Tag Archives: Bible Reading

Luke 24:36-53

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Luke 24:36-53
36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,[a] 43 and he took it and ate before them.

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for[b] the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

50 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
It’s amazing, isn’t it?
Did you notice this line:
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…”? (v. 45)
Once again, they knew the scriptures but had misunderstood them.
The scriptures are true, but your understanding is limited.
Be careful not to close your mind and heart to me.
Now that you’ve finished the gospel of Luke, consider this:
Why do you think Jesus came to earth?
I know he accomplished many different things, but can you narrow it down to a main purpose?

How you answer this determines how you follow him…
Is he, because of his words, your teacher?
Is he, because of how he lived, your example?
Is he, because of his forgiveness, your ticket to heaven?
Or, because of who he is and what he did, is he your Lord?
Yes, he can and should be all of the above, but his death and resurrection proves he is Lord, with or without you.
Isn’t it best to let it be with you?


Is God asking you anything more, or anything different?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


Luke 24:13-35

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Luke 24:13-35
13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
It seems like these guys wanted to believe, doesn’t it?
“…we had hoped that he was the one…” (v. 21)
What do you think was holding them  back?
None of this made sense to them. It didn’t fit with what they thought they knew about scripture, or with what they had experienced in life.
Wouldn’t you have had the same problem?
But, can you imagine the Bible teaching they received?
Jesus showed them that it did fit. It fit with scripture they misunderstood, and though they had never experienced a dead person living again, there he was teaching them.
Do you believe?
Is anything holding you back?
Would you be open to someone teaching you how you’ve been wrong about scripture? Why, or why not?
What if it were Jesus, and you didn’t know it?
How would you find out?
One more thing: Do you get the impression Jesus was having some fun with these poor guys?


Is God asking you anything more, or anything different?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


Luke 24:1-12

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Luke 24:1-12
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Why did the apostles not believe the women?
I mean, this is what Jesus told them was going to happen, right?
But seriously, would you have believed the story those women told?
But then, why did Peter go to the tomb?
Would you have gone with Peter to look?
One more question:
Think about what drives you; where you look for happiness, joy, satisfaction, and contentment…
Do you ever “seek the living among the dead”?
Why do you do that?


Is God asking you anything more, or anything different?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


Luke 23:50-56

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Luke 23:50-56
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.[a] 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.

On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Have you thought about Joseph’s situation?
Do you think he was a popular man on the council?
Was he the only one who was “looking for the kingdom of God”?
Do you think he was criticized for this?
Why weren’t they all looking for the kingdom of God?
When there’s only one person on a team doing what the team is supposed to be doing, is he appreciated by the rest of the team?
Is he appreciated by the coach?
Whose appreciation is more important?
Simple, right?
Then why is it so hard to be like Joseph?


Is God asking you anything more, or anything different?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


Luke 23:44-49

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Luke 23:44-49
44 It was now about the sixth hour,[e] and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour,[f] 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
No questions today.
Just pause for a few minutes to t
ake in the scene…
…notice the time.
…notice the sky.
…notice the temple.
Take in the people…
…picture the centurion.
…watch the crowd.
see his followers.
Look at Jesus…
…see his face.
…hear his voice.
…see me on that cross.

Now, look inward.
…see your own heart.
…see my image.
…see your sin.

You are why I did this.


Is God asking you anything more, or anything different?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


Luke 23:32-43

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Luke 23:32-43
32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”[b] And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him,[c] “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him,[d] saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Let’s face it, you are all criminals.
You face condemnation justly, the due reward of your deeds.
The only question is, which criminal are you?
The most amazing thing is, you get to choose.


Is God asking you anything more, or anything different?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


Thursday Picks ~ 6-29-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

We adults need to remember this as well…

Teach Children the Bible Is Not About Them
Sally Lloyd-Jones
When we drill a Bible story down into a mere moral lesson, we make it all about us. But the Bible isn’t mainly about us and what we are supposed to be doing; it’s about God and what he has done! When we tie up the story in a nice, neat, little package, and give simplistic answers all the difficult questions, we leave little room for mystery. Or discovery. We leave little room for the child. Little room for God.

When we say, “Now what that story is all about is . . . ” or “The point of that story is . . . ” we may, in fact, be totally missing the point. The power of a story isn’t in summing it up, or drilling it down, reducing it into an abstract idea, or changing it into something else.

Because the power of the story isn’t in the lesson. The power of the story, under God, by his Spirit, is in the story itself and what he does in us through it.


Why I Need My Friends to Judge MeScott Slayton
“Where you are always loved and never judged” sounds good to us because we think that the people who love us would never judge us. Judging is something only hypocritical people do and we don’t like being friends with hypocrites. After all, people who judge others are the ones that Jesus had the harshest words for…

…Notice that Jesus does not say, “well, you have a plank, so ignore his speck.” Instead, Jesus says to get the log out of our eye and then we can see clearly to help our brother with the speck in his eye. In other words, when you see moral fault in your brother, repent of your own sin, and then help him with his…

…The last thing Christians need is to be left alone in their sins. We are not doing other brothers and sisters a favor when we ignore their obvious sins and call it “love.” If sin is my worst enemy and you leave me to be oblivious to it or to battle it alone, you don’t love me.


3 True Obstacles to RestMichael Kelley
So today, friends, I’m resting. But that doesn’t mean I’m not at work. It doesn’t mean I’m not physically tired. It doesn’t mean I’m going to have a day of leisure. It means instead that I am going to speak to my soul and say the same words that Jesus offered time and time again: “Peace to you.” He offered that greeting then and now for the same reason – that He is risen. And because He has risen, it is finished.


Or, maybe “groan”…
Off the Mark

Luke 23:26-31

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Luke 23:26-31
26 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
“If they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Just let that question and its context roll around in your mind today. Follow it wherever it leads.


Is God asking you anything more, or anything different?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


Luke 23:13-25

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Luke 23:13-25
13 Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore punish and release him.”[a]

18 But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Who’s really in charge here?
Pilate?
Herod?
The chief priests and rulers?
They all thought they had the power, didn’t they?
Yet, who’s the one person here who did exactly as he planned?


Is God asking you anything more, or anything different?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


Luke 23:6-12

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Luke 23:6-12
When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Read verse 8 again.
What did Herod want from Jesus?
What did Jesus give him? (v. 9)
But, what could Jesus have done for Herod, had he asked?
What do you want from Jesus?
What does he give you?
How did Herod respond? (v. 11)
How do you?


Is God asking you anything more, or anything different?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.