Daily Devotionals

MEMORY VERSE

LUKE 9:35

“And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, My Chosen One; LISTEN TO HIM!”

Week of
April 6, 2020 to April 11, 2020

 

MONDAY                                            Luke 21:1-4

Context! Context! Context! We usually read this passage and praise the widow for giving all she had. When you read the passages just before and immediately after today’s reading you begin to realize it is really an indictment on the whole “Temple System.” Today we have a widow who gave everything she had. This is immediately following Jesus’ condemnation of the religious leaders, and in 20:47 he says, “They are the ones who cheat widows out of their homes.” Then right after the widows offering in 21:5-6 the disciples are admiring the beautifully ornate and elaborate temple and Jesus comments that it will soon end. Jesus came to save the lost, the least, and the hopeless. We are called to follow him. That means we need to value what he values and stop building up the world around us that only devours widows houses.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to give of myself so others can be built up. Amen.”

 

TUESDAY                                             Luke 21:5-36

This complex passage of prophesy is both about the fall of Jerusalem that happened in 70 A.D. and the end-of-time second coming of Jesus. We have no idea when the end will come, but we are assured it will come like a thief in the night. The most important word for all of us in this passage is vs 33 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Jesus’ words are true, trustworthy, and transformational. Listen to Him! The direction of our life will be determined by the depth of our listening to Jesus.

Prayer: “Jesus, as we draw nearer to the cross help me to listen ever more intently to you. Amen”

 

WEDNESDAY                                     Luke 21:37-22:38

As our reading become longer the devotional will become shorter. Focus on the Word of God. Over the next several days readings focus on the unlikely responses and surprising reversals that take place. Judas, the disciple, betrays Jesus. An elite Pharisee, Joseph of Arimathea, sacrifices everything to bury him. Peter, his best friend, disowns him. His chief executioner, a Roman centurion, exalts him. A Roman governor tries to release him. An unnamed criminal places faith in him. Upside down is right side up. Least is greatest. Last is first. High noon becomes pitch dark. The door to the eternal kingdom of God opens wide. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Cor. 1:25)

Prayer: “Jesus, make me weak so you are strong. I want to be foolish for you so your wisdom shines through me.   Amen”

THURSDAY                                         Luke 22:39-65

Because this is Holy Week and the passages over the next few days need to be read and re-read, I am holding off on further comment. Please read all of the passages slowly and deliberately. Focus on what God is saying to you through them.

Prayer: “Jesus, Open my heart and help me to experience your word in my life. Amen”

 

FRIDAY                                                 Luke 22:66-23:49

Place additional focus on today’s reading. Read it out loud. Read it slowly. Listen for what God is saying to you.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for I know not what I do. Remember me in your kingdom.  Amen”

 

SATURDAY                                          Luke 23:50-56

  

Prayer:
Father, forgive me for I know not what I do. Remember me in your
Week of 
March 30, 2020 to April 4, 2020
 

MONDAY                                            Luke 18:31-34

In the famous words of Yogi Berra “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” “’Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.’ But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them.” That was several weeks ago from Luke 9:33-34. Despite the fact that Jesus has made it crystal clear, the reality that he is going to die just doesn’t sink in. They don’t get it. The question is: Do You Get It? What we think we understand and what we actually understand is a never-ending process. The more I understand and learn about God the more I realize how much I don’t know. So maybe genuine growth and true discipleship begins when we confess that no matter how much we “Get It” there is still far more we need to learn. So, let us all pray for grace to hear with new ears and see with new eyes and behold with deeper humility this great mystery like never before: Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again. We’ve done Easter before, but not this Easter!

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to know you. Help me to really get it. Amen.”

 

TUESDAY                                             Luke 18:35-43

A blind beggar asks Jesus for mercy and Jesus stops and asks him “What do you want me to do for you?” It so rarely if ever occurs to us to ask this simple question. We usually just assume we know what someone else needs, do it, and move on. We need to stop assuming and start asking “What do you want me to do for you?” Mercy is not based on what I think someone else needs. Mercy must be defined by them. This question gives them the gift of speaking what they need. This question gives us the gift of actually seeing and hearing them. Maybe our response to God should also be “Lord, let me see again.”

Prayer: “Jesus, help me to see what I don’t want to, and respond. Amen”

 

WEDNESDAY                                     Luke 19:1-10

I have a confession to make. I have given Zacchaeus a bad rap. I have always seen him as a “wee little man” who was a lying, cheating, low-down scoundrel of a tax collector. That’s because I read it as he “will give half” and “will pay back four times”. Meaning, he was cheating others and has now repented and has changed. The Greek words for “give” and “pay” are present tense verbs. Zacchaeus “gives half” and “pays back four times”. He’s reporting to Jesus what he is already doing, and Jesus celebrates with him. So be careful how you read, hear, and perceive things. You could be wrong. By the way, the name “Zacchaeus” means “pure and righteous one.”

Prayer: “Jesus, help me to see, hear and understand through love.   Amen”

 

THURSDAY                                         Luke 19:11-27

Let’s pretend your boss gave you $100,000.00 to invest in the place where you work. You could invest it however you felt was best. Would you invest in Microsoft or Facebook? Would you start another business or make improvements with the one you are already in? Would you play it safe or take a risk? All of these are viable options, the only wrong choice is to do nothing at all. Now consider that your money, gifts, and talents aren’t really yours at all. They belong to God who has entrusted you with them. God wants you to step out in faith and risk what has been given to you for the sake of a greater return for the kingdom of God. The only risk you never want to take is the risk of doing nothing at all.

Prayer: “Jesus, thank you for trusting me with your gifts, talents, and money. Show me where and how I need to invest them. Amen”

 

FRIDAY                                                 Luke 19:28-44

Jesus turns everything around. As the gospel began, wise kings from foreign lands came to see the child born King of the Jews. Today he rides into Jerusalem hailed by the people, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.” In the beginning, the heavenly hosts shouted, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth, peace to those on whom his favor rests. (Luke 2:14)” Today, the crowds declare, “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” In the beginning Jesus claimed the prophecy of Isaiah, “Good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free. (Luke 4:18)” Today he enters the city of kings as the King of kings having fulfilled all of the prophecy. Get ready for the great reversal. Jesus turns everything around.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for turning the world around.  Amen”

 

SATURDAY                                          Luke 19:45-20:18

An awakening begins at home. In the Old Testament whenever God wanted to turn Israel around, he began with their worship practices. When God makes a move, he begins by restoring the center of worship. Jesus wasn’t a Pharisee or a scribe or priest or a religious leader, but he heads straight to the center of worship, the temple. He’s about to turn everything around. Jesus is the one greater than the temple and he is turning it inside out in his mission to turn everything around. For too long now the church has been inwardly focused. No wonder we say we are going to church. It is time for some reform at home. It’s time we invite Jesus to turn over some tables and push us outside again.

Prayer: “Jesus, turn the tables upside down and reform the church.  Amen”

 
Week of
March 23, 2020 to March 28, 2020
 

MONDAY                                            Luke 16:1-12

There are two worlds at play in our lives. There is the world we currently live in that is broken and characterized by selfishness, blind ambition, greed, and fear. There is the world that God promises that is characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The crazy thing is, God is asking us to live our lives as if we are already in the world that God promises. In today’s parable Jesus is telling us to learn from the shrewd and dishonest manager, who used his master’s money to make friends with his master’s debtors in order to secure favors from them in his soon-to-be unemployed state. Jesus teaches us to bank our security not in the present world, which is passing away, but in the age to come, which will never end. That means we need to use power, wealth, and status to make friends with those who can never pay us back. When we do this we not only secure our place in the world God promises we also help others see God and the world to come.

Prayer: “Jesus, teach me to be shrewd in the ways of God’s Kingdom so I can show others the better world that you have in store for us. Amen.”

 

TUESDAY                                             Luke 16:13-31

How many times did the rich man pass by Lazarus, the homeless man, without so much as a nod? How many times did the rich man think to himself how easy it would be to do something, anything, to help him? He never managed to do it. It’s so easy for me to villainize this unnamed rich man, whose crime had nothing to do with being rich and everything to do with not caring. Strangely, it’s so easy for me to excuse my middle class, two car family, living in a house self as I daily pretend not to see those in need. I’ve got another chance tomorrow.

Prayer: “Jesus, help me to see what I don’t want to, and respond. Amen”

 

WEDNESDAY                                     Luke 17:1-10

This series of teachings from Jesus serve to give us four basic lessons in discipleship. 1) We must aid the poor, blind, crippled, and destitute; never oppose them. 2) Sinners don’t make you unclean, your refusal to forgive them makes you unusable in God’s service. 3) Don’t expect applause or celebration for doing your job. Don’t expect status and honor for doing good. 4) Faith is not a passive belief system that we give our intellectual assent. Faith is actively doing #1, #2, and #3. These four rules are not complicated, but they are not easy either.

Prayer: “Jesus, help me to become an active disciple and not merely a passive hypocrite.   Amen”

 

THURSDAY                                         Luke 17:11-19

“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” The destitute, untouchable exiles knew and understood something the religious leaders and theologically astute didn’t: They knew who Jesus was and had not given up on God’s mercy. Jesus told them “go and show yourselves to the priests” and they did it. They didn’t close their eyes for a time of prayer and meditation. They didn’t look down and wait for the miracle to begin. They simply went. “And as they went, they were made clean.” They acted in anticipation of God doing something. These ten lepers acted “as-if.” They moved as though the miracle had happened. And it only happened as they moved. If they had stayed at home waiting for the cure, they would still be waiting.

Prayer: “Jesus, I trust in you and you alone. I am going to continue to walk in faith with the full expectation that your miracles never cease. Amen”

 

FRIDAY                                                 Luke 17:20-37

When is the Kingdom of God coming? The Kingdom of God is here and now, it’s not some event in the future. In Jesus’ first sermon from Mark 1:15 he says, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the Good News!” Jesus wants us to live in the kingdom that is already here and still yet to come in full glory. Repentance means turning away from the broken world, from the corruption of the present evil age, and aligning one’s life with the present Kingdom of God. It’s now or never. I say this because that is what Jesus says to us (see vs. 26-30). It’s always now or never. Everything was moving along as normal for Noah and Lot – until it wasn’t. In what seems like an instant, everything changed. Eating, drinking, buying, selling, marrying, planting, and building. It all changed in an instant. The only thing left was God. Who are you aligned with?

Prayer: Jesus, I am aligned with you, here and now.  Amen”

 

SATURDAY                                          Luke 18:1-17

Do you measure up? Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” The only way to enter God’s kingdom is to come with no qualifications. Throughout the gospels Jesus points out who he is looking for: women, widows, beggars, lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes, crippled, children, demon-possessed, oppressed,… Jesus isn’t saying we have to give up everything – Jesus is saying we must become like them in that we must become detached from our wealth, status, or other valued assets. God doesn’t measure in the same way the world does.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to measure up to your standards.  Amen”

 
Week of
March 16 to March 21, 2020

MONDAY                                            Luke 13:10-17

In our story today from the Gospel of Luke we should first remember that Luke was a medical doctor who is presenting us with a medical situation that no doctor could solve. The woman had been bent over from the waist down for over eighteen years. Luke says she was crippled by a spirit. What this means is she was a person of no status. She would have been regarded as a lost worthless person who was probably getting what she deserved. She would have been virtually invisible to the society around her. Jesus sees her and calls her forward. Jesus just brought this unnamed woman of no status to the very front of the room – to the place of honor. Jesus exalts the humble. We have no idea what Jesus was teaching that day as he stood in front of the synagogue, but we do know what he did. Your life is a lesson. People may not remember what you say, but they will never forget what you do.

Prayer: “Jesus, make me a person who does your will, not just someone who talks about it. Amen.”

 

TUESDAY                                             Luke 13:18-30

Seeds and yeast? Both are very small but contain amazing power to produce something far greater than itself. Take a wheat seed for example: 1 seed can produce on average 200 seeds; 200 seeds produce 40,000 seeds; 40,000 seeds produce 8,000,000 seeds; 8,000,000 seeds produce 1,600,000,000 seeds. There are approximately 2,000,000,000 Christians in the world today; all from 1 seed. When our faith is anchored in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to produce extraordinary change.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to be a sower for the kingdom of God. Amen”

 

WEDNESDAY                                     Luke 13:31-35

When the going gets tough… Do you have a spirit of resignation to life’s challenges or are you intentional in your surrender to God? Rather than accepting the inevitable future, Jesus abandons himself to God. Jesus is defiant in the face of death because he is secure in the hands of his Father. He knows there will be a third day on the other side of the cross. He knew he was held by the kind of power that never fails, that never gives up, that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. He knew because he was held by the power of love, he could love powerfully all the way to the end and beyond.

Prayer: “Jesus, I have confidence in the future and in your love because you showed me the way. Your love never ends.   Amen”

 

THURSDAY                                         Luke 14:1-6

The law is intended to be a shield to protect people, however, we all to readily use it instead as a sword to pierce each other with. The Pharisees and legal experts wielded the law as a sword.  Jesus constantly lifts our eyes to the higher aims of the law. He never sets the law aside, rather he fulfills it by living into its greater purpose – that of protecting and preserving the humanity of people. The law, Jesus says, is a shield of protection, a place of refuge; indeed, it is intended to reestablish the norms of the garden of Eden. Unless we understand the law in this way, we are doomed to a never-ending game of gotcha. Jesus systematically goes to all the people who have been hurt by the Pharisees’ sword-like application of the law. We should do the same. There are countless numbers of people who have turned away from “the church” because they or someone they know has been harmed by the sword. It’s time we became the shield.

Prayer: “Father, I want to know your grace, mercy, and love so I can be a shield for others. Amen”

 

FRIDAY                                                 Luke 14:7-24

Jesus clearly favored the down-and-out. Why? Perhaps it is because these were the people who knew their need of God. That’s the dangerous thing about wealth and health and security and independence and privilege and honor; they insulate us from staying in touch with our need of God. Jesus is having dinner with people of status and honor. These remarks are addressed to them. He is telling people of privilege – like you and me – what following him looks like.

Prayer: Jesus, I am blessed far greater than what I deserve. Help me to be a blessing for those who are less fortunate than me.  Amen”

 

SATURDAY                                          Luke 14:25-35

He’s gone from preachin to meddlin this time. What’s this about having to hate my mom and dad and sister and even my own life? Is he serious? Yes, he’s dead serious. Only, he doesn’t mean hate as in, “I despise you,” or “You are dead to me.” He’s talking about priority of one’s allegiances and loyalties. Jesus is working to separate the wheat from the chaff. He isn’t breaking up families. He’s clarifying allegiances. He’s effectively saying, “When the time comes and a conflict emerges between your family’s values and the way of my kingdom, your choice needs to have already been made. Count the cost now.”

Prayer: “Jesus, I can’t fully understand the cost until I am faced with it. Help me to be strong and keep my priorities and focus on you.  Amen”

Week of
March 9, 2020 to March 14, 2020
 

MONDAY                                            Luke 11:37-52

The Pharisees show us that sometimes you can get it all right and still be all wrong. There are two basic ways to approach righteousness. The outside-in approach focusses on performance and obeying all the rules. The inside-out approach focusses on changing what’s inside through grace. The outside-in approach of the Pharisees tries to cover over brokenness. The inside-out approach of Jesus aims to transform our brokenness. And that raises the biggest problem. As long as we are trying to cover our brokenness we cannot be healed. But the minute we become honest about the fundamental problem of our brokenness; grace will not only save us but make us into the people we most want to become.

Prayer: “Jesus, help me see my brokenness so your grace can make me whole. Amen.”

 

TUESDAY                                             Luke 11:53-12:12

A little yeast goes a long way. It has an inordinate influence on anything it touches. Yeast works like a change agent. Put yeast into dough and it causes the dough to rise. Put yeast into crushed grape juice and it causes fermentation, becoming wine. In this little parable, Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like yeast. It is almost invisible to the human eye and yet when it gets mixed into the world, it creates a highly visible effect. How does something so small go so far and do so much? That’s the point. Yeast is a type of change agent. What type of change are you making?

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to be an agent of change for good. Amen”

 

WEDNESDAY                                     Luke 12:13-21

“Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” If ever there were a warning for our age, particularly in America, it is this one. Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. Life consists in the possession of abundance. There are two kinds of people: abundance people and scarcity people. An abundance person is possessed by God. A greedy person is possessed by scarcity. The story Jesus tells today teaches us that no matter how much a scarcity person can amass, it will never be enough. For an abundance person, no matter how little they have, there is always more than enough. Whoever is possessed by God is in possession of abundance. The great antidote to greed is generosity. In the kingdom of God, the more you give, the more you possess. So, whenever you feel like you don’t have enough, give more away. It will lead to the abundant life.

Prayer: “Father, I want to be possessed by your generosity.   Amen”

THURSDAY                                         Luke 12:22-34

When I put out wild bird food I have never once thought of expecting anything in return. I’ve got a pretty good hunch that the birds have never thought about paying me back either. Yet by giving freely to them, I receive almost effortlessly from them. I enjoy the glory of their presence and their color and their song. When I plant flowers in the garden, I don’t think about those flowers owing me anything, yet they give to me in ways I could never reciprocate. These flowers are not blooming for me but for the glory of it all. What if my life could be this way? What if I could freely receive and freely give? When Jesus says, “Seek the kingdom,” I think he is saying, “Learn to receive.” Our fundamental brokenness is the inability to receive. We prefer to take rather than receive. Fear and anxiety lead to taking. Faith and love lead to receiving.

Prayer: “Father, I want to receive, not take, so I am free to give. Amen”

 

FRIDAY                                                 Luke 12:35-48

Jesus makes sweeping contrasts with the way the world works and thinks and the way the kingdom of heaven works. The world operates from a place of scarcity while the kingdom works from a place of abundance. The time will come when all the wrongs will be righted, when justice will finally be served and evil eradicated. Jesus is teaching us to not be afraid but to be prepared. We are moving into the heart of the season of Lent. One of two things can happen at this point. We can grow in our focus or we can get lost in the middle. The middle is a minefield laden with distractions. Keep your focus on God and his kingdom.

Prayer: Jesus, there are so many distractions that it is hard to keep focus. Help me to keep my eyes on you.  Amen”

 

SATURDAY                                          Luke 12:49-59

A hypocrite, in Luke’s understanding, is not a fake. A hypocrite is a person who orders their life around a false idea of who God is. This is why the Pharisees don’t repent. They are convinced in the rightness of their understanding and way of life. This is why often the so-called believers are far more dangerous than the unbelievers. Jesus, by virtue of being who he is, brings division. It’s the most merciful thing he can do. People will either respond to him or not. That is the dividing line. Unfortunately, even families will divide over this. The amazing thing is he warns us of what is coming and the urgency of reorienting our lives accordingly.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want my life to be oriented around you. Help me to share your love and truth with others.  Amen”

Week of
March 2, 2020 to March 7, 2020
 

MONDAY                                            Luke 10:25-37

“…What must I do to inherit eternal life?… You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself… Do this, and you will live.” It’s not enough to give the right answer. You have to actually do it! What kind of neighbor (Christian) are you? This parable of the good Samaritan is intended to jab us right in the heart. All too often we “Christians” are more concerned with being right than doing right. The law – Scripture – which is intended to illuminate our life is all too often the source of our blindness. We read Scripture with our eyes closed to all the things we don’t want to see and know. We read Scripture to edify ourselves and we neglect to use it to build others. Goodness is as goodness does.

Prayer: “Jesus, help me to read your Word with eyes wide open. Illuminate my life so that I do your Word and share your love. Amen.”

 

TUESDAY                                             Luke 10:38-42

You can do all the right things for all the wrong reasons. That’s really what this passage about Martha and Mary is about. It’s great that Martha opened her home. It’s great that Martha was preparing a meal and serving others. The key to the passage lies in what Martha said: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” My, Me, Myself, Me – It’s all about Martha. Martha was distracted in her own little world while “Mary sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to Him.”

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to listen to you, but I am too often distracted by things I think I should do. Teach me the better way. Amen”

 

WEDNESDAY                                     Luke 11:1-4

“He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father…” What do you call God? There are many names for God contained in scripture: Yahweh, Elohim, Jehovah, Adonai… The best way to answer this question is to see what Jesus calls Him. Jesus prays 9 distinct prayers in the gospels; 7-times Jesus addresses God as Father, 1-time Jesus uses Abba, and 1-time Jesus uses My God. Jesus never uses God’s name. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become brother’s and sister’s with Jesus – we are adopted into the family. It is a wonderful, unique, and privileged relationship we have with the creator of heaven and earth. Father recognizes our relationship with the creator. I didn’t call my mom and dad by their first names. Jesus is our brother and also our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit is the sustainer and giver of life. All three make up the 3-in-1, Holy Trinity, God.

Prayer: “Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, teach me to pray.   Amen”

THURSDAY                                         Luke 11:5-13

Jesus wants us to share his confidence in his Father and ours. He’s basically saying, ‘God, our Father, is so much better than the best you can possibly imagine, I can’t possibly fully get it across to you because you don’t even have the categories to process it.’ “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Our Father gives us everything we need, and more, how much more will he give us the Holy Spirit, the gift of himself, his presence. Our Father is better than the best we can possibly imagine and even better. Have you asked him to give you the Holy Spirit? “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15-16).

Prayer: “Father, give me your Holy Spirit. I want your presence with me always. Amen”

 

FRIDAY                                                 Luke 11:14-28

There is no middle ground. This is really hard teaching. It is so seductive to think we can live in this mushy, moderate, middle place. We can’t, because it’s not a real place. There is either ‘with me,’ or ‘against me.’ “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” Heed the warning from Revelation 3:15-16, “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).  Amen”

 

SATURDAY                                          Luke 11:29-32

It’s easy and comfortable to be just one of the crowd. We tend to flock toward that which is most popular, exciting, or interesting. Jesus attracted large crowds, most were just window shoppers looking for something new, not really interested in commitment. Faith for most people is neither hot nor cold, but somewhere in between. God doesn’t like lukewarm. We are called to repentance during the season of Lent. Repentance isn’t running from something; true repentance is running toward God. The gravity of the crowd is strong, don’t give in, run toward God.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to run to you, but the pull of the crowd is strong. Give me strength to run to you.  Amen”

Week of 
February 24, 2020 to February 29, 2020
 

MONDAY                                            Psalm 84

“My soul longs, indeed, it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.” The court of the Lord is not a single place to gather and become comfortable; the court(s) of the Lord are all around us, all the time. It feels natural to want to settle down into a comfortable life of being blessed by God instead of struggling with God for the coming of His Kingdom. After all, that is the American dream: A comfortable life now and eternal comfort after that. That’s a domesticated faith (which is hardly faith at all). An awakened faith is ever moving, with a God who is always on the move. An awakened faith seeks eternal life now, in the presence and power of God. This is a faith that truly seeks “Earth as it is in Heaven.” The question is: Do you want a captivating faith, or have you settled for a faith in captivity?

Prayer: “Father, my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. Shake me from my comfortable slumber and awaken my faith. Amen.”

 

TUESDAY                                             Luke 9:21-25

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the season of Lent, we must first set aside any notion that we have a comfortable faith. Comfort, in fact, is the enemy to an awakened faith in God. Our Lenten journey will take us through Christ’s message for us in the Gospel of Luke.  I encourage you to read and then re-read the scripture passage for each day, then prayerfully consider the daily devotion. “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Prayer: “Jesus, I am awake. Prepare my heart, my mind, and my life to follow you. Amen”

 

WEDNESDAY                                     Luke 9:28-36

Transfiguration mountain. The place where heaven and earth become one and the same. Where we see the past, the present, the future, and the Son of God at the center of it all – “The One who will swallow up death forever” (Isaiah 25:8). Just when the disciples thought the Kingdom of God had come and they were preparing to set up camp, the real journey had just begun. They were allowed a glimpse of heaven on earth when they saw the transfiguration. Transfiguration is the destination; transformation is the journey. We are headed to Jerusalem now. The cross before us, the world behind us, no turning back; no turning back. “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, My Chosen One; LISTEN TO HIM!”

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to be still and know that You are God. Teach me to listen to You and follow where You lead.   Amen”

THURSDAY                                         Luke 9:46-50

“For My thought are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).  Our ways and thoughts are catastrophically different than God’s. The sooner we accept that – The closer we come to God. In our passage today from Luke, Jesus is telling us the greatest among us are the most humble. Becoming like a child doesn’t mean to become playful, whimsical and carefree. Becoming like a child means to stop considering our status, or that of anyone else, to be the measure of one’s worth. It’s only by the mercy of God that we will finally understand that no matter how different we are from one another and how vast the distance may be between our social status; we have the exact same value. This is the economy of grace. It’s what makes grace amazing. Your own self-worth is seen in the way you treat others.

Prayer: “Jesus, You did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied Yourself. Teach me to do the same. Amen”

 

FRIDAY                                                 Luke 9:51-62

“When the days drew near for Him to be taken up, He set His face to go to Jerusalem.” Jesus knew the suffering he was about to experience but he kept his focus on the end game – the joy of heaven. He set His face to go to Jerusalem means he wasn’t distracted by the present because he had confidence in the future (see Romans 8:35-39). So, no matter what obstacle or hardship or disease or difficulty you are facing today or cross you may be bearing tomorrow – don’t be afraid of it. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you with the “joy set before us”, the unshakable confidence in the future.

Prayer: “Jesus, You hold the future. You ARE the future. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and the confidence that the victory is already won.  Amen”

 

SATURDAY                                          Luke 10:1-16

“Whoever listens to you listens to Me, and whoever rejects you rejects Me, and whoever rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.” Jesus is speaking this Word directly to you. Take time right now to speak this sentence aloud and replace the bolded “you” with your name. Remember our memory verse from Luke 9:35? “This is My Son, My Chosen One; LISTEN TO HIM!” We need to take Jesus’ Word literally. In order to listen, the Word has to be spoken. So, my challenge to you is to speak God’s Word aloud and “listen to Him!” You are God’s representative – You speak for God. Make your words count.

Prayer: “Jesus, I will start speaking Your Word so I can truly listen to You. Teach me to speak Your Word to others.  Amen”