Are You Grappling with Unanswered Prayer?
But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.’ - Luke 1:1-25
Have your prayers been met with silence? Do you wonder if God even hears your prayers?
Who I Am Doesn’t Feel Good Enough
’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ - Luke 1:26-38
Mary didn’t need anyone to tell her she wasn’t qualified to give birth to the Savior of the world. She could have easily rattled off a list of the reasons she should be passed over for such an incredible privilege.
Blessed Is She Who Believes
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!’ - Luke 1:39-80
Sharing good news with a loved one can be exciting. Especially when that loved one has something in common with you.
Glorious Good News
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. - Luke 2:1-21
Have you ever known someone expecting a baby or working through the adoption process? Often, the wait seems long and unending.
Amazed by Jesus
After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. - Luke 2:22-52
Emojis or emoticons have become the visual standard for any range of feelings—sadness, surprise, anger, even jazz-hand happy. We press an icon and express a response.
A Glorious Encounter on the Shores of the Jordan River
John answered them all, ‘I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’ - Luke 3
Today God brings together two extraordinary men, cousins born six months apart, for a glorious encounter on the shores of the Jordan River. For One it signified the beginning of a ministry, and for the other, it signified the end.
Truth in the Hard Places
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. - Luke 4:1-15
In Luke 4, we are introduced to a colossal battle between the enemy and Jesus. It is here that we find powerful truths nestled in the story that will equip and encourage us in our own battles.
A Date at Daybreak
At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. - Luke 4:16-44
At daybreak you would find me in bed … sleeping. When the alarm thundered, I’d grumble as I fumbled to hit the snooze button.
When I Need to Get Away
“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. - Luke 5
Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a crowd that seemed a little overwhelming or chaotic? The noise and the chatter ... shifting ... squeezing.
A Countercultural Church
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. - Luke 6
When you read the news or look at the circumstances of your life, does it seem like this world has gone crazy? While many of us may find that state of our culture upsetting, following Jesus means we see the choices before us, and the circumstances around us in completely different ways.
The Gift of His Presence
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.’ - Luke 7
In our busy lives, it might be easy to overlook the immense gift of Jesus’ presence. We know He is near, but do we show it?
A Heart Ready to Receive
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. - Luke 8
It has been God’s plan from the very beginning to reveal Himself, His activity and the reality of His presence to us. And He loves to do so in everyday ways.
How Can I Grow Closer to God?
Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’ - Luke 9:1-27
The disciples had already given up everything to follow Jesus. Or so it seemed …
Faltering or Flourishing in Faith
'You unbelieving and perverse generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you and put up with you?’ - Luke 9:28-62
Have you ever wanted to serve God in a big way, to see His power in your life, but felt like a failure? Me too.
‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’ - Luke 10
Have you ever anticipated the presence of Jesus so much that you almost missed Him? This is exactly what happened to Martha, homemaker extraordinaire.
Which Kingdom Do You Choose?
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder. - Luke 11
Are you in conflict with a person or circumstance in your life right now? What if I told you that person, that circumstance, is not your real enemy?
Freedom of Contentment
Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ - Luke 12:1-34
We live in an uneven world. Some are wealthy.
Prepared and Ready
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. - Luke 12:35-59
If Jesus returned to earth today, would we be prepared or caught off guard? Excited or on the verge of tears?
The Bent Woman
When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. - Luke 13
Chronic illness and pain have the potential to leave you feeling helpless and hopeless. At times, it can seem as if no one understands and you are all alone in the struggle.
For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. - Luke 14
I walked into the restroom of my hair salon after having my hair cut and styled. As I turned on the light my eyes were quickly drawn to stains in the sink and a ring in the toilet as well as the gross substance that forms around the base of the commode.
No Longer Lost
And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ - Luke 15
I love a good adventure, but I don’t like feeling lost.
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.’ - Luke 16
Have you ever sat in church, heard a sermon and thought, “That’s not me. I don’t do that”?
Forgive Them … Again
Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them. - Luke 17
Several years ago a circumstance arose between my family and other families in my neighborhood.
Captured by, Enthralled with, Living Proof of
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ - Luke 18
Rules and regulations.
Climbing Higher to See Jesus
Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’ - Luke 19:1-27
I’m so glad Jesus came to save imperfect people who don’t have it all together.
The King Who Offers Peace
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.’ - Luke 19:28-48
There is a deep churning of emotions as Jesus enters Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday.
Can Truth Trap Us?
They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent. - Luke 20
Have you ever felt like someone tried to use your words against you?
Our Not Enough
’Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others.’ - Luke 21
It’s tempting to shy away when we feel we don’t have enough to offer.
They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. - Luke 22:1-38
Temptation is an effort to lead us away from God and His best for us.
A Dark Day for Peter
The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly. - Luke 22:39-71
Today Luke gives us a glimpse into one of the darkest days in Peter’s life: The day Peter denied knowing Christ.
Rise Above the Crowd
That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies. - Luke 23:1-25
There are a few movies I like to watch over and over again.
Words of Forgiveness from the Cross
Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. - Luke 23:26-56
Had we stood in the crowd that day, watching Jesus’ last hours on the cross, we would have heard Him speak seven last words revealing His heart, His pain and His purpose.
From Doubter to Devotee
But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. - Luke 24:1-12
Is there someone in your life with whom you have shared the truth about Jesus’ life and death?
He Has Risen Indeed!
They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’ - Luke 24:13-25
Have you ever been disappointed when things didn’t seem to turn out the way you’d planned?
He Opens Our Minds
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. - Luke 24:36-53
School was never a breeze for me.