Over the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing some thoughts from the study of the book of Luke chapters 14-16. Jesus teaches us some great lessons about how we should live. One major lesson is that we should include everyone to feast in the kingdom of God. Some may let us down but others may surprise us and come.
There is a price for being a follower of Jesus but the key is to determine if we are willing to pay the price by living according to the Bible and staying focused on the ultimate victory of eternal life. We may face criticism just as Jesus who was criticized by the Jewish leaders called the Pharisees but crowds continued to follow Jesus as He taught about life with the use of parables.
Written about in the post Celebrate When the Lost are Found are three parables told by Jesus in Luke 15. In each parable, there is a celebration when the lost are found. There is a difference between daily victories and new victories. Celebrate outwardly when there have been those who have been saved which are the new victories. For those that have already been saved, the reward is a daily inner celebration of the soul.
When we serve God, the emphasis is not so much on short term gain but on doing the right things that result in long term success. There are right attitudes, motives, and actions to take. If we are focused on serving Him only; to being a good steward for what He gives and look forward to the time we get to spend with Him each day, then we have a tendency to think things through and make better decisions.
The lessons learned over the last few weeks from the life of Christ never change and are applicable today just as they were during the time He walked in the flesh on earth. The way to victory is to accept Jesus as Savior; to be connected to and internalize the guiding principles He taught. Then noticing those in need; being the hands and feet of God to assist with their needs.
Over the next few weeks, we will continue to share about thoughts or ideas for connecting to and internalizing these guiding principles taught by Christ. I’ll be continuing the study in the book of Luke and sharing over the next few weeks.
Each of the studies are designed to help apply our faith in the work place, at school, or at home. You can keep up with my spiritual journey by clicking http://wp.me/1ar6D. As the journey through God’s Word continues, below are questions for reflection for the study of Luke 17-18 which will help focus some thoughts to share in posts over the next few weeks.
What two truths does Jesus emphasize concerning sin and responsibility for sin? What are you doing about the quality of your faith (See the characteristics of a mustard seed in 13:18-19)? As a servant what is the right attitude to service and its rewards? How will you show your gratitude to God today?
In what ways does the Messiah’s kingdom differ from Jewish expectations? What principles do Noah (See Gen. 6:11-22) and Lot (See Gen. 19:12-26) exemplify? If the Lord returned today, would you be ready or do you have things you would like to do first?
How should we act when the coming of the Lord seems delayed? What is the one lesson the story about this judge teaches about God? Do you think it is easy for the Widow to keep coming to the judge? From verses 7-8, what do you learn about God’s timing? Can you maintain faith over the long haul?
How is the Pharisee’s view of himself and others related? Different? How can you humble yourself rightly? In what other ways can you receive the kingdom of God as a child?
What point is Jesus making clear by questioning the ruler’s use of good in his address? Why, do you think, is it so hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God? Imagine the feelings which prompt the question in verse 26. What are your motives in following Christ? Is there anything in your life that is keeping you from coming to the Lord and serving Him?
What additional facts does Jesus now give the disciples about his future (See Luke 9:22, 44)? In verse 41, Jesus ask the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” Why, do you think, does Jesus ask such an obvious question? For what kind of happenings do you give praise to God?
The above reading plan will be used as I share over the next few posts. It’s important to have a plan. I’m thankful that Jesus is God’s plan for us and by accepting Him as Savior; we have taken the steps necessary to make this day with Him amazing! At this link: God’s Plan for Us, is a post about accepting God’s plan or reaffirming our “YES” for Christ.
When we accept Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit is our companion and it’s exciting to think about what the future holds. With God, we can get through anything, we can patiently grind it out during difficulties or give Him credit when the impossible is made possible. Beyond that, we can celebrate because of the victory we will always have with Him.
Feel free to respond with a short note or a comment about any of the questions above. Also, I welcome any other thoughts or ideas, favorite inspirational videos, photos, or favorite Bible verses. Just add them to the comments or to a Facebook page I’ve set up at this link: This Day With God.
Resources and Supplementary Helps Used in Posts
Adeney, Carol. This Morning with God. Downer Grove Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1978
First United Methodist Waco Podcast