Sunday, October 05, 2008

Devotions 05-10-08 (Lu 10:02-04)

Luke 10:02-04 " And Jesus was saying to them "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your ways; behold , I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves . Carry no purse no bag, no shoes and greet no one on the way."

Jesus is sending His disciples on a mission of faith. Jesus is seeking to equipt His disciple so live by faith.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Devotions 03-10-08 (Lu 9:57-62)

I will again try to summarize this passage in Luke 9:57-62.)

Jesus was walking with His larger group of followers when one said "Jesus I will follow you wherever You go. Jesus responded that He was always on the move and that his following Him would be harder than than he realizes. He wanted him to seriously count the cost.

Jesus then invited one of those in the group to "follow Him". His response was to allow him to first go and bury his father. Jesus responded to him to allow others to do that task but that following Him was a more urgent matter.

One of the group volunteered to follow Jesus but asked for permission to say good bye to those at home. This person seemed to have been following Jesus for some period of time already. Jesus responded to him and said "once you have left home to follow Jesus do not turn back but keep following and do not get distracted. The Kingdom of God is for those who forsake everything to be a part of this great Kingdom.

So in another brief summary there are three issues I must face concerning the Kingdom of God. 1. Following Jesus is probably more difficult than I realize.
2. When I do understand what it means to follow Jeus I should make that decision and not put it off. Do not wait to get other things done and then try to follow Jesus.
3. Once you begin to follow Jesus do not let other things cause you to turn back even for a moment. This wavering makes you unfit to be part of this great Kingdom.

God has been so gracious to me to be a part of this Great Kingdom and by His Grace I have obeyed these three requirements. I know there are many others who have done this as well and I am grateful to be a part of this host of brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray I can be faithful and strong to follow Jesus the rest of the days that God allows me to live. I give God all the glory for all He has done for me by His power and Love.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Devotions 1-10-08 (Lu 9::51-56)

Luke 9:51-56 Let me try to summarize this passage rather than copy all of these verses.

Jesus and his followers were headed for Jerusalem and it was getting late so he sent a few ahead of them to the next village to get acomodations for the evening before continuing on to Jerusalem the next day. There was no one in the village who would acomodate them because it was a Smaritan village and they would not put up anyone for the night who was going to Jerusalem. There was a great hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans. This made James and John very mad and they wanted to call down fire on that village but Jesus rebuked them and said " You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them."

What is my attitude when non-believers block my way and prevent me from serving the Lord the way I want. Do I get angry and want to do something that would show them that they are fighting God in their response. Or will I lovingly acccept their rejection and find another alternative to the situation. That is what Jesus did. He said let us go to another village. James and John had lost sight of what they were there to do. It was not to teach others how to act but to seek and save those who were lost.

I see often in my fellow believers the frustration of dealing with unbelievers who do not cooperate with them in what they are trying to do in seeking to serve the Lord. I am sure I have done that as well some time. I must not get angry at them in their blindness but seek to find another way. Let my gracious attitude be an example of Christ in me.

Lord, help me to respond to resistance from unbelievers in a gracious manner. I know You are soverign and You can change their hearts or lead me to alternatives that would be even better. I must not lose my focus on what I am here to do on earth as a child of God and His grace. These past few days have been really interesting what Jesus is teaching His disciples from these passages in Luke 9. I want to summarize all these lessons after I finish the next one that I will do tomorrow. The important issue is will I learn from what Jesus is teaching and apply these truth to my life. Lord I want to be more like You!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Devotions 30-09-08 (Lu 9:49-50)

Luke 9 "And John answered and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to hinder him because he does not follow along with us" But Jesus said to him, "Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you."

How do I feel toward fellow believers that are not doing the things I am doing. Do I feel my calling or my way of doing things is right and their way is wrong. We both are seeking to follow the scriptures but we just do not see thing the same way. I think Jesus is saying here do not try to get everyone to join your calling and do not hinder others who may be doing the ministry a little differently than you. My responsibility is to share the good news of Christ and to help people grow in their faith.

A Christian Leader, Waldron Scott once said "Most of the work of God in the world is done by those who are tired or do not feel well and who are off in their doctrine". You would think those who are correct in the doctrine and are in good health would be the ones most zealous in sharing Christ and teaching others the scriptures. Sometimes I get more critical of others than I should and that distracts me from doing what God has called me to do. I must be focused on doing well what God has called me to do and let my life and example encourage others to follow the Lord according to the scriptures and to be like Jesus.

Lord, give me a loving heart for all who are seeking to know You and to serve You. Protect me from being overly critical and to allow others to distract me from doing what You have called me to do. There is so much work to do in the world concerning Your Kingdom; I must be focused on Your calling to me and seek to be more like Jesus in the process. Help me to be a genuine encouragement to other believers and not be critical of what they are sincerely doing. Help me to honor You in all my work and the way I relate to others.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Devotions 29-09-08 Lu (9:46-48)

Luke 9 "And an argument arose among them(Jesus disciples) as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side and said to them, "whoever receives this child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for he who is least among you, this is the one who is great."

To really understand the above verses you should read all of Luke 9. The disciples were all involved in some amazing events and could see how God could work through them and see the power of God. How would I react to these things happening in my life?

I am sure I would be no better and it is important for me to see what the disciples did wrong. What did they begin to do that I must avoid. I think they forgot that it was God working through them and not themselves. This is so easy to do. I must always keep my focus on the Lord and realize that I am only a channel that God may work through.

It is humility that God desires from His servants and not who is doing the most or who is the greatest. Oh, how the work of God is marred by the greed and selfishness of His servants who want to be noticed for their glory and not God's glory. Isaiah 42:8 "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images."

Lord, help me to truly Humble myself and to give all the glory to You. What I do is such a small part of what You are doing through my life. You are the one who drew me to Youself and it is You who gave me a New Life in Christ and it is the power of the Holy Spirit who gives me any power that I might have. Lord thank You for reminding me again that I must be like a little child to be pleasing to You in my desire to serve You.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Devotions 26-09-08 (Ps 69:13-15)

Ps 69:13-15 "But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, answer me with Your saving truth. Deliver me from the mire, and do not let me sink; may I be delivered from my foes, and from the deep waters. May the flood of water not overflow me, and may the deep not swallow me up, and may the pit not shut its mouth on me."

Have you ever felt like this? It just does not seem like you can keep going for some reason. You are tired or just not feeling well and it seems so hard to get things done. I sure have felt that way before and feeling that way just not.

It seems like the psalmist is discouraged and is asking God to do something quickly because He is about ready to drown in His problems. Maybe he is not discouraged but just overwhelmed with all he needs to do. I can sure identify with his feelings.

We just returned from Estonia after 15year living there for 8 years and in Russia for 5 years with two years inbetween working on the transition. Now we are in the US and I feel exhausted and a bit overwhelmed at all the things I have forgotten about since leaving my home country and getting adjusted to living in other cultures. So you can pray with me in adjusting to my native land and getting some rest from these past fifteen years.

Lord, I know You hear me and I know You are allowing these days for my good. I just need to see what I am suppose to be learning and to be patient in waiting for You to act in my behalf. I am grateful Lord for being allowed to go through these difficult times so I might trust You more and more when I feel so weak and tired.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Devotions 25-09-08 (Ps 70:4)

Ps 70:4 "Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, "Let God be magnified."

I am urged to seek the Lord and to do it with joy. It is a great privilege to be able to seek the Lord and to know that He is available for me. That in itself is a joyful thought. Then to add to that is He listens to me and will answer me in what I should do.

I am also urged to say aloud "Let God be maginfied" because of my love for God's Salvation. I was doing some of this yesterday after my morning devotions. I spent some time in Romans 3, 4, and 5 and reflecting on what God has given me in His great Salvation. After reading those chapters it is so very easy to say, "Let God be magnified"

Lord, I long to be ever praising You in an appropriate mannor. I want to honor You and to draw others to know You and to honor You as well. Lord, I need Your strength to do this and take care of the responsibilities You have given me. I am weak and tired but I rejoice in the joy of knowing You as my Savior and my God!