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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, July 25, 2017

A warning from God’s heart

Matthew 23:37-39 / Luke 13:34-35…

Here we see warnings to those who will not repent of their sins. Here we also see a picture of the heart of God.  He does not delight in the destruction of sinners.  He delights when they turn from their sin and flee to Him for grace. Unfortunately, many who assemble with God’s people, who call themselves by the name of God and His people, actually reject His love.

The wicked are opposed to God’s saving action in others. The text doesn’t read “how often I would have gathered you” but “your children” which is not the same thing. The people that Jesus willed to gather together and the ones who would not are different. “Jerusalem” refers to the Jewish leadership, the scribes and Pharisees, who hindered Jesus from bringing the Gospel to the masses (cf. Matthew 23:12-15). “Your children” refers to the Jews suffering underneath them.  Of course, many of those “would not” either. Jerusalem was the very heart and center of that nation, and its heart was hard. This is a warning to all people against unbelief.

Christ warns of the desolation which results from those who forsake Him. We have to ask the question today, is our house desolate?  Does He dwell in your heart by faith, so that you are being filled up with the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:17-19)?  Or have you rejected Him, are apathetic about Him, love something greater than Him? Have you not trusted in Him alone for your salvation? 

Everyone will bow the knee to Christ one way or another (Philippians 2:9-11). Jesus is saying that there will come a time when He is returning in glory, but our time to believe is right now (2 Corinthians 6:2).He has warned you because He loves you.


Monday, July 24, 2017

The unfailing plan

Luke 13:31-33…

The plans and politics of the world’s power brokers do not faze God. This Herod was the grandson of Herod the Great who had attempted to kill the infant Jesus. This family was an enemy of God, yet chosen to do God’s will.

Jesus knows that Herod is scheming to have Him killed before His word can take root. But He also knows and is controlled by the fact that God’s mission will be accomplished. The petty threats of powerless people do not stir the stability in His soul. Jesus wasn’t tossed into a panic by the warnings of others. He knew His mission, and He stayed on course.

One of the difficult lessons of life is to appreciate that God will cause the wrath of man to praise Him (Psalm 76:10). That means people will be after us, and may hurt us, but the crushed vessel releases the reality behind our stability (2 Corinthians 4:7-11).

When you are doing the will of God, you are indestructible. Now this is not a license to be lazy or ludicrous with our lives. It is simply to say that God’s plan and purpose for your ministry will be accomplished. You won’t be taken down before your time. God restrains the vast majority of evil in this world just as He restrained the wrath of Herod from destroying Jesus before His time. We may be confounded for a season, but the schemes of Satan are used as the pawns of Providence (Ephesians 1:11 / Romans 8:28). 


Sunday, July 23, 2017

The few, the humble

Luke 13:22-30…

Lord, will those who are saved be few? The person asking this question probably thought they were among the “few”. Jesus’ answer gave them all far more than they wished to hear.

We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets. Many believe that mere association with spiritual things means that they too will be included in the eternal celebration that is heaven. But there is a difference between association and identification. We can take on many of the habits of the holy, and play the part, without a change of heart.

I do not know where you come from. Association with Christ isn’t enough. It wasn’t for the Jews of Jesus’ day. It isn’t enough for you either. You are not a child of God just by being born to Christians or by having godly parents, or going to church, or taking Communion, or reading the Bible. A person who is surrounded by the gospel witness can be cleaned up on the outside, look, talk, and act better, without the true transformation of the heart. This is the “religious spirit” which has dragged so many into smugness and complacency.

And behold, some are last who will be first. Most Jews of the day thought that by birth they were automatically included in the kingdom of God. Jesus was making it clear that many Jews would be left out, while many Gentiles would be enjoying the blessings of God in the kingdom.

Strive to enter through the narrow door. Think about the entrance to a house, narrow means it is one at a time. Entrance into the kingdom is something which we all must do individually. It is something so urgent we dare not deal casually with it. Salvation is a great blessing, a free gift, but it is a limited time offer, and we must diligently pursue it. We are born into the kingdom of men, but we must be born again into the kingdom of God (Galatians 3:26).