Posts tagged with: Luke

A cross decorated with feathers

How Can We Love Our Enemies?

Jesus says we’re to love our enemies. It can be hard enough to love people who bug us, who do or say things we dislike, whose politics or lifestyle offends us. Loving true enemies seems, well, impossible. Yet Jesus calls us to this kind of impossibility. Lord, help me to do the impossible, by your grace and strength.

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A neon sign that says "I HATE NOTHING ABOUT U" with a heart

A Shocking Command

Jesus said many unsettling things, but one of them was downright shocking. “Love your enemies,” he said. He didn’t mean “feel warm fuzzies for your enemies.” Rather, he meant “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” This command of Jesus to love our enemies couldn’t be more challenging . . . or more needed in our world today.

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Are You Willing to Listen to Jesus?

You can read the gospels. You can study the biblical text. You can hear what Jesus said. But are you willing to listen to Jesus, to pay close attention, to open your heart and your life to his word? Jesus wants to speak to your deepest needs. He wants to guide your life. Are you ready to listen?

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The famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign at sunset

Avoiding the Approval Trap

Sometimes we yearn so much for human approval that we are not faithful to God and God’s truth. We say what people want to hear because we want them to like us. We can grow in truthfulness if we acknowledge the reality of God’s truth and seek it faithfully. We can find the strength to say even what is unpopular when we seek most of all to honor and glorify God.

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Wealth, Pleasure, Happiness, and Fame

Jesus invites us to examine ourselves honestly, to explore our true desires. What do you seek most of all? Wealth? Pleasure? Happiness? Fame? Though God made the goodness of this world to be enjoyed, we find ultimate meaning and delight when we seek first God and God’s kingdom.

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A cruise ship

What Do You Really Want in Life?

What do you want in life? Honestly, what do you really want in life? You may know the “right answers” to this question, but as you take an honest look at how you’re living, what is actually true for you? Jesus challenges us to be honest about our deepest desires, so that our hearts might be transformed to be more like the heart of God.

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Hearing the Disturbing Words of Jesus

Sometimes the words of Jesus bring extraordinary comfort and inspiration. Sometimes, however, they are disturbing. They challenge us in our comfort and self-reliance. They force us to take a fresh look at how we’re living, to see through our self-serving assumptions. Jesus disturbs us because he wants us to experience the truest joy and meaning as we live, not for ourselves, but for the kingdom of God.

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A woman walking on a pathway with falling leaves near a lake

Going Deeper and Longer in Prayer

Short prayers are just fine. But sometimes, like Jesus, we need to devote more time to prayer. We need to share with the Lord more of what is in our hearts. And we need to be quiet long enough so we can hear the still, small voice of the Spirit. God will help us to spend the time we need in prayer so that our hearts might be more connected to the heart of God.

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Starry sky over a mountain and a lake

Jesus Pulls an All-Nighter

When Jesus faced substantial challenges or needed to make key decisions, he spent time in prayer. If the Son of God found it helpful to talk with his Heavenly Father in such times, shouldn’t we do the same?

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Three people with their backs to the camera and their arms around each others' shoulders, wearing tshirts with religious slogans, including a reference to the sabbath and Luke 4:16

Following Jesus Today: The Purpose of the Sabbath

The fact that Jesus healed on the Sabbath gives us freedom to consider how we might engage in the ministry of healing in our own context. Our works of healing might certainly include praying for the sick, so that they might be well. But our works of healing might also include loving children as a Sunday School teacher, feeding folks who struggle with hunger and homelessness, joining a public gathering to pray for justice in our land, or reaching out to foster reconciliation in a broken relationship. Yes, the Sabbath is meant for rest. But it is also a day for restoration, restoration we receive and restoration to which we contribute.

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The boots of two people sitting and looking out over the Sierra

Following Jesus Today: Is Jesus the Lord of Your Sabbath?

God has designed you for work and rest. God has given to all of us – including you – the gift of Sabbath, a day for refreshment and renewal. Jesus claims to be Lord of the Sabbath, and this means he is Lord over your Sabbath. He wants you to experience renewing rest. He is glad to help you discover what this means in your life.

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Grain in a field

Following Jesus Today: An Unexpected Lord

From the earliest days of Christianity, followers of Jesus have claimed that he is Lord. This claim not only recognizes the deity of Jesus, but also acknowledges his rightful authority over our lives. We live under the gracious, merciful, wise, and just lordship of Jesus Christ. In all we do and all we say, in every time and place, we proclaim the Jesus is Lord.

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Following Jesus Today: Wine, Wineskins, and the Challenge of Leadership

Whether you lead a church or a business, a school or a city, a factory or a family, a studio or a store, effective leadership in today’s world means change leadership. In a time of major global upheaval and societal disruption, change is required, now more than ever. It is necessary for surviving, not to mention thriving. Thus, our leadership will be inspired by “new wine” and will help our people create and embrace “new wineskins.” But wise change leadership will also acknowledge the reality of loss, helping our people grieve their “old wineskins” so they might be prepared to embrace the new thing God is doing among them.

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Following Jesus Today: The Disruption of Wine and Wineskins

God wants to do a new thing in our lives. Sometimes this new thing involves minor adjustments. Sometimes it means a radical reordering of how we live. When we are willing to surrender what is familiar and comfortable in order to step out in obedience to God, an amazing adventure lies ahead. God will do new things in us and through us for his purposes and glory.

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Following Jesus Today: New Wine and New Wineskins

Jesus proclaimed the new wine of the kingdom of God, adding that new wine requires new wineskins. This is true today as well. The message of God’s grace, mercy, justice, and love in Jesus challenges us to new ways of living in each generation. We ask: How does the gospel impel us to act in time of a global pandemic? How does the reign of God impact our efforts to bring racial justice to our society? How might I learn to love my neighbors in new ways?

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