Tag Archives: digging the word

The Smartest Guy In The Room

Jesus didn’t look down on the people he met.

Luke 4:14-22  Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread throughout the entire vicinity.

15 He was teaching in their synagogues, being acclaimed by everyone. 16 He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up.

As usual, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it was written:

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

20 He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.” 22 They were all speaking well of Him and were amazed by the gracious words that came from His mouth, yet they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?

It seemed that everybody was liking Jesus at this early part of his ministry, people were coming from all around to see what this new teacher had to say, everybody wanted to see him for themselves.Jesus stood up to read and somebody handed him the scroll that was from the prophet Isaiah, maybe somebody was out to test him and see if he could handle a scroll that most of us would have avoided. Jesus spoke and the people were responsive, they complimented him and were amazed at his gracious words.

Jesus was the smartest guy in that synagogue and yet he didn’t bash anybody over the head with his superiority. Jesus spoke gracious words, that’s a big deal because Jesus had every right to speak with judging words or condemning words, he could have used big, lofty intellectual words but Jesus chose gracious words.

Imagine if you were the smartest guy in the room, be it work or school, no matter where you went there wasn’t anybody that could keep up. I am pretty sure that it would be difficult to keep my attitude in check, but the truth is that nobody would care how much I know, they only want to know how much I care.

I need to care about people the way that Jesus did, he had every right to tell us how it is or to point his finger and condemn us, but instead he chose to extend grace, he gave us the ultimate example of loving our enemies and demonstrated restraint in judging people. Jesus told us to live the same way. (Luke 6:27-42)

Thank you Lord for extending grace to us, for demonstrating grace to us rather than lording over us and showing us how right you are, your grace is truly amazing.

Focus On God

Take a look at my awesome God!

Psalm 77:13  God, Your way is holy. What god is great like God?

Psalm 19:1-6  The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.

Psalm 111:4  He has caused His wonderful works to be remembered. The LORD is gracious and compassionate.

Our mind is so limited when it comes to grasping who God is, the scriptures tell us a lot about him but our ability to comprehend who he is with our little brains is so limited. We have to be focused on our relationship with him so that we will learn more about him.

Regular prayer, Bible study and worship attendance are all going to help you focus on the relationship. We need to worship him for who he is, read our Bible to know more about him and talk to him about who we are.

Psalm 103:11-13  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

God is focused on me, he proves it with his love and forgiveness for me, I need to focus on him and realize what a great ally he is. The devil has a lot of distractions, a world full of them, that are designed to take my eyes off of Jesus in the same way as the waves got the best of Peter as he was walking on water.

It is amazing Lord, that you care so much about me and that you had me in mind when you came to save me from the death penalty. Help me to keep my eyes on you.

The Disciple Making Lifestyle

Jesus lived to make disciples.

Matthew 4:19  “Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people!”

Matthew 28:19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

There are a lot of distractions in the world but for the Christ follower that wants to be obedient, the number one focus should be on making disciples, it’s what Jesus spent his time doing everyday. He started his ministry with the call to the first disciples and he ended his ministry by telling his disciples to go make some more disciples.

Jesus told his potential disciples up front what we was going to do with them but I don’t think that they really understood and I am pretty sure that they didn’t realize the process as it was going on. Jesus subtly brought them along one tiny step at a time, just the same as he has done with me, he knew that there would be a process and that I wouldn’t suddenly become a mature, faithful follower right away.

Jesus spent three years in close daily contact with this group of men, showing them the new way of life and the new way of thinking, he did so through his teaching but most important he did it through his lifestyle. Disciples don’t get made by themselves so I need to use my talents and abilities that the Lord has given to me to help encourage and strengthen somebody elses spiritual growth. I need to be intentional and make it a part of my lifestyle, I need to be about building relationships that will give me opportunities to share about my faith.

Help me Lord to step out and intentionally work at making disciples, I want to live so that my walk is consistent with my talk, so that you will get the glory.

Need To Recharge Your Batteries?

God is on your side.

Zephaniah 3:17 For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Life is tough! Ever feel like God is a million miles away, the world is coming at you from every angle, your family is driving you crazy and your quiet time is so quiet that you can’t even hear God. If you feel like your running on empty then take a look at Zephaniah 3:17.

The child of God should remember that even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is close by, he is living among us. What a joy it is to know that we have a personal God that wants to have interaction with us, he didn’t create us on day six and then leave us alone without relating to us, he is living with us and he cares about our lives.

Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

God cares so much that he sent you a Savior to take care of your sin debt, he cares so much that he delights in you, both of those thoughts are so huge. It makes no sense to us that God would pay our sin debt and even though we rebel so much he still sees something in us that causes him a lot of joy.

Micah 7:18 You will not stay angry with Your people forever, because You delight in showing unfailing love.

God will take care of you, he will calm your fears and he will rejoice in singing over you, what a refreshing thought! May your spirits be lifted as you take pleasure at the thought of your creator being so crazy in love with you.

Rebel Or Rely

Your wisdom or God’s, the choice is yours.

1 Corinthians 1:18-21,25 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.

25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

Who in the world wouldn’t want to be wise? I would definitely like to have more wisdom since I have been so unwise at so many different times in my life. We probably all have those kinds of moments in our past and would agree that an extra dose of wisdom would have been helpful.

The wisdom of man is nothing compared to the wisdom of God, take the example that Paul gives us, by man’s wisdom the cross looks like a strange way to save the world. Who would ever think that the maker of heaven and earth would come down to our world in such a lowly, humble way, to be a part of such a plan?

How could intelligent men be so wrong about Jesus that they put him to such a torturous death? The problem is that “There is a path before each person that seems right,” everybody that was a part of the crucifixion story thought that they were doing the right thing. Nobody planned on being that wrong about Jesus, they just didn’t have God’s wisdom. (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)

Psalm 111:10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!

This passage of scripture in Psalm 11:10 tells us that if we give honor or reverence to God then we have a good foundation for real, Godly wisdom. It seems to me that if decide to use our own wisdom then we are actually in rebellion against God.

I have a choice: I can rebel or I can rely, I can depend on him for guidance or I can do what I think is good and rebel, I need to constantly be reminded that God’s ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

Change, Nobody Likes It, Everybody Needs It

God is in the business of changing people.

Mark 2:1-5 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

Everybody should have friends like this man, some very determined men decide that they are going to take their friend to Jesus so that he can be healed from his paralysis, they have a great idea that will change the mans life forever.

Too bad that life gets in the way when we are making plans. We make our plans but a lot of the time God has a different idea about what is going to happen. What they want to do for their friend will not be as easy as they think it will be. They are going to have to make some changes but they are not the only ones.

Change your attitude

Think about the man that has been paralyzed, I have to wonder if he is feeling sorry for himself because of his difficult situation, maybe he is living in fear, or pity. He might be too proud and unwilling to ask for help. We don’t know what his attitude was but it needed to be one of humility and submission.

Is there an area in your life that has you paralyzed? Will you reach out for help?

Change your method

These men were awesome friends that couldn’t be stopped. They were on a mission, they had a plan, but when they got to the house where Jesus was at they realized that they had to move on to plan b. They would have to be open to using a different method to get the results that they had wanted their friend to experience.

Who do you know that needs to get to Jesus? What will you do to get around the road blocks?

Change your plans

The guy that owns this house is probably feeling pretty good that Jesus came into his home, that is until he saw how many people were going to mob the place, now he has to ask himself if the invite was worth it. First he has the mob stomping around his house and now there are people tearing up the roof. He probably thought that asking Jesus over wasn’t going to be a big ordeal but now he has a lot of time and money invested in this.

Have you ever been inconvenienced because God wanted you to invest in someone that has a need? Was it worth your time and money to help?

Change your focus

How about this crowd of people, I wonder how they felt about this man that skipped to the front of the line to get his miracle, they could easily be upset with him if they don’t get their turn. They could be selfish and shout out to Jesus that it wasn’t fair. They needed a miracle and they could have gotten jealous that this guy was healed if they returned home in the same condition that they were in before they went to see Jesus.

Do you need to take your eyes off of your own situation and think of others? Do you think that God has treated somebody else better than he treated you?

God is in the business of changing people from the moment that we give into him and agree that we need a Savior until the day that we die. Nobody likes change but sometimes it is exactly what we need to bring us closer to God and his glorious plan for our lives.

Come Before God And Stay Awhile

Can you be quiet?

Psalm 62:5-8 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.

6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. 7 My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.

Usually when you go to see somebody it is because you have a purpose for the visit, some kind of agenda that you want to accomplish, as soon as we see them we start in on our list. It is too easy to approach God with the same mentality, we step into his presence and start in on what we have to say and when we are finished we go on our way, we never think that maybe God wants more out of our relationship.

To allow yourself to be in God’s presence without talking is to acknowledge that God is in control and that he is our hope. If we can come into his presence and just be quiet and refrain from talking  about yourself or about anything else that is cluttering up your mind is then we have proven that we are relying on him for everything.

God is looking out for our complete well being, our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being are in his hands. He is our fortress, a place of rest and refuge, there isn’t any good reason to put my confidence anywhere else, whether it be self confidence, confidence in somebody else or idolatry, nothing else can compare to God’s goodness and providential care.

I need to remember that he is a fortress, he is my salvation, my victory and honor comes from him and nowhere else. I need to approach him quietly and listen to his voice instead of making him always listen to my ramblings about my cares.

Keep My Commands

Commands of Jesus Series

John 14:15  “If you love Me, obey My commandments.

1 John 2:5  But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him.

I have been studying the fifty commands that Jesus gave us while he was on earth and now today I come to the command that tells me to obey all of the other forty-nine commands. So what’s the big deal? Why is it so important that I bother with studying what Jesus told me to do and then why should I have to attempt to put these rules into practice?

Jesus told us that the only reason that he expects us to live by his teaching is because we love him. There is no other way to show proof of our love for him than to keep his commandments. Professing that I love him isn’t any proof, anybody can throw words around but if I agree with Jesus about what is right and wrong then I can’t refuse to obey or I will be a hypocrite.

It is pretty obvious that I love him if I am denying myself, taking up my cross, loving everybody without complaining about how they treated me. If I am laying up treasure in heaven, seeking opportunities to serve, protecting my marriage and making disciples then the world will know that we truly love Jesus our Savior. Isn’t that what really matters?

I will strive and pray daily that I will be faithful to the teachings of Jesus, it isn’t about following a list of rules, it’s about showing the world through my obedience that God’s truths matters.Help me to obey your commands everyday Lord, give me the wisdom and the strength to put your teaching into practice and give me grace for when I fall short.

You might like to read:

Take, Eat and Drink

The Commands of Jesus Series

Luke 22:13-20  They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.

14  When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table.  15  Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before My suffering begins.  16  For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

17  Then He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves.  18  For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

19  He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this to remember Me.”

20  After supper He took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people, an agreement confirmed with My blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

Jesus gave his disciples very detailed instructions on where the Passover meal would be served, the instructions remind us of the instructions that he gave the disciples when he sent them to get the donkey that he would ride into Jerusalem. (Compare Luke 22:9-12 with Luke 19:30-34) The details of these two passages help to remind us that God is in control of everything, Jesus’ crucifixion didn’t catch either of them by surprise. The disciples found that all of the details were just as Jesus had said, even the man carrying the water pot, which would be a strange sight to see a man doing “woman’s work.”

God is about to put the seal on a new covenant with his people, the final sacrifice for sins was about to be made once and for all, the rest of Jerusalem is killing animals as they make preparations for “just” another passover. The rest of Jerusalem didn’t have any idea that they didn’t need to prepare their lambs for sacrifice, THE Lamb was already prepared.

Jesus told his followers to commemorate this event by participating in the Lord’s Supper, keep it fresh in your memory so that you can consider what was done for you because if we do not   then it will appear that we don’t really appreciate the sacrifice.

May I always keep the sacrifice that Jesus made for me constantly in my thoughts, help me Lord to always show the greatest amount of gratitude.

You might like to read:

Easy Faith And Great Faith  //   Christ + Nothing = Everything  //  I Am Redeemed

Take My Yoke

The Commands of Jesus Series

Matthew 11:28-30  Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

29  Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30  For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Wait a minute! I am already tired and worn out and instead of taking it easy you want me to trade my burden in for a new one. And you say that I will find rest by taking up this new burden. Yes, that is the offer that Jesus wants you to take.

►  The yoke of the world
Galatians 4:3  And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.

The world doesn’t have much to offer to you but it is still enticing to hold on to the bondage that it brings. The guilt and shame, the worthless pursuit of fame and fortune are all a heavy burden that needs to be unloaded.

►  The yoke of the cross
Luke 9:23  Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow Me.

There is freedom in Christ but there is also responsibility. Jesus said that we are to take up the burden that he has for us, the cross that we are to bear each day, and be his followers. We are to be the workers in the field, the Good Samaritans and the sowers of the gospel seed.

There is a lot of work left to be done Lord, but we know that you will empower your people to do the work. Thank you for finding me trustworthy and for giving me the strength to serve you. (1Timothy 1:12)

You might like to read:

It Sure Helps To Read The Manual  //  Christ Gave Us A New Nature  //  What Were You Thinking