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Our DAILY GOSPEL DEVOTIONAL is the story of Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension. This is a chronology and harmony of the gospel accounts in which the ongoing narrative and doctrinal context are carefully considered. In one year we reflect on every passage of every gospel.
May God bless you as we follow the disciples on the journey through the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The voice of value

Luke 6:24-26…

False prophets deliver false promises. It is not that what they say won’t come true, but that they are false promises because they are built on false premises. Things are of little value if they are not of lasting value. The things they are aiming at cannot ultimately deliver any true satisfaction.

As a contrast to the way of the Word, the way of the world may seem like the lap of luxury as compared to the promise of pain. Oh, but true prophets are so because they have true spiritual eyes, they can see into the future, and they know that they must live for today by having an eye for tomorrow. Jesus is their guide, and now His Word has been revealed. Do you see it here?

Jesus had taught them that true disciples will be blessed, but they would have to go through the pain to get to the promise (Acts 14:22). Now Jesus calls us to see into the future of the false, and realize that the promise of earthly prosperity is fleeting and failing. Their money is a counterfeit comfort, and their fullness will turn to famine (James 5:1-5). Their laughter will turn to lamentation (James 4:9). Their approval is the sign of apostasy (James 4:4).

The Bible’s “woe” is also our “whoa”, as in “hold your horses!” If all we want to do is to ride off into the sunset of success with the same dead dreams the world has we aren’t seeing straight. Yes we can use and steward some of those things in this life, but that is the point, they are to be used, not abused, and they are not to be our focus (Matthew 6:19-34 / 1 Timothy 6:17-19).

Do you value the vision of Jesus?


Monday, March 02, 2015

The voice of vision

Matthew 5:1-12 / Luke 6:17-23…

Jesus’ first discipleship training class was an eye opener, for sure. Those who walk in the kingdom of God are to be living by a new economy of existence. It is an inverse universe, a life that lives in trust despite all the counterintuitive earthly evidence. The way of the world is a window to hell. The way of the Word is a window to heaven.

Listen to what Jesus says. They will be blessed, but it will be by their having been broken, full of sorrow, humbled, made hungry for God, vessels of mercy, purified and peace loving. Yes, heaven and earth will be theirs. They will receive comfort, satisfaction, and mercy. They will see God and be His children.

But you have to go through the pain to get to the promise. There are a lot of religious people who will tell you differently, but they are not telling the truth (2 Corinthians 5:12). Our eyes must be focused with spiritual sight (Colossians 3:1-4 / 1 Peter 4:1-2).

You won’t have to ask for persecution; it is the promised passage to the people of God (2 Timothy 3:12). However, if we are truly seeking Jesus and doing justice, it is also the confirmation of Christ in your life (1 Peter 2:19-21, 4:12-16).

Living prophetically unto God is living pathetically to the world (2 Corinthians 2:14-16), but the blessings will be worth the brokenness (Romans 8:18 / 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 / 1 Peter 1:3-9). The best promises are yet to be fulfilled (Hebrews 11:36-40).

This was Jesus’ first discipleship training class, and the lesson was: We are to be living for today by having an eye for tomorrow (2 Timothy 4:6-8).


Sunday, March 01, 2015

Time will tell

Mark 3:13-19 / Luke 6:12-16…

Jesus was fully in tune with the Father, and anointed with power by the Spirit, yet He did not make ministry decisions lightly. He got alone and prayed all night before choosing 12 of the disciples to be apostles who would go out and minister to others. In these choices God is showing us something about time, ministry, responsibility, and inevitability.

With a child, you could be the greatest teacher there is, live with absolute integrity in every facet of your faith and life, and do everything possible to ensure the edifying and equipping of that child, yet they “go bad”. So too, it is with ministry training. Judas walked as an apostle, preaching and casting out demons. Judas was a major part of the movement of God, and yet he turned away from the truth.

Jesus knew the hearts and the thoughts of men, and He knew who was to betray Him, yet He sent him out to minister anyway. Judas became the apostate apostle over time. All the praying, preaching, and practicing is responsible and right, but the hand of providence in accord with a person’s own heart is the telltale factor. How many ministers turn sinister, even after seeing the power and presence of God in their midst?

It seems amazing that an instrument of God can ever play evil notes, but this is a telling instruction to us, both as individuals, and as to discerning others and their ministries. Deception runs as deep as the heart, and time will tell the truth. Many think they are loyal but they are lawless (Matthew 7:21-23 / Luke 13:24-27).

Jesus taught Judas, but if you are not sold out to God you will sell out to the world (2 Timothy 4:10 / 1 John 2:15).