Tuesday, December 24, 2013
No matter how many times I read this chapter its always a tough chapter to read. I know the story and you think it would be easier to read the more times that I read it, but the fact is I know what sent Jesus to the Cross, My SIN. Knowing that and know a little about Crucifixion the pain and what His body went through on the Cross it's a tough read. That being said the interaction on the Cross with the two other criminals is a favorite picture of mine to read and think about. What is cool is that Jesus was impacting and changing lives during this horrible event that turned into a beautiful event because of the Gift he was giving to us, A fitting thing to think about this time of Year. The interaction takes place in Verses 26-43, there are 2 other criminals next to Jesus, one mocking Jesus, and who Jesus is claiming to be. The other realizing the situation that he is in, and watching what Jesus has gone through makes a couple of realizations, first what he has done to find himself on the Cross was a fitting punishment for the crimes he committed, and the Man next to him named Jesus did nothing wrong, there was not guilt. The second thing that he realized next to Jesus on the Cross was that Jesus was who He claimed to be the Savior of the World. Asking Jesus for forgiveness, Jesus replies to him " Today you will be with me in Paradise" What a must have been going through the Thief's mind as he was taking his last breath after Jesus said this to him must have been of deep gratitude and peace. What Gift Jesus was to us on this Christmas Holiday.
Prayer is what stood out to me in this Chapter, I am sure that it has a lot to do with just where I am at in life. Let me ask you if this sounds familiar in your life, it's busy, day seams to not slow down, there are lots of things pulling for your attention, your prayer life then becomes very short, and slipped in when it fits. That is my life to a tee the dishearten thing for me is that my prayer life seams so disconnected , and not genuine it's been on my mind for a while so I am sure that is why God was convicting with a certain portion of this Chapter. Verses 39-46 tell us about Jesus going out to the Mt. of Olives to remove Himself from the chaos that was around Him, to get away and have intentional time with the Father. Jesus knew exactly what was happening actually we get a glimpse into the Character of Jesus. What I thought stood out in Jesus prayer to the Father, was not asking for what He wanted He asked God for His will to be done. Thats so impactful for me because it's my natural tendency to want to ask God for what I want, rarely do I ask for God's will to be done, probably because I am afraid of what God may ask of me. I am thankful for this Journey through Luke, there has been fruit in my Life because of it, there have been times that I have not wanted to read the chapter or post, I have not been motivated through this Christmas season for many reasons, but because of this season of Advent God has been doing work in my heart. For me know it's a test of my faith do I truly believe what God is teaching me, or would I rather just continue to live a comfortable life, or one that is chasing after Jesus.
Monday, December 23, 2013
After reading this Chapter I started to think I am sure during this time things were getting a little tense, obviously Jesus was wearing out His welcome with the religious leaders of the time. They knew that Jesus message was a threat to they way they lived and status the they were looked upon. Jesus new entering in to Jerusalem that He was to fulfill what the Father had asked of Him, Jesus was busy preparing His follower for what was to come and we find that in this Chapter. Two verses stood out to me in that regard the first one was V.13 " This will be your opportunity to bear witness" Jesus is telling them of some of the trials accusations that are to come as the Kingdom is restored upon Jesus Return. Tough times await. What struck me about this verse as well is how many times I miss opportunity to bear witness, to me it is a clear indication that my faith is in need of growth, there are so many times that I do not take advantage of opportunities, what's frustrating is that I can look at myself sometimes and feel like I am at a place spiritually that is Good. I heard a quote "don't trust the confidence of a Man's heart" how true is that in my own life many times. It's is only the Faith I have in Christ that there is any Grace in my own life. V.19 was also another verse that was stuck out to me "By your endurance you will gain your lives" Jesus is speaking this as and encouragement to his followers knowing what many will endure, but I think that we can gather encouragement from this as well from Jesus. Many times in my life I have wanted to think that my being a Christian that life should be easy for me, actually I feel like for me that is just a selfish desire. the Christian life is not about things being made easy, but about who do I have trust in my life. Following Jesus is something to find strength and redemption in, knowing that in the toughest of times there is something to turn too, to find hope in in the hopeless, to release some of life's burdens, because I know what Jesus sacrificed for me, and in that I am forever thankful.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Things as far as opposition are starting to pick up as we get further along in this story. What I see and think is most interesting is the integrity with which Jesus carries Himself when talking to these men that are trying to find anyway to get rid of this Man who is threatening a culture shift that would most definitely change how people viewed them. Jesus was teaching and exposing these men to the end, pointing out that these men of Status were more concerned with how they looked, how they were viewed in society, what their status among the people were. Jesus was here to destroy that way of life, and brought one that revealed to the world that everyone mattered. That we were to love others more than we love ourselves, what a beautiful message and way to live out our lives. I know for me personally this is something that I have had to work out and grow to desire in my own life. I am thankful to God for Working this out in my life.
What is interesting right now is Jesus is slowing preparing Himself for the end, in the last couple of chapters Jesus has talked about His death, and now we seeing him triumphantly riding in a a colt. A Kings entrance, many along the way cheering and praising him, little did they know what was to come in the next few days. Jesus knew this was His Death Sentence, He still was carrying out what He knew was needed to be done. The people needed a Hero and here Jesus came ready to sacrifice it all. I can only imagine watching this event seeing Jesus come in a Hero's welcome, only Jesus know how this one would end. The wonderful thing is that Jesus is our Hero and how thankful I am for what He did for us.
Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." It has been cool to read of all the healing that Jesus performs during HIs ministry. In almost every single one, what drove the person to Jesus was this Faith in the fact that Jesus was who He and others claimed him to be. there is no doubt after reading these stories is the Idea of Faith is so important, all be it tough sometimes Faith is what carries us through to a relationship ship with the Father through Jesus. So thankful for these stories because n they help me build my own faith seeing how these peopled believed in Jesus
Thursday, December 19, 2013
When it comes to Jesus, and Faith in God we always want to know more, when is he coming, how do I know Jesus is real, how do I know the bible is Real, there are so many questions many have when it comes to Faith. Reading today that is nothing new even in Jesus day, we see here in this chapter a conversation Jesus is having with a Pharisee about the coming Kingdom of God. A pharisee is probably like a lot of people in our day that would say Yeah I believe in God/Jesus but really has so many questions about God and his existence that deep down they may not believe Jesus is real. Or is unwilling to take the next step until they know exactly what that next sign or step is. Jesus response to this is a great description of Faith in the truest form. We are not going to know when that day comes, it will be like any other day, just like many of God's other signs , at the Flood, and Sodom and Gamora. Point being is we can continue to question and not fully know and have to rely on Faith in the claims of Jesus, or we can release all of that and follow the Savior, chase after Him and believe that what he says in the bible is True. A beautiful story of redemption of those who hold on to a reliance in what they know rather than a reliance in the Savior.