I don’t know where to begin
with sharing the rest of Luke chapter 7.
Do I start with the story of compassion,
when Jesus saw sorrow in the eyes of a woman
who was getting ready to bury her dead son?
Or do I share the story of John’s two disciples
who approached Jesus
to see if he was the Messiah
they were expected?
Perhaps I should start with the story of Jesus,
the Pharisee and the immoral woman who desired forgiveness,
since this is really the story that is pulling at me.
I mean compassion and glory are stupendous,
but they mean absolutely nothing
without God‘s forgiveness,
and while it’s marvelous
that Jesus can tell a dead man to stand and walk,
its even more miraculous
that the God would forgive us.
look at what humanity has done to him!
We are constantly rebelling and widening the division.
has been growing and spreading
since we first betrayed him.
Our first rebellion
happened in His Garden -
and this is when we were first separated.
But since then -
he’s given us so many chances to come home -
but we keep walking away and wanting to be on our own.
It wasn’t long before we betrayed him again,
by cheating on him with his own sons.
According to Genesis Chapter 6,
the daughters of humans mated with God’s sons.
While this seems really hard to believe,
I think it’s probably one of God's biggest mysteries!
Since there is a heavenly court,
and Satan is known as the prince of this world,
is it possible that we have been interpreting scripture
from a self-centered view?
What if the words written in Psalm 82 are true
and God has a heavenly court in His Kingdom?
What if there are truly
fallen angels who inhabit the earth?
What if Satan is what the scripture says -
and he really is the ruler of this world?
Is it possible that God’s first family
was not human,
but angelic hosts who were birthed from him?
I mean if he is the God of the universe,
isn’t it possible
that our humanistic view could be wrong?
What if Heaven was created before our world was born?
Anyway, I don’t know enough of this larger worldview
but I do know that there is scripture
that leaves me totally confused.
back to Genesis Chapter 6,
when women gave birth to giants.
The scripture says
that every thought that we had
was filled evil intent,
and our disobedience
turned into pure wickedness.
It’s in the wilderness
that we truly went astray.
This is when we greatly multiplied
and began to think our own way.
This is when God saw that everything was wrong.
He stated he was sorry for even making humans!
Corruption and violence was observed everywhere,
there was absolutely no compassion,
no love, or no care.
This is when God decided to fully wipe us out -
it’s the second time in history
we completely broke his heart!
He sent a flood to cover the earth,
because he done dealing with our hard hearts!
But the Lord found favor
with one righteous man,
a man named Noah
who walked in close fellowship with Him.
God could not find it
in His heart to destroy him -
his heart is truly filled
with faithfulness and unfailing love.
Instead of changing his mind
to allow all evil men to live,
God instructed Noah
to build an ark that would save him.
And even though water
had never fallen from the sky,
Noah totally trusted God
and followed His advice.
He worked diligently
to construct the boat,
despite being mocked
by his fellow folk.
was the only blameless person to exist,
God saved him, and his three sons.
Did I not say,
this IS the SECOND time God forgave us.
Instead of killing every single human,
he saved humanity through a man of one.
You would think that would have been it -
humanity would want to return our hearts to Him.
But that is not what happened!
We broke God’s heart again!
A third time -
when we decided to unite
and build the city of Babylon!
How could we do this?
This is the third time we cheated on our God,
by choosing to love ourselves
instead of being obedient to him!
our pride got in the way.
This time we were united
by our desire for fame.
It's just a natural
expression of our sin -
the more we multiply as humans,
the more we divide ourselves from Him.
It didn’t take long
for us to walk away from God again -
probably because our egos
feed our sin.
I suppose when people multiply
and get in front of themselves,
they become blinded
and forget who God is.
But once again,
our God stepped in.
He stopped humans from building
their tower in Babylon.
He took away common language,
and separated them!
I think this may have been
when we stopped seeing ourselves
as one race,
and became divided as nations.
Instead of serving
the one and true God,
people were given what they wanted -
by serving his illigetimate sons.
Is it possible
the sons of God
we’re given permission
to rule over the the nations of the world?
Is this why Jesus was tempted
with the option
to have dominion
of a worldly Kingdom?
Now I see
why God calls Jesus his beloved son,
the one whom he loves,
is it possible because he is the only faithful one?
Is it possible
that Jesus is the only key
that allows us to enter
the Kingdom of Heaven?
Is it only
through his blood
that we can be adopted
into the family of God?
But I know there is a nation
that God claims for himself,
a nation called Israel
that came through a human father
we see deliverance through one.
Just like Noah was birth through the flood,
Abraham would give birth to a son.
Abram was from the land of Ur
and because of his faith
he earned God’s favor.
He was willing to leave his home,
to follow the step by step directions
that would be given by the Lord.
God told him he would become
the father of many nations,
even though his wife could not have children.
It’s is truly this kind of faith our God loves,
a heart just for him -
with a vow never to divorce!
Abraham and Sarah
wavered for a short time,
when Sarah was old and still didn’t have a son.
She encouraged Abraham
to have sex with her slave,
and when he did
he conceived Ishmael.
But Ishmael was not a legitimate son,
so it is not from his line
that our salvation is won.
God promised Sarah a son,
and it is through Abraham's seed
that Isaac was born.
God tested Abraham’s faith,
by telling him he must sacrifice his son, Issac.
this is exactly
what Abraham would have done.
He was willing to sacrifice
his legitimate son -
the one that he loved.
And only because
he knew God was real.
But God is so good!
He allowed Abraham
to keep his son,
and from Issac, Jacob was born.
And while Jacob had to wrestle with God,
it was his heart that God truly loved.
So through Jacob,
Israel was named,
they would be God's children,
his faithful slaves.
I could speak to their wandering
and their foolish falsehoods,
but for now I’ll just say,
it’s through line of Judah,
that Jesus was born.
If you don’t believe me,
then go to Matthew Chapter 1,
this is where you will find
the genealogy of Jesus
which can be understood.
back to the story of forgiveness
found at the end of Luke Chapter 7.
The story of the immoral woman
who longed to be forgiven.
She brought her best perfume
to wash Jesus’s feet
while she knelt before him
feeling shame and defeat.
He allowed her tears to fall on his feet,
and he allowed her to use her hair
to wipe them off.
She laid her life down before him,
completely broken -
so that she could be forgiven of sin.
Do you not see,
the symbolism in this?
It’s at the feet of Jesus
that we find true forgiveness.
God has never divorced us.
We've only been separated.
He is patiently waiting
for us to come home.
He has always saved humans
through the faith of one.
Nothing has changed -
forgiveness has always been through His son,
the true and faithful one.
Our God is monogamous,
and this is why he is so jealous
when he sees us
searching after other loves.
So, stop running
and turn to him,
come to the feet of Jesus,
his beloved son.
I think I love this story
because it speaks to the essence
of God’s pure love.
It embeds all the characteristics
of His Kingdom -
a home of forgiveness and unfailing love.
These are the ground rules
of his home,
and he always has open arms
for his prodigal sons.
I cannot get past the faith expression
found in the first paragraph of Luke Chapter 7.
My mind is totally blown by the love, trust and adoration
that this Roman Centurion betrothed.
His affinity for the Jewish people
was obviously why he built them a synagogue,
and his faith in the healing power of Jesus
was a great way to show his belief in God.
The Centurion had a highly valued slave,
they must have been someone he truly loved.
Because when the slave got sick and was near to death,
the Roman officer sent the Jewish elders to go and find Christ Jesus.
But when Jesus received the news and got ready to go,
the officer sent other messengers to tell him “no.”
First he tells them to ask Jesus to come,
then he changes his mind and says “no -
do not bring Jesus to my home.”
Originally, I was so confused.
Why would he make the request, and then refuse?
But this all made sense to me,
when I read a little more
and saw that he said, “I am so unworthy!”
the Centurion said,
“I am not worthy of such an honor,
and I am not worthy to have you in my home.
I am not worthy to even come and meet you,
stay where you are, but please –
say the word, and heal my slave.”
His response reminds me of John the Baptist,
who said, “Someone is coming who greater than I am."
I am not worthy to even untie his shoes,
because truly I tell you he is the Son of God.
Awe and admiration is always the proper response,
when in the presence of Jesus Christ.
And as I write these words,
I’m thinking of Revelation 5:12-14:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
to receive power and riches and wisdom,
and strength and honor
and glory and blessings!
Blessing and honor
and glory and power
be to Him
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb,
forever and ever!”
It’s hard to even talk about Jesus,
without breaking out into a praise song!
let me get back to the officer’s response,
it grew even more exuberant:
He asked the messengers
to relay the following words,
so that Jesus would know how much faith had.
He said tell Jesus to
“Just say the word from where you are
and my servant will be healed.
I know this because I am under the authority
of my superior officers,
and I have authority over my soldiers.
I only need to say “Go,” and they go;
or “Come” and they come,
and if I say to my slaves, “Do this” - They do it.”
When Jesus heard what the officer had to say,
he turned to the crowd totally amazed!
“I tell you I have not seen faith like this in all of Israel!”
and with that he commanded the sickness to go.
And when the messengers returned to the officer’s house,
they found the slave completely healed.
What a beautiful testimony
found inside Chapter 7
of the Gospel according to Luke.
The story of a Roman Officer
who had great love for the Jews
possessed more faith than all of Israel.
He also loved his slave –
a slave known to his master as being highly favored.
He also had abundant respect
for God’s sovereignty
because he understood
how commands worked through authority.
But what I learned
most about the Roman Centurion
was that he understood
the power of human intervention.
He positioned himself
from a stance of being so unworthy,
then he sent the message out
while patiently enduring.
He had faith in sovereign authority,
as believed that Jesus
would heal the slave
Today, in Luke Chapter 6,
this is what I noticed.
After dealing with the religious men,
Jesus got away by climbing a mountain
so that he could be alone and pray.
But wait -
his disciples must have been with him,
on the mountain too,
because this is what it says in verse 17,
written by Luke,
“When they came down from the mountain,
the disciples stood with Jesus
on a large, level area,
surrounded by many of his followers
and by the crowds."
Anyway, back to verse 12 -
this is what happens to my brain,
when I get ahead of myself.
When Jesus on the mountain,
he prayed all night to God,
then at daybreak,
He called all of his disciples
to gather around.
In the circle,
he gave them the scoop,
12 would be apostles,
and they would be sent
to spread the Good News.
This is when he announced their names,
the following students would trained
to be sent:
and his brother Andrew,
The sons of Zebedee,
James and John -
and they were brothers too.
Philip and Bartholomew,
also known as Matthew.
known for doubting Jesus,
also known as a Zealot.
the son of Alphaeus,
the son of James.
And the last one to be named,
is Judas Iscariot.
Apparently, he was sent
to betray Jesus,
and bring forward his death.
It amazes me -
that nothing happens
outside of God's will.
Even Judas was sent
to do God's will.
When they came off the mountain,
there were so many people following them,
it’s no wonder Jesus needed
some quiet time with God!
People came from all of Judea,
and as far north as the seacoast of Sidon and Tyre.
Everyone came to hear his teaching,
and they all wanted to receive healing.
The news had spread
that healing power came out of Jesus!
Can you even imagine?
It’s amazing how powerful the Holy Spirit is!
It was on this plateau,
that Jesus blessed his disciples -
This Sermon on the Mount
also known as the Beatitudes.
And as I read Luke,
verses 20 to 26,
I noticed that Jesus's blessings
were different than what is typically preached.
The blessings of Jesus
seems to be the opposite
to the modern-day, prosperity gospel.
“God bless you who are the poor,
for the kingdom of heaven is yours,”
but the prosperity gospel says,
“you are wealthy, because Jesus is.”
“God bless you who are hungry now
for you will be satisfied,”
but the modern-day gospel says,
"It is time to feast, for you are prosperous!”
“God bless you who weep now,
for in due time you will laugh,”
but the American gospel says,
“Have everlasting joy, for Jesus has the victory!”
“What blessings await you
when people hate you
and exclude you,
and mock you
and curse you as evil
because you follow the Son of Man.”
He told them that when this happens,
to be happy and leap for joy -
for a great reward awaits us in Heaven.
Then he reminds the disciples
that is what happened
when their ancestors
treated the ancient prophets like this!
He tells his followers
to live enduringly,
because much of what they will experience
will be overwhelming!
Jesus shared all of the sorrows
that await people who are impatient,
and have to have it all "now."
He said that the rich and powerful
of this world
will have nothing
but mourning and sorrow
to endure in the underworld.
He then tells them
to love their enemies,
He teaches them the golden rule.
“Do unto others, as you would like them to do unto you.”
"Love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you."
Bless those who curse you,
and pray for those who hurt you.
If that was not difficult enough,
Luke 6, verses 27 to 42
are really difficult too.
"Children of the Most High are kind
to those who are wicked and unthankful.
How many times
have I walked away
who are self-centered and ungrateful?
What do you do,
when people are ungrateful
despite your constant latitude?
I am thankful
that it’s easy to love those who are kind,
but sometimes I really struggle
with showing compassion
for those who manipulate and constantly lie!
I do not have a problem with giving,
as Jesus tells us to.
I think it’s because other people gave to me,
and were there to help me through.
But as you can see,
I interpret the meaning
from the limited perspective of “me.”
Jesus said we would receive our reward in heaven
when we treat our enemies kind.
For me it’s not about the reward,
it’s about wanting to honor the Lord.
I’m still a work in progress,
probably as are you.
In the next section,
Jesus said "Do not judge, and you won’t be judged!"
This characteristic is truly an aspect of his love -
because in our flesh,
we usually think we are above -
and point our finger and judge!
Not one of us is perfect yet,
at least not as long
as we live in this flesh!
If we have a log in our own eye,
then how can we condemn another and feel justified?
We spend a great deal of time pointing our finger,
when really we should be sit with the Lord, and linger.
We truly are
the blind leading the blind,
where no one sees the fullness of God,
no matter how hard we try!
But there is one thing,
that I do know,
the Holy Spirit has shown me
that I will know Him by His fruit!
When the heart of a person
is rooted in God’s love,
they will bear good fruit
that rises above.
Goodness will show more than evil,
and peace will pass all understanding.
Joy comes with repentance,
will show through proper planning.
Faithfulness ties with unfailing love,
and patience comes when enduring
something that is hard.
Gentleness is a characteristic of humility,
and kindness stems from showing empathy.
When the heart is good,
we are firmly established in God's love,
but when the heart is bad,
it has not roots, and sits on sand.
Luke Chapter 6 ends like this -
We must follow Jesus!
He asked his disciples,
“Why do you keep calling me Lord, Lord
when you don’t do what I say?
I will show you what it’s like
when someone comes to me,
listens to my teaching and then follows it.
It is like a person building a house
who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock.
When the floodwaters rise
and break against the house
it stands firm because it is well-built.
But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey,
is like a person who builds a house right on sand
- without a foundation.
When the floods sweep down against the house
it will collapse into a heap of ruins."
It's obvious to see,
from this reading,
that Jesus understands
the inner heart of a man.
The tree represents
the mind and the heart,
and the roots represent
being set apart.
So after reading all of Luke, Chapter 6
this is what I’d like to say -
there is nothing more important
than sacred rest with God,
and discipleship through Christ Jesus.
If you feel you have gone astray,
and you don't know how to get back.
Call upon the name of the Lord,
and turn your face back to him.
it's nothing more than saying sorry,
and asking him to bring you home.
We are all prodigal children,
and we all are in need of our Father's love.
He is waiting with open arms,
for you to find him,
and come back home.
Luke, Chapter 6, starts with this -
The Pharisees accusing Jesus,
and his disciples
for working on God’s sacred day of rest.
They had been walking through the grain fields
when they stopped to eat what they harvested.
This is when
the religious men saw them,
and began to blame them
for breaking the law of the Sabbath.
“Have you read
the scripture about King David,
when he went into the house of God and broke the law
by eating the loaves of sacred bread? And not only him,
but he also gave some
to his companions!
I tell you, the Son of Man is Lord,
even over the Sabbath.
This response had to more than upset these rigid, religious men!
They would not give it a rest.
The religious leaders continued to closely watch and accuse Jesus.
On another Sabbath day,
while Jesus was teaching
in the synagogue,
he told a man
with a deformed hand
to come and stand
and the man did just as Jesus commanded.
Jesus then looked at his critics
“Does the law permit me to heal this man’s hand?”
He glared at all of them,
and then told the man
to hold out his hand,
and the man did just as Jesus requested.
Suddenly, his hand was restored,
just as it had been before.
Instead of being convicted,
the rigid leaders focused in on the law
that had been broken.
Condemnation came out of their mouths,
When, in their minds,
God’s law was disgraced.
Jesus had broken the law,
by working a miracle on the Sabbath day,
God’s day of rest.
Oh my Lord, I will have to wait
to share the rest of what is in Luke Chapter 6.
This is a good place to rest,
and reflect on what just took place.
Since we just saw Jesus
breaking one of God’s commands,
we must look deeper to fully understand.
There is a message
in all of this -
it’s the difference between condemnation
We need to be sure to get this right,
because if we don’t,
we will continue to fight
for our own lives!
The mistake will be
it could definitely effect
So let me share what I can,
to help you grow and understand.
God has always had a plan
to bring us back home to him!
Jesus has always been the way,
to lead us home, after we’ve been astray.
in the Old Testament
is a foreshadowing of our precious Jesus.
Everything in the Law of Moses
shows how perfect God is.
These commands are not something
we can achieve on our own.
This is why there had to be blood sacrifices.
The mercy seat,
and day of atonement
is an illustration to show us the purity of Jesus.
In Matthew 5, verse 17,
Jesus says “do not misunderstand!”
“I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses,
or the words of the Prophets.
No! I came to accomplish their purpose.
I tell you the truth
until heaven and earth disappear,
not even the smallest detail
of God’s law will disappear,
until it has achieved its purpose.”
He then warns us,
“unless you are more righteous
than the righteousness
of these religious men,
you will surely never enter
the Kingdom of Heaven.”
In Matthew Chapter 5,
he gives so many examples
of how we can never achieve,
the righteousness of Christ our King.
At the end of Chapter 5,
this is what he says,
“You are to be perfect
even as your father is perfect in heaven.”
How is that even possible?
It surely is not,
since the garden,
our pride separated us from God.
Since on our own,
we can never achieve perfection,
does that mean
we should give up,
and throw the towel in?
I don’t think that is what Jesus meant.
I think his words were meant to give us
a more clear vision.
The Law of Moses was given
to be a mirror -
to show us our own human reflection.
The Law shows us how imperfect we are,
to help to see why we need to be redeemed.
There is nothing perfect inside of me,
when operating outside of God’s purity.
I am supposed to be an imager of him,
and I can only do this by truly reflecting him.
How can I be a light to man,
when evil is blocking the pure love of God?
Even when I think, I am doing good,
it shows how prideful I truly am.
If people see me, instead of him,
then I’m glorifying myself, and not him.
Oh God, we have such a twisted view of man.
We think our morality is void of sin.
We have created our own version of right and wrong,
We’ve allowed “Little White Lies” to become our theme song.
Even the smallest detour from you, is pure evil from your view.
Anything outside of God’s purity
is considered to be evil inside of me.
The Law of Moses defines God’s government.
It’s impossible to be followed by man alone.
This is why Jesus had to come,
as fully God, and fully man.
There is no way we will ever understand,
the perfect thought that went into God’s redemption plan.
This is why Jesus shares the story
of King David with the Pharisees.
Everything in the Old Testament
is a foreshadowing King Jesus.
Jesus came to bring salvation,
to be the sacred bread
that nourishes the life of man.
He came to fulfill the Law,
to be the final sacrifice for us all.
If King David and his men, did not die after eating
the sacred loaves of bread,
then surely Jesus would not be condemned
for healing the hand of a deformed man
on the Sabbath day, God’s day of rest.
the day of God’s rest.
In Matthew Chapter 11, Verse 27,
Jesus tells us how define God’s day of rest.
“My Father God has entrusted everything to me.
No one truly knows the Son
except the Father,
and no one truly knows the Father except the Son
and those to whom the Son
chooses to reveal himself.”
This is why I am telling you this,
Jesus has revealed to me exactly who he is!
He is the Son, whom the Father loves,
and it’s only through his blood
that we can be made pure again.
We all have a choice to choose him,
and when we do he will reveal himself to us.
It may not happen immediately,
but if you have faith,
and trust and believe,
you will see how he can grow
the faith of a mustard seed he put inside your soul!
So after reflecting on the Sabbath day,
this is what I’d like to say,
“Come to me, all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you,
because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy to bear,
and the burden I give you is light.”
In preparing my heart
to start Luke Chapter 5,
I looked back to Chapter 4,
and noticed some more.
Verse 41 hit me like a ton of bricks,
because it spoke to the demons identifying him -
even before people knew about Jesus,
the evil spirits shouted, "You are the Son of God."
How interesting is it -
the spirits are not blinded,
unlike us humans!
So let me start discussing
Luke Chapter Five,
where Jesus is healing the sick
most of the time.
One day while preaching on the shore,
of the Sea of Galilee,
crowds of people were pressing on Jesus,
He looked over, and saw two boats
then decided to step in one.
He floated out a little ways,
and continued to preach
of the coming days.
Simon Peter was with him,
and Jesus told him to go,
out to deep water to let down his nets
Simon had three responses that interested me,
three truths all wrapped up into one.
His first response was to call Jesus Master,
this showed me was already a disciple.
A disciple means that he was learning from him,
Peter must have already decided to follow him.
The second response was clouded with doubt,
Peter said, "We were already out -
we worked so hard all last night,
and we still did not catch any fish."
His third response is what mattered the most,
it showed how much he honored, and trusted Jesus.
Peter said, "if you say let them down again,
I will do exactly as you ask."
made it very clear to me,
that although Peter had doubt,
in his heart - there was no rebellion.
Simon was a slave,
through and through,
he obeyed his Master,
and followed his rules.
So he let down his nets,
and when he pulled them up,
there were so many fish inside of them.
the sons of Zebedee,
were also astonished
by what their eyes did see.
When Simon Peter saw what had happened,
he fell to his knees and said, "I am a sinful man."
Jesus offered a loving response,
and said, "Do not be afraid.
From now on you will be fishermen of men."
I can not imagine
they knew what that meant,
but it did not matter
because they left everything to follow him.
As they traveled, they saw Jesus’s ministry
of healing the sick by rebuking disease.
Luke shares the story of a man with leprosy,
where Jesus reached out his hand,
and made the man clean.
The man approached and said,
"If you are willing, can you please heal me?"
Jesus replied quite simply,
"I am willing!, and he healed him quickly."
He asked the man to go to the priest,
and to take the healing offering
required by the law of Moses.
He said, "Let the priest examine you"
because this would testify to the truth.
But despite his instruction,
the news got out fast
that Jesus alone was testimony enough!
"The Lord‘s healing power
is strongly with Jesus."
Then Luke shares a story about some men,
whose faith was so strong
they carried a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat
to the roof of a person's house.
Since Jesus was inside, and they could not get to him,
they took off some tiles, and lowered the man down.
Jesus was amazed at seeing their faith,
He said, "I forgive this man of his sins."
The man laid there, and did not move
until Jesus gave the command for him too.
Jesus used this opportunity to show them the truth.
Something major had to take place,
so the people would know
his words contain God's grace.
The Pharisees and teachers of religion
were standing nearby,
and could heard Jesus's words.
"Who are you to forgive a man's sins?"
"You are not the living God!"
"What kind of blasphemy is this?"
"You do not have the authority to forgive sin."
Well, I never realized it before,
but Jesus is a complete genius!
"Why do you question this in your hearts?"
"Is it easier to say your sins are forgiven,
or to stand up and walk?"
He then proceeded to tell them
that He has the authority
to forgive sin while on earth.
What a great opportunity to show
that his words have the power to let all sin go.
Then he told the paralyzed man
to stand, pick up his mat and go home.
Immediately, this is what happened -
and everyone was gripped with wonder and awe!
The people began to shout,
"Let us praise the Son of God!"
when Jesus was getting ready
to leave the town,
he invited a tax collector named Levi
to follow him.
Levi must have been rich
because that night
he prepared a special banquet.
He invited Jesus to be his guest.
He also invited Jesus's disciples,
other tax collectors and other guests
to eat with them.
When the religious leaders saw this,
they approached the disciples
and asked why they ate was such a scum.
Before his students had time to reply,
Jesus answered them back with this,
"Healthy people do not need a doctor,
sick people do.
I have called not those who are righteous,
but those who are sinners and need repentance."
As zealous students of the Old Testament,
you would think the religious leaders would fall and repent.
What a great opportunity for the Jews
to repent for their rigid, religious attitudes.
But instead of repenting,
Jesus's words only added fuel.
I suppose this is the way
God will consume
by burning the chaff of this world.
Anyway, I recently learned
the difference between a disciple and an apostle.
The disciple is a student while an apostle is one who is sent.
The end of Chapter Five
speaks to the heart of a disciple,
by addressing the mind
of what they have learned.
The people wanted to know
why Jesus's disciples
did not focus on fasting and prayer.
"John the Baptist's disciples fast and pray often,
as do the Pharisee's disciples,
but your disciples go on eating and drinking."
They wanted to know what was up with that!
"Do wedding guests fast while celebrating the groom?
Of course not!
But someday the groom will be taken away
and they will have plenty of time to fast."
How could they not see
the groom standing in front of them?
It seems only his disciples had clear vision.
Jesus continued to give them
by speaking about old garments and old wine skins.
Basically he said,
"Would you put an old patch on a new pair of pants?"
"Would you put new wine into an old container?"
And I think he meant,
"I am the new standing in front of you."
"Why would you use the old way
to contain your thoughts about the new way?
"I am the fulfillment of God's promise,
now it's time to change your heart
to get ready for the harvest!"
"Take off the old, and put on the new."
"I am here - standing in front of you."
Before Jesus shared his body
as the bread of life,
He showed that his life
was more than enough
to overflow a cup.
I believe the vessel that he speaks of
is the heart of a person
which can contain his love.
we hold have an old wine skin.
But with Jesus,
we are born again.
Our hearts grow in size,
to contain the Holy Spirit
who lives inside of me.
Filled with a love
so intoxicating -
This is the message of the wedding feast,
and his disciples got to experience this
here on earth!
Luke Chapter Five
starts with Jesus
preaching the good news,
then stepping on a boat
to entrust men to follow him.
He goes on to heal a man with leprosy,
and then he forgives a man's sin
when his faith came through.
He challenges the religion
that is rigid and cruel,
which is founded on the Law -
commands that no human can do.
He offers opportunities
for hard hearts to turn,
by proving that He is
the Son of God.
Luke ends Chapter Five
by speaking about change hearts -
that contain the intoxicating love of our God.
I can’t believe
Luke chapter 4
it’s about the temptation of Jesus!
I don’t think it’s a coincidence,
that last night
a net was thrown on me!
Out of nowhere,
I saw a spiritual net,
and right when it hit,
it caused me paralysis!
A word from witchcraft
was to blame,
and in my side,
I felt a stabbing pain.
is what I cried out.
He would break me free
from the spell of it!
His blood is all that I need.
His blood is what sets me free!
Within the hour,
the pain went away,
and they began to fray.
Rest in Me,
is what I heard him say,
Do not worry -
I am paving the way!
I was able to asleep -
no longer afraid.
is this is how Jesus felt,
when walking through the wilderness?
I highly doubt
that he was afraid
because Holy Spirit
was leading his way.
It’s hard to believe
he fasted for 40 days!
I can hardly fast
for more than one day!
I know -
this is such a shame
because denying the flesh
is the best way to pray.
Ephesians 6 verse 18 says,
“Pray in the spirit,
at all times,
and on all occasions!”
Well, I cannot think
of a more important occasion
than when Satan tempted Jesus!
What would have happened
if Jesus gave in
to just one of Satan‘s commands?
Everlasting life for humans
would surely have ended!
Can you imagine,
if he would have lost his identity
by questioning his worth
when Satan said,
“if you are the son of God
then tell this stone to become bread.”
What would have happened?
Or What if he would have
worshiped the devil by taking his bait,
of gaining a worldly Kingdom?
Do you think
we would have had the chance
to be reborn
in the spiritual realm?
And when Jesus was tempted
to take his own life,
what would have happened
if he made that choice?
I can’t even think about him NOT being resurrected!
I mean, really,
think about it.
What if Jesus died
before coming perfected through faith?
What if the testing had divided, and broke him?
What would have happened
if he took the bait?
We would live eternally
separated from God.
It was through the testing
that He overcome,
and it was through professing
that he stood on his claim!
Fully God and fully man,
To reconcile human spirits
back to him!
With Holy Spirit power,
Jesus returned to Galilee,
after walking through the wilderness
and defeating Satan.
And reports of his miracles
began to spread quickly.
Throughout the region,
he taught regularly,
in their synagogues
and was praised by everyone.
The funny thing
is that he was not honored
in his own town,
the town of Nazareth,
did not believe he was the Son of God.
After reading the scroll of Isaiah,
Jesus did say,
“the scripture you just heard
was fulfilled this very day.”
The people were amazed
by what came out of lips,
they looked at him
and saw the son of Joseph.
by what they knew,
their human eyes
from seeing the truth.
is so typical,
especially when a son of God
prophesies in his own town.
Jesus proceeded to say
Elijah and Elisha
could’ve healed many in Israel!
But because you do not believe,
they ministered to foreigners.
did not like what he had to say,
they tried to kill him
by pushing him off a mountain.
But Jesus maneuvered,
and got out quick!
Before you knew it,
he was in Capernaum.
He cast out a demon
with all authority,
with all power,
he told the demon to go.
Because the evil spirit,
did as he should,
the news about Jesus spread
quickly through the region!
No matter what disease
the people had,
He healed them all
with the touch of his hand!
The crowds were amazed
at what he could do,
and the fallen angels
were not at all amused!
Jesus rebuked them,
and refused to let them speak!
They knew he was strong
and they were weak!
the Sea of Galilee,
Jesus told the people
how he must preach.
“I must preach the good news
of the Kingdom of God,
to other towns too.
This is why I was sent.”
He had to say this,
because they did not want him
to leave them.
So, that is the end
of Luke Chapter 4 -
it started with
Jesus being led by Holy Spirit
into the wilderness,
to be tested by Satan,
professing his faith
to overcome him.
This led to Holy Spirit power,
and tons of miracles,
including casting out demons
and healing the sick.
At the end of the Chapter,
Jesus did say,
I'm being sent to other cities,
I can not stay here.
As I consider
all of this,
I wonder if this is how
Holy Spirit leads us?
Oh my heart,
I don’t even know where to start!
Luke Chapter 3
lists the kings and the priests,
who are known throughout history
for killing Christ our King.
Annas and Caiaphas
were the high priests,
and Herod was the King of Galilee.
Pontius Pilote was Governor of Judea,
and Tiberius was the Roman emperor.
It’s interesting to me
how much history,
are embedded in Chapter Three.
I wonder why this text wasn’t taught
in my World History class?
was the Bible excluded
from literary diversity?
Doesn't God say
it is to our responsibility
to pay attention and never forget his ways?
This is such a travesty!
Without his Word,
we will certainly go astray!
It's a complete absurdity!
We seem to value human bureaucracy
more than we love God‘s sovereignty!
It’s truly a shame,
that our schools and universities
are putting out generations of people who believe
we should be able to think
our own way.
Whatever administration rules at the time
determines the beliefs of that mankind.
Like in 1962,
the U.S. Supreme Court ruled,
that prayer would be
taken out of the schools.
in the year 2020,
the United States stands
on religious diversification.
Through the concepts
of New Ageism,
we teach reincarnation
and secular humanism.
This has become
our new religion,
we are self-centered gods
connected through universalism.
I could go on and on
about the New Age spirituality,
but I’ll stop for now
and get back to Luke Chapter 3.
John the Baptiste,
the son of Zachariah.
was living in the wilderness
across the Jordan River.
He preached repentance of sin
so people would repent
and be forgiven.
Isaiah, the prophet,
had foretold this when he said,
“A voice from the wilderness
would prepare the way of the Lord."
John was so serious when he spoke -
repentance of sin is not a joke!
He was not speaking to hear his own voice.
He was preaching to save souls,
by letting them know they have a choice.
His only goal was to bring back hearts to the Lord!
He said, “even now -
the ax of God‘s judgment is poised,
ready to sever the roots of the trees.”
I don’t know about you,
but I do not take that symbolism lightly!
“All I perceive is Jesus saying,
“I never knew you, now depart from me!”
This response is so scary!
Our fear of the Lord should be unwavering!
is only temporary!
I certainly don’t want to live
in sulfur and fire, for all eternity!
God's wrath is coming soon.
And when it does -
it will bring more than just gloom.
You will be begging
for the tomb,
just to get away
from what his wrath that will consume!
The ten plagues in Egypt
will only be a hope,
during the end times,
when Jesus opens the scrolls!
If you don’t believe me,
then read Revelation of John,
the angel speaks to God’s love
by showing us how the war is won.
John the Baptiste said,
“every tree that does not produce good fruit
will be chopped down
and thrown out,
into the fire - it will go
just as Daniel 4:14 prophesied
a long time ago.
if John was the one
who was the Messiah
to redeem Jerusalem.
But John humbly said,
“I baptize you with water
but someone is coming soon,
who is greater than I -
I’m not even worthy
to untie his shoes.
When he comes
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit,
and with fire!
He will separate the wheat
from the chaff,
because he is the winnowing fork.
He will clean up the threshing floor,
by putting his wheat in the barn,
and the chaff into fire.
Don’t you see
that Jesus came to bring
both peace and harm!
In fact, this is exactly what Jesus says
in Luke, Chapter 12, Verse 51:
“Do you think I have come
to bring peace to the earth?
No! I came to cause division of men.
This is totally what Jesus said!
This is the church age,
the time of great harvest!
God is separating
the cursed from the blessed.
He does this through repentance,
a turning back to God!
This how knows a person's heart,
the truth from a facade.
We can’t even begin to know
how much God loves us,
until we fully understand
the depravity of us!
It’s hard to believe
we are only saved by his purity,
because there is nothing pure
It is truly
only through the blood of Christ
that we are made right!
This is the Ministry
is speaks to his unfailing love
“Jesus was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten and whipped
so we could be healed again.
All of us, are just like sheep, and have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own ways!
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of all of us.
He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never even cussed.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And like a sheep was silent,
he did not open his mouth.
He was unjustly condemned,
and was led away.
He shed his blood
because we chose to do it our own way.
He was buried like a criminal,
and was put in a rich man’s grave.
But it was the Lord’s good plan to resurrect him.
Through his suffering
he was made into our sin offering!
And when our blood calls out
it's his worship God will hear.
Yes, my forgiveness
came at a great cost.
Jesus laid down his life,
on the cross.
John the Baptiste
knew all of this,
when he told the people to repent!
And so do I,
which is why I testify to him!
John was not afraid
of the rulers of that age;
he was put into prison
for speaking against King Herod’s wrongful ways!
I’ surprised me to only see three sentences
that Luke wrote to share Jesus’s baptism.
In verse 21
Luke describes an open heaven,
and in verse 22 ,
he shared how Holy Spirit descended.
In bodily form,
the Holy Spirit came down,
like a dove,
with the Voice of the Lord.
The Father said,
“you are my son who I love,
with you I am well pleased."
I can not wait for God to say those words to me.
Then leave it to Luke,
a true historian,
to end Chapter 3
with the ancestry of God's son.
He lists 77 generations of men
starting with Jesus and ending with Adam.
It was totally cool to see
that 10 generations existed
between Noah and the first man.
After Adam came Seth,
not Cain or Abel, like one would suppose.
because after Cain killed Abel,
God told him to go!
While Cain had descendants,
it was not his lineage
that God gave birth to his son.
It was through Seth,
Adam and Eve's third son.
In the beginning
humans lived a long time.
Adam lived 930 years
and Seth gave birth to Enoch
when he was 105.
According to Genesis
the oldest human to ever live
who lived 969 years before he died.
It was only two generations
that the world went completely wrong.
The Bible tells us
that God was overwhelmed with a broken heart.
He was to ready to wipe the entire human race out.
But there was one man who found favor with God.
His name was Noah,
and according to man, he was completely odd!
He listened to God's instructions and built an ark,
when there had never been rain that fell from the sky!
Oh Lord, let me stop
before I go into another story.
This is not the time to talk about
how Noah walked with God.
I cannot wait to explore Luke Chapter 4,
I know Holy Spirit
is going to teach me so much more.
Do you know about
the purification offering?
It totally passed by me.
eight days after
the first male child is born,
the Law of Moses requires
that he be dedicated to the Lord.
In the temple,
the parents would sacrifice two young pigeons,
or a pair of turtle doves.
Mary and Joseph
did as they should,
and took baby Jesus
There was a man named Simeon
who was eagerly awaiting
for the Messiah to come.
The Holy Spirit was upon him,
and lead him
to the temple of the Lord.
This is where he held
baby Jesus in his arms,
while offering his praises up to God.
He referred to baby Jesus
as the light of the world,
and said he would bring salvation
to all who heard.
He also told Mary,
“This child is destined
to cause many to fall,
but many will rise in Israel as well."
He also said that many would oppose him,
even though he was sent by almighty God,
“and as a result,
the deepest thoughts
of many hearts
will be exposed,
and a sword would come to pierce her soul.”
I can’t imagine
these words brought comfort to Joseph and Mary,
it would seem the people
would want to shout "Hallelujah!"
Instead they had just been told
that some would oppose Jesus as Lord.
Anyway, after Simeon saw the baby,
He told the Lord he was ready to die,
now that he had seen the Messiah
with his own eyes.
Simeon was not the only one ready to receive the Son.
There was an old woman name Anna nearby,
and she also began to prophesy.
She had spent most her life in fasting in prayer,
lingering in the temple waiting for the Lord.
When we saw Simeon holding baby Jesus,
she came beside him and offered her praises up.
She talked about the child to everyone,
who had been waiting expectantly
for God to rescue Jerusalem,
Can you imagine being Jesus's parents?
I mean they knew Jesus
was conceived by the Spirit of God
because this is what the angel Gabriel
revealed to them,
but here, now, in Jerusalem
Simeon and Anna prophesied
even more to them.
And all of this,
on the heels of what happened
when the shepherds came to honor him.
They had shared with them
the story of the vast host of heaven -
immeasurable angels were witnessed
singing glory to God!
This had to be so overwhelming!
That’s probably why scripture says
“Mary kept this in her heart
and thought about it often.”
In thinking about Anna and Simeon,
it shines a light on how unprepared
the religious leaders were.
The first spent their lives
in prayer and devotion,
while the second spent their time
the Law of Moses.
Instead of pursing
a relationship with God,
the Pharisees focused
on a "Brotherhood of Shoulds.”
With a wrong heart
they slowly drifted away,
to the point of not being able
to recognize the Messiah when he came.
But Anna and Simeon
known as prophets,
spent their whole lives
pursing a relationship with him,
and because they attuned to their ears to hear,
they knew in their spirit when the Lord was near.
When the first coming of the Lord came,
they knew right away how to recognize him.
And their first response
was to offer worship and praise,
while prophesying the coming of days.
The lesson I learned in all of this
is to focus my attention on fellowship with God.
I would never want to be so religious
that I miss the ability to recognize
the second coming of Jesus.
stares into the eyes
of a broken heart;
to be able to hear;
a consoling tongue,
and true forgiveness
can only be found
through unfailing love.
Is there anyone who possesses these qualities?
If they exist, then I need them to be around me.
Because I am human, I make mistakes.
True fellowship can only happen under grace.
I am sinner, through and through,
flesh desires are always pulling at my ear.
Even when I set my mind to withstand,
I somehow trip, and mess up the plan!
This seems to happen over and over again,
even when walking as a Spirit-filled Christian.
I try my best to be honorable and true,
but sometimes I make mistakes, and act like a fool!
My goal is always to be like Christ,
but sometimes I'm deceived and fall into lies.
Righteousness is what I aim for,
but Sin is persistent,
and He allows seems to be knocking at my door!
No matter how many times I tell him to go away,
he seems to come back the very next day!
But usually, his appearance has changed,
He is a pro at hiding himself in various ways.
Without my knowledge,
he appeals to my personal desires,
I don’t even realize he comes to entice what my heart desires!
I am getting better at understanding myself,
and when I recognize Sin, I slam the door right in his face.
But there are times, I unwittingly let him in,
not even aware I've given up my rights to him!
I’m a foolish slave to sin!
This is why I must have the precious blood of Jesus!
God revealed this to me, through the Old Testament.
Humans can’t possibly obtain righteousness on their own!
We can't even follow his first command,
to love our God, and God alone!
There are so many shifting sands,
in this world, known as "the wilderness."
There are so many holes to fall in,
in this land where Satan rules as prince.
Opportunity is always knocking at our door,
because Satan knows exactly what sin
our heart wants to explore.
This is plight of living in this world,
it's a miserable battle, full of trials to endure!
But if we hold fast until the finish line,
we will witness the most glorious light that ever did shine.
It will be like climbing to the top of a mountain,
and feeling the joy and peace that comes
from overlooking the land.
We gain such an honest perspective,
when we look out and see what we live in.
But it will be so much better than this,
because the God's land will be totally different.
I don't even have the thoughts to understand,
or to give human words to this glorious land!
But I know that colors will abound,
and praise and worship will be the sound.
Majesty and beauty is all I can see,
when thinking of this vision of eternity.
But for now, in this time of temporary,
I must endure through the suffering.
I do know
that I have a King,
who gives me protection under his covering.
Every time, I make a wrong choice,
He covers my stain and makes me pure.
This is what his grace does,
it covers my evilness with his love.
There is nothing in me that is good,
even when I try my best to do as I should.
It is only through the Father's Son,
that I am made righteous through Yahweh's blood.
Do you remember the Jewish father, Abraham
who was willing to sacrifice his legitimate son?
He was willing to shed the blood of the son he loved,
to express his faithfulness and enduring love
to God above.
But human blood is not what it would take,
to eternally wash our sins away.
A much greater sacrifice had to take place,
to begin our purification process.
Acceptance - through the blood of Christ
is what is needed to set us in place.
From this position Holy Spirit enters in,
and begins the process of sanctification.
This is how our King prepares us to enter his Kingdom.
A place of purity, devoid of sin.
Yes, only the blood of the Lamb would suffice,
to bring us back into reconciliation with him.
I can not even comprehend,
that Jesus is the Priest, the Prophet and the King!
How can it even be that he is the Lion, the Lamb
and the Genesis of all that is redeemed?
It’s so far over my head,
for my minute thoughts to understand!
This is where my faith must come in,
despite what I see, I believe in him.
I can't begin to explain this freedom.
To trust that his grace is sufficient to cover my sin!
This is what I see when I look into the eyes of men,
a purposeful work staring into the eyes the brokenhearted.
May my ears be in position to hear,
the brokenness through their bitterness,
Help me to preserve hope through a consoling tongue,
and offer forgiveness through your unfailing love.
This is not something I can do on my own,
it's only through your Spirit
that the your proper response is found.
Grace has always been your plan.
Forgiveness in Love
is the only thing that can fill broken hearts
characterized by canyons.
Perhaps this is what you mean by
"thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done, on earth as it is Heaven."
Pure forgiveness is not characteristic of any human.
If only we could forgive in love like Him,
we would not constantly trip over our sin!
Every time we point and judge,
we show another hate instead of love.
Over and over again, you forgive us,
you blot out our sin
as far as the East from the West!
And yet, we rationalize our right, to accuse another
who is in the ring of the same fight!
Can you imagine if we lowered our fist against man,
and built our armor of God instead?
What would happen?
My guess our fellow man would come in,
and begin to hit us over and over again.
We would take a lashing, that's for sure!
Just like Jesus did to save us from this world.
Not us though. This is not our way.
We defend ourselves every step of the way.
No one is going to take advantage of us.
Because in ourselves is where we put our trust!
Oh God, help us!
We are so wrapped up in our sin.
It entangles us from our head to shins!
When we should be stomping on scorpions,
we step in this quicksand, and dig our heels in!
And perhaps our greatest quicksand,
is not the forgiveness of a fellow man,
but the forgiveness that is needed within.
Forgiving yourself, it is the hardest thing to do,
especially when you believe that your heart is true.
When sin comes to light, all is exposed -
and our natural reaction is to run back into our sin hole.
We cover it with pride, and make excuses to blame,
or we internalize the pride and become overwhelmed by shame.
These sinful mistakes are the hardest thing to take!
The truth is, humility is the only way!
There is nothing about me that can give grace.
I am only human, so full of disgrace!
Even when I don't want to hurt someone,
my nature is to consume or expose those that I love.
This is a punch that can be hard to recover from,
but if I receive it, I will be more prepared to show you love.
This is super hard for me take -
coming to terms with how often I eat Satan’s bait!
These are the mistakes that all Christian's make!
My only hope is to attest to God’s Grace!
“As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one.
No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.
All have turned away; all have become useless.
No one does good, not a single one.”
“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
"Destruction and misery always follow them.
They don’t know where to find peace.”
“They have no fear of God at all.”
Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given,
for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses,
and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.
For no one can ever be made right with God
by doing what the law commands.
The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
But now God has shown us a way
to be made right with him
without keeping the requirements of the law,
as was promised in the writings of Moses
and the prophets long ago.
We are made right with God
by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.
And this is true for everyone who believes,
no matter who we are.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight.
He did this through Christ Jesus
when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.
People are made right with God
when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life,
shedding his blood.
This sacrifice shows that God was being fair
when he held back and did not punish
those who sinned in times past,
for he was looking ahead
and including them in what he would do in this present time.
God did this to demonstrate his righteousness,
for he himself is fair and just,
and he makes sinners right in his sight
when they believe in Jesus.”
Have you ever been
so in AWE,
that your words just go away?
is how I felt today.
I have read
Luke Chapter One,
a 1,000 times again,
I was totally stunned
by what I understood.
I don't even know where to begin
to express the knowledge that was gained.
For those educated in bible colleges,
they may think my awe is dumb.
But for me, a secular girl,
not brought up in the church,
every time He reveals himself,
in his sacred word,
I become awestruck -
and I feel like I did when I gave birth!
It's hard to explain and put into words
the amazement that I feel,
when scripture comes alive,
and his presence becomes real.
Let me take a deep breath,
and find out where to begin.
I should probably start with Luke himself,
who I would characterize as the first Apologist.
He carefully investigated
the first-hand reports of eyewitnesses,
then he wrote an accurate account
to his friend, the honorable Theophilus.
My first revelation came when reading about
the parents of John the Baptist;
Zechariah and Elizabeth,
both possessed righteousness,
and came from the Levite line
of Aaron, the first Jewish priest.
My second revelation
was learning about
the mandate placed on John;
he was never to touch
alcoholic drinks, or ingest wine.
"He will be filled with the Holy Spirit,
even before his birth."
It amazes me
how Heaven came down
to live upon this earth.
helped me to understand
the significance of conception,
for this is the genesis of human creation.
The third revelation on my checklist is this,
"No one is greater than John the Baptist."
He was truly the greatest prophet ever to exist!
He is adored,
because his assignment
was to prepare the way of our Lord,
The Kingdom of Heaven was forcefully advancing,
and John caused those in rebellion
to accept Godly wisdom -
all was appointed to God's time.
The fourth revelation,
was learning how Holy Spirit
was poured into their lives;
It was His presence
that made things ready,
so that everything was right.
Before birth, John contained the Holy Spirit,
and as a man,
he was given the prophet Elijah's spirit and the power.
This just blew my mind!
Then when Mary,
greeted Elizabeth at her door,
John jumped with joy,
in the womb of his mother,
then she was filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to prophecy.
But that's not the end,
it's only the beginning
of Holy Spirit power
declared in this time.
was also filled with the Holy Spirit
when he wrote down
the name of his son,
"His name is John."
Awe was spread,
through the neighborhood,
and then Zechariah began to prophecy
that John would be
the prophet of the Most High.
The fifth revelation is this,
John lived in the wilderness
before starting his public ministry.
This reminded me of Jesus's story,
when he was led into the wilderness
by the Holy Spirit,
before he did public ministry
and was glorified.
Last of all,
at least for now,
is how the people felt
when seeing the angel, Gabriel.
Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed
when Gabriel appeared to him,
standing to the right side of the incense altar,
it the sanctuary.
And then there was Mary.
Mary was confused and she wondered,
"What did he mean
when he called me favored?"
To both Zechariah and Mary,
Gabriel said, "Do not be afraid,
for I was sent by the Lord."
And both responded with,
"But how can this happen?"
Well, actually, Zechariah said,
"How can I be sure this will happen?"
and Mary said, "How can this happen?"
I wonder if there was a difference in their reply,
because Zechariah was told,
"Since you didn't believe what I said,
you will be silent and unable to speak
until the child is born.
For my words will certainly be fulfilled
at the proper time."
But to Mary, Gabriel said,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
So the baby to born will be holy,
and he will be called the Son of God."
Even as I write, Holy Spirit gives me new sight.
He is showing me that Mary did not hesitate,
she responded, "I am a servant of the Lord.
May everything you have said about me come true,"
and then the angel left her.
So I thought I was done,
but there is just one more thing to define.
It is Luke Chapter One, verse 78-79.
"Because of God's tender mercy,
the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace."
There is so much packed into this verse,
from the blessing to the curse!
First, mercy is not the same as grace.
Mercy is not getting the punishment we deserve,
while grace is getting the gift we don't deserve.
Does that make sense?
One speaks to the offense,
and one speaks to an unfailing love.
Both are unbelievably good!
The morning light is Christ.
It is not the sun, the moon or the stars.
He is the eternal flame,
the light that never runs out.
He is our ray of hope,
and He illuminates our spirit and our soul.
He pierces our present darkness,
and He shines a light onto our path.
He is with us,
as we walk through the valley
of the shadow of death.
And according to Psalm 23 -
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
and loving kindness
will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Holy Spirit still has eyes to see,
He is the one who guides me -
every time I sit down to read.
With great care,
he reveals his mysteries,
enough to remind me
of his faithfulness,
and unfailing love for me.
I can only hope to be,
a servant like Mary,
who will choose to please,
It's a feeling I can not explain.
I can only imagine
that this is what true worship is!