Different Ways of Getting Lost

I came across my very first journal recently, and plan to share these entries as a way to preserve them, pass them on, and see how the Lord has richly blessed my journey with Him over the years.

March 15th, 2009

S (Scripture) – Luke 15:1-10, 24 Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.  Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?  When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’  I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’  In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

[The Parable of the Prodigal Son], with v.24, “…for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.”

O (Observation) – [Taken from the Life Application Study Bible notes: “The sheep was lost because it foolishly wandered away; the coin was lost through no fault of its own; and the son left out of selfishness.”]  What really struck me is how some people get lost through no fault of their own…whether they just grew up in a household where Jesus was never taught, or they were in a very “religious,” but fake/empty household, these people didn’t ask to be lost, like the one who was foolish or selfish.

A (Application) – Even more of a reason to reach out for Jesus and share Him with others – because everyone desperately needs Him, but some do not have Him and it is for no reason of their own.

P (Prayer) – Heavenly Father, I want to share You with everyone, even those closest to me…help me!


The Outside of the Cup

I came across my very first journal recently, and plan to share these entries as a way to preserve them, pass them on, and see how the Lord has richly blessed my journey with Him over the years.

March 11th, 2009

(S) Scripture – Luke 11:39-52 

But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness.  You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also?  But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you.

“But woe to you Pharisees!  For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.  Woe to you Pharisees!  For you love the chief seats in the synagogues and the respectful greetings in the market places.  Woe to you!  For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it.”

One of the lawyers said to Him in reply, “Teacher, when You say this, You insult us too.”  But He said, “Woe to you lawyers as well!  For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.  Woe to you!  For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them.  So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs.  For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’  Woe to you lawyers!  For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.

O (Observation) – Jesus rarely, if ever, talked down to the “sinners” of his day.  The prostitutes, adulterers, tax collectors…rather, He spent the majority of His rebuking on the “religious” of His day.  Even if people are doing the “right things” with the wrong intentions and motives, they’re still wrong.  Jesus spoke about separating the sheep from the goats, and in other metaphors so that the “sinners” would recognize the need to repent; but to the Pharisees He told them to their faces that they were flat out wrong.

A (Application) – Jesus is merciful and encouraging to those who just don’t get it yet…but teachers (who “get it”) will be judged more harshly.

P (Prayer) – Lord, open the eyes of my heart that my intentions will always be pure and for the right reasons.

Not Turning Back, Forgiven Much = Love Much, Strong Foundation

I came across my very first journal recently, and plan to share these entries as a way to preserve them, pass them on, and see how the Lord has richly blessed my journey with Him over the years.

March 7th, 2009

S (Scripture) – Genesis 19:26, Luke 7:36-50, Luke 6:46-49

“But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”

“Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.  And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.  Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.’  And Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’  And he replied, ‘Say it, Teacher.’  ‘A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both.  So which of them will love him more?’  Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’  And He said to him, ‘You have judged correctly.’  Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman?  I entered your house; you gave Me no water for my feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.  You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.  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.’  Then He said to her, ‘Your sins have been forgiven.’  Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man who even forgives sins?’  And He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'”

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?  Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.  But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

O (Observation) – Lot’s sons-in-law thought the nearing judgement was a joke.  Despite the family’s hesitation, they were led out of the city.  Lot’s wife could not let go 100% and had to look back.

The woman who washed Jesus’s feet with her tears and perfume was forgiven greatly, and in return her love was great.

People who say, “Lord, Lord,” but do not put his words into practice will be washed away when a storm does come.

A (Application) – Treat the pending judgement as if it were a matter of life and death.  Leave everything of this world behind, and don’t look back.  Love, as I have been loved.  Continue to build a solid foundation each day so that when storms come, I will not be washed away.

P (Prayer) – Lord, may it be so.

Love Your Enemies

I came across my very first journal recently, and plan to share these entries as a way to preserve them, pass them on, and see how the Lord has richly blessed my journey with Him over the years.

March 6th, 2009

S (Scripture) – Luke 6:27-36 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.  Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.  Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.  If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them.  If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners do the same.  If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.  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.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

O (Observation) – Despite the world’s teaching that we must look out for ourselves and “take care of #1,” as well as “justice must be served,” it seems complexly counter-intutitive that we should love our enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  What really hit me today was “if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”  Sometimes in the workplace, that can be extremely difficult.

A (Application) – I need to have my perspective overhauled and the Truth shine through the mess of this world.  I need to cultivate the discipline of praying for my enemies.

P (Prayer) – Father, only with Your help can I love those who don’t deserve it.  Teach me in Your way, O Lord.  Amen

Expectation and Obedience

I came across my very first journal recently, and plan to share these entries as a way to preserve them, pass them on, and see how the Lord has richly blessed my journey with Him over the years.

March 5th, 2009

S (Scripture) – Luke 5:1-11 “Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets.  And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land.  And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat.  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.’  When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them.  And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink.  But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, ‘Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!’  For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.  And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.’  When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.”

O (Observation) – So many times in life, after we have done something again and again, without God, and we do not see the results we want – we are discouraged.  The work is hard, the result is little.  BUT, when you include God in the action, and you LISTEN to the directions He gives you, the fruit of the harvest will be so abundant that you will not be able to contain it.

A (Application) – No matter what has happened in my life, including my vain attempts to earn my righteousness, I need t recommit to obeying God’s command for my life.  I need to trust that He is who He says He is, and He can do what He says He can do.

P (Prayer) – God, instruct me in the way I should go, and give me ears to hear.  Amen

Three Types of Temptation

I came across my very first journal recently, and plan to share these entries as a way to preserve them, pass them on, and see how the Lord has richly blessed my journey with Him over the years.

March 4th, 2009

S (Scripture) – Luke 4:3-13 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”  And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.'”  And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.  Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”  Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'”  And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,’ and, ‘On their hands they will bear You up, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.'”  And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”  When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.

O (Observation) – I see that Satan is real and tempts us in three main ways.  First, he tries to instill doubt as to whether or not God is who He says He is.  Does He exist?  Second, He promises to give us the godly splendor of this world, which is false.  Third, he twists Scripture around and attempts to manipulate the Word to his benefit.

A (Application) – I need to recognize that Satan is at work in the world, and that no one is safe from temptation.  It will not always seem like we are being tempted, but we need to trust 1 Corinthians 10:13 that God is faithful, and we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear.

P (Prayer) – Lord, protect me from evil.  Help me remember that You will always provide a way out – help me to choose You always.