd, “Please, please, Teacher, take a look at my son. He’s my only child. Often a spirit seizes him. Suddenly he’s screaming, thrown into convulsions, his mouth foaming. And then it beats him black-and-blue before it leaves. I asked your disciples to deliver him but they couldn’t.”
41Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring your son here.”
42-43While he was coming, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into convulsions. Jesus stepped in, ordered the vile spirit gone, healed the boy, and handed him back to his father. They all shook their heads in wonder, astonished at God’s greatness, God’s majestic greatness.

– Luke 9

We are in the life business! Let’s be speaking words that speak hope and love and life into the people who are around us!

43-44While they continued to stand around exclaiming over all the things he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, “Treasure and ponder each of these next words: The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into human hands.”
45They didn’t get what he was saying. It was like he was speaking a foreign language and they couldn’t make heads or tails of it. But they were embarrassed to ask him what he meant.
46-48They started arguing over which of them would be most famous. When Jesus realized how much this mattered to them, he brought a child to his side. “Whoever accepts this child as if the child were me, accepts me,” he said. “And whoever accepts me, accepts the One who sent me. You become great by accepting, not asserting. Your spirit, not your size, makes the difference.”
49John spoke up, “Master, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we stopped him because he wasn’t of our group.”
50Jesus said, “Don’t stop him. If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally.”
51-54When it came close to the time for his Ascension, he gathered up his courage and steeled himself for the journey to Jerusalem. He sent messengers on ahead. They came to a Samaritan village to make arrangements for his hospitality. But when the Samaritans learned that his destination was Jerusalem, they refused hospitality. When the disciples James and John learned of it, they said, “Master, do you want us to call a bolt of lightning down out of the sky and incinerate them?”
55-56Jesus turned on them: “Of course not!” And they traveled on to another village.
57On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.
58Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”
Jesus said to another, “Follow me.”
59He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.”
60Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!”
61Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.”
62Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”

– Luke 9

I remember an English teacher in High School where I first hear the saying Carpe Diem – Seize the day!

Blessed-pure at heart

You are blessed when…?


You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all.
God’s kingdom is there for the finding.
You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry.
Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal.
You’re blessed when the tears flow freely.
Joy comes with the morning.
Luke 6
He continues…
22-23“Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don’t like it, I do . . . and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this.
Luke 6

Do you realize how blessed you are? Do you realize where the blessings come from? Do you want to live a blessed life? Do you want to be a blessing?


We can’t just think we are all that, that we have it made! If you think all you need it you, you are in for a surprise! With God all things are possible! Without God, all hope is lost. How will you give today? What will you give away of yourself for the benefit of others? Do you realize what is available to you? It’s not about what others think, it is about what God thinks!

24But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made.
What you have is all you’ll ever get.
25And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself.
Your self will not satisfy you for long.
And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games.
There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.
26“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.
27-30“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
31-34“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
35-36“I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.
37-38“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
39-40He quoted a proverb: “‘Can a blind man guide a blind man?’ Wouldn’t they both end up in the ditch? An apprentice doesn’t lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow as your teacher.
41-42“It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
Luke 6

Who are you? Where are you a rooted? Are you healthy? How do you need to be pruned? What needs to go? What do you have in your heart? What are you building your life upon? Is it a firm foundation? From the overflow of your heart, your mouth will speak…what are you saying? what are you thinking?

43-45“You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.
46-47“Why are you so polite with me, always saying ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘That’s right, sir,’ but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.
48-49“If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.”
Luke 6

Do you realize the power of alignment? Do you realize truth authority? Are you aligned with that authority? Do you believe that God is over all of it? So are you being aligned to His will? How big or great is your faith and trust in God? Is His Word enough for you?

1-5When he finished speaking to the people, he entered Capernaum. A Roman captain there had a servant who was on his deathbed. He prized him highly and didn’t want to lose him. When he heard Jesus was back, he sent leaders from the Jewish community asking him to come and heal his servant. They came to Jesus and urged him to do it, saying, “He deserves this. He loves our people. He even built our meeting place.”
6-8Jesus went with them. When he was still quite far from the house, the captain sent friends to tell him, “Master, you don’t have to go to all this trouble. I’m not that good a person, you know. I’d be embarrassed for you to come to my house, even embarrassed to come to you in person. Just give the order and my servant will get well. I’m a man under orders; I also give orders. I tell one soldier, ‘Go,’ and he goes; another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
9-10Taken aback, Jesus addressed the accompanying crowd: “I’ve yet to come across this kind of simple trust anywhere in Israel, the very people who are supposed to know about God and how he works.” When the messengers got back home, they found the servant up and well.

Luke 7

Jesus cares for you! God cares for you! So much that He went to the cross and gave His all. He was giving His all through His life and through His death. This weekend being Easter, we celebrate the power of the resurrection! When he was resurrected, He defeated death beyond just himself as even more people were raised from the dead. We see how compassionate He was in today’s reading when we read…

11-15Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession—a woman’s only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, “Don’t cry.” Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, “Young man, I tell you: Get up.” The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother.
16-17They all realized they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them. They were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, “God is back, looking to the needs of his people!” The news of Jesus spread all through the country.
Luke 7

What do you expect? Are you expecting the natural or the supernatural? Are you expecting the weak or the strong? Are you expecting good or bad? What are you expecting?

18-19John’s disciples reported back to him the news of all these events taking place. He sent two of them to the Master to ask the question, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?”
20The men showed up before Jesus and said, “John the Baptizer sent us to ask you, ‘Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?’”
21-23In the next two or three hours Jesus healed many from diseases, distress, and evil spirits. To many of the blind he gave the gift of sight. Then he gave his answer: “Go back and tell John what you have just seen and heard:
The blind see,
The lame walk,
Lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear,
The dead are raised,
The wretched of the earth
have God’s salvation hospitality extended to them.
“Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves fortunate!”
24-27After John’s messengers left to make their report, Jesus said more about John to the crowd of people. “What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A messenger from God? That’s right, a messenger! Probably the greatest messenger you’ll ever hear. He is the messenger Malachi announced when he wrote,
I’m sending my messenger on ahead
To make the road smooth for you.
28-30“Let me lay it out for you as plainly as I can: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer, but in the kingdom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. The ordinary and disreputable people who heard John, by being baptized by him into the kingdom, are the clearest evidence; the Pharisees and religious officials would have nothing to do with such a baptism, wouldn’t think of giving up their place in line to their inferiors.
31-35“How can I account for the people of this generation? They’re like spoiled children complaining to their parents, ‘We wanted to skip rope and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk but you were always too busy.’ John the Baptizer came fasting and you called him crazy. The Son of Man came feasting and you called him a lush. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
Luke 7

God has give us hope! God has given us a way! Let’s turn to Jesus and follow after Him as we celebrate Easter today!