Devotion – Luke 16

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S – Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.

Luke 16:10 CSB

O – “Faithful” pistŏstrustworthy; — believe (-ing, -r), sure, true.  Taking the definition of true and applying it will give us a strong foundation.   As we progress through each day, this is a good plumb line to keep us centered.  A commitment to truth in all things.  To do this, we need to know the truth – God’s word and what we believe.   Then, we must have the conviction to act on those beliefs. Finally, we must trust those actions to yield results.  Whether we see them or not.  

A – This applies to everything.  Relationships, situations, inner development – character and integrity, leadership. Start by establishing truth and convictions.  Pray for the courage to do this.  Take a step forward today.

R – Lord, help me to do this today.

Devotion – Luke 15

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S – All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to him. And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them

Luke 15:1–2 CSB

O – The three stories in Luke 15 (Lost sheep, coin, prodigal son) are all told in response to these two verses.  The tax collectors (Jews despised because they worked for the Romans) and sinners (anyone who hadn’t repented.). The tax collectors could easily be picked out the sinners might look like someone you and I know. The key to setting up this whole chapter is the lack of heart the religious leaders had for other people.  They looked down on them and created distance.  “Welcomes” means to endure, admit, and give hospitality to.  Jesus did all that because his compassion for them allowed him to have a relationship with them so they could hopefully know God.

A – I must continue to put myself in situations with people outside the church.  It is easy for me as a pastor to be defined only by church relationships.  I must find ways to build relationships outside the church.

R – Lord, help me to do this.

Devotion – Luke 14

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S – 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

 Luke 14:11 CSB

O – Some keywords jump out of this verse.  “Exalt” is from the Greek word hupsŏō, hoop-sŏ´-o which means to elevate (lit. or fig.):— exalt, lift up. “Humbles” in Greek means “tapĕinŏō,” tap-i-nŏ; to depress; fig. to humiliate (in condition or heart):— abase, bring low, humble (self).   

    Being a Christian is counterintuitive.  Most people want significance.  They want to know to be known and know they make a difference.  To do this, one must distinguish themselves by elevating “above” the crowd.  Jesus gives practical advice by telling where to sit to demonstrate humility.  But in the definition,  I like the paraphrase (in condition or heart).  Humbling one’s heart means thinking less of myself and valuing others more.  It takes the elevation of my heart (myself) and puts me on the same level as everyone else.  It does not think I am not good enough or unworthy.  That is a lie of the enemy.

A – There is a battle in my mind for a healthy approach to life and others.  I must be confident in all the Lord has put in me and the situations that I face each day.  I must be humble to realize that God values everyone and so should I.

R – Lord, help me to do this.

Devotion – Luke 13

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S – As he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, 11 a woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit, for over eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, “Woman, you are free of your disability.” 13 Then he laid his hands on her, and instantly she was restored and began to glorify God. 

Luke 13:10–13 CSB

O – A couple of observations:

  • The woman does not have a name.
  • Her condition was caused by an outside force.
  • Eighteen years – long enough to become her identity
  • Bent over – lack of social interaction, all you see is feet – no faces; similar to being “unclean”
  • Jesus saw her – how? He was looking for her.
  • Jesus declared her freedom before 
  • Jesus healed her
  • She glorified God

A – I want to see people like Jesus sees people.  To do this, I need to be looking like he was looking

R – Lord help me to do this.

Devotion – Luke 12

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S – 10 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 

Luke 12:10 CSB

O – Commentary: The point of verses 8–10 is that disciples must make a choice. To acknowledge denotes the fact that the disciples recognized Him as the Messiah and therefore they had access to the way of salvation. Those who did not acknowledge Him were denying themselves the way of salvation. Jesus carried the logic one step further, noting that one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. In Matthew 12:32 Jesus linked this activity with the Pharisees who were rejecting the work of Jesus. Apparently the Pharisees were being convicted by the Holy Spirit that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, but were rejecting His witness. They could never be forgiven because they were rejecting God’s only means of salvation

 John A. Martin, “Luke,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. 

A lot out there on this topic.  I encourage further research.

A – I need to continue to choose who Jesus is and the role of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I choose Jesus as my Savior.  I daily invite the Holy Spirit to lead me through each day.

R – Lord, help me to do this.

Devotion – Luke 11

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S – “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, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened

 Luke 11:9–10 CSB

O –  The word “Ask” (αἰτεῖτε). The word for the asking of an inferior.  Christ never uses the word of his own asking from the Father, but always ἐρωτῶ as asking on equal terms.  Jesus continues to speak messages with multiple meanings.  He establishes the desire of God for his children to ask Him in need. He is also showing their inferiority to God.  In other scriptures, he asks as an “equal” affirming His relationship with God.

A – I need to remain humble before God not because I am small and lowly.  Instead, it is recognizing how big and loving He is. This should cause me to ask what is on my heart, seek His purpose in it and boldly (relationship) move forward with confidence.

R – Lord, help me to do this.

Devotion – Luke 10

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S – 19 Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing at all will harm you. 20 However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” 

Luke 10:19–20 CSB

O – Jesus sent out seventy-two to go before him and do ministry in his name.  This is his response when they rejoiced in the victories upon their return.  Vs. 20 is an important principle – “Celebrate the wins but don’t lose focus on what is central – the relationship with God.”  

A – Both are important.  You need to slow down and celebrate a victory.  It is important for relationships and recognizing the effort in following God’s will.  In the OT, Bible heroes built altars and monuments to remember their wins.  Yet, we can’t stay there and make that our only way of approaching God.  The relationship with God is dynamic, growing and changing.  We must grow in our intimacy to move with God to the next thing.  That relationship is the base of the tree and the victories and challenges are the branches and scars.

R – Lord, help me to do this today.

Devotion – Luke 9

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S – Summoning the Twelve, he gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for the road,” he told them, “no staff, no traveling bag, no bread, no money; and don’t take an extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. If they do not welcome you when you leave that town, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere. 

Luke 9:1–6 CSB

O – Jesus gave power (His power) and authority (His authority).  The disciples were going out to preach the message they heard Jesus preach and then minister like He did.  On the surface, they were excited to see they could do it too!  Jesus is playing chess, not checkers.  He is demonstrating again that He is the Messiah.  He is showing them again that he has authority over demons and sickness.  He is giving a taste to the early church – God will use men and women to share and minister in His name, authority and power.  He even sent them out for a short stint to see what villages would accept Him and his message.  This wasn’t just a task.  This was a strategic, leadership move.

A – I want to walk in the authority, power and heart of ministry that Christ did.  I want to be strategic and include others in the journey of furthering his message of salvation, forgiveness, freedom and healing.

R – Lord, help me to do this.

Devotion – Luke8

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S – Then a fierce windstorm came down on the lake; they were being swamped and were in danger. 24 They came and woke him up, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to die!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves. So they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, asking one another, “Who then is this? He commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey him!” 

Luke 8:23–25 CSB

O – I know this is a lesson on the growing faith of the disciples but let me point out a different principle. Vs. 24, the word “rebuke” jumps out at me.  That word means “to censure, an expression of sharp disapproval or criticism.”  Jesus didn’t command them to stop…He told them how disappointed he was in them.  He didn’t just stop the waves and wind.  He demonstrated that he had authority over them like one who has control and approval over them.  He was a Creator or an owner. Only God would have that type of relationship with a natural force.

A – My desire to stay in control of things is challenging.  I must continue to yield control to God.  He created all things, controls all things and has unique purposes for me today.  I can trust in Him.

R – Lord, help me to do this.

Devotion – Luke 7

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S – Jesus went with them, and when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, since I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. That is why I didn’t even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed., For I too am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Jesus heard this and was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found so great a faith even in Israel

Luke 7:6–9 CSB

O – Lot to unpack here but I will hone in on one principle.  Vs. 9 – “Jesus heard this and was amazed.” Here is my simple question – What does it take to amaze (astonish, bewilder, astonish) Jesus?  Jesus is ministering at full capacity and under the clear direction of the Holy Spirit.  This expression of faith blows him away.  A couple of things stick out.  The centurion came from a place of humility.  (not the norm for a Roman leader) He sent others in his place allowing Jesus to be in total control.  He submitted himself to Jesus’ authority.

A – What would our faith look like if we did those three things?  We approached God with humility, released control and trusted God’s will and purpose in the situation.  That would be genuine faith.

R – Lord, help me to do this today.