Guest Contribution by Debra Bowser, Barrie Campus, Small Group Leader and Administration Support
Welcome to Day 6 of the 24 Day Devotion. So glad you’re joining us! Each day for 24 days as a church, we’re going to read one chapter of the Gospel of Luke and post a devotion on it.
If you’ve never read the Bible, we’re so glad you’re joining us. And if you read the Bible, we hope this helps you grow in your faith.
Need to catch up? Start at Luke 1 – Is The New Testament A Lie? and follow along. Today’s devotion is below.
READ Luke 6
When I read through each section of Luke 6, I’ll be honest, I thought, “Why are these all in one chapter? There’s no connection between them?”
Praying, then reading the chapter through again, the common thread that jumped out at me was LOVE.
First, in Jesus’ day and today, we can get so caught up expectations, traditions, and the pull of life that we are blinded from the truth.
In Jesus’ day, the Jewish culture was so deeply rooted in religious laws that it affected their daily routines.
It’s not really all that different today.
Think about it. What daily routines do you have that are rooted in what you hold most valuable? Your health? Your family? Your reputation?
Our society is cloaked in the need for power, independence, material possessions… and things that blind us from the heart of what God has for us; love.
All the striving, all the routines, all the focus in the world cannot earn us God's love. It's free. What stops you from seeing that?
Second, we are to leap for joy when we are suffering (Luke 6:23)? Really? Yes! But how?
The bigger picture, the promise of The Kingdom of God, is so much bigger than our suffering. Keeping our eyes on Christ doesn’t mean we won’t suffer, but it does mean there is hope past our suffering.
I would rather worship and have hope in a loving God in my suffering than make money, independence, power or anything else the centre of my life but have to live without God's guidance or the promise of His Kingdom.
God's love transcends our circumstances. God's love outlasts our suffering. And that's where I'll put my hope and my faith.
Third, following Jesus means worshiping only Him, loving one another (not just our loved ones but… our enemies!), trusting, forgiving, seeking a pure heart. Easy right?
Well, I know I fall short daily.
So – how do we do that?
Turning to and resting in Jesus daily is the only way I know how to build that solid faith foundation and grow my relationship with God.
What’s beautiful about Luke 6 is that not only is it is full of Jesus’ teachings, but Jesus leads us by example. What a comfort!
He will help you love your enemies. He will help you love with an endless, unconditional well of grace, truth and hope. We can follow his example, and ask for his help.
Lastly, big decisions were being made at this point in the gospel story; Jesus' 12 apostles where being chosen, the men who were to be the future teachers of God's Word. Although Jesus is Lord, he is also fully human, with fears, doubts, and sadness.
And Jesus knew suffering was coming.
Judas Iscariot, one of the chosen apostles, later betrays Jesus and ultimately brings Him to the cross.
I’ve often imagined the conversation between Jesus and our Heavenly Father when he prayed on the mountain all night. Can you imagine the struggle to choose Judas, knowing that he would be so deeply betrayed?
Yet, Jesus obeyed his Heavenly Father. That’s a whole-lot-of love for his Father! By following Jesus – we can love, listen, and trust in our Heavenly Father.
Yes, suffering may happen, but The Kingdom of God is the promise. God's love outlasts all suffering.
Let me leave us with this.
“…What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 6:45 –
God wants to produce beautiful fruit in our hearts – good deeds from a good heart.
Love one another. Do it today. Then repeat.
It’s like forgiveness; you may have to forgive over, and over, and over again, but eventually your heart truly changes. Loving is the same.
Why do we follow Jesus? Love.
How do we follow Jesus? We love.
What do we find in Jesus? Love.
God wants us to truly love one another. Loving through Him gives us the capacity to live our lives in His image.
Imagine a home, a city, a country, a world where people just simply loved one another. That's a new world.Imagine a home, a city, a country, a world where people just simply loved one another. That's a new world. Click To Tweet
What would your day look like if you took a deep breath and rested in God’s love today? Not just once, but with each intentional decision you made.
What would happen if you love (a verb) each person you come in contact with today? What would happen if you love yourself, today?
What would it look like if you love God, today?
Loving God, please soften my heart and open my eyes to see and receive your love. Thank you for the promise of Your Kingdom. Your love is so precious, and honestly overwhelming some days; I am truly not worthy of such grace. Ultimately, let me be your hands and feet, bringing Your love to this world.
Some days I need a minute-by-minute reminder that love is the only answer to my daily struggles. Help me to love others. Whether my co-workers, my kids, my family, in new friendships or old, walking the halls at school, or in the check-out at the grocery store, wherever I am, please open my eyes to see Your opportunities to love.
God, let my voice be Your voice and my hands be Your hands so I can help others see you, too. Thank you for Your love. Amen.
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