Saturday, March 23, 2013


Luke 5:29-6:11

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
29 And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax collectors and other people who were reclining at the table with them. 30 The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered and said to them, It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
33 And they said to Him, “The disciples of John often fast and offer prayers, the disciples of the Pharisees also do the same, but Yours eat and drink.” 34 And Jesus said to them, “You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? 35 But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” 36 And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’”

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

6 Now it happened that He was passing through some grainfields on a Sabbath; and His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating the grain. 2 But some of the Pharisees said, “Why do you do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 3 And Jesus answering them said, “Have you not even read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him, 4 how he entered the house of God, and took and ate the consecrated bread which is not lawful for any to eat except the priests alone, and gave it to his companions?” 5 And He was saying to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
6 On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. 7 The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him. 8 But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And he got up and came forward. 9 And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it?” 10 After looking around at them all, He said to him, “Stretch out your hand!” And he did so; and his hand was restored. 11 But they themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
In Jesus' day, the Sabbath was "kept" by following the rules and regulations that were instituted  for that very special day set aside by God Himself.
As time passed, men added many rules to the observance of the Sabbath.
When Jesus wanted to heal or do good on the Sabbath, the religious leaders became outraged. And yet....
Jesus reminds us.... and them ... that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. He is the one who determines the behavior of observance that is needed to "keep" the Sabbath.
How do you keep the day God has given us for restoration and rest?
Do you see it as a gift from God to you? Given to you for a time to get off the "road to success" and just relax ...
If you spend your Sundays careening down that "road", would you pause for just a moment to consider the Lord's purpose for you on the Sabbath?
What would He want you to do with this "set aside" day?
Certainly, from the scripture reading today, we see that Jesus did not stop ministering to the needs of people on the Sabbath. But He did keep it as a day for ministry.. to save lives..... to do good. ... to not be locked in tradition but to lean on the Lord for wisdom and understanding of how His day should be "kept".
We too should consider carefully how we "keep" this day.
Following the pattern of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, we will be able to keep it well.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 22

Luke 5:12-28

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Leper and the Paralytic

12 While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 13 And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He ordered him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 15 But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
17 One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. 18 And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. 19 But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, He said, Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” 22 But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”—He said to the paralytic—“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” 25 Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. 26 They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

Call of Levi (Matthew)

27 After that He went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 And he left everything behind, and got up and began to
follow Him.
Ask yourself these questions:
(vs.16) Do I remember to withdraw from the busy-ness of life to pray regularly?

(vs. 19) Will I do whatever it takes; exert any effort, work with persistence, endure ridicule, increase my get to Jesus?

(vs.26) Can I give praise to God even when I don't understand what He is doing, or am thinking  things are not happening the way I planned.......Can I praise Him, believing that He always knows what is best in every situation for every person?

No matter what you do in your walk with the Lord, don't forget to pray every day!
When you stop to realize that even the Lord Jesus Christ, the One and Only Son of God, took time to pray on every occasion, can you think that you can get by without praying?
Prayer is our strong weapon against every enemy that would threaten us!
Prayer is our first line of defense!
Don't leave home without it! .......................

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 21

Luke 4:31-5:11

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
31 And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32 and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. 36 And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” 37 And the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the surrounding district.

Many Are Healed

38 Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her. 39 And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them.
40 While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. 41 Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.
42 When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. 43 But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
44 So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

The First Disciples

5 Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2 and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
Military men and women understand the word "command" very well.
Civilians....not as much.
In fact, we quite often bristle at the efforts of others to take any kind of authority ...or command over us.
But, the command that the Lord has over the demons is nothing short of amazing to us., as well as the command He has over even the fish of the sea.
What kind of power must be behind those commands of His?
Amazing as these accounts are, even more amazing to me, is that the Lord told us that WE would have this kind of power given to us by Him!
Do you realize what gifts the Lord has made accessible to us, through His Holy Spirit?
When we are living a life of surrender to His Will, we will seek those gifts, and access that power.
His Word does not limit us, but rather affirms His power being made available to those who seek Him and are surrendered to Him.
With faith in God and the Power of the Name of Jesus Christ.......we can believe Him for so much more than just ordinary lives......We can believe Him that He will give us command over wickedness. What will you do with that?
19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”Luke 10

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March 20

Luke 4:1-30

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’

12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim 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,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”
24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”
28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
vs.3 So, if I spend a season seeking the face of God, will I be tempted to focus on my personal immediate needs, instead of letting Him teach me?

Would I be tempted to focus on making a big name for myself?
Or would I want to be known for accomplishing some great miracle, so that my peers will look to me?
...............will I proclaim the Name of the Lord; and rejoice that all is done in His Name, through Him!

vs.27 When a revival takes place in some "out of the way" place, or in a denomination other than my own, perhaps lead by some unlearned Pastor, will I be critical of that ministry, and speak out in skepticism?

Oh Lord, help me to rejoice that you are doing a work in me.
Help me to rejoice that your Word is reaching out into the world around me, through many Christian ministries! Help me to encourage all who serve you in truth! (L.M.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19

Luke 3:23-38

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Genealogy of Jesus

23 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Looking back over the generations of your family, what can you identity as your spiritual heritage?
Do you see crippling strongholds that have prevented positive nurture?
Or do you see healthy strength of character that has been shaped by the hand of the Lord?
These generational qualities make such an impact on our families, even though we may not realize it.
Make an effort to search out the positive gifts that have been passed from father or mother, to you; and delight in those things.
Life is hard ~ and many generations of families struggle to rise above circumstances that overwhelm them. If this has become a marker in your family history, please realize that when you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are adopted into the family of God!
You can claim your royal heritage as a child of God! The heavenly Father gives you a place in His Kingdom and you have an inheritance kept for you in Heaven! Wow!
From Generation to Generation- we can claim our dynamic and loving heavenly Father as our very own!
Nothing is more important, nor more powerful, than being able to leave this message of Believing and Trusting in the Heavenly Father,the salvation of Jesus Christ , and relying on the Holy Spirit of those who come after us!
from your generation...........forward to all generations to come........

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18

Luke 3:1-22


New American Standard Bible (NASB)
John the Baptist Preaches
3 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, 2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. 3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; 4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.
5 Every ravine will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be brought low;
The crooked will become straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
6 And all flesh will see the salvation of God.’”
7 So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do?” 11 And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.” 12 And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.” 14 Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”
15 Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, 16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
18 So with many other exhortations he preached the gospel to the people. 19 But when Herod the tetrarch was reprimanded by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the wicked things which Herod had done, 20 Herod also added this to them all: he locked John up in prison.
Jesus Is Baptized
21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
WE are thinking about doing some landscaping at our house this spring.
It is a confusing and messy, possibly complicated process. You don't want to move a bunch of dirt, rocks, plant material around....get it settled in ... and then decide it just won't work like that!
So, we must prepare.
Prepare the soil; prepare diagrams, blueprints, plants, prepare equipment and even prepare your self... to get the job done right.
This is what I thought about as I read today's scripture.
How do I prepare my heart for the work that the Lord wants to do in me?
I am sure I will need to move some things out of there, to make room for more of Jesus!
I want Him to have it all!
I will need to prepare with prayer...
 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me." Psalm 139
I need to make sure that I have asked Him to create a "heartscape" in me that is pleasing to Him... a fitting place for the Holy Spirit to dwell....

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 17

Luke 2:36-52

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Return to Nazareth

39 When they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth. 40 The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

Visit to Jerusalem

41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; 43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. 46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48 When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” 49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. 51 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Can you imaging spending your life in fasting and prayer-day and night- at the church?
That is what this woman had done for what must have been decades!
She was waiting and praying. Praying and fasting, all those years......and then finally~! There He was~ the little Messiah, all wrapped up in blankets, being brought to the temple to fulfill the law.
She knew, because of her close relationship with God the Father, that this little one was the one who would redeem Israel. Her devotion to fasting and to prayer had given her a discernment and heightened sense of the presence of God. And here He was , wrapped up in this little child!
What joy she must have had! And how determined she must have been to share His identity with any and all who would hear her!
We may not be able to spend every moment of the day and night at church, praying and fasting; but we will grow cold to Him if we do not make room for Him in our lives.
It is so vitally important that we, like Anna the prophetess, cultivate a rich relationship with God!
That intimate relationship with God the Father, and Jesus Christ our Savior, will enable us to experience the move of the Holy Spirit in our lives and to see Him in those who belong to Him!