Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Luke 10-12 and Getting Behind...

So I got pretty behind in my readings this weekend :( I'm slowly catching up but I really want to try and stay on top of it now. It's really discouraging to have so many chapters to catch up on but I also know that the whole point of the church's challenge was to get people to read Scripture each day with minimal pressure. While we check in with our accountability group, there's no condemnation if we fall behind. The whole point is to encourage each other to keep going and reading God's Word each day. So I sent off my summary of 4 chapters earlier this evening and will now try to get you up to speed as well :) Enjoy!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Luke 10
Both times when Jesus sends out his disciples (when he sent out the 12 and then 72) he tells them not to take anything with them but to rely on God to provide through the hospitality of those they would meet along the way. He also reminds us of what we should rejoice in and it's not the temporary "success" we may see on earth but our place in heaven.
The response of the expert in the law to Jesus' question was part of the daily prayer known as the "Sh'ma" that they Jews said morning and night. Everyone in the crowd would have been familiar with the phrasing and recognized where it came from. But at the end of the story, he can't even bring himself to say "the Samaritan", instead referring to him as "The one who had mercy on him." So many times I know in my head what the correct answer is but my actions reveal that my heart is reluctant to follow.
Ah, Mary and Martha. :) I definitely find myself being Martha too much when I should be more like Mary and desire to be in my Lord's presence. :) This Bible reading is definitely helping with some of that by forcing me to set aside time. It's especially timely advice since I have guests coming over tomorrow and my home is not quite ready for them ;)

Luke 11
Our Father gives wonderful gifts :) In the ladies' evening Bible study, we just wrapped up the Prayer of Jabez study and one of the big things for me was God has so much he wants to bless us with, if only we would just ask for it. In the first part of Luke 11, I see a common theme of asking for what God will give, whether it's in the form of daily bread, the phrase "ask and it will be given you" or in the example of the father giving a son what he asks for. In each of these cases, God is more than willing to give, but we must ask. Sometimes, I have trouble with that, thinking instead that God will bless me however he wants and that I should just accept that. But he is a loving father waiting to lavish his grace and love on his children if they would but ask. It was good for me to have that reinforced again here. :)
So often we (meaning "I") focus on how we present ourselves to everyone around us, giving much less thought to our inner life and what we are presenting to God. We are to be a light on a stand for others to see, but it should be that light they see, not us. Everything I do should reflect Christ so that when others look at me they see only him. I must decrease so that Christ may increase. Jesus spoke directly to the Pharisees and teachers, so that they could not mistake what he was saying. We should not seek the praise and recognition of others, but should strive only to be more like Jesus and lead others to him.

Luke 12

This chapter picks up so naturally from the previous one, with Jesus using what had just happened with the Pharisees and teachers of the law to instruct his own disciples. I love how Christ lays out the logic for who we should fear. Man can do nothing more than take our life, but if our life is in Christ, they can only end our life on Earth and then we stand before God. Since God judges us for eternity he is the one we should desire to please. And our worth to him is great, so much that every hair is numbered. But so often, I get caught up in the everyday, in the "need-to-do's", in the future, that I worry myself silly! If God cares for the sparrows and the lilies, how much more will he care for me! I have such a disobedient heart and mind on this point, for my Savior commands me "do not worry" and yet I fall so many times. "O you of little faith!" Thank God for his never-ending grace that allows me to move forward and grow my faith as I seek to store my treasures in heaven and forsake my earthly worries. 

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