Tag Archives: Bible Reading

Luke 23:1-5

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 23:1-5
Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar”???
This from the Jewish leaders who hated the Romans!
Why do you think these good Jewish people were so concerned about Jesus’ alleged “anti-Rome” teaching?
Did they really love Rome?
Did they really think this is what God would want?
Or, was there some selfish motive?
Did they vote for pragmatism, or principle?
Did they sell their soul for politics?
Did their desire for political power kill the Son of God?
Could this ever happen to you?
Did it?


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


Luke 22:63-71

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 22:63-71
63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, 67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Which do you think was worse: the night of being mocked by secular soldiers, or the day of being judged by religious leaders?
Which is worse for you, being mocked by unbelievers, or being judged by fellow believers?
Do you see the irony here?
Doesn’t this make you frustrated?
These men have been taught to look forward to the coming Messiah for generations, and when he finally arrives they condemn him simply because he said that’s who he was.
He didn’t fit into their carefully constructed box.
Take some time to consider: how could this happen?
Do you have any carefully constructed boxes?
What do you do when I decide I don’t fit?
Could this happen to you?
Remember: I don’t fit in anybody’s box.


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


Luke 22:54-62

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 22:54-62
54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
This culture is saying about you…
“This person was also with him.”
Your co-worker says to you…
“You are one of them.”
Your neighbors talk about you and say…
“Yes, he is definitely one of them. You can tell.”

What do you say when they do?

Don’t worry, Peter found forgiveness. So can you.


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


Luke 22:47-53

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 22:47-53
47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant[a] of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Who came for Jesus? (v. 52)
Don’t you think these men wanted to please me?
Do you think they thought they were doing the right thing?
Do you think they cared?
Do you think capturing someone at night with swords and clubs was typical for them?
Don’t you wonder if they’d ever, even once, done it before?
So why this time, do you think?
How does a person get so confused about right and wrong?
Have you ever rationalized an action that, if you were completely honest, you knew was wrong?
That’s what I thought.


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


Luke 22:39-46

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 22:39-46
39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[g] 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
“Father, if you are willing…”?
Jesus had to know I wasn’t willing, right?
“Not my will…”?
But he and I are One, right?
So, we have the same will, right?
Are you confused yet?
Twice he told them to “pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Do you think they ever did?
Do you ever pray that?
Would you mean it if you did?
“Father, if you are willing…”
How would you finish that prayer right now?
“Not my will…”
Can you also pray that part of the prayer…and mean it?


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


Luke 22:35-38

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 22:35-38
35 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
What is going on here?
What is Jesus saying to his disciples?
Is he saying that at one point you didn’t need money, or provisions, or weapons because I would take care of you, but not anymore?
Does that make any sense?
Among them all, they had two swords and it was enough.
What do you have?
It is enough.


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


Luke 22:31-34

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 22:31-34
31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,[a] that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter[b] said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus[c] said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Was Peter as strong as he supposed?
Are you?
Did Peter “strengthen his brothers”?
When? (vs. 32)
Why is it that Peter was better able to strengthen his brothers after his weakness was obvious and he had “turned again”?
Would you rather people see you strong, or weak?
Which is more helpful to others?


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


Luke 22:24-27

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 22:24-27
24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Are you a leader?
Says who?
Are you a servant to anyone?
Who?
Who decides greatness?
If I am a servant what does that make you?


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


A Father Who Sings

https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17904453_10210748649245135_3022210157647973630_n.jpg?oh=8f6df3a4b11e9dbc7088d2aee31da509&oe=59E765C0
Good Friday service at The Christian Village at Mount Healthy. April 14, 2017.

My dad can’t sing.

It’s true. He has one note. It’s not musically identifiable, but it’s low.

That never stopped him.

I remember hearing him “singing” in the shower in the mornings getting ready for work.

I remember sitting next to him in church and trying to sing a harmony part. It was hard.

But he still sang. He still sings.


When I was young I knew my parents loved me. If you had asked me I would have said so. The evidence was there. They provided for me. Sure, they punished me when I did wrong, but they always forgave me. They went to my band concerts. They put up with my immaturity. For these reasons and more, I knew they loved me.

But I discovered a whole new perspective on a parent’s love when I had my own kids. I began to understand how you can be so angry you can’t see straight, so hurt you feel like your heart has been ripped out, and so proud you could burst…all at the same time!

It was then that I began to appreciate the depth of my parents’ love for me.

Sadly, I realize that some reading this may not have had the same experience of a loving family. You may find what I’m about to tell you incomprehensible. But trust me, it’s true.

But honestly, even if you grew up with a loving family like mine, you may still find this difficult to swallow, but here goes…

How do you think God feels about you?

God feels about you the same way a good dad feels about his kid. Sometimes he’s mad at you. Sometimes his heart is ripped out by you. Sometimes he’s bursting with pride. Sometimes he feels all that simultaneously.

And sometimes he sings.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

This is a beautiful description of the way I know my dad felt about me. No, he couldn’t sing a lick, but that didn’t stop him.

And this is the way God feels about you.

In the last line of this verse is the word “exult.” This a good translation because the original word means dancing or leaping for joy.

That’s God when he thinks of you.

Can you imagine?

This idea may be foreign to you. Perhaps, like so many, you’ve come to think of God as caring more about rules and laws. When you imagine God seeing you, your feelings are more like what you feel when you see a cop in your rearview mirror.

Make no mistake, God does have a very specific way he expects us to live.

So did my dad. There were things I did, or maybe didn’t do, that I knew I would be punished for. I didn’t want to be punished so I avoided those things. Well, at least I didn’t want him to know about them.

As I matured, and grew to know my dad’s heart, I was motivated less by the punishment and more by the desire to please my dad and make him proud. I knew he “exulted over me” and I wanted to give him good reason to.

My dad lives in a nursing home now. He hasn’t punished me in decades. But I still find myself being guided by what I think would make him proud that I’m his son.

I live for his “singing.”

I will forever be grateful that he has given me an earthly example of how God feels about me.

Honestly, I don’t know if we can even talk about God having “feelings” in the same way we experience them, but this passage of scripture seems to indicate that he does.

Jonathan Edwards was a famous preacher in the early 1700s. He is most famous for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Yes, it’s true that God hates sin and punishes the unrepentant.

But my Father’s Day prayer is that, through the grace of Jesus, you can grow to picture yourself not so much as a sinner in the hands of an angry God, but more as a child in the arms of a singing Father.

Lloyd

Luke 22:14-23

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 22:14-23
14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it[b] until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.[c] 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Can you put yourself there?
Can you put aside the nearly 3,000 times you’ve participated in the Lord’s Supper and imagine this moment?
They were familiar with the Passover.
But this is new.
Imagine the first time.
Is he allowed to do this? Alter the Passover meal, I mean.
Isn’t every detail laid out in scripture?
What does he mean “this is my body given for you”?
He hasn’t died! Not yet.
What does he mean “new covenant in my blood”?
Would any of this make sense to you…then?
Did it make sense to them?
What do you think they thought it meant?
What does it mean to you now?
Do you think any of those men would be surprised to learn that you look back to this moment and repeat this act every single week in 2017 A.D.?
Don’t you find it surprising?
Don’t you wonder how many more times you’ll do it?
You may be surprised…


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