Luke 20 - Day 419 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Luke 20:1-8
Observation: The Pharisees and religious leaders have decided to get rid of Jesus so they've been trying to trap him with questions about the law and their traditions. Here they question Jesus about who gave him the authority to do the things that only they were supposed to be doing. He counters with a simple question and the religious leaders are stumped because they are unscrupulous.
Application: Do the right thing all the time so you can stand before God and others. The religious leaders couldn't answer a simple question because they cared more about what others thought of them than doing the right thing.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us what's really important.
Luke 19 - Day 418 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Luke 19-5-7
Observation: As Jesus entered Jericho, he notices the chief tax collector up in a tree and invites himself to Zacchaeus' home. The crowds witness Jesus' actions and start to grumble.
Application: Why is it easier to grumble about others than to love them as ourselves? The crowd rightfully had a legitimate complaint against tax collectors, because they abused their power for personal gain. So why would Jesus befriend the chief tax collector? Because from God's perspective, a sinner is a sinner so there is no hierarchy of who is worse.
It's not easy to love someone who takes advantage of us, but if we start from God's perspective then at least we can see them for who they are - a blurred reflection of ourselves.
Prayer: Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.
Luke 18 - Day 417 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Luke 18:15-17
Observation: People were bringing little children to Jesus but his disciples were acting like jerks and scolding the parents for wasting their time. Then Jesus gets upset with his apprentices and corrects their theology.
Application: This is another example of what the Kingdom of God is like. At the time, children had a high mortality rate so they weren't considered the future of their society, as they are today. However, as Jesus has done with the religious system, he reveals who is important in God's hierarchy.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for welcoming me into Your Kingdom.
Luke 17 - Day 416 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Luke 17:1-10
Commentary: Stumbling blocks (cf. Mt. 18:6–7, 15, 21–22; Mk. 9:42). The first of a collection of teachings for disciples, this section is about things that cause people to sin (older versions have ‘stumbling blocks’). Although these are inevitable in this present world, nevertheless Jesus warns his disciples sternly about being the cause of other people sinning, e.g. by tempting them or by setting a bad example. It would be better for such people to drown before they can do their evil work rather than suffer the fate reserved for tempters. On the contrary, the disciples should help any member of their group who falls into sin both by showing that they have gone wrong and by being ready to forgive, no matter how often this may be necessary.
Marshall, I. H. (1994). Luke. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1007). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.
Application: If you remove God from the equation (of life), then there are no consequences for our actions. However, if God is real, then everyone is accountable for their actions and that changes everything.
Prayer: Lord, help us to remember that You are real and that we are accountable to You.
Luke 16 - Day 415 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Luke 16:10-15
Observation: Jesus shares a parable about a shrewd manager to illustrate his point that "no one can serve two masters."
Application: Who is my master? As a Christian, I know that the appropriate answer would be Jesus. However, in reality, the answer is confirmed by my checkbook, credit card statements and schedule. Where we spend our time and money is what we really worship.
Prayer: Lord, I consecrate my life to You.
Husband, Father, Pastor....
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