Tag Archives: spiritual maturity

Don’t You Fear God? Luke 23

30 Dec

Reading through Luke chapter 23 this morning, the words of the criminal crucified beside Christ struck me. He was speaking to the other criminal who hung on the far side of  Christ Jesus–the one who’d been hurling insults at Jesus.

“Don’t you fear God?” he said.  See Luke 23:40

Though the man hung on a cross next to Jesus, suffering and dying, he believed. He still feared God. Still dared to believe Jesus was the Messiah and there was a kingdom Christ would be ushered into, and there was a point to what was taking place.

I’m reminded of the lines in One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She wrote that she’d claimed the “yes” of believing God, but lived the no.

Don’t you fear God?

To fear God is to be reverent of His mighty authority and power. To recognize his infinite might alongside his infinite love.

Sometimes I sense we focus so heavily on the love and forgiveness, we fail the rightful dose of fear. Doesn’t the fear of God go hand and hand in the surrender to God? To whatever he brings?

The first verse of Job tells us he was a man who feared God and shunned evil. And don’t we think of Job as  synonymous with suffering?

Yes, Job suffered much loss, much anguish and grief. Yet, the second half of his life was more blessed than the first, than before the suffering. (See Job 42:12 – 17)

Job told his wife, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”  see Job 2:10

Lord, it’s hard. It’s scary. I’d rather fear you and have it go well all my days. But I fear you always. I choose to surrender to you in the good and in the trouble.

How to be a Disciple–Luke 14

20 Dec

To be a disciple, we must not be saltless salt. It’s useless. Why sprinkle it? Without taste, it goes unnoticed.

This is what struck me as I read through Luke 14. In the beginning of the chapter, Jesus ate and taught in a Pharisee’s home. Through parables, Jesus warns them:

  • Don’t take the best position for yourself
  • Don’t center yourself around people you view as important
  • Don’t think you have a standing invitation and your own priorities reign

All of these teachings warn against self-importance. 

The rest of the chapter, Jesus is teaching to crowds in his traveling about being His disciple:

  • No relationship more important
  • No financial limit
  • No resource untapped

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure piles; it is thrown out. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Luke 14: 34-35  NIV

Salt isn’t salt unless it’s salty.  Disciples aren’t disciples unless we’re discipley. 

Christ has given a definition of discipleship–not suggestions, but a view of what is required.

We use this common terminology of inviting Jesus into our hearts and then what? Too often we still have our own way with:

  • Our relationships
  • Our money
  • Our talents
  • Ourselves

The “our” must be surrendered. We must become “His.”

The mystery is we each have a unique identity in Christ when we surrender our own identities to Him. We think  of it as losing, but we are truly gaining.

We will not be useless. We will not go unnoticed when we become His.

Lord, open my eyes to see. Cause my hears to hear. Change my heart to be pure and chasing after you–as your disciple. Everything in my life is yours. Help me to live that way, attentive to your promptings and quick to follow.

The Most Wanted or A Change of Heart?

16 Dec

It’s happened again. A change of heart from the time the list is written to the last few days before gifts are opened.

The most wanted thing changes.

You tell me. What is the most wanted item on this list?

Sorry. You’re not up to speed. The “most wanted” has changed to Earth HQ.  

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!  Luke 11:13  NIV”

The first portion of Luke 11 shows Jesus teaching the disciples to pray. What can we learn?

  • A model prayer (verses 1 – 4)
  • A parable encouraging persistence and boldness (verses 5 – 8 )
  • A declaration that if we ask, seek and know, we will receive, find and have it opened to us (verses 9 -10)
  • And the truth that God the Father gives in a superior way to any earthly father

But for what do we ask our heavenly Father to give? What does Jesus tell us He gives to those who ask?

The Holy Spirit.

How often do I pray boldly for the Holy Spirit to flood my thoughts? What does God see as most wanted when He looks upon my heart?

A. W. Tozer wrote in The Pursuit of God, “How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Everything is made to center upon the initial act of “accepting” Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls.”

Our most wanted item should be this further revelation of God. His Holy Spirit enters a believer. Not to be stagnant. To burn, to consume, to create change.  

Lord, continue to create a craving in my heart for more of You. Overcome my own thoughts with your Spirit’s leading. Create the change only your gift of wisdom, comfort and guidance can bring. Be my most wanted!

%d bloggers like this: