Life will be filled with choices and challenges. Life will include trials and troubles. Stand strong! Stay strong! Finish Strong! God’s got a plan and a purpose for us and it is for good. So you may be at the toughest point in your life and not sure where to go. You may be looking at your world falling part around you. And that is what the devil will try to make you focus on. Look beyond that and put your trust in God! God’s Word tells us that in this world we will have troubles, but to take heart because He overcame the world! You might feel like there is so much bad that has taken place what could a few minutes do? Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Fear Not! Just Believe! Miracles aren’t something old from the past, God is still in the miracle business and continues to work miracles today! And in the end when we get to stand before Him and because we didn’t give up and didn’t give in, finishing strong, we look forward to God speaking to us “Well done, my good and faithful servant“!
Today’s reading we see how after the 40 day trial Jesus had facing the devil that the devil left and kept an eye out for the next opportune time for his attack. The devil is like a roaring lion on the prowl looking for the weakest link so that he can pounce. Be aware of what is taking place around you. Keep your family and friends close so that they are under the cover and protection of the Lord! But it wasn’t all easy street after the 40 days either. We see in today’s reading what Jesus faced…
Jesus Begins His Work in Galilee
(Matthew 4.12-17; Mark 1.14, 15)
14Then Jesus returned to Galilee, and the power of the Holy Spirit was with him. The news about him spread throughout all that territory. 15He taught in the synagogues and was praised by everyone.
Jesus Is Rejected at Nazareth
(Matthew 13.53-58; Mark 6.1-6)
16Then Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath he went as usual to the synagogue. He stood up to read the Scriptures 17and was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written,
18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed 19and announce that the time has come when the Lord will save his people.”
20Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All the people in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on him, 21as he said to them, “This passage of scripture has come true today, as you heard it being read.” 22They were all well impressed with him and marveled at the eloquent words that he spoke. They said, “Isn’t he the son of Joseph?” 23He said to them, “I am sure that you will quote this proverb to me, ‘Doctor, heal yourself.’ You will also tell me to do here in my hometown the same things you heard were done in Capernaum. 24I tell you this,” Jesus added, “prophets are never welcomed in their hometown. 25Listen to me: it is true that there were many widows in Israel during the time of Elijah, when there was no rain for three and a half years and a severe famine spread throughout the whole land. 26Yet Elijah was not sent to anyone in Israel, but only to a widow living in Zarephath in the territory of Sidon. 27And there were many people suffering from a dreaded skin disease who lived in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha; yet not one of them was healed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were filled with anger. 29They rose up, dragged Jesus out of town, and took him to the top of the hill on which their town was built. They meant to throw him over the cliff, 30but he walked through the middle of the crowd and went his way. –Luke 4:13-30
You might think you are heading to the safest and most welcoming place you know, but you may also get a surprise. Don’t lose heart, don’t give up, keep the faith and don’t give up! Dust off your shoes, get back up and keep moving forward! It may not be easy, but it isn’t impossible! Nothing is impossible for God! What are you facing today? What challenge is coming your way? Don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Fear Not! Just Believe!
As we continue into today’s reading we move to step back into the top of alignment and unity. The power of this goes beyond the right here right now and moves into the principles of God!
Children and Parents
1Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do. 2“Respect your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise added: 3“so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land.” 4Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction.
— Ephesians 6:1-4
This one resonates with me because even before I was fully committed to God and walking with Him, a big decision came up and so I put it into the hands of my parents and my in-laws. The decision was do I leave the company I was working for or do I move locations so that I would end up being really far away from my family. The above principal and promise has played out incredibly as I was respecting my parents and my wife’s parents, at times it feels like a double portion. It came with a promise that I was unaware of at the time, but that I have been blessed to live through ever since “so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land.” Wow, something I will never forget and the first time I read this after the big move, I cried and praised God! Both sets of parents said I would be crazy to leave the company so we started the plan to move.
In today’s world it is interesting because when these words come up they sting. God’s Word says that the debtor is the slave to the lender. It’s interesting though how in today’s reading we are instructed…
Slaves and Masters
5Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling; and do it with a sincere heart, as though you were serving Christ. 6Do this not only when they are watching you, because you want to gain their approval; but with all your heart do what God wants, as slaves of Christ. 7Do your work as slaves cheerfully, as though you served the Lord, and not merely human beings. 8Remember that the Lord will reward each of us, whether slave or free, for the good work we do.
9Masters, behave in the same way toward your slaves and stop using threats. Remember that you and your slaves belong to the same Master in heaven, who judges everyone by the same standard.
So we are called to a higher standard of living. We are called to live a life that IS GLORIFYING TO GOD! WE ARE CALLED TO SHINE OUR LIGHT SO THAT PEOPLE WILL SEE IT AND NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE AND PRAISE our Heavenly Father. So let’s live the faith! Let’s praise God by being living sacrifices for Him! And see this world transformed one life at a time!
89Your word, O Lord, will last forever; it is eternal in heaven.
90Your faithfulness endures through all the ages; you have set the earth in place, and it remains.
91All things remain to this day because of your command, because they are all your servants.
92If your law had not been the source of my joy, I would have died from my sufferings.
93I will never neglect your instructions, because by them you have kept me alive.
94I am yours—save me! I have tried to obey your commands.
95The wicked are waiting to kill me, but I will meditate on your laws.
96I have learned that everything has limits; but your commandment is perfect.