Week Eight — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — A Short Life of Christ in Luke — Luke 13: 2, 3

Note: In chapters 13 and 14 Jesus continues his preaching ministry. The pharisees continue to harass Jesus for healing on the Sabbath.  Jesus speaks of the narrow door of discipleship and later of the cost of discipleship.  Our study focuses on an often asked question: Why?

PM Adult Bible Study – W – O – R – S – E – Luke 13: 1 – 9

See:  Genesis 3:17, 18; Jeremiah 25: 8, 9; 2 Chronicles 29:8; Psalm 22:1, 90: 7, 8; John 9:2, 3; Matthew 5:45; 2 Peter 1: 5-8

W – Why of woes – vs. 1 Some in Jesus audience are preoccupied with a tragedy.  They want to know the why of tragedy.

O – Options v. 2 There could be many reasons for tragedy to strike, but the standard explanation is that the sufferer was guilty of wrongdoing.  Jesus wants to dismiss that assumption.

R – Repentance v. 3, 5 Jesus gives two examples of tragedy.  He dismisses the assumption that these persons were worse than others.  They were not suffering for greater sins.  Then Jesus calls for repentance in the listener.

S – Spiritual sterility – v. 6, 7 Jesus speaks in a parable.  The parable represents spiritual sterility.  Those who are spiritually fruitless can expect to suffer.

E – Endurance – vs. 8, 9 In the parable the steward buys time for the fruitless fig tree.  Jesus has bought time for us that we might produce spiritual fruit.

Exemplary story:  When I was a teen, I was hired to clear an overgrown lot behind the owner’s house.  I made good progress in clearing the lot, but I found in the overgrowth neglected iris corms.  I pointed out to the owner that there were flower bulbs in her weeds.  She insisted there were none and asked that I clear away everything.  I kept the bulbs and planted them in the rich dirt of my parent’s farm.  The next spring a beautiful bed of iris bloomed in May.  Maybe God is hoping that you will bloom in the season to come.

Sunday

Luke 13:1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.

Prayer:  Lord God, when tragedy strikes, may we be quick to add our prayers and support to the suffering.

Thought for the day:  Filling our week with prayer time is far more productive than filling our week with gossip time.

Monday

Luke 13: 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?”

Prayer:  Jesus, Son of God, may we place our faith in you when we see tragedy all around.

Thought for the day:  God is prepared to answer difficult prayers, and God is prepared to answer hard questions.

Tuesday

Luke 13: 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, Son of God, we repent of all the times we have disappointed you.

Thought for the day:  Some tragedies are accidents, and some are man-made.

Wednesday

Luke 13: 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them – do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we confess that we are too little concerned with our own spiritual health.

Thought for the day:  We must tend our own spiritual welfare before we criticize that of others.

Thursday

Luke 13: 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for your faultless example of obedience to God.

Thought for the day:  Jesus had a perfect record of obedience to God.

Friday

Luke 13: 6, 7 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any.  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, “For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any.  Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, if we have been fruitless disciples, may you forgive us.

Thought for the day:  What you do for Jesus in this life counts for eternity.

Saturday

Luke 13: 8, 9 “Sir,” the man replied, “leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.  If it bears fruit next year, fine!  If not, ten cut it down.’”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in this season of grace and favor may our service be a blessing to your children.

Thought for the day:  Though days past have passed, today you can serve Jesus.

Parable of the Fig Tree//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js photo: “Parable of the Fig Tree” by Lawrence OP on www. flickr.com

Readiness for Forgiveness — A Sunday #Communion Meditation — Luke 7: 47, 48

Forgiveness is a relational action.  One forgives, and one receives forgiveness.

For the cycle to be complete each party must have a readiness for forgiveness.  The giver must be ready to forgive.  The receiver must be ready to recognize wrongdoing and receive the forgiveness. 

For the giver who offers forgiveness the burden is lifted from the giver whether it is received or not. Forgiveness not received is like a gift-wrapped package that the recipient refuses to open. 

Often in Jesus’ ministry he remined us that he is ready to forgive, if we are ready to be forgiven.  Consider Jesus’ words about the sinful woman who anointed Jesus.  In Luke 7:47, 48 we read:

“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven for she loved much, but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  And he said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” 

As we prepare to take communion, we are reminded that Jesus is ready to forgive, if we are ready to receive his forgiveness.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, as we receive this loaf in cup in memory of your sacrifice, we ready ourselves to receive your merciful forgiveness this day.

Eucharistic Parousia

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

photo by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

 

</p

Week Seven — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — A Short Life of Christ in Luke — Luke 12: 27, 28

Note: This week Jesus continues his teaching ministry in Luke 11 and 12.  He interacts with the Jewish leaders and provokes their anger.  Chapter 12 concludes with a warning to be watchful. In Luke’s Gospel the Sermon on the Mount is recorded in chapter 6, however material found in that sermon is repeated in these two chapters.  That material includes the model prayer and Jesus teaching about faith in God’s provision.

Adult PM Bible Study – R – A – V – E – N – Luke 12: 22-34

See: Joshua 5: 12; Job 38: 41; Psalm 86:7, 43: 5; Philippians 4: 6; I Peter 5: 7; Hebrews 6:18

R – Redoubtable live – v. 22 – Problems and disasters are plentiful in life.

A – Anxieties – vs. 22, 25 – Worry is a hobby many excel in.  Yet, worry is a distraction from faith.

V – Value – v. 24 — God values God’s creatures, and God values you far more.

E – Endowment – vs. 27, 28 — Your endowment is far greater than that of the flowers of the field.

N – Nobility – vs. 30, 31 – You are the children of God the Creator.  You are of noble birth.

Exemplary story:  Mark Twain’s “Prince and the Pauper” is a tale of an identity exchange.  It has been retold in many versions.  The children making the exchange make many discoveries about how the other half lives.  It seems safe to say that no prince would want to be a pauper forever.  The life of worry is the life of a pauper. We are God’s children, and we can live with God’s blessing if we choose. 

Sunday

Luke 12: 22-23 31Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food and the body more than clothes.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for your reminder of the priorities of life.

Thought for the day:  At the end of the day ask yourself the questions: For who and what have I given my hours today?

Monday

Luke 12: 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds! 

Prayer:  Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the wonderful wisdom we find in the order of your creation.

Thought for the day:  Creatures great and small can bring us a word from God.

Tuesday

Luke 12: 25, 26 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may you forgive us when we forget the power of prayer and rely on the weakness of worry.

Thought for the day:  Those who put worry in their gas tank find themselves going nowhere fast.

Wednesday

Luke 12: 27-28 “Consider how the lilies grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass o the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!

Prayer:  Almighty God, your glory and wisdom are found in your creation.

Thought for the day:  Artists see the beauty in a single snowflake.

Thursday

Luke 12: 29-30 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 

Prayer:  Lord God, we your children look to for our daily bread.

Thought for the day:  Worry can produce anemia of the spirit.

Friday

Luke 12: 31-32 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may we always find the faith and presence of mind to keep first things first.

Thought for the day:  The best travel itinerary brings the traveler closer to God.

Saturday

Luke 12: 33-34 Sell your possessions and give to the poor.  Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near, and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, settle our hearts and minds ever upon you.

Thought for the day: While others make market on things, God makes market on souls.

Luke 12 God takes care of lilies, so He'll care for us, too//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js photo: “Luke 12 God takes care of lilies, so He’ll care of us, too” by Martin LeBa

r on http://www.flickr.com

The Perfect Sunday Valentine’s Day Sandwich — A Sunday Communion Meditation — I John 4: 10, 19

Making the perfect sandwich is a real art.   Maybe your thing is a peanut butter, banana, and mayonnaise sandwich.  Or maybe your thing is a fresh tomato sandwich.  Considering how many sandwiches I have made and eaten, I could say I am a connoisseur of sandwiches.  The formula is simple: It just takes two pieces of fresh bread and the right filler to make this scrumptious delicacy. 

Today brings together two expressions of love. Valentines’ Day is a day for expressing our love to family, friends, and those we most adore.  Sunday is a day for expressing our devotion, worship, and adoration for God.  To this connoisseur of sandwiches that would make a perfect sandwich of love, if we only had the right filler.

Scripture reminds us that today and every day we do have that perfect filler for a sandwich of love.  Listen to these words from I John 4: 10 and 19

(10) This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins

(19) We love because he first loved us.

With these scriptures John reminds us that God’s love is already available to fill our double-dose day of love.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, Son of God, as we take this loaf and cup we give thanks for your abiding love that sacrificed all for us.

Eucharistic Parousia

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

photo by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

 

</p

Week Six — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — A Short Life of Christ in Luke — Luke 10: 36, 37

Note: In the last chapter Jesus sent out the apostles, and in chapter 10 he sends seventy by pairs.  They are to prepare the people in the towns and villages for his preaching.  The power that they have exerted has amazed the disciples.  In this chapter one of the best known parables is shared.

Adult PM Bible Study – M – E – R – C – Y – Luke 10: 25 – 37

M – Meritorious Measure  — vs. 25, 29  A lawyer wants to ensure himself that he has his basis covered to receive a heavenly reward. What does he need to do?

E – Emergency – v. 30  Jesus begins a parable, but it is a story that rings true.  It begins with a man in an emergency.  Anyone can be in an emergency.

R – Rigid Righteousness – v. 31, 32 – Both the Levite and the priest were thinking of their religious duty.  They could not afford to become soiled by either a gentile or a dead person.

C – Compassion – v. 33 The very man who could have had good reason to sidestep the fallen is the man who stops.  He not only stops, but he gives care that is most needed. He was no neighbor next door, but he was a neighbor in the hour of need.

Y – Yourself – v. 37 Jesus says you and I are to do what the Samaritan did. We are to be his neighbors.

Exemplary story:  Ms. Mead was teaching the Sunday School students about care and their civil duty to assist others. She used the example of the Good Samaritan. She then asked the class if they thought they could be a good Samaritan.  No one spoke.  Johnny seemed confused and said, ”Ms. Mead, I don’t live on the Jericho road.  So, I guess I couldn’t do what the man did. 

Ms. Mead asked if anyone could help Johnny find the meaning of the story before the next week.  Mary volunteered.

When the class met next week Ms. Mead asked if Mary had helped Johnny find ways to help other in need.  Mary said that she and Johnny had helped Mrs. Henderson, a senior, get her groceries out of the car and into the house.  They had helped Sally, a preschooler, find her lost kitten.  They had helped Matilda pass out flyers about the community yard sale on Saturday. 

 Ms. Mead asked Johnny what he learned with the help of Mary.  He reported, “Ms. Mead, I discovered we are already living on the Jericho road where many neighbors need of our compassion.

Sunday

Luke 10: 25, 26 On one occasion an expert I the law stood up to test Jesus.  “Teacher,” he asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life? “What is written in the law?” he replied.  “How do you read it?”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, with sincere hearts we turn to you to instruct us in the ways of salvation.

Thought for the day:  No one is so clever that they can deceive the Lord.

Monday

Luke 10: 27, 28 “He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Prayer:  Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the clarity of your law.

Thought for the day:  The one who does God’s will is the one who knows it best.

Tuesday

Luke 10: 29, 30 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus. “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers.  They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.”   

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may you forgive us when we become spiritually short-sighted.

Thought for the day:  Some say they want to know God’s will, and others do want to know God’s will.

Wednesday

Luke 10: 31, 32 A priest happened to be going down the same road and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him passed by on the other side.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may you forgive us for all the times our religions has prevented us from serving you.

Thought for the day:  Some religious is neither good for God nor for God’s children.

Thursday

Luke 10: 33, 34 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.  Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, how often you have graciously sent your angels of mercy to aid us in our hour of need.

Thought for the day:  Some shame the name of their God, and others bring honor to the name of their God.

Friday

Luke 10: 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper:  ‘Look after him, he said, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for your example of an everlasting care.

Thought for the day:  The best-used-by date for love is today, but the expiration date for love is missing.

Saturday

Luke 10: 36, 37 Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”  The expert I the law replied, “the one who had mercy on him.”  Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, Son of God, your command is clear: “Go and do likewise.”

Thought for the day:  The place to serve God is close to hand.

Parable of the Good Samaritan//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

photo by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

Avoiding the Grumble — A Communion Meditation — Isaiah 53:7

At college we were warned by Dean Floyd Clark not to succumb to the Freshman grumble.

Freshmen grumbled about college food, college assignments, college chapel attendance, and more.  Grumble, grumble.

The upper-class members knew how to keep their grumbles in check.  The Freshman who didn’t know let their grumbles break their will.  They were the one who left college never to return.

An old hymn often sung during communion reminds me that Jesus was not a grumbler or mumbler: “He never said a mumblin’ word.”  He was too busy doing God’s will to grumble and mumble.  He fulfilled the words of the prophet in Isaiah 53:7

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet he did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so he did not open his mouth.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, as we prepare to take this loaf and cup in memory of the body and blood you sacrificed, may your humble example guide us in loving service to God. We pray in Jesus’ name.

Eucharistic Parousia

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

photo by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

 

</p

Week Five — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — A Short Life of Christ in Luke — Luke 9: 19, 20

Note: Luke 9 is a transitional chapter.  In this chapter Jesus prompts the disciples to consider who he is.  When they have confessed belief in him as the Christ it is time to prepare for the mission that will end in Jesus’ crucifixion.  Within days of the great confession three of Jesus’ disciples witness his transformation.

Adult PM Bible Study – T – I – T – L – E – Luke 9: 18 – 27

See also: Isaiah 9: 6, 7; Daniel 9: 25, 26; Matthew 16: 18, 19; Romans 10: 9; Philippians 2: 11; Acts 8: 37; Revelation 3: 5

T – Tribute – vs. 18 – 19 Many tributes have been given to Jesus as a prophet.

I – Inquiry – v. 20 Jesus wants to know who his disciples believe him to be.

T – Testimony – v. 20 Peter confess that Jesus is the Christ.  He is no just a prophet.  He is God’s anointed Messiah.

L – Lifework – vs. 21 – 22 Jesus has come for his lifework of saving the world.  It will require his sacrifice.

E – Engagement vs. 23 – 26 Previously the disciples followed a great teacher and healer.  Now they will be required to follow Jesus as savior.  This will require their sacrifice as followers.

Exemplary story:  Joey was invited to attend Christian Summer Camp with his friends.  Each night at vespers the pastor would offer an invitation.  Joey began to think about his own salvation, and he thought of his family.  Only his grandmother went to church.  On Thursday Joey went to the pastor and told him his thoughts.  He wanted to respond to the invitation, but he was afraid of what his family would say.  The pastor asked a simple question: What would God say, if you don’t make a decision?  That night Joey responded to the invitation to become a Christian.  When he went home, he became an example of faith in his family.

Sunday

Luke 9: 18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we affirm what the world has known that you have shown us the path of truth and compassion.

Thought for the day:  The life of Jesus should banish any doubts that God loves us all.

Monday

Luke 9: 19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, among great men and women we know none to match you in wisdom and compassion.

Thought for the day:  A Christ-like reputation is one above reproach

Tuesday

Luke 9: 20 “But what about you?  He asked.  “Who do you say I am” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, through your word and your works we have come to believe you are the Son of God.

Thought for the day:  Those who make the great confession attune their hearts and souls to the will and work of God.

Wednesday

Luke 9: 21-22 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.  And he said, “the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priest and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give our humble thanks for the sacrifice you planned to give for our salvation.

Thought for the day:  God has always and forever cared about your salvation.

Thursday

Luke 9: 23-24 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but however loses his life for me will save it.

Prayer:  Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father, we name your only begotten son as our Savior and Lord.

Thought for the day: Since Jesus gave it all, he can ask for our all.

Friday

Luke 9: 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

Prayer:  Jesus, this day, this hour, and forever we confess that we need you.

Thought for the day:  Diamonds are inedible.

Saturday

Luke 9: 26-27 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may we be faithful to you always.

Thought for the day:  Don’t let your faith be put into the lost-and-found box.

 

Come Follow Me//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js photo: “Come Follow Me” by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

Goals to Keep — A Sunday Communion Meditation — Matthew 20: 17 – 19

Are you having second thought about your New Year goals?

We are more than halfway to the 45 day mark, when a new practice could become a habit.

The trainer, Brian Tracy, suggests we review our progress on our goals to determine if they are achievable of too big.

Communion represents many things. One thing it represents is Jesus achievement of his goal.

For a third time Jesus told his disciples that he had a goal to go to Jerusalem to confront his enemies. Listen to these words from Matthew 20: 17 – 19

Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life.”

Communion is a reminder that Jesus met his personal achievement goals while facing opposition and death. He did all that to offer salvation to the world.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we give thanks for your gracious sacrifice as we take this loaf and cup in memory of your body and blood. Amen.

Eucharistic Parousia

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

photo by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

 

>

Week Four — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — A Short Life of Christ in Luke — Luke 8: 14, 15

Note:  This week our lesson comes from Luke 7 and 8.  In these chapters Jesus has continued his ministry in the northern province.  He demonstrates his compassion when he raises the widow’s son, and later he raises to life the daughter of an official.  He instructs his disciples on the ministry of John the Baptizer.  Our study focuses on a parable of Jesus.  His use of parables is one of his core teaching methods.

Adult PM Bible Study – S – O – I – L – S – Luke 8: 4 – 15

See also: Deuteronomy 8:3; Isaiah 5: 11; Jeremiah 23: 29; Hebrews 4: 12; I Peter 1: 23; John 1: 18

S – Seed v. 11 The seed is God’s word.  To see God working in your life you need God’s word in your life.

0 – Optimism v. 5 When the sower went out to sow his seed, he believed that there was life in the seed.  God believes there is live in the word he shares.

I – Inception – v. The word is alive.  Notice that each soil represents the person hearing the word.  For the word to come to life we must be open to hearing it.

L – Loss vs. 12, 13, 14 Although the word is alive the conditions of the heart and life prevent it from coming to fruition. We must inspect our hearts to see if they prevent God’s word from bearing fruit.  What a tragedy if we were lost due to our callousness, our shallowness, or our preoccupation with the world.

S – Saved v. 15 All is not lost, all is not hopeless.  The sower believed there could be a harvest, and there was.  There shall be some who are saved.  We must determine if our hearts are right and if we will be numbered among those who are lost or those who are saved.

Exemplary story:  A friend recounts that in early Spring his late mother-in-law would throw down a challenge.  She would start a tiny tomato seedling indoors, while frost was still in the ground.  Through the spring she would nurse the seedling.  Then she would plant the tomato seedling with the hope that she would reap the first tomato of the summer.  It is God’s hope that God will reap a good return by giving you a living word.

Sunday

Luke 8: 4 And when a great multitude were coming together, and those form the various cities were journeying to him, he spoke to them by way of a parable.

Prayer:  Jesus, Son of God, prepare our hearts to hear your word.

Thought for the day:  When we find silence within, we prepare to hear.

Monday

Luke 8: 5, 6 The sower went out to sow his seed, and as he sowed, some fell beside the road; and it was trampled under food, and the birds of the air devoured it.  And other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for the earthly parables you have given to us.

Thought for the day:  Those who look can find a heavenly meaning in Jesus’ earthly parables.

Tuesday

Luke 8: 7, 8 And other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up with it, and choked it out.  And other seed fell into the good ground, and grew up and produced a crop a hundred times as great.  As he said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Prayer:  Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father, we give thanks for sending the Son who brought to us the word.

Thought for the day:  When you desire the salvation of the world, you desire what God desires.

Wednesday

Luke 8: 9, 10 And his disciples began questioning him as to what the parable might be.  And he said, “To you is granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables, in order that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may we ever prepare our hearts to receive your teachings.

Thought for the day:  Those who hear must have open hearts as well as open ears.

Thursday

Luke 8: 11, 12 Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.  And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes awy the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved.

Prayer:  Jesus, Son of God, by the power of your word may you save us from all forces that would destroy us in body and in soul.

Thought for the day:  In the battle for your soul God is on your side.

Friday

Luke 8: 13, 14 And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, and these have no firm root, they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.  And seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life and bring no fruit to maturity.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may you spare us for our self-destructive shallowness and our preoccupation with trivialities.

Thought for the day: At the auction, many prized antiques are revealed to be junk.

Saturday

Luke 8: 15And the seed in the good ground, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, when the harvest of souls comes to pass, may we bear the good fruit of the Spirit.

Prayer:  Someone said only what you do for Jesus in this world will last.

Parable of the Sower//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js photo: “Parable of the Sower” by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

Keep Your Seat — A Sunday Communion Meditation — John 13: 26, 27

“You may excuse yourself from the dinner table.”

Those ominous words signal that all is not right at the family dinner table. 

As we think of Jesus taking dinner with his disciples during the Passover, we suppose it must have been a solemn and harmonious affair.  However, in the midst of it Jesus stopped to excuse someone whose heart was not in it, Judas.  Listen to these words from John 13: 26, 27

Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped in in the dish.”  Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.  As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered him.  “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus said to him. 

                Today we are at Jesus’s table at his invitation.  He wants you and I to keep our seat and stay for the meal.  He also wants our hearts to be in it.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we give thanks this day that you gave your all to save the world.  We remember your sacrifice as we take this loaf and cup today.  Amen.

Eucharistic Parousia

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

photo by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

 

>