Devotional Reading for October 19, 2021

Luke 10-12 (The Daily Walk Bible).

When we come to the Bible we have to try to interpret it properly. A part of that is figuring out what is prescriptive or descriptive. In other words, what is just describing what happened then, as opposed to showing us what is supposed to happen today. In addition, there may be things that are descriptive, but can still give us some insight for our day and age. Take Luke 10:1-12 for example. How do we interpret it? Was it just for the 72? Or is it for us today? What can it teach us?

I think the study “Experiencing God” is a good example of these verses in action. We look for where God is working, and we join Him in that work. When people don’t want to hear we move on, and wait for a time when it seems they are open to the gospel.

What about Luke 12:10? What does it mean? Here is some insight from The ESV Study Bible:

“Key to understanding this passage is the distinction Jesus makes between, on one hand, the extreme case of blasphemy against ‘the Holy Spirit’ and, on the other hand, the lesser case of speaking in an dishonorable way against ‘the Son of Man.’ One who asks to be forgiven for disrespectful words hastily spoken against Jesus (the Son of Man) will be forgiven. (Note, e.g., Peter’s rejection of Jesus [see 22:54–62] and his subsequent restoration [John 21:15–19].) But blasphemy against the Holy Spirit—that is, the persistent and unrepentant resistance against the work of the Holy Spirit and his message concerning Jesus (cf. Acts 7:51)—this, Jesus says, will not be forgiven. The person who persists in hardening his heart against God, against the work of the Holy Spirit, and against the provision of Christ as Savior, is outside the reach of God’s provision for forgiveness and salvation. Christians often worry that they have committed this sin, but such a concern is itself evidence of an openness to the work of the Spirit.”

Devotional Reading for October 18, 2021

Luke 7-9 (The Daily Walk Bible).

John the Baptizer is filled with doubts. Jesus is the man he’s pointed out as the Messiah. Thrown his support behind. Elevated! And yet, here John is in prison. Where is the revival? Where is the resistance to the Romans? Where is John’s reward! So John wants to know: are you really the one, or was I wrong?

Jesus points him back to the Scripture. Jesus is fulfilling Isaiah’s predictions of the Messiah’s ministry (Isa. 29:18–19; 35:5–6; 42:7; 61:1). John’s disciples are supposed to go back and reassure him that Jesus is fulfilling Scripture, just not John’s expectations!

We would do well to heed the warning. How often do we question God because He’s not doing what we want Him to? Perhaps we need to take a closer look at what the Bible teaches us about God and what it says about His character and His ways. We may find that it’s our perspective that needs to be changed!

Devotional Reading for October 17, 2021

Luke 3-6 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Both Matthew and Luke emphasize that Jesus was the “son of David,” but Luke also takes his genealogy back to Adam. Luke is reminding us that Jesus is the fulfillment of the hopes of all people!

Did you catch that Jesus was led by the Spirit to the wilderness and ended up getting tested by the devil? God does allow bad things to happen to us because we can grow as a result!

Romans 5:3-5 “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Does Luke 4:42-44 teach us anything about our expectations regarding God and what he should do for us?!?!

Peter seems shocked just because Jesus knew where to catch fish! But it was because it was completely wrong and contrary to their experience. Do we ever catch that image of God from our reading of His Word? Something completely amazing that challenges our understanding so that we fall down before Him?

Thank God Jesus can forgive sins, and that, since He us master of the Sabbath, He can bring rest!

In Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds us of the reversal that is a part of the kingdom. Plenty, prosperity, laughter, and praise in this life don’t guarantee what is to come later. But spiritual sorrow, hunger and poverty now help us to understand our need for Jesus, and bring us into the kingdom in this life and guarantee our spot in the life hereafter.

Devotional Reading for October 16, 2021

Luke 1-2 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Luke 2:11 gives us an important glimpse into the ministry of Jesus. He is a prophet (Christ), priest (Savior), and king (Lord)!

Mary is a wonderful example of faithfulness and motherhood. We are reminded of the agony she lived as foretold in Simeon’s prophecy: “and a sword will pierce your very soul” (2:35).

Chapters 1-2 are a constant reminder of Jesus’ uniqueness. He is the Lord, the Son of the Most High, the son of David, the Savior, the Messiah, the Christ, and the glory of Israel! The incarnation is amazing and bewildering. When did Jesus truly know who He was? Well, at the very least he knew it at twelve, since He was “about my Father’s business” (alternate translation of 2:49)!

Devotional Reading for October 15, 2021

Mark 14-16 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Supplemental Scripture: the difference the resurrection makes!

1 Corinthians 15:12–28 (ESV): “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ But when it says, ‘all things are put in subjection,’ it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.”

Devotional Reading for October 13, 2021

Mark 11-13 (The Daily Walk Bible).

We sometimes forget how much of the Old Testament underlies the New! Our devotional reminds us of that today, and here are the Scripture passages that help to explain our reading:

Psalm 118:25-26 “Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.”

Isaiah 56:7 “these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”

Jeremiah 7:11 “Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord.”

Isaiah 5:1-7 “Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, an outcry!”

Psalm 118:22-23 “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ““Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Leviticus 19:18 “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

Psalm 110:1 “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’”

Daniel 9:27 “And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

Daniel 11:31 “Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.”

Daniel 12:11 “And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.”

Isaiah 13:10 “For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.”

I bolded Deuteronomy 6:4-5 because I truly believe it is the key to our Christian walk. When we have that kind of passion for God everything else will fall into place. The fact that it is first found in the OT and then repeated by Jesus shows us the continuity that exists between the testaments.

Devotional Reading for October 11, 2021

Mark 4-7 (The Daily Walk Bible).

How is your soil?

The key in the parable of the sower is the soil and its condition. Jesus interprets the various elements of the parable (sower = teacher; seed = Word of God; soil = us), but He says something else later on that may help us to understand it better: “Then he added, ‘Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them’” (Mark 4:24-25).

So, how is your soil?!? Is it ready to receive God’s Word? Are we ready to listen? Are we ready to let it challenge us? Are we ready to obey?

Devotional Reading for October 10, 2021

Mark 1-3 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Mark records a lot of miracles, but one may skip by us, and it’s vital. “Who but God can forgive sins?” Exactly! We get so hung up on various healings and miracles, perhaps even wanting them for ourselves or a loved one. But the greatest miracle of all is that our sins are forgiven through Jesus Christ, and it’s through Him that we have eternal life!

Devotional Reading for October 9, 2021

Matthew 26-28 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Have you ever betrayed Jesus with a kiss? Given Him lip service when your heart was far from Him?

Have you ever denied Jesus in your words or actions, perhaps because you were fearful of what others would think?

The good news is that that same love that sent Him to the cross is still present for us when we fail Him. Peter cries bitterly at His betrayal, but ends up being forgiven and restored (John 21)!

“Truly this was the Son of God.”