Aug 2010

7648 - Time Together

It should be interesting for us to note that even Jesus spent time praying in solitude.

In Luke 9 we see Jesus investing time with disciples who will soon be the leaders of the new church.

Today let’s look at Luke 9:18-22. This is a glimpse into an intimate moment with these disciples.

Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"

They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Peter answered, "The Christ of God."

Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."

We find in Scripture that Jesus often spent time in prayer. On some occasions there were long periods of conversation between Jesus and Father God. At other times Jesus offered up short prayers for the particular occasion. I find it interesting to see Jesus, fully divine himself, entering into prayer with the Father who indwelt Him.

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7647 - Multiplication

In his earthly ministry Jesus performed many miracles today we look at one that impacted the lives of thousands of people.

In our study through the book of Luke we come to the passage about Jesus feeding the five thousand from Luke 9, verses 10-17:

When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here."

He replied, "You give them something to eat."

They answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd." (About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

When the twelve apostles returned from their teaching and training mission, they accompanied Jesus to an area near the town of Bethsaida.

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7646 - Herod's Fear

In His earthly ministry, Jesus impacted the lives of countless people, including a king or two.

Today we will study a passage that pertains to the inner turmoil within Herod Antipas as he heard about the work and ministry of Jesus and his apostles.

Let me read Luke 9, verses 7-9;

Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed, because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. But Herod said, "I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?" And he tried to see him.

Some months prior to this Herod had caused John to be arrested and imprisoned in the fortress of Machaerus on the east side of the Dead Sea. John had great sway over the people who flocked to the area of the Jordan River to hear John’s powerful messages about repentance and forgiveness of sins in preparation for the coming Messiah. It has been written that Herod was afraid John would stir up a rebellion.

Herod had yielded to the jealous bitterness of his wife Herodias and had reluctantly ordered John the Baptist beheaded.

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7645 - Sent Out

Every Christian is called by the Lord to a task, including the twelve apostles.

Let’s look at Luke’s record of Jesus sending out the twelve apostles to serve and minister to people.

Let’s read Luke 9:1-6.

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: "Take nothing for the journey --no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that town, as a testimony against them."

So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.

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7644 - Daughter of Jairus

The power of God in Jesus was revealed to us in so many ways, but one of the most exciting things to see is someone being raised from the dead.

Today let’s review the story about the daughter of Jairus as found in Luke 8.

(Luke 8:41-42, 49-56) Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowd almost crushed him.

While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," he said. "Don't bother the teacher any more."

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."

When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child's father and mother. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. "Stop wailing," Jesus said. "She is not dead but asleep."

They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!" Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

A synagogue leader, a lay person elected by the people, was a highly visible and respected person. These leaders were administrators over the affairs of the Jewish community. The synagogue was the hub of life in their society.

Giving no attention to his position, Jairus humbly fell at the feet of Jesus and entreated him to come and minister to his dying daughter who was about twelve years of age. Jesus went with him.

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7643 - Power Over Spirits

As Creator of everything, God has power over everything, including spirits.

At this time in our study through the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is involved with his disciples in what some call the Great Galilean Ministry. The big purpose of this time together was to train these disciples in the things of God. These men around Jesus would be the early leaders in establishing and nourishing the Church in its infancy.

It’s hard to grasp the immensity of this task. There were no seminaries, no Bible schools — in fact, no Bibles. But God’s plan was to reveal Himself in and through His Son, Jesus Christ; so that faith might spring forth and grow as they learned the nature and character of God through him.

Then at Pentecost the Holy Spirit would come and inhabit and empower these men and every Christian in a way, which had never occurred before!
These men were caught up in totally new expectations, in a new empowerment, for a new age — the age of the Church — the body of Christ.

Already they had observed that Jesus had power and authority to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and to raise the dead. Jesus had also revealed his authority over nature, and even over sin.

But they had to have more time, more experiences, and even some practice in trusting God.

In the passage for today, Luke 8:27-39 they would observe Jesus breaking the heavy shackles of sin and demonic slavery of a man in the area of Gadara.

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7642 - The Wind and the Waves

As God over all creation, Jesus commands power over everything.

The power of Jesus over natural events is clearly demonstrated in Luke 8:22-25:

One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

This miracle occurred on the Sea of Galilee, which is located about 700 ft below sea level and in a depression surrounded by hills. Because of the geographic situation of this lake, storms were known to appear quite suddenly and with great violence.


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7641 - Ron Laurent: Children in Haiti

Ron Laurent shares more of his experiences on a recent month-long mission trip to Haiti. There he worked with the many people living in tent cities after they were displaced by the January 12, 2010 earthquake near Port-au-prince.

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7640 - Mothers and Brothers

Frequently, the family of Jesus is overlooked.

Today, we will look into Luke 8:19-21. These verses talk about the family of Jesus.

Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."

He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."

In this short passage we may have the key to understanding why so little mention is made to the family of Jesus in the Bible.

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7639 - Light in a Lamp

As we continue our study in the book of Luke, we want to examine Luke 8, verses 16-18. These verses speak of light and a lamp. Listen as I read these verses.

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.

In these verses Jesus speaks of a lamp, which at the time would have typically been a small clay dish containing olive oil and a wick. Most had handles so the lamp could be carried from one place to another.

His words did not convey a new principle to these people or His disciples. They knew about lamps, and knew best how to make the most out of the small light they produced. Remember that at this point in history lamps like this would have been the most common available source of light on a dark night. On a moonless night, a lamp would be the source of light to walk by, or the source of light indoors for anything that occurred after night fell.

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7638 - Ron Laurent: Serving the Lord in Haiti

Ron Laurent shares his experiences on a recent month-long mission trip to Haiti. There he worked with the many people living in tent cities after they were displaced by the January 12, 2010 earthquake near Port-au-prince.

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7637 - The Parable of the Sower

In our study of Luke today we will be looking at the parable of the sower from Luke 8:5-15:

"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."
When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
"`though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.' "

This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

The setting of this parable is in a field in the countryside with a well worn path running through it, and the thing that’s being explored in this parable is not the sower or the seed, but the soil which represents people.

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7636 - Women Involved

Lets consider today the many women that played important roles in the Bible.

Today we enter the eighth chapter of Luke in our Bible studies. In this chapter Jesus begins His second trip through Galilee. This time the twelve apostles accompany Jesus as He continues to mentor them in preparation for their work in establishing the future Church. This all culminates in perhaps less than a year at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit is sent to take up permanent residence in each believer, and the infant Church is born.

Let’s look at Luke 8, verses 1-3:
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

In a culture where women played behind the scene roles, it is significant that Dr. Luke mentions three women as being participants in this trip through Galilee and in general.

The Bible shares with us some impressive records of strong women of faith, and in general, Luke mentions women more than any other gospel.

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