Archive for the ‘Luke’ Category

See the lily, be the lily

May 9th, 2016 by Maureen

Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you Solomon in all his glory was never arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:27

There is a difference between moving in concert with God and making our own concerted efforts to move for God. When we stop trying to measure up to human definitions of beauty, glory, or worth we discover the infinite beauty, glory, and worth of being our authentic, restored, created selves. When we stop trying to prove our devotion and to earn His pleasure through our own try-hard efforts we discover the incredible lightness of being yoked to Christ whose gracious work of righteousness is enough to make us lilies.

Lord, help me to be aware of the beauty, the glory, and the worth in which you have arrayed me.

When Jesus gets ahold of the social calendar

April 11th, 2016 by Maureen

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. Luke 19:6-7

Jesus made connections and associations with people the religious establishment labelled “sinner.” If we think our labels can keep us as distant observers in a tree, we may be in for a surprising and personal encounter with Christ and His followers. If we feel uncomfortable in the company of certain “sinners” and focus too much on preserving our comfort zones and Christian reputations, Jesus just may have dinner plans for us that we aren’t expecting.

Lord, help me to keep my mind, my heart, and my door open to all the company You keep.

Medicinal properties of love

March 4th, 2016 by Maureen

And all the people tried to touch Him and power went out from Him and healed them all. Luke 6:19

Christ is the healing force that seeps into our every aspect of our beings and heals not only our bodies but our cold hearts and confused minds. His love is healing medicine that eats away the dead remnants of our old perspectives that clog the spiritual arteries between heart and head, between head and hands. When we respond to the powerful healing that His redemption causes in us we become live carriers of transforming love and infectious grace. He uses us to spread spiritual health to those around us.

Lord, make me an infectious carrier of love and grace.

Unwrapping gifts from Jesus

December 25th, 2015 by Maureen

Jesus gives us gifts, some of which we use on a daily basis, some we take out of the box once in awhile, some we look at, say “thanks” but have no idea what to do with them, and some we never even unwrap.

abundant life Jn. 10:10

supernatural love Jn 13:1

complete joy Jn. 15:11

overcoming peace Jn. 16:33

truth and freedom Jn. 8:32, 36

healing for broken hearts Luke 4:18

and bodies Matt. 10:8

significance Luke 12:7

empowerment Acts 1:8

fearless belief Mark 5:36

every possibility Mark 9:23

His own glory Jn. 17:22

Thank you, Lord, for giving me these gifts.  Show me how to fully realize them in my life.

 

 

Assumption-free worship

December 23rd, 2015 by Maureen

Angel: Though you are a virgin you will have a Son…He will be great, the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne and… His kingdom will never end. Luke 1:32-33

Mary: Let it happen to me just as you have said. Luke 1:38

When the angel told Mary Her son would sit a throne, she was confused but responded with openness to whatever God was doing. She could ponder without reaching false conclusions. When the Magi came with their gifts to this new king, these very wise men didn’t know what kind of king Jesus would be. It didn’t matter. They were responding to the evidence of the star. On the other hand, Herod felt threatened by his false assumptions. Later, when Jesus’ disciples recognized Him as Messiah they did so with assumptions about his kingdom that didn’t pan out. We don’t have to explain everything or make assumptions in order to connect all the dots.

Lord, I surrender my assumptions. Let Your kingdom exist in me as it is in heaven.

 

Wonder No. 9 Fear not!

December 18th, 2015 by Maureen

Fear not, I bring you good news of great joy that will be to all people…Luke 2:10

An angel spoke these words to a group of shepherds who were witnessing the unknown and supernatural in the middle of a normal work schedule. They had no idea what they had to fear but fear was their knee-jerk reaction to such an encounter. They had no idea of the ramifications of the good news they were being told or how that idea would impact the whole world. They had no idea what role they might possibly play in God’s plan. They had no idea what great joy would feel like should they accept the angel’s invitation to go to the manger. Our joyful, loving, amazing God Himself delivers the good new to us Himself: there is no fear in love and He is love.

May Christmas be a time of good news of great joy for all of you!

Light in the shadows

December 17th, 2015 by Maureen

Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. Luke 1:78

Though dark times are part of our human experiences, the light of Christ has broken, taking substance from darkness so that all that is left of darkness is mist and shadow. He makes His presence evident when the shadow of death falls, for even death is now only shadow. He guides, protects, illuminates, warms, and ignites us with His light. Even in dark moments we have His peace.

Lord, for all of us with broken hearts and broken lives, living in shadowy places in this broken world,  let Your light break upon us. This Christmas season, help us experience Your breathtaking light – emotionally, physically, circumstantially, and spiritually.

Eat up

December 16th, 2015 by Maureen

She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger. Luke 2:7

When He was born Jesus,  the Bread of life,  was laid in an empty feed trough. I don’t know whether this was symbolic or just the a convenient makeshift bed, but He came to nourish our starving souls and fill our empty hearts. He came to be broken for us, symbolized by the bread we break at the Communion table.

Lord, You seat me at Your table and lay a feast before me every day. I want to clean my plate.

Somebody did make this stuff up. It was God.

December 13th, 2015 by Maureen

nativity-siloutte080

He is the light that reveals your message to the other nations and He is the shining glory of your covenant people. Luke 2:32 (Voice)

Jesus came to tell a story with his life that would be relevant to human beings of every culture yet speak to the unique story God had been telling the Hebrews. It is a story in which a Hero with supernatural powers, motivated by love and goodness, sacrificially rescues and restores His beloved, defeats the evil foe, and establishes a joyful, eternal Kingdom. His story speaks to basic needs of individual humans and to cultural ideals of benevolent nations: safety, love, belonging, esteem, satisfaction, beauty, freedom, and transcendence. The stories we tell often follow this pattern, not because we humans made this one up, but because before the foundation of the world God wrote the archetypical story of Jesus and put eternity in the hearts of humans so that we would love it and embrace it.

Lord, I need everything You offer. I can’t invent a better story for myself than the one You’ve already told.

 

Be a player or get benched

December 12th, 2015 by Maureen

In the Christmas story angels appear to two different guys, Joseph and Zechariah, telling them not to be afraid and explaining that their wives’ pregnancies are results of miraculous circumstances.” Joseph’s story is told in Matt 1:18-22 and  Zechariah’s in Luke 1. Elizabeth and Mary were already players having received angelic visits of their own. Zechariah got a face-to-face angelic appearance while Joseph got an angel in a dream. Zechariah was asked to believe that his wife Elizabeth would get pregnant in old age while Joseph was asked to believe that his fiancee Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Zechariah’s immediate response was to question and object. Before the angel ever showed up in the dream Joseph’s attitude was already to show mercy to the woman who may have cheated on him. Seems like Joseph had way more of a stretch but he chose to be a player in this amazing story and his response was to accept a reality that seemed impossible. Zechariah got benched for awhile for attitude.

Lord, I want to respond like Joseph when things seem illogical, incredible and impossible. An angel would help though, just saying.

 

Deep thoughts

December 4th, 2015 by Maureen

This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” Luke 2:34-35

For many Jesus  is the Redeemer. For others Jesus a threat to comfortable routine, rule of law, and personal centers of power. Even though we spiritually embrace Him as personal Messiah and Deliverer, sometimes our deep-set intellectual and emotional beliefs and habits oppose and resist the unfamiliar joy of redemption. We stubbornly protect those familiar but angry, angsty, pride-filled thoughts that stab at us rather than peacefully surrendering to the radical, joyful mindset of Christ.

Lord, let the deepest thoughts of my heart be Your own thoughts of redemption and joy.

Kingdom come

December 2nd, 2015 by Maureen

God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. Dan. 2:44 His kingdom will never end. Luke 1:33 The kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21

We are part of an enduring, prevailing kingdom. It is already, but not yet. Established before the foundation of the world, victorious at the death and resurrection of Christ, and operational now in His children. We may suffer crushing blows, but in Christ, we are uncrushable. Things may come on us that we think might end us, but in Christ we are endless. We may feel overrun by the demands of life on earth but Jesus remains King of our hearts. No matter what our current circumstances, His current, right-now kingdom is also reality.

Lord, I thank you for overcoming everything I face.

 

Drop what you are doing and come see

December 1st, 2015 by Maureen

The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. Luke 2:20

God doesn’t always send an angel to say “Come and look at this wonderful thing I’ve done for you!” If a time comes when God asks us to drop everything and participate in something big that He’s doing, we should definitely go. And if we do have to go back to our routine tasks after that, our lives will never be the same. And neither will the lives of those we met along the way. Sometimes looking up and showing up is more important than our own priorities.

Lord, I glorify and praise you for all You’ve told me and shown me!

Tis the season

November 29th, 2015 by Maureen

Glory to God in the highest. And peace on earth, among mankind, goodwill. Luke 2:14 (YLT)

God had a divine purpose that landed baby Jesus in the manger; and it wasn’t so we could create another holiday that must then be observed correctly. Why compartmentalize charity, family, church, and manger scenes as “true meaning” and the rest as “distractions?” Might the celebrating, the decorating, the events, the parties, and even the shopping become expressions of peace and goodwill? Whatever the motives, does judging the way other people celebrate or getting offended because Christ is not sufficiently recognized by civic and commercial institutions express peace and goodwill? Christmas doesn’t have to be a choice between “political correctness” or “religious observance.” We can choose to approach all things, including this season, with God’s love, peace, goodwill, joy, beauty, and wonder.

Lord, let peace on earth, goodwill toward all be my heart’s purpose this season.

Christ’s coup over kingdoms of fear

October 31st, 2015 by Maureen

Fear not, little flock because it gives the Father delight to didomi (give, appoint, bestow) to you the basileia (kingdom, reign, royal power, dominion, rule.) Luke 12:32

Rulers of the kingdom of fear oppress, manipulate and dominate using fear and shame. Jesus’ redemptive victory at the cross was a coup that replaced the kingdoms of fear that the religious rulers administered to their advantage and that the Enemy twisted to his own purposes. Clinging to these defeated kingdoms, its former rulers would keep us feeling like powerless serfs and worthless rabble scrambling to earn favor and dominated by fear. Knowing Whose we are now should render us fearless in the knowledge of what we are now and where we live now. God’s kingdom restores and elevates its inhabitants to fearless, empowered citizens and beloved, endowed children who can bask in our Father’s delight.

Lord, I delight in Your perfect love that casts out all fear.

 

Looking for a kingdom

October 26th, 2015 by Maureen

Nor will they say “Look! Here it is! or “There it is!” for behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21

If we are to seek first the kingdom it’s not a matter of searching for the kingdom as it is seeing the kingdom that is already here. It is the forcibly advanced revolution of the cross. It is the inheritance of poor spirits and little children. It is the not yet hope of heaven and the already present home of Christ on earth and the vision of the Father from the foundation of the world. We have only to look in our own hearts, in the love of our brothers and sisters, and in the manifestations by His Spirit of grace all around us to see His kingdom. It’s not a question of looking really hard for it but of opening our eyes a little wider when we look in the mirror.

Lord, I thank You for citizenship in Your amazing kingdom.

Legos and the hairs of our heads

October 1st, 2015 by Maureen

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear, you are more valuable than many sparrows. Luke 12:7

crowd-lego

God knows how many hairs are on all 7.125 billion heads on planet earth. Sometimes we humans go through the day seeing many of the people we encounter as no more than the functions and roles they serve in our lives rather than as human beings who matter just as much as we do. If we think about this in terms of Legos, we build our emotional realities with a few faces and mostly just blocks. God constructs His to include every face, each known intimately and cared for deeply and each fitting into whatever He is building.

Lord, I don’t think I have the capacity for 7.125 billion empathetic thoughts, but help me to really see the people I encounter today. All of them.

*yes I do get the irony that most Lego people don’t have hair

 

Witnesses to miracles

September 29th, 2015 by Maureen

Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!” Luke 5:26

Souls walk among us with amazing stories of healing and resurrection because of Christ. Every day we brush shoulders with people who are spiritual miracles. Every day we look into the mirror and see  one of them. Be amazed and let each miracle of grace grip your heart.

Lord, thank you for all the miracles in my life.

No dire blood moon predictions here.

September 28th, 2015 by Maureen

Fear not little flock for its the Father’s delight to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

Our Father into whose kingdom we have been adopted as sons and daughters opens His arms to us in delight. He spreads out a feast and carries us to the table. He invites us to explore His kingdom. He is our Companion on this adventure of a lifetime. He tells us to bring all our friends. When we think we can’t go on He reminds us that He’s already accomplished everything on our behalf and He’ll just carry us for awhile. When we feel afraid He reminds us that His perfect love casts out fear.

Lord, instead of focusing on fears and doubts I want to focus on Your love and delight.

 

God actually does get it

August 3rd, 2015 by Maureen

The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, turn these stones to bread…Jesus replied “Man does not live by bread alone.” Matt. 4:11b Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from me. Yet not My will but Your’s be done. Luke 22:42 [Jesus] can feel our weaknesses and been tried in every way, just as we are…Heb. 4:15

Our High Priest understands what its like to be human. He understands what it’s like to want one thing but choose something else. He also understands what it was like to endure suffering and face pain when there is no choice. Jesus knows what it’s like when we are the one holding the cup. The Father knows what it is to have to stand by and let a loved one drink from it.

Dear Lord, thank You for being there when I don’t want to be there but have to be there.