Tag: Luke 7-9

Keep looking ahead!

Scripture reading for October 23rd: Luke 7-9

“Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord’ but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:61-62

Following Jesus Christ seems to be an easy assignment at first.  Leaving the everyday responsibilities to trust God and walk by faith seems like a glamorous pursuit.  In reality, it involves some difficult choices.  In my own life, I made an initial commitment to follow the Lord when I was in my early teens.  I went to an altar in a small country Methodist church and prayed to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior.  I had chosen to follow my father in farming and had studied farm management at the university.  My wife and I were youth leaders in our church and I became a lay preacher in the Methodist church.  We were building our family and farming operation while life went on.

We raised hogs and had built a big complex of buildings where we conducted our business.  This required borrowed money and sweat equity!  Then God broke into my busy world and renewed His call on my life to serve Him and preach His word!  We began to seek the Lord and over the next 10 years I worked toward a ministerial license.  We worked hard to get out of debt and to re-order our priorities according to Scripture.

As I completed my study for license, we were finally debt-free and a door opened for ministry in our local church.   We carefully followed as God directed.  We spent just a few years farming and at the same time serving as a staff pastor in a large city church.  After that time, we had clear direction to stop farming and sell all of our equipment.  A little later we also tore down our hog buildings and buried the remains.  This was like Elisha burning his plow and not looking back!  (1st Kings 19:19-21)

Today we wouldn’t go back for anything!  If God has called you to put your hand to His plow, do it with joy!  The journey is exciting and the best is yet to come!  Keep looking ahead!

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Don’t look back!

Scripture reading for October 22nd: Luke 7-9

“Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:61-62

Following Jesus Christ seems to be an easy assignment at first.  It looks pretty simple and may even seem like a glamorous pursuit.  In reality, it involves some difficult choices in each individual disciple’s life.  The verse I chose from today’s reading had some interesting  effects in my own family’s life!

I made an initial commitment to follow the Lord when I was in my early teens.  I went to an altar in a small country Methodist church and prayed to receive Christ as my Lord.  But I learned little about what it meant to become a committed follower of Jesus until my late 20’s.  I had chosen to follow my father in farming and studied farm management at the university.  My wife and I were youth leaders in our church and I was a lay preacher in the Methodist church.  We were building our family and farming operation while life went on.

We had started farming by raising hogs and had built a big complex of buildings.  This had required a lot of borrowed money and sweat equity!  God broke into my busy world and renewed His call on my life to serve Him and preach His word!  We began to get out of debt and to re-order our priorities according to Scripture.  God worked with us and directed us in becoming debt-free and pursue ministry credentials through the Assemblies of God Berean School of the Bible.

As I completed my study for license, a door opened for ministry in our local church.  We spent another 5 years farming and at the same time serving as a staff pastor in a large city church.  After that time, we had clear direction to stop farming.  A little later we also tore down our hog buildings and buried the remains.  This was like Elisha burning his plow and not looking back!  (1st Kings 19:19-21)  We wouldn’t go back for anything!  If God has called you to put your hand to His plow, do it with joy!  The journey is exciting and the best is yet to come!

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Are You the One?

Scripture reading for October 23rd: Luke 7-9

“When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the One who was to come, or should we expect someone else?'” (Luke 7:20)   John the Baptist had been imprisoned by Herod and his disciples had been keeping him informed of all that Jesus was doing.  John, evidently attacked by doubts and wondering if Jesus was really the Messiah, sent two disciples to Jesus to inquire.  This should be easy for us to understand, because these doubts are prevalent in most lives and come from our enemy, Satan.

“So He replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor.  Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me.”” (Luke 7:21-23)  Jesus, Himself, gave this report of His ministry to John to encourage Him.  The very works that Jesus did verified that He was the Messiah.  No other man did the works that Jesus was doing.  However, these miracles alone would not keep a person from falling away.  Faith must be anchored in God and His word.  Many who saw the miracles were hardened and did not believe.

In fact, some who witnessed Jesus raising the widow at Nain’s son from a coffin stated that they thought Jesus was “a great prophet”, not necessarily the Messiah.  (Luke 7:16)  The townspeople from the region of Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave after he drove demons from a tormented man.  (Luke 8:36-37)  This miracle did not convince them that Jesus was the Messiah.  Pharisees saw Jesus heal a man with a withered hand and plotted how they might get at Jesus.  (Luke 6:6-11)  Miracles do not make a person believe.  We must put faith in Jesus by choice of our will.  In order to do that we must humbly receive truth and believe like a child.

If you have doubts today, take time to read the accounts of Jesus’ miracles with the choice to be filled with awe and wonder at what Jesus did.  Wonder opens our spirit to truth.  Jesus is the Messiah and can heal and save you!

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Don’t Look Back!

Scripture reading for October 23rd: Luke 7-9

“Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord’ but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:61-62

Following Jesus Christ seems to be an easy assignment at first.  It looks pretty simple and leaving the everyday responsibilities to trust God and walk by faith seems like a glamorous pursuit.  In reality, it involves some difficult choices in each individual disciple’s life.  The verse I chose from today’s reading had some interesting  effects in my own family’s life!

In my own life, I made an initial commitment to follow the Lord when I was in my early teens.  I went to an altar in a small country Methodist church and prayed to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior.  I learned little about what I had done and was not really a committed follower of the Lord until my late 20’s.  By then, I had chosen to follow my father in farming and had studied farm management at the university.  My wife and I were youth leaders in our church and I even became a lay preacher in the Methodist church.  We were building our family and farming operation while life went on.

We had started farming by raising hogs and had built a big complex of buildings where we conducted our business.  This required a lot of borrowed money and sweat equity!  God broke into my busy world and renewed His call on my life to serve Him and preach His word!  We began to seek the Lord as a family and over the next 10 years worked toward a ministerial license through the Berean School of the Bible.  We worked hard on the farm to get out of debt and to re-order our priorities according to Scripture.  God worked with us and directed us step by step as my wife and I had asked Him to.

As I completed my study for license, we were finally debt-free and a door opened for ministry in our local church.   We carefully followed as God directed.  We spent just over another 5 years farming and at the same time serving as a staff pastor in a large city church.  After that time, we had clear direction to stop farming and sell all of our equipment.  A little later we also tore down our hog buildings and buried the remains.  This was like Elisha burning his plow and not looking back!  (1st Kings 19:19-21)

It has been an interesting experience to follow Jesus!  When we started, we did not know all that it would require.  It seemed like a simple matter and in reality it has been!  His yoke is easy and His burden is light!  We can recall what we have gone through, but we wouldn’t go back for anything!  If God has called you to put your hand to His plow, do it with joy!  The journey is exciting and the best is yet to come!

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