1 Peter 5:5-11 – Blessings Abound

Read 1 Peter 5:5-11

This passage really spoke to me today as a leader. There is so much hope here to keep us going full of encouragement. We need to be humble leaders, not proud and arrogant. God has gifted us to lead, so we should lead, not be interested in all the attention.

I know for me personally, I am uncomfortable when somebody compliments me. I need to get better at accepting kind words while still honoring God with my humility. For me, it’s a hard distinction. I’m sure I’m not alone. Continue reading “1 Peter 5:5-11 – Blessings Abound”

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Luke 11:29-36 – Shine Your Light

Read Luke 11:29-36

Bring on the floodlights! I don’t know about you, but I want to shine with the light of Jesus. When people tell me I’m glowing, that is the greatest compliment! For us to truly shine, our hearts need to be in alignment with God and his will for us.

It is his light and love that fuels us and keeps us going. Like the energizer bunny has a battery, we have Jesus. But we need to be careful not to be distracted or drawn in by evil. As we know, the evil one is crafty and often tricks us into believing lies. Those lies may start as corners of darkness in our lives, but it can soon envelope the room of our hearts if we aren’t careful. Continue reading “Luke 11:29-36 – Shine Your Light”

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Luke 6:43-49 – What’s in Your Heart?

Read Luke 6:43-49

Jesus’ own words, “What you say flows from what is in your heart.” He has been talking about good and bad trees, as well as good and evil people. We have all seen a bad apple. Can we assume it came from a bad tree and all of those apples were bad? If worms have infested one, they have likely taken over.

Here in Mexico, I’ve seen my share of ugly looking fruit. That was just the outside. You have no idea how delicious the fruit is on the inside. Probably the best fruit I’ve ever eaten. You would never find “ugly” fruit like that for sale in the United States in a grocery store produce department. Sad. How many times have we given up on someone because of their appearance? We have lost an opportunity for their inner beauty to radiantly shine. Continue reading “Luke 6:43-49 – What’s in Your Heart?”

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Luke 4:1-13 – What Tempts You?

Read Luke 4:1-13

Does it make you feel better to know that even Jesus was tested? What can we learn from his response to the devil’s schemes?

We see Jesus in this passage from the perspective of knowing who he is and how his life played out. Imagine if we were only seeing him for the first time in these few verses. What if we didn’t understand or realize he was the Son of God? Read the passage again through that lens (yes, I know it’s hard).

What are your impressions now? Here are some of my observations.

  • The devil knew Jesus was the Son of God. I wonder how?
  • I can’t imagine not eating for 40 days! I definitely would be hungry, I’d want to eat everything in sight!
  • Boy, Jesus was strong to resist that bread!
  • The devil tried to use Scripture, too, to fool Jesus. Crafty. Some people try to use it for their own purposes, too.
  • Why didn’t Jesus run away from the devil?

Continue reading “Luke 4:1-13 – What Tempts You?”

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Mark 12:1-12 – Who is in Charge Here?

Read Mark 12:1-12

We see corruption all around us today, and Jesus describes it beautifully here in his example. I suppose the word beautiful and corruption should not occur in the same sentence. But Jesus is warning them and us to be on the look out for evil. It will take on forms we might not realize. It may invest trusted leaders; nobody is immune.

If we have a heart beat, we are a target for Satan’s evil schemes. I posted something recently: Devil says, “They’re all mine.” Jesus says, “Over my dead body.” Think about that for a moment or two.

Today’s reading is thought to happen very soon after the teachers of the law were questioning Jesus’ authority in our prior text. Now they are feeling a bit put in their place as they see themselves in Jesus’ story. They retreat. Do you think the rest of the people understood the significance?

Do you see the players in this story. Just in case, we have the owner of the vineyard (God), the vineyard (Israel), tenants/farmers (religious leaders),  servants (prophets), son (Jesus). Reread if you need to for context. The concern here is the tenants’ improper use of their authority. This wisdom is for us today, any of us in church leadership. Pastors are especially suspect. Who are we serving and following?

The quoting of Psalm 118 here. “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” Jesus, the rejected one, is now the cornerstone and foundation for the new Christian church. On Jesus, we build our trust. He is our sure foundation.

“This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.” Anything that the Lord does is wonderful to see. Imagine the brilliance of the sun, or the magnificence of a sunset each evening. The budding of the trees with each new Spring, and the leaves turning at harvest. It is all God’s doing and for that we should be gratefully awestruck.

Have you ever felt rejected? Maybe you’re walking through a time of sadness right now. I don’t know if it helps, but know that you are in good company. Even Jesus was rejected, and from that rejection (the Lord’s doing for us) something beautiful came to be. Think on the price Jesus paid for you. How do you respond?

Let’s pray. Father, thank you for this illustration into your truth. I never want my self ambition to keep me apart from you. I never want to be so focused on the wrong thing that I forget who is in charge and who has my back. I pray for those who are still allowing evil into their hearts and  minds, filling them with lies that only keep them from you. Use me Lord to help them realize that they are being deceived by the evil world. Satan is crafty and we must stand strong. You have equipped us with the battle gear we need. May I never forget to arm myself to defend your kingdom and proclaim your great love for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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