Archives For kristi burchfiel

Who is the greatest? Let’s be honest, we’ve all wondered where we are at when it comes to our ranking among others. We are a society that likes to have rankings and standings and to know how we stack up against others. Everything is a competition and we want to be the best. Is it any surprise then that this discussion started among the disciples in Luke 9:28-62:

An argument started among them 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 the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”
Luke 9:46‭-‬48 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.9.46-48.NASB

Well, that’s one way to get people to stop talking and comparing themselves to others. Tell them that they need to be more like children. We are to be constantly trying to find a way to build up others and thinking less and less of ourselves. Does that describe you? Does that describe your focus for today? What needs to change for this to become the goal and focus of your life today?

Define success. How do you know whether you have accomplished what you have set out to accomplish? The world has an idea of what it takes to be successful. So does God. Reading through Luke 9:1-27, we see this verse:

For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?
Luke 9:25 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.9.25.NASB

Exactly where is the gain if we meet the world’s definition of succes, but not God’s? How do we gain ourselves? Interesting, we must lose our life to gain it. As we surrender our life to God, He provides meaning and purpose that we wouldn’t have otherwise.  Are we defining success as God does? Are we on the path to be successful as God desires for us?

Do we really want Jesus in our lives? A lot of people will say that they do. They act like they do, but then Jesus does something out of their ordinary routine. At that moment is when we can know if we truly want Him around. Read Luke chapter 8 starting in verse 26 through the end of the chapter.

And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear; and He got into a boat and returned.
Luke 8:37 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.8.37.NASB

Jesus did something amazing in their midst and their response was to ask him to leave. It scared them and they didn’t understand. Jesus often does things that we don’t understand. He has purpose and plan that we don’t see, yet He invites us to be a part of it. Will we allow fear to push Jesus away from us and from all that He desires to accomplish in and through us? If we ask Him to leave, He will. He did for these folks, but what amazing things they missed out on, we’ll never know.

Don’t be afraid of what Jesus is going to do in and through us. Be afraid of what He might do without us if we reject His presence in our life.

Happy New Year!

As you look at the prospects of a new year and all that brings with it, we must remember to keep things in perspective. We sometimes are not the most accurate assessor of our current situation. Take for example Luke 8:1-25. Look at this verse:

They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.
Luke 8:24 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.8.24.NASB

There was a storm and the disciples were afraid. They were assessing their situation and making assumptions about their circumstances. They thought they were perishing. God woke up and took a look at their situation and had a completely different assessment. He saw an opportunity for showing His power.

When we are looking at all the things around us, do we see them as we would see them or as God would see them? We can look through the upcoming year and make assumptions about what God is doing, but we must remember that He sees our situation more clearly than we do and we are to trust Him and seek His perspective on every situation we encounter.

How much do you love others and what does that say about you? It can actually be quite telling. Read the story of Jesus found in Luke 7:11-49.

For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Luke 7:47 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.7.47.NASB

Those who know what life is truly like without Jesus, understand the change and the difference when He forgives them. They love Him and as a result they love others. Their love for others becomes evident in how they live their life and what they do. The people they are around can’t help but see the difference. Other people may not understand it, but they can’t deny it.

How much do we love others? Do people see the love of Christ in and through you? As we each are reminded of what we have been saved from, we will better understand and live out the love of Christ that He has first shown us. How much do we love? The answer is found in how much we have been forgiven from.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

What makes us worthy? It may seem an odd question to ask today, but as we are about to open presents and enjoy the things that others have given to us, what makes us worthy to receive any of these things? Let’s look at Luke 7:1-10, paying particular attention to these verses:

When they came to Jesus, they earnestly implored Him, saying, “He is worthy for You to grant this to him; for he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue.” Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof;
Luke 7:4‭-‬6 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.7.4-6.NASB

So first, we have the servants and friends of this man who come to him and claim that the man is indeed worthy of having Jesus come and perform a miracle. Then we have the man himself sending a specific message saying, wait, I’m not worthy. How do we determine who is worthy?

The man knew and understood who Jesus was and he knew the authority that Jesus had, for he references it in the next verse. The man knew that there is nothing that he could have done to be deserving of this miracle that he was asking Jesus for. He was simply asking for Jesus to be merciful and to grant his request anyway.

Christmas is about a time when God provided a way for us to be saved even when we didn’t deserve it. Because of our sin, we are not worthy of Him sending His Son, but He did it anyway. He desires us more than we could possibly understand and He knows that we will never deserve that love, so He gives it to us freely if we will only receive it. That is the message of Christmas. We are not worthy and when we acknowledge that and accept that He is worthy, we truly understand what it means to receive all that God has for us.

What if no one ever recognizes what you do? For most of us, we thrive on the positive feedback from others. We desire and tell ourselves that we need to feel that we are making a difference and the only way to prove that is through the feedback or recognition of those around us. So what happens if you don’t get that? Read Luke 6:20-49, and check out verse 35.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
Luke 6:35 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.6.35.NASB

I’ve certainly heard the idea of love your enemies and being kind to evil people, but I have not thought about the ungrateful people. It can be very difficult to continue to take care of and support those that do not seem to appreciate your efforts. Yet, it says that He is kind,, not just to evil men, but to the ungrateful ones as well.

We must remember that we do what we do for Christ and for Him alone. We walk through difficult and ugly situations, not for earthly praise and thanks, but because we are showing our Heavenly Father that we love Him. Where ever or whomever we desire praise and recognition from, that is our god. If we want it from friends, family, coworkers, or bosses more than we want it from our Heavenly Father, then we have placed those people above Him in our lives. Focus on doing what we know to be right, even (and especially) when we get nothing in return from those around us.

Do you think about what to do “to” Jesus or “for” Jesus? Reading through Luke 6:1-19, we see:

But they themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
Luke 6:11 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.6.11.NASB

Jesus has performed miracles and is helping the people. Yet the religious leaders of the day are upset and angry about how He is going about things. They spend their time thinking about what to do to Jesus. Instead, the people who have been healed and seen their lives changed are busy figuring out what to do for Jesus. Which one are you? Have you been personally impacted by Jesus or are you just watching Him from the sidelines? Do you seek what you can do for Jesus?

Why are you here? There seem to be so many people who are confused about why they are here or what their purpose is. Jesus was not. Reading through Luke 5:12-39, see what He says,

And Jesus answered and said to them, ” It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 5:31‭-‬32 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.5.31-32.NASB

Jesus knew exactly why He was here. Everything He did was to bring people to God. Jesus later states that as the Father has sent Him, He also sends us (John 17). We have the same purpose as Jesus. We don’t need to wonder about our purpose. We may change the method by which we do things, but we don’t change the message. Are we calling sinners to repentance?

Have you ever “explained” things to God? I have. Several times. You see, I am just sure that I have everything figured out and God needs to just understand what I understand and then he would do what I expect him to do. I know I’m not alone, check out what Peter says to him in the story from Luke chapter 5, verses 1 through 11.

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.”
Luke 5:4‭-‬5 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.5.4-5.NASB

Can’t you just see this happening? God has a plan and tells Peter to do something to work that plan. Peter, sort of grudgingly, says “Well, that’s not really going to work because I’ve done something similar before and I know this better than you. But okay God, just to prove you wrong, I’ll do what you said.”

We have to get to the place where we trust God. It doesn’t matter if we have done the exact same thing 1,000 times before. If we do something in and through the power of Jesus Christ, He is the One responsible for the results. And, the results will be something truly amazing!

God knows what our prior results have been. God knows what we have tried to do before. God even knows what we expect to happen. But, God also knows that He is God and there is nothing impossible for Him. Do we know and trust Him enough to do what He says to do?