May the Stones Keep Silent

Today’s reading is Luke 19.

The disciples were praising Jesus, glorifying Him, worshiping Him. The Pharisees were incensed. “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” Jesus explained that if He silenced the people, the stones would cry out. My prayer today is that the Lord will never have to make the stones cry out. My prayer is that we His people will always praise Jesus for all to hear. My prayer is that we will glorify Him day by day. When the stones cry out, something has gone very wrong. May we His people praise Him and may the stones keep silent.

Monday’s reading is Luke 20.

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The Other Side of Jesus

Today’s reading is Luke 19.

When the wicked servant expresses his fear of the nobleman’s severity, the nobleman doesn’t respond, “Come now. Why do you think that? I am gracious and loving. I would never take what I didn’t deposit and reap what I didn’t sow. Here, try again. This time, let me be of more help.” Instead, the nobleman condemns the wicked slave, removes his mina, gives it to another servant. Then, he goes and slaughters all the people who didn’t want him to be their king. Here is the big question. Whom does the nobleman represent in this story? Have you thought about it? Are you ready to say it? The nobleman is Jesus. Never believe that the gracious love of the Lord and King Jesus Christ means He is someone to be trifled with, taken for granted, or taken advantage of. We cannot dismiss Him, ignore Him, or defy Him and then when He comes in judgment protest, “But I thought you were loving and gracious.” For those who put their faith in Him, He is a gracious and victorious strength for deliverance, rescue, and salvation. For those who refuse to surrender to Him, He is a severe and dominating judge for punishment and condemnation. Jesus is not a two-dimensional character in a poorly developed book. He is a multi-faceted complex being who was God in the flesh. Because of His gracious love, we do not have to live in terror of His severe judgment, but we must not forget it either.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 19.

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Will You Let Him Gather You?

Today’s reading is Luke 13.

How sad it must have been for Jesus to look at Jerusalem, knowing all He had done to save her from destruction. Knowing how God in all three persons had for millennia tried to lead Jerusalem to salvation and deliverance, while watching them choose destruction again and again and again. So Jesus cries out, “How often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.” Jesus doesn’t want anyone to perish. He wants all to be saved. In this passage, He is talking about that temporal judgment that came on Jerusalem and Judea in AD 70. However, the principle applies to every judgment, including the final one. Jesus doesn’t want you to perish in that great day. He is doing everything to save you. He has even come in to the world as one like you and offered Himself as the only sacrifice that can save you from your own sins. He wants to gather you. Will you let Him? Will you let his wings draw you in or will you, like so many chicks, try to escape His protection, seeking to make your own way, thinking you know better, believing His protection is too smothering? Jesus is beckoning. The choice is yours.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 14.

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Does Jesus Know You?

Today’s reading is Luke 13.

We often ask, “Do you know Jesus?” That is obviously an important question. However, today’s reading asks, “Does Jesus know you?” Jesus explains that a day is coming when the Master will shut the gate. Some will beg at that time, “Lord, open to us.” The Master will proclaim, “I don’t know you.” “Sure you do,” they will say. “We’ve eaten together. You taught outside my house. We’ve talked and visited and fellowshipped.” But the Master will repeat, “I don’t know you. You may have heard me teach, but you didn’t listen.” I’m paraphrasing of course. Obviously, in one sense, Jesus knows everybody. In the sense He is teaching about in today’s reading, He knows only a few. In the sense of actually having a true relationship with Jesus, only few enter His door. This is sad. There are many who would say, “Of course, I know Jesus. I’ve talked and even eaten with Him.” But Jesus says, “That doesn’t mean you know Me.” Knowing Jesus means hearing Jesus and heeding Him. It doesn’t mean simply knowing about Jesus or mimicking some aspects of Jesus. Knowing and being known by Jesus means surrendering to Him in every way. Not many will want to do that. Be one of those who do.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 13.

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Repent or Perish

Today’s reading is Luke 13.

Pilate, the Gentile governor, had executed several Galileans. When Jesus says to His audience, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish,” He isn’t speaking about the final judgment. He is foretelling the coming judgment on the Jews. He is pointing out that if the Jews do not repent, God will bring judgment upon them via the Gentiles. In fact, this chapter ends with a promise of coming destruction of Jerusalem. All that being said, we still see an application for us today. We must not look at those who endure hardship or suffering and assume they were worse sinners than we are. We must not think because we are not facing hardship presently that we are escaping judgment. Rather, we need to realize we are sinners. We need a Savior just like everyone else. That, of course, is why Jesus came into the world. As with the inhabitants of Jerusalem, He does want to gather us under His wings, protecting and delivering us. However, we must repent. We must recognize how sinful we are. We must recognize what judgment we deserve. Only then will we surrender to the King. Only then will we turn our lives over to Him. Only then will we be saved. Judgment is coming. Repent and live.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 13.

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Who Am I?

Today’s reading is Luke 9.

Don’t miss this. Peter’s good confession in Luke 9:20 is significant. We have heard it our whole lives and might be tempted to rush through it, thinking, “Oh yeah! I know this part.” But this is what the entire book of Luke is about. This is what all four of the gospels are about. We tend to read these gospels like modern biographies. We want to hear about the birth, what was going on in the world, a chronology of events, a precise accounting of conversations and actions, leading to the subjects death. We get confused when each of the gospels gives a differing presentation of some of those facts. They change the order of events. They don’t give exact records of the conversations. They don’t give all the details of everyone who was involved. And they even do that in some pretty significant places and events. Ancient biographers were not interested in that kind of presentation. I don’t just mean the Bible authors, I mean ancient biographers in general. The gospel authors were writing biography the same way the ancients did. Don’t misunderstand. They didn’t make stuff up. They didn’t lie. They didn’t invent the stories. But they were not interested in giving a detailed chronology of events, actions, and conversations. Their goal was not to explain what the subject of the biography did or what people did around him. Their goal was to explain who the subject of the biography is. Therefore, they crafted the events, actions, and conversations together to make that point. That is what these gospels are about. Each is written from a different perspective, with a different audience in mind, driving home a slightly different nuance of meaning. But each one is designed to prompt this one conclusion: Jesus is the Christ of God. He is the anointed Lord, Savior, King, Priest. Follow Him. Become like Him. Keep reading Luke and see how every event, every action, every conversations points to this one fact: Jesus is the Christ of God. Then believe it and have life in His name.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 9.

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Who on Earth is This?

Today’s reading is Luke 8.

So, what’s the answer? Who is this that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him? This is so much more than a guessing game. This whole story calls to mind Psalm 107:23-32. In that passage, men went to do business in ships on the sea. There they saw the great deeds of Yahweh. He, that is, Yahweh commands the storms to rise until the men are at their wits’ end. Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble and He delivers them from their distress. He then brings them safely to their haven. Can you see it? Here are men on the sea, witnessing the great power of the Lord raising up a storm. They are at their wits’ end and cry out to Jesus in their distress. What does Jesus do? He stills the storm, hushes the waves, quiets the waters, delivers them, and brings them safely to their haven. Who is this that commands the winds and the water, and they obey Him? He is Yahweh, Creator of heaven and earth, Lord of the land and the sea, King of storms. He is Jesus, which name literally means Yahweh is salvation. Praise the Lord! He is our Deliverer.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 8.

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