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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.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The forecast of faith

Luke 12:54-56…

We pay attention to a weather forecast; it is an educated perspective based on certain patterns. The same goes for an economic forecast, and so on and so forth. People are interested in patterns, and they pay attention to forecasts so that they can make proper plans. However, most people fail to discern spiritual patterns. They don’t plan based on the most important forecast.

Jesus is encouraging us to pay attention. Just as it is reasonable to draw conclusions about the weather from making simple observations, He is saying that we should also be able to draw certain conclusions about the times we are living in from observing what is going on around us. He was talking to the religious crowd about His appearance as Messiah, and He would later talk to His disciples about His reappearance at the end of the age.

This applies to our current spiritual life. If we believe certain things are going to happen we act in certain ways, make certain preparations, take certain steps, and we think and watch for certain things. Are we paying attention to the way we are trending (Psalm 1:1-6)? Whatever seeds you are planting, watering, and fertilizing in the soil of your life should tell you what you can expect as a harvest (Galatians 6:7-8). It doesn’t take a prophet to watch the grass grow.

Are you maturing? Do you realize in your heart that God is the one who is bringing you through the seasons of life (Psalm 23:1-6)? Can you help other people see the patterns in their own lives and give a forecast in certain situations (1 Chronicles 12:32)? Can people come to you for advice and get real wisdom?

If we say we are Christians, we ought to be paying close attention to our ways, our witness, our worship, and the Word. Jesus is coming again. The signs of the times are here. It is time to get right with God (Hebrews 12:25-29). 


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Fire starter

Luke 12:49-53…

I came to cast fire… The ministry of Jesus ignites division. It calls for a radical decision to be made, and making this decision will divide families and households. It will be politically incorrect because it doesn’t allow for alternatives. If we decide for Jesus, our decision will not make everyone happy and won’t lead to everyone liking us. It is most often quite the opposite (2 Timothy 3:12), and your decision will depend on who is lighting the fires of your passion (James 4:4 / John 15:23 / 1 John 2:15-16).

They will be divided… Jesus ignites fire for God and fire against God. God’s Word does not come back void (Isaiah 55:11), but that doesn’t mean it works according to our imaginations; not everyone who hears it obeys it (Romans 10:16). It works in the sense that it separates the true from the false, it causes repentance or rebellion. This is the division.

The Word of God reveals the heart (Hebrews 4:12-13). When sinners are confronted and condemned by the Word of God and urged to repent, it acts as a fire and a hammer which seeks to shatter their hard hearts (Jeremiah 23:29). The mission of the Messiah is the process of refining and separating the godly from the ungodly (Malachi 3:2).

The fire is a revelation, but in the end its effect is different for Christians (1 Corinthians 3:15) than it is for unbelievers (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10). The truth about us, rebellion or repentance, comes not when we see the light, but when we feel the heat.


Friday, June 24, 2016

The seed of greed

Luke 12:13-21…

Covetousness is the seed of greed and the dew of discontent. When we are trying to be satisfied with stuff, we are going against the will of God. The man recognizes Jesus’ authority, but He rebukes him because his request actually reveals the man’s covetous heart.

Covetousness comes in many forms but basically it is craving something that is not rightfully yours, or wanting something you don’t really need so much that it turns your heart to it rather than God. The Bible does not condemn riches, but it does sharply rebuke trusting in them and the pursuit of materialism. Covetousness is idolatry (Colossians 3:5 / Ephesians 5:5). We put something ahead of God and we act out of that impulse towards impurity. Whatever you consume has a way of consuming you. Covetousness will eat you up inside: you feed, and feed, and feed it, but it is never satisfied (James 4:1-3).

It is generally impossible for you to become satisfied until you learn to become content. To covet or to be greedy means that you are not satisfied with what God has provided for you and you constantly want more, even at someone else’s expense. It was the sin of Satan (Isaiah 14:12-14). It was the sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:6). It was the sin of David (2 Samuel 12:1-8). It was the sin of the Pharisees (Luke 16:10-14). Covetousness is not about money only (1 John 2:16). We want what God has or think we deserve what God gives to others.  Paul says it was “Thou shall not covet” which made him aware of his own sinfulness (Romans 7:7-8). Surely what was true of Paul is true of us all.

We want to feel secure, so we try and find it in stuff. We fail to notice the bigger issue of being held accountable before God. If you seek to know and to please God in all things, whatever the outcome, it will be the best outcome possible (Psalm 37:4 / Matthew 6:33 / Romans 8:28). If you seek yourself and your own goals, whatever the outcome, it will be pointless and empty, fading, and pregnant with spiritual poverty.