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Archive for September, 2012

Luke 8:46 (40–56, Matthew 9:18–26, Mark 5:22–43) “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.

I had not noticed this before, that Jesus became sudden aware that the power He had to heal was being distributed through Him to whomever God the Father had chosen, whether the Son intended it or not.

In contrast He knew that Jairus’ daughter would be healed. Remember that Jesus was at this moment as much human as you and I and so not capable of being all knowing, while He was here. Back in heaven He returned to all His Godly nature.

But in this moment Jesus realized that God was going to use Him even when He was not fully aware of it. It’s scary thought but God uses us in the same way. We are not always aware of who our testimony will touch as it is lived out in the presence of others.

Alertness is not just to danger. It involves paying attention to opportunities God presents for real change, right now.

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Luke 8:39 (26–39, Matthew 8:28–34, Mark 5:1–17) “Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.

Although the country of the Gerasenes was a Roman colony and mostly gentiles there apparently were plenty of Jews. When we see the man coming to Jesus and either he or the demons speaking to Jesus we understand that they were Jews. Yet, they were not practicing Jews because they were pig farmers.

They had suffered a lot because of the man possessed by demons and had done what they could to resolve the problem (although it was obvious they had never addressed the cause of their problem). They had chained and shackled him and tried keeping him under guard, but he would break the chains and escape and cause all kinds of trouble.

After Jesus freed the man he was now possessed by His command to stay there and share his testimony. The object of a personal testimony is to let others know what has happened to you, what effect God has now had on your life. The purpose of the testimony is to change the minds of those people to God.

It makes me wonder what God has done for me and how am I sharing that with others… or am I?

Faith involves remembering all the things God has done for you already and ensuring that He has no reason not to continue.

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Luke 8:25 (22–25, Matthew 8:23–27, Mark 4:35–41) “Where is your faith?

In Matthew Jesus accuses them of having little faith and in Mark of having no faith. But, here in Luke He says WHERE is your faith.

What the twelve feared was death, the end of their lives, their hopes and dreams for the future. But their reasoning was faulty. If Jesus was the Son of God and came to win over as many as He could before He had to suffer and die according to the prophecies of old (which they believed or why follow Him), then how could Jesus unexpectedly die in a storm?

As long as they were with Jesus and He was still alive they didn’t have to fear death, because until He finished His work He couldn’t die. Now we can understand Jesus calm in so many situations.

Rather than trusting the truth about Jesus the disciples had trusted their feelings, their perceptions. Their faith was in the wrong place or they showed no faith or they showed little faith because they at least went to Jesus for help.

The question still applies to us today, in whatever our situation is, where… in WHOM is our faith?

Faith involves remembering all the things God has done for you already and ensuring that He has no reason not to continue.

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Luke 8:18 (16–21) “So take care how you listen;

Yet, there are four types of responses people (believers and unbelievers) have to the word of God. Sometimes we hear the words, the sounds but since we’re not ready to make any changes nothing happens, 8:12. Ignorance is not an excuse.

Some will hear and get excited about the possibilities but aren’t comfortable with changing their way of life, 8:13. Then there are those who hear the word of God and start to make the changes necessary in their lives, but as soon as it starts to cost them something they give up, 8:14.

The last group Jesus mentions is the one who actually hear and understand that it will cost them something, 8:15. Just like a seed doesn’t stay that way but has to suffer through change to reach it’s intended potential, so too do we as believers.

It’s not where you are or whom you are in life that matters, its what you have done with the word of God that matters.

Responsibility involves learning to establish personal disciplines to help you become the person God wants you to be.

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Luke 8:10 (4–15) “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God,

Most of us have heard this parable many times and each time the focus of the explanation is on what are called the soils. As important to the story as they are they are not the purpose, they only point to it. Although we see in the story that the Gospel can change any one, it is only effective where there has been preparation.

It takes time for the farmer to prepare the soil to take the seed and produce fruit. As God’s farmers we need to be doing what we can to prepare the hearts of everyone we encounter to accept the Gospel when it is planted. We need to be there to insure no other takes it away and that it is protected until it can stand on its own, just like any good farmer.

This is what Jesus meant when He commanded us to go into the world. We weren’t sent to throw seed just anywhere. We were sent to make disciples, Matthew 28:19–20. A disciple is someone we learn to love and care for requiring of us a sacrificing of time and energy.

Availability involves getting and staying busy with God given priorities and getting rid of those things that would get in the way.

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Luke 7:48 (36–50) “Then He said to her, Your sins have been forgiven.

As I read this passage I wondered if there was any ritual she was following to purify herself, but I think she was just looking for forgiveness from God by recognizing His representative… Jesus.

The custom for invited guests was that as they entered the house they were greeted with a kiss on the cheek by the one who invited, then a servant would wash the feet of the traveler and put a little perfume in their hair to help with any bad odor from that trip. Jesus had not been properly received; imagine how He must have felt being invited and then ignored in that way.

Unlike Simon the Pharisee, the woman saw her chance at gaining forgiveness for her sins. We’re not told what her sins were but it is likely prostitution because all recognized her as a sinner. And, like Jesus, she was probably shocked that Simon had shunned him.

Simon’s sins weren’t forgiven because he failed to greet Jesus properly and the woman wasn’t forgiven because she did wash Jesus feet. She believed that Jesus was who He had said He was and Simon did not. She had viewed the evidence and recognizing her need for forgiveness went to the one who could give it.

Faith involves recognizing your need to be saved from the consequences of your sins and accepting Jesus offer to you.

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September 18.12 ethot

Luke 7:14 (11–17) “Young man, I say to you, arise!

Now, if Jesus at this time was about thirty years of age then the man was younger than Jesus. It has been said that the average life expectancy in Jesus day was not more than 60. That would make Jesus a middle-aged man. Remember also that a male child was declared a man at the age of thirteen.

I bring all this up only because Luke, the doctor (attention to detail), says that a dead man was being carried out, so I’m thinking an older man. But Jesus says a young man, could the dead man have been fourteen or was Jesus just being sensitive to the mother?

Yet, the question of age becomes irrelevant when Jesus raises him from the dead. As believers the question of age is irrelevant to us because we have been raised from within the walking dead. Knowing that I will live forever is not only humbling but also liberating.

Wisdom involves understanding our lives from God’s perspective.

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