Luke

The Greatest Wonder of All

IMG_8972

Rather than being so enthralled with extraordinary manifestations such as power over demons and the ability to work miracles, they should have realized that the greatest wonder of all is the reality of salvation-the whole point of the gospel message and the central issue to which all the miracles pointed.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 10:20.

Advertisements

Who is my neighbor?

IMG_9345

This reveals the man’s self-righteous character.  The prevailing opinion among scribes and Pharisees was that one’s neighbors were the righteous alone.  According to them, the wicked-including rank sinners (such as tax collectors and prostitutes), Gentiles, and especially Samaritans-were to be hated because they were the enemies of God.  They cited Psalm 139:21,22 to justify their position.  As that passage suggests, hatred of evil is the natural corollary of loving righteousness.  But the truly righteous person’s “hatred” for sinners is not a malevolent enmity.  It is a righteous abhorrence of all that is base and corrupt-not a spiteful, personal loathing of individuals.  Godly hatred is marked by broken-hearted grieving over the condition of the sinner.  And Jesus taught here and elsewhere (Luke 6:27-36; Matthew 5:44-48), it is also tempered by a genuine love.  The Pharisees had elevated hostility toward the wicked to the status of a virtue, in effect nullifying the second Great Commandment.  Jesus’ answer to this lawyer demolished the pharisaical excuse for hating one’s enemies.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 10:29.

Do This and You Will Live

IMG_9151.jpg

“Do and live” is the promise of the law.  But since no sinner can obey perfectly, the impossible demands of the law are meant to drive us to seek divine mercy (Galatians 3:10-13,22-25).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 10:28.

Real faith


IMG_6839


Was Jesus recommending a passive and unthinking approach to life and the future?  Absolutely not.  He used dramatic rhetoric to highlight the inconsistency of claiming faith in God while remaining anxious about daily needs.  Jesus’ advice to sell one’s possession and give to the poor in Luke 12:33 fits into this context.  It is not an absolute command but an illustration of the kind of faith that trusts God more than worldly security.

Commentary from the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible, pg. 1539.

God Knows the Heart

IMG_6033

The amount of money we have is not so important as the way we use it.  Rich people can be generous or stingy – and so can those with less money.  What is your attitude toward your possessions?  Do you hoard them selfishly, or do you use them to bless others?

Commentary from the One Year NIV Devotional NT, July 8.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  2003. 

Releasing the Holy Spirit’s Power

IMG_5413

{Romans 8:26-27}

God’s Spirit indwells believers at salvation, which means His power is available from that moment (Eph. 1:13).  God created a simple way for us to access that strength every single day.

First, we must accept the truth that in and of ourselves, we are powerless to live out God’s will.  No matter how capable we may be, our own strength and wisdom are insufficient.  Sometimes Christians become prideful about the good they have done or the number of years they’ve been saved.  Imagine how much more we could serve the Lord if we would humbly get out of God’s way and let Him work through us.

Second, we surrender our entire life to the guidance and governing of the Holy Spirit.  In other words, we choose to conduct our spiritual walk – as well as our vocation, finances, family, and relationships – as God desires.  His Spirit is not going to release supernatural power into a life that is continuing in rebellion.

Third, we exercise faith, which means demonstrating belief and trust in the Lord.  Faith is the “switch” that releases the Spirit’s power.  It’s like saying, “I believe You’ve got a plan, God, so I’m going to trust You to give me what I need in order to do Your will.”  Then He will move heaven and earth to provide for your need, whatever it may be.

Merely memorizing and reviewing the steps isn’t enough.  Instead, commit to these principles as a way of life.  Get used to thinking, I can’t but God can – I’ll submit to His will because His plans are for my good and His glory.  That’s the kind of life that overflows with the Holy Spirit.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional, by Charles Stanley, June 30, 2017.

Delaying

IMG_5902

Christ’s return at an unexpected time is not a trap, a trick by which God hopes to catch us off guard.  In fact, God is delaying His return so more will have an opportunity to follow Jesus.  During this time before His return, we have the opportunity to live out our beliefs and to reflect Jesus’ love as we relate to others.

People who are ready for their Lord’s return are 1. not hypocritical, but sincere; 2. not fearful, but ready to witness; 3. not anxious, but trusting; 4. not greedy, but generous; 5. not lazy, but diligent.  Are you delaying?

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, June 25.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  2003.