Archives For Luke

What is our purpose?  Why are we here? These questions can be difficult for some people to answer. Yet this question is vital to answer if we are to have direction and focus in what we do each day. John knew his purpose:

John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Luke 3:16 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.3.16.NASB

He was there to point people to Jesus. Everything he did was to ultimately reflect back on who Jesus is and what He wants to do in our lives. Are we fulfilling our purpose today?

Have you ever told God what to do? I have, countless times. Most of us have at one point or another. God does something we didn’t expect or don’t like and we tell God how He should go about fixing that. Mary and Joseph were no different.

When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house? ”
Luke 2:48‭-‬49 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.2.48-49.NASB

Jesus didn’t tell them what He was doing and when they questioned Him, He told them that it was kind of their fault for not understanding Him and what He is about. When we are faced with difficult circumstances and situations we don’t understand, we have to remember that we don’t need to tell God what to do, we need to accept what He tells us to do. Are we following Him or do we expect Him to follow us?

Who knows us best? Often we may have a friend or two that seem to know us really well. We may even think that we know ourselves best. However, God knows us even better than that. He knows and understands us better than we know ourselves. Reading through Luke 2:1-40 we see the birth of Jesus told. God revealed to several people exactly who Jesus was without going through Mary and Joseph. In fact, often Mary and Joseph were surprised by how others responded to the baby.

And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.
Luke 2:33 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.2.33.NASB

People kept coming up, knowing that this child represented God’s plan of salvation. Do we recognize that God knows us better than anyone or anything? He has the right to bring into our path anyone He chooses, knowing that He knows what will be best and give Him the most glory.

Do we trust in what God has said and done in our lives? It may not make sense to us, but He knows us better than we know ourselves and we can trust Him.

Impact. We have an impact on the people around us. We are constantly coming into contact with people who will take something from having onteracting with us. What is the impact we are having on others? In Luke 1:57-80 we see what John the Baptist’s impact was:

All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.
Luke 1:66 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.1.66.NASB

People could tell that God’s hand was with him. They saw and felt the influence of God. Even though people may not know exactly what that would mean, they couldn’t deny it. How do we impact people? Do people see God moving and working in our lives? How do we impact the people we are around?

Mercy, arrogance, and humility. These three words are not often used together, but they make up the theme of Mary’s song in Luke 1. As we read her story in Luke 1:26-56 we see these verses:

” and his mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him . “He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble.
Luke 1:50‭-‬52 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.1.50-52.NASB

Mary is singing of her joy at being chosen as the mother of Christ. She recognizes that the mercy of God is available to every single person who seeks after God and who fears him. But, she also understands the difference between arrogance and humility and how that may impact a person’s ability to receive Mercy. She knows that God brings down the arrogant and she knows that God raises up those who are humble of heart. She has seen how God has raised her up, and she knows that there are others who would have appeared to be much more worthy of the honor that she is receiving, but God sees the heart.

As we look at what it means to have mercy, the fact that God is sending his son at all is the definition of mercy. He is providing to us something that we could never possibly deserve or earn: Mercy. If we will choose to receive his gift of Mercy we will understand what Mary understood as she sang this song. We cannot continue in Pride if we receive Mercy, for Mercy understands that it’s not deserved. Will we humble ourselves and accept God’s Gift of Mercy that is available for anyone and everyone who humbles himself enough to recognize they need it. Jesus Christ is waiting to be that gift of Mercy for us.

Where do you stand? As we move back to the New Testament, I wanted to take a look through Luke. Reading Luke 1:1-26 we find the beginning of the Christmas story. Zacharias has an encounter with an angel who shares extraordinary information with him. When he asks the angel to “prove it” this is what the angel says:

The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
Luke 1:19 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.1.19.NASB

What is Gabriel’s proof? He stands in the presence of God. Gabriel needs no other authority or power because he is witness to and has access to the God of the universe. When we speak and act, do we do as a result of standing in the presence of God Himself? Is He the one who guides and directs our paths? If we are speaking from any other authority, we will mislead ourselves and others. Only as we stand in the presence of the One true God do we have anything worth saying.

As we continue looking at purpose, what happens when people don’t think you’re the right person for the purpose you believe God has called you to? Jesus ran into this very early on. Read Luke 2:41 through the end of the chpater.

Jesus was going to the temple with his parents. He was only 12 years old, Still, Jesus knew exactly what His purpose was and how to fulfill it. Unfortunately, not everyone around him, like his parents, knew or understood exactly what that meant or looked like. As a result, Jesus went about fulfilling His purpose and His parents left Him at the temple. Sometimes when we are working to fulfill the purpose that God has for us and being obedient to Him, we don’t fit the idea that people have about the type of person that should be fulfilling it. We’re too old, or too young, or too rich or too poor. We have too many kids, or not enough experience, or whatever. The list can go on and on and frequently they are the same things that we tell ourselves as excuses when we feel that we understand God’s purpose for us, but we don’t think we can do it. Others will throw up these excuses as well.

People thought Jesus was too young to be doing what He was doing. Do we allow the perception of others to stand in the way of doing what God has for us to do? Will we allow our own perception and preconceived ideas of what God has for us to do to influence whether or not we are obedient? Jesus went right on doing what He knew He was supposed to be doing, and so should we.

Yesterday we looked at what can happen when we lose our purpose. Today, we’ll continue by looking at what happens when we have to wait on our purpose. Read Luke 2:21-40.

As we read this, we see that there are two people who have been busy working to fulfill their purpose. Simeon knew that he was going to see the Christ, but he didn’t know when. He continues to wait and to serve and to do the things that he knew he was supposed to be doing. We often get angry when we feel like we know what we are supposed to be doing, but it’s not happening fast enough. I know that I often feel that once I know what the next step is, I should be doing that immediately. God is not always that way. He moves with certain timing and He desires to see things happen in a certain way. Sometimes we know what God is asking of us, but we must then wait on His timing. When we are waiting, are we patient? Do we display the characteristics of a follower of Jesus Christ while we are waiting? God often has just as much for us to learn while we are waiting as He has for us while we are doing. Our purpose is just as much about His timing and being dependant on Him for that as it is on he actual doing.

While we are learning and growing, we become better equiped to accomplish our purpose every day. Will we continue to be obedient in the waiting?

Read Luke chapter 24

VERSE:

Luke 24:27–And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scripture concerning himself.

TRUTH:

What a sermon that must have been! Jesus went through and explained the entire Bible to these two me as they all traveled along the way. Even though the men didn’t recognize Jesus, they must have marveled at the message that was brought on the dusty road that day. All of the Bible points to who Jesus is and the purpose for His coming to provide the way of salvation for those who would believe. Now, we have the Holy Spirit who helps us to interpret scripture and understand how it all fits together. One Bible, One message, One Savior.

RESPONSE:

Father, thank You for how You have woven the entire Bible together to point directly to You. I thank You for helping us to understand Your Word and how to apply it to m life on a daily basis. There is so much power in Your Word and I am so thankful for all that You have shared. Help me to take Your Word and apply it to my life today.

Read Luke chapter 23

VERSE:

Luke 23:41–We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve, but this man has done nothing wrong.

TRUTH:

This statement was said by one of the thieves on the cross beside Jesus. He knew what he had done that had landed him in that spot. He knew what his deeds deserved. He also knew that Jesus had done nothing that deserved death. He was perfect and sinless. No matter how good we think we are, we have all done something wrong and sinned against God. We all deserve death. We can be so thankful that we don’t have to receive what we deserve through the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on our behalf. Have we trusted in Him to pay the price for us, or will we be receiving what we deserve, death?

RESPONSE:

Father, I know that You are sinless and that You died on my behalf to pay for the sins that I have committed. Thank You for Your sacrifice and I will praise You for all that You have done so that I don’t have to receive what I truly deserve.