Posts tagged with: Luke

A person in the middle of a field with her hands raised in prayer

Following Jesus Today: Prayer and Purpose

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus chose purpose over popularity. His clarity about his life’s purpose and his ability to choose this over other tempting options were supported by his practice of prayer. Jesus often withdrew from the crowds in order to engage in conversation with his Heavenly Father. This clarified his sense of purpose and strengthened his resolve to do what he had been called to do. Similarly, you and I need time alone with God if we’re to know and to fulfill our purpose in life. Prayer elucidates and energizes purpose.

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A crowd of people with their hands in the air

Following Jesus Today: Purpose Over Popularity

Early in his ministry, Jesus was extremely popular with the crowds. They marveled at his teachings and were astounded by his healings. They wanted Jesus to stay with them. Yet Jesus was not governed by the feelings of others. He chose purpose over popularity. His example challenges us to live our lives in fulfillment of our calling, not in order to get the most “likes” or win the most “friends.” When we are clear about our purpose, then we can devote our lives to what really matters.

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A man tightrope-walking over a chasm

Following Jesus Today: Honoring the Authority of Jesus – An Example

Honoring the authority of Jesus can be difficult when he asks to do what we’d rather avoid. Loving our enemies, for example, is not something we’re naturally inclined to do. Many of us also struggle with other things Jesus said, like going directly to someone who has wronged us in order to reconcile. Truly, following Jesus is not always easy, but he will help us through the power of his Spirit.

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The synagogue in Capernaum.

Following Jesus Today: Honoring the Authority of Jesus

Jesus taught with surprising authority. Those who heard him marveled at the clarity and power of his words. We who seek to follow Jesus today are called, not just to marvel, but to believe and obey. Even when Jesus says something that makes us uncomfortable – like “Love your enemies” – our challenge is to act in faithful obedience. In this way our lives are built on solid ground.

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A "PUSH" sign on a door

Following Jesus Today: Anticipating Resistance

As Jesus faithfully proclaimed and lived the kingdom of God, he faced resistance, even from those who had been close to him. We will experience something similar as we seek to follow Jesus today. Knowing that resistance will come allows us to be ready. We won’t stand alone, but will follow Jesus in a community that can help us discern what is right and persevere in the face of opposition.

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Hands gripping a barbed wire fence

Following Jesus Today: Serving People on the Margins

Jesus came to bring salvation to the poor, the captives, to blind, and the oppressed (Luke 4:18). He served those on the margins of his own culture and religion, offering God’s grace to all in need. We who seek to follow Jesus will imitate his example. We will reach beyond our comfort zones, seeing and serving people who are not like us.

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Freedwoman’s Hand Sculpture by Adrienne Isom, Juneteenth Memorial Monument, Austin, Texas.

Following Jesus Today:
Celebrating and Striving

Through his death on the cross, Jesus conquered sin and brought us into new life. Individually, we are saved by God’s grace given through Christ. Yet the death of Christ also brought peace to a broken world. It forged reconciliation between divided and hostile peoples. It made possible the experience of God’s peace in this world, a peace infused by justice, shaped by love, and embodied in unity. We who follow Jesus celebrate what he accomplished on the cross. We also commit ourselves to joining his mission on earth until that day when God’s kingdom is complete and all things and all peoples are united in Christ.

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A young boy looking at an Iron Man toy on a table

Following Jesus Today:
More Shocking than Iron Man

In Luke 4, Jesus makes a shocking claim. He is the anointed one foretold in the prophecy of Isaiah. He has come to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. Jesus has come to free the oppressed and announce the time of God’s favor. What Jesus began so many years ago he continues to do today through those who follow him faithfully and are filled with his Spirit.

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A hand reaching for a brownie on a plate

Following Jesus Today:
When You Are Tempted

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is tempted by the devil. Scripture teaches us that this was real temptation. Jesus felt strongly the pull of opposite desires. Yet he chose the way of God’s kingdom. The fact that Jesus experienced genuine temptation means that he sympathizes with us when we are tempted. We don’t have to hide in shame. Rather, Scripture invites us to speak openly of our struggles so that we might be helped by God’s mercy and grace given through Jesus.

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A father holding and kssing his toddler son

Following Jesus Today: Living for God’s Pleasure

When we use well the gifts God has given us, God is pleased. When we do our daily work as an offering to God, this gives God pleasure. When we seek justice in all of our relationships, whether at work or home, in our community or our church, in our city or our nation, God delights. If we’re going to follow Jesus today, we will offer all that we are to God, all that we do and say, all of the time for his pleasure and glory.

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The Grand Tetons at sunset

Following Jesus Today: God Loves and Delights in You

Though you probably won’t hear a heavenly voice today as Jesus did when he was baptized, the good news is still crystal clear. Through Jesus, the beloved Son, you are God’s daughter or son. God loves you more than you will ever fully comprehend. God delights in you and claims you as his own.

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An empty road stretching off into the desert

Jesus Centers Vulnerability

Jesus centers the needs of people who are vulnerable. Do we?

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A group of protestors assembled in front of a building in Minneapolis

Justifying Ourselves

As we engage in the work of anti-racism, are we doing so because we want to justify ourselves or because we are deeply committed to what God might be doing?

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Photo of the Jordan River, at the location where tradition holds that John baptized Jesus.

Following Jesus Today: Use Your Power Justly

The ministry of John the Baptist in the New Testament teaches us to exercise justice in every part of life. In particular, we should use justly the power given to us, whether we are business owners or managers, teachers or pastors, police officers or mayors, parents or grandparents, soldiers or senators. We who seek to follow Jesus today will use our power in the way of Jesus, seeking God’s justice in all we do.

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Heinrich Hofmann, painting “Jesus Among the Doctors” (1884).

Following Jesus Today: Raising Children Together

Whether we have children of our own or not, we all should participate in the crucial task of raising children to be mature disciples of Jesus. Parents bear a primary responsibility, of course. But we who seek to follow Jesus must share with parents in the work of nurturing, teaching, forming, and loving children.

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