2 Peter 1:12-21 – What Does Scripture Say?

Read 2 Peter 1:12-21

We are reminded here that Peter has first-hand knowledge of Jesus. He was part of the inner circle. He experienced things and witnessed miraculous wonders the others did not. It’s probable the people for whom he wrote this had never read an account of the Transfiguration (vv 16-18), but it was a story often told to identify Jesus. He was God’s son.

The life Peter had lived following Jesus’ death and resurrection had to have been thrilling. Frightening at times because he was not “politically correct” or even religiously correct. Many early Christians were persecuted and killed for their beliefs. God used Peter up until the end, and here Peter seems to be preparing his audience for his expected death. Peter wants them to remember all he has said and not fall away. How do you make a story memorable? Continue reading “2 Peter 1:12-21 – What Does Scripture Say?”

Luke 4:14-30 – Rejected!

Read Luke 4:14-30

Did you get goosebumps when you read this passage? I did. I was totally immersed in the scene of Jesus preaching to his hometown crowd. The words from Isaiah that he read that day were, in fact, being made true that very moment. Profound. Miraculous!

I don’t think the people even realized. After all, wasn’t he Joseph’s son? This speaks loudly to us that Jesus did grow up quietly and in an unassuming way, never drawing attention to his kingdom royalty.

He did go on to explain, and even gave examples. The reality is that hometown kids don’t always get the best reception with those familiar to them. Many times, their mission was not in their hometown with those most dear to them. We need to be ready to be used by God wherever he leads us. Continue reading “Luke 4:14-30 – Rejected!”

Luke 3:1-20 – Prepare the Way

Read Luke 3:1-20

Jordan River

Today we have a snapshot of John the Baptist. Just several short verses ago we learned how an angel brought the Lord’s message to his aging parents, telling them their son would prepare the people for the coming Messiah. We see that prophecy, as well as Isaiah’s words from the Old Testament, coming alive before our eyes.

John is quite a character. We are told he was living in the wilderness. I suppose that elicits a certain image in your mind, doesn’t it? He would have been very resourceful to maintain that lifestyle. He listened to God’s call on his life and gave it his all. Continue reading “Luke 3:1-20 – Prepare the Way”

Luke 2:21-40 – Hello World

Read Luke 2:21-40

Joseph and Mary continue to be faithful to their traditions and beliefs. They present their son, Jesus at the temple along with their required sacrifice. (Side note: did you notice required sacrifice was two turtledoves, and I’m writing this on the 2nd day of Christmas.)

With the events of the birth night still fresh in their minds, wouldn’t you think this young family was hoping to find some normalcy? I suppose having the son of God in your midst could always be a bit daunting, but the love for your child and the innate need to protect would certainly be strong guiding emotions. Continue reading “Luke 2:21-40 – Hello World”

Luke 1:67-80 – What a Prophecy!

Read Luke 1:67-80

What powerful words God gave to Zechariah. It’s almost like an answer to the question in our previous passage. You will recall the people were amazed at the events and wondered what John would “turn out to be”.

After Zechariah, the priest and father, spoke, the people gathered knew exactly who John was and what his destiny was to be. They also knew that their Lord and Savior would soon be on the scene.

This is the second of four “songs” in the book of Luke. Like Mary, Zechariah speaks of God’s marvelous deeds. Both make reference to the covenant promise with Abraham.

Did you have a favorite line from this one? I liked vv. 74 and 75, We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.”  In those days, there was a fear of God that we don’t see much today. The people had not yet met Jesus, God in the flesh, and gotten to know the true heart of God. Yet even knowing how much God loves us, so much  that he sent his one and only Son, we sometimes discount the immensity of that very act. We downplay God’s power, his might, and sovereign rule over our lives. The fear is gone.

The mere fact that he has rescued us over and over again from our enemies has also gone unnoticed. God works behind the scenes to keep us safe. When we stumble or find ourselves under enemy attack, many times it is because we have stepped outside of God’s will for us.

Being a follower doesn’t mean life will be easy. It means we have a protector and friend walking beside us. It means we are doing our best to stay connected and be righteous despite the obstacles.

Zechariah’s prophecy is beautiful in it’s form. It exalts God, lifts up his own child’s destiny as intended by God, recognizes God’s perfect plan, and assures people of God’s peace.

Take a moment to rest in God’s peace today. Let your heart reflect on God’s goodness around you.

Let’s pray. Lord God, I thank you for your promise to protect me and redeem me. Thank you for accepting me despite my failures and flaws. Use me and my story to reach others for you. Give me a bold spirit to stand unafraid before my enemies. Clear my vision so that I can see what you intend for me. As John’s destiny was set even before his birth, I know you have a plan for me, too. Help me to stay on the path you have for me. Bless all that I say and do this day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.