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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.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Still fishing

Matthew 4:18-22 / Mark 1:16-20 …

When Jesus calls us into His service, this may mean that we are still doing some of the same things, but in new ways and in new places. In a sense, the early disciples weren’t going to change their occupation; they were going to transform their occupation. They left their nets but picked up new ones. They were still going to be casting nets, and mending nets, but now it would be casting new nets for mended souls.

For us, we may not be changing our physical occupation, but we transform it into a spiritual occupation. We are still doing what we were doing but now doing it for God. Ministry doesn’t necessarily mean we have to leave town or leave our job or family setting.

Sometimes, however, Jesus invades our workspace, our means of means, and calls us out into territory where He alone must provide as we follow. Other people, including our family, may be left to the former work, but you must go on. We seek different streams, and for different fish.

The point is about following in our hearts. Jesus transforms our occupation, our orientation. If we give our hearts we’ll give our minds, hands, legs, wallet (job). It is not about glamour but about going (Matthew 28:19-20). Has your following Jesus transformed the way you go about your work (Colossians 3:23-24 / Ephesians 4:28 / 1 Corinthians 15:58 / 1 Peter 2:18-21)?

If not, Jesus is still fishing for your heart.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

The circle is a wheel

Luke 4:16-30…

When your life is lived in fulfillment of Scripture, it becomes a lightning rod for those who only play with the power of our Master’s word. The “spiritual” crowd will be looking to see what you might say about what is going on with what you have been doing.

At first, they may marvel at the grace apparent in your life, but they care more about themselves than about you. Suddenly rebuffed, from them you will hear the cries, “why don’t you help us in the way we want to be helped”? But the kingdom of God comes on its own terms, and you are not the miracle worker, you simply follow the One who is. If they were to follow, they would see, but they want to remain, so they suffer, and against you they will rage.

It would seem that just when you get really going on with Jesus, that when you really try and share Him and His word amongst your home crew, this is when the real opposition starts to mount. It comes as a surprise to many to find such staunch resistance in and among our immediate family, but here we are, realizing that our destiny is to move with Jesus no matter who comes with us or not. You might come back time and again with the message, but it must not remain stagnant, you must move on. Resistance, rejection, and even retaliation are but points along the pure path.

You were also against the way before God put you in it. You now pray that God would help others close to us to see, but your light must shine elsewhere at times. To define those who are closest to you depends on whether they remain in your spiritual circle or not. You love them, but you are not of them in the same way anymore, and your love for your Lord means the circle of your life moves as He does.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back to the future

John 4:46-54…

Jesus often returns us to scenes where He made Himself more fully known. At the first instance, He examined our motives for asking. He attuned us to His spiritual timing. He did indeed act, and taught us to know that His overall purposes must be kept in focus by the faithful.

Upon the next pass of power along the path, we must learn His ways as He stretches us out, for others’ sake. Obedience was a key at the last turning point, but now it must run deeper. Now it is not just for the manifesting of His glory in the immediate, but for the ministry of His glory out of the range of our sight. We have to go forward in faith, without seeing the water turn to wine (2 Corinthians 5:7).

It is not a blind leap, it is a blessed leading, and we trust the eyes of Jesus rather than our own. We cannot as yet see the miracle, but we do see the Master, and He bids us go on. We cannot see into the future, but He can. He is already there, and He tells us to go ahead and meet Him there, where He has acted for His glory and in our behalf by acting on the behalf of a loved one. More proof that we are His loved one, and that our loved ones can come to join Jesus.

The man came forward to Jesus because of what He had done before. He went back to action after he believed in the word Jesus said now. He fully believed and became an evangelist when he walked with faith into the future. Time and time again, Jesus will again call us to remember that it is about who He is, not just for us, and not just through us, but to us.

What say you of Jesus? He only does what He does because He is who He is. Why do you believe? Is it because you’ve seen His signs? Is it because you’ve heard His words? Or is it because you’ve met Him as God?

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