Category Archives: 03 – Luke

At the Cross


Daily Bible Reading – Nehemiah 3, 4; Luke 23

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 23:32-43

 

In the events leading up to the death of Jesus, He suffered many things.  He was beaten, whipped, spit on, mocked, and nailed to a cross.  He knew that it was God’s will and God’s plan that all of this had to happen to Him, but he still must have been in complete agony.  I cannot even begin to imagine the pain Jesus must have felt on that fateful day.  Despite his misery, Jesus still asked God to forgive the people who had caused him the most pain.

We have all been hurt by other people at one time or another.  In some cases, that pain was physical, and in other cases, the pain was emotional.  As human beings, we tend to focus on that pain and on the people who caused it, and we sometimes have a difficult time forgiving the people who have hurt us the most.  Jesus’ actions show us that even when faced with the worst pain imaginable, we still have the capacity to forgive.  We may not have this ability on our own, but we can gain this ability to forgive through the power and help of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Another important thing to note from this passage is the faith of the criminal hanging on the cross next to Jesus.  By his own admission, he plainly states that he is “punished justly” and is “getting what [his] deeds deserve.” (23:41)  However, at the end of his life, when he knew he was going to die, he turned to Jesus.  Even though he saw Jesus nailed to the cross next to him, he was able to see past Jesus’ present situation to see His future glory.  The fact that Jesus forgave him of his past sins and accepted him, and even told him that he would be with Jesus in Heaven, shows that it is never too late to turn to Christ.  All we have to do is put our faith and trust in him, repent of our sins, and follow Him.  Then, like the robber, we can be with Him in paradise.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Donkey’s Role


Daily Bible Reading – Esther 9, 10; Luke 19

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 19:28-44

 

Last week, we read Zechariah’s prophecy that the Messiah would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt. (Zechariah 9:9)  In today’s key passage, Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem fulfilling this prophecy.  Jesus knew what He was going to face in Jerusalem.  He knew He would be degraded, beaten, and ultimately killed, but He went there anyway because this was the will of the Father.  This was God’s ultimate plan for humanity.  As He entered Jerusalem on that donkey, the crowd, familiar with Zechariah’s words, rejoiced at the coming of their King.  They spread their cloaks and palm branches along the road and shouted, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” and “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (19:38)  Of course, a short time later these same people would yell, “Crucify him!” (23:21), but it must have been quite a site to see Jesus on the donkey that day.

While preaching about this story, I once heard a pastor ask the question, “What if the donkey thought all of the praise and shouting that day was for him?”  While it is humorous to humanize a donkey in this way and imagine what he might have been thinking on that fateful day, it does bring up an interesting point.  See, the donkey needed to know his role.  He needed to understand that all of the fanfare of that moment had absolutely nothing to do with him.  No one was shouting because of what he was doing, they were shouting about what Jesus was doing.  The donkey was simply there to lift up Jesus.  Ironically, our role is exactly the same as the donkey.  We are not here on this earth to receive shouts of joy and praise.  We are not here to see fanfare based on what we are doing.  Our role in this life is simply to lift up Jesus.  Let us all be like the donkey today, and lift Him up for the praise He deserves.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Extra Credit


Daily Bible Reading – Esther 1, 2; Psalm 150; Luke 17

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 17:1-10

 

When she was in the third grade, my daughter would receive a list of words at the beginning of each week to study in preparation for a spelling test on Friday.  On the list of words, her teacher would provide two “extra credit” words, which were much more difficult than the other words on the list.  If spelled correctly on the test, these two words could take the place of other words that may have been misspelled.  Because of their importance, my daughter would always spend a bit more time studying those two words just in case she made any mistakes with the other words.

Many times, we can wrongly believe that when we live obediently to God’s Word we are doing “extra credit” work.  We might feel that a few good deeds can make up for any sinfulness we may cling to in our hearts.  In today’s key passage, Jesus dispels this myth.  He tells His disciples to be careful not to cause anyone else to sin (17:1-2), to correct wrongdoers, and to forgive others who repent. (17:3-4)  The disciples realized they could never be obedient to these commands in their own strength and asked Jesus to increase their faith (17:5), but Jesus told them that even a small amount of faith was sufficient for them to obey. (17:6)  He then went on to tell them a parable about a servant who worked for his master not to receive praise, but because it was his duty. (17:7-10)

As followers of Christ, we are His servants.  When we act in accordance to His will, we should not do so in order to garner praise or to try to build up “extra credit” in Heaven.  We should live according to His commands because it is our duty.  Instead of feeling prideful for the deeds we complete in His name, we can all feel blessed to be given the opportunity to serve Him and others, and we can obey His Word because of our great love for Him.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Lost and Found


Daily Bible Reading – Zechariah 13-14; Psalm 147; Luke 15

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 15:1-32

 

In today’s key passage, we find three of Jesus’ most well known parables.  The parables of the lost sheep (15:1-7), lost coin (15:8-10), and lost son (15:11-32) all speak of God’s unwavering forgiveness, but each is unique in the way in which each item is lost and how it comes to be found.  In the parable of the lost sheep, the sheep foolishly wanders away from his shepherd.  In the parable of the lost coin, the woman’s coin is lost through no fault of its own.  In the parable of the lost son, the son blatantly defies his father’s will.  In the first two parables, the shepherd and the woman frantically search for their lost items, but in the third the father patiently waits for his son to return.  In all three cases, when what was lost is found there is a great celebration, just as there is a celebration in Heaven every time a lost soul comes back to the Father.

Every person in this world starts out as lost.  Some are lost through no fault of their own, perhaps growing up not knowing about Jesus.  Others are lost because they foolishly wandered away from God.  Still others are lost because they have blatantly defied God’s will and have rejected Him.  In any case, God spends a lifetime searching for these lost souls.  Sometimes, He finds them relatively easily, and other times He has to wait patiently for them to return to Him.  Has Heaven celebrated your return yet?  If so, rejoice in knowing that you are saved and help others find their way back to God.  If not, it is time to start heading home.  No matter what sins we have committed or how far we are from Him, we can always return to our Father’s house.  When we do, we will not be turned away, rejected, or ridiculed for our mistakes.  Instead, we will be welcomed by the loving arms of Jesus, and the celebration will finally begin.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Counting the Cost


Daily Bible Reading – Zechariah 10-12; Psalm 126; Luke 14

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 14:25-35

 

In late 2011, the lease on my vehicle was set to expire, and my wife and I were left with a decision.  We could choose to keep my vehicle and pay off the remaining balance, or purchase a new vehicle.  In anticipation of this decision, I poured through magazines and websites counting the true cost of each option.  I researched things like fuel mileage, insurance premiums, and predicted reliability to ensure I was well informed on exactly what each option would end up costing us down the road.  My goal in all of this research was to be able to make an educated decision based on all of the expected costs, because anything less would have been irresponsible.

Likewise, Jesus wanted His disciples to count the true cost of following Him.  Being a disciple, both then and now, involves more than just knowing about Jesus or trying to apply some of His principles to our lives.  He is not looking for a halfhearted commitment or a passing acknowledgment of faith.  Instead, Christ is asking each of us to be willing to give up everything to follow Him.  To be His disciple, we are called to love Him more than our families, friends, possessions, and even our own lives. (14:26-33)  The cost of following Jesus can be high, but the reward far surpasses that cost, because when we truly decide to give everything to Jesus and trust Him as our Savior, we are rewarded with eternal life.  I once heard it said that following Christ costs more than anything in this world except NOT following Him, and that is a price I pray more people are willing to pay.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Wondering Why


Daily Bible Reading – Zechariah 7-9; Luke 13

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 13:1-9

 

On any given day, we hear news of tragedy striking somewhere in the world and we are often left to wonder why.  At one time or another, most of us have struggled with understanding why bad things happen.  The people in Jesus’ day also wondered why tragedies happened, and He spoke of two of these events in our key passage today.  In the first, Pilate killed a group of Galileans and mixed their blood with their sacrifices. (13:1)  In the second, a tower fell and killed 18 people in Jerusalem. (13:4)  Jesus used these examples to reject a common misconception that many people had at the time that the tragedies must have struck the people because of their sins.  He pointed out that none of the people killed in these two tragedies were worse sinners than anyone else was, and then used the lesson of the events to teach the people about repentance.

Today, when we see tragedies unfold around us, we can wastefully spend our time wondering why the events have happened and looking for someone to blame, or we can learn a lesson from the teaching of Jesus and see the events as a call to repentance.  The truth is that any of us could see our last moments on earth at any time.  We never know exactly when or how we will die, but we do know that our deaths are certain.  Each time we see someone killed without warning, we are reminded of the temporary nature of this life and the need to maximize the time we have on this planet doing Kingdom work.  As we reflect on those events, we can use the time to ensure we have repented of our sins and are living a life holy and blameless in God’s sight, and we can spend our time helping others find salvation through Jesus Christ.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Questions about Jesus


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 1; Psalms 84-85; Luke 7

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 7:18-35

 

John the Baptist knew what his role was in this life.  He knew that he was to prepare the way for God’s chosen one – the Messiah.  He had heard all of the stories about Jesus, and he knew that Jesus must have been sent by God.  The only problem was that he was not sure if Jesus was just another prophet or the Anointed One of God, so he sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask him. (7:18-20)  Jesus response to John’s disciples tells us a lot about Him.  He could have been upset about being questioned.  He could have been angry that John felt the need to ask questions about Him instead of simply believing blindly.  This, of course, was not Jesus’ response.  Jesus told John’s disciples to report back to John all the things He had done. (7:22)  Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and raised the dead, among other miraculous deeds.  He wanted John the Baptist to decide for himself if Jesus was the Messiah based on the evidence at hand.  Then, as further evidence that Jesus was not upset about being questioned, He spoke to the crowd about John the Baptist’s greatness among men. (7:28)

Most of us, whether we are followers of Christ or not, have had questions about Jesus.  They might be questions we have already answered, or they might be lingering thoughts that appear from time to time.  Is Jesus really the Messiah?  Does He really know me?  Did He really die for my sins?  Does He really see me as perfect and beautiful?  Does He really love me?  If you have ever felt guilty for asking yourself these questions about Jesus, today’s key passage will be a real blessing for you.  See, Jesus does not get angry about being questioned.  Having questions about Him does not mean there is something wrong with your faith or that you are not a “good Christian”.  Just like John, Jesus invites us to examine the evidence about Him and decide for ourselves that He is who He says He is.  The more we learn about Him through reading God’s Word and spending time with Him in prayer, the fewer questions we will have about Him.  Then, as we answer our questions about Him, we will grow to trust Him and love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Living in Nazareth or Capernaum


Daily Bible Reading – Daniel 7, 8; Psalm 137; Luke 4

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 4:14-37

 

In today’s key passage, we find Jesus preaching in two different places to two very different results.  First, we see Jesus preaching in his hometown of Nazareth. (4:16-27)  On the Sabbath day, He went to the synagogue and preached to the crowd, but they were resistant to His message.  They were so resistant, in fact, that they tried to kill Him. (4:28-30)  The problem was that the people in Nazareth were so familiar with Jesus that they failed to listen to His teachings.  They knew all about Jesus because they had seen Him living in their town for years.  They had seen Him grow up from a boy, and they were unable to overcome their preconceived notions about who Jesus really was, so they rejected Him.

Following His unsuccessful trip to Nazareth, Jesus went to preach in Capernaum. (4:31-37)  Just as He did in Nazareth, Jesus preached to the people on the Sabbath, but this time the result was much different.  Instead of resisting His message, they accepted it with joy.  They listened to Jesus’ teaching and they were amazed at His authority, and because of their response to Jesus, many people were healed and many people followed Him.

Spiritually speaking, all of us are either living in Nazareth or Capernaum.  Personally, I spent the first 34 years of my life living in Nazareth.  I knew all about Jesus.  I grew up in a family that went to church every weekend and who talked about Jesus all the time.  The problem was that I was so familiar with Jesus, I took Him for granted and I ignored Him.  I knew about Him, but I did not really know Him personally.  I let my preconceived notions about who He was keep me from really finding Him, and even though I knew about Him, I chose to live my life as if I did not.  Fortunately, all of that changed for me in March of 2010 when I “moved” to Capernaum.  I finally listened to His teaching.  I finally responded to His call.  I finally met the real Jesus, and my life will never be the same.

Where are you living today?  Are you living in Nazareth, so familiar with Jesus that you are ignoring Him and taking Him for granted; or are you living in Capernaum, receiving His message with joy and spreading the news about Him?  I pray that you will all move with me to Capernaum, and I pray that you will know the real Jesus.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Saying Yes to God


Daily Bible Reading – Ezekiel 45, 46; Luke 1

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 1:26-38

 

In today’s key passage, we find the story of the angel Gabriel telling Mary about her impending pregnancy.  To truly understand the significance of this story, we must first understand the time period in which Mary lived.  At this time in history, being unmarried and pregnant was a real problem.  An unmarried mother could be stoned to death for adultery.  Even if that did not happen, unless the father agreed to marry the mother, she would likely spend the rest of her life unmarried.  In addition, often the unwed mother would be abandoned by her parents and family, and would end up turning to begging or prostitution as a way of life.  So when Mary was told by Gabriel that she was going to give birth to a baby conceived by the Holy Spirit, Mary could have focused on all of the negatives to her pregnancy.  She could have told Gabriel that she was not interested.  She could have said no to God’s plan based on all of the hardship that she would likely face.  All of this is what makes Mary’s story so amazing and inspiring for all of us today.  See, she did not seem to worry about the potential problems this child might bring her.  Instead, when she was told about His upcoming birth, she responded by saying, “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.” (1:38)  Despite the personal risks, Mary knew that God was asking her to serve Him, and she willingly said yes to His plan.

When God asks us to serve Him, we may at first be tempted to hesitate.  We may worry about the risks involved or we may focus on the potential downside of doing whatever God is calling us to do.  When we begin to focus on these negatives, the chances of us disobeying Him increase.  As we walk through our Christian journey, we can all learn a lot about faith and trust by the story of Mary.  Like Mary, we can resist the urge to focus on the negatives, and instead focus on the goodness of God and the blessing of obedience.  When we do this, we find that more often than not, we will be saying yes to God.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Crumbling Under Pressure


Daily Bible Reading – Exodus 6-8; Luke 23

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 23:13-25

 

Pilate was a politician, and like most politicians, he wanted to stay in office.  Historical documents suggest that Pilate had already been warned by the Roman authorities about disturbances in his region.  Now he found himself in a difficult place.  On one hand, he found no fault in Jesus.  He questioned him repeatedly, and he seemed to believe that Jesus was not guilty of anything.  Apparently Pilate understood that the Jewish leaders simply wanted Jesus killed out of jealousy, and not because he was an actual criminal.  On the other hand, though, he was worried about what might happen if he refused to kill Jesus.  We read in John 19:12 that the Jewish leaders threatened to go to Caesar and file a complaint against Pilate, which could have resulted in him losing his position.  Pilate had to make a decision, but which road should he take?  He could stand up for what he knew was right and risk losing everything, or he could go along with the crowd even though he knew it was wrong and keep his position.  Obviously, we know which direction he took.  After much internal debate, Pilate crumbled under pressure and allowed Jesus to be executed.  How differently might things have been if Pilate had only stood up for what he believed?  No doubt Jesus still would have died (after all, that was God’s plan all along and nothing was going to stop that), but if Pilate had stood firm in his beliefs he would have been remembered much differently than he is today.

Most of us face similar situations in our own lives.  Peer pressure is not just something that happens to teenagers in high school.  It may start as a childhood issue, but peer pressure continues for most people all their lives.  We may face pressures from friends or coworkers who are not believers who want us to go along with what they are doing or to go back to the way we were before we were saved.  Time and time again, we may be faced with people who want us to do things that go against our better judgment and our beliefs.  How will we react in those times?  How will we react when there might be real consequences to standing up for what we know is right?  When the consequences are real and the pressure is on, if we try to go it alone and rely on our own strength to get us through, the chances are we will crumble the way Pilate did.  If, however, we rely on the power of Jesus Christ living inside of us, we can withstand the pressure.  We can stand up for what we know is right.  We can stand firm in our beliefs regardless of the pressures or the consequences.  Pilate had no idea that the decision he was making about Jesus would turn out to be the defining moment of his life, and we will not know which of our decisions might be our own defining moment.  Instead of crumbling under pressure, when we stand firm with the courage of God on our side we can only become stronger.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

%d bloggers like this: