I’ve been asked by several folks lately about the daily devotion that I do during the week. I’ve been writing a devotion Monday through Friday for my girls and emailing it to them. Several have asked to be added to the list and I’m glad to do so. I’m currently sending these to several teenagers and their parents as well as to Katy and Kandace. Here’s a couple of days’ worth if you want to see a couple of samples:
Monday, March 19, 2012
Luke 14:1-6 “Here We Go Again”
Here we go again. Jesus is going to break a rule of the Jews. He’s going to heal another person on the Sabbath (Saturday).
One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. 2 And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. 3 And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4 But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. 5 And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” 6 And they could not reply to these things.
So, Jesus goes and eats at a Pharisees house. That’s like going to the dentist and having a root canal. These are very uptight and “religious” people. They want everything done their way. They are the people in church who complain about the length of the service. It’s “too hot” or “too cold.” The choir’s song was “too loud” or “too soft.” The preacher’s sermon was “too long” or “too…whatever…” You pick the complaint. But, that’s the Pharisees. Always nit-picking everything.
And here comes this man with dropsy. What’s that? Technically it is an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body that produces swelling.
Here’s what it looks like in the legs…see the fluid accumulation…
Jesus asked these guys again if it were lawful to heal on the Sabbath. They didn’t say a word. Finally they were learning their lesson. They can’t beat Jesus in a war of words about the law. He’ll whip them every time. Jesus healed the man. How could you tell? By simply looking? The swelling went away. You could see it just disappear! Isn’t that amazing! Yet these people (the Pharisees) were so hard-headed that they wouldn’t believe.
What are you “hard-headed” about? What is it that keeps tripping you up? What is it that Satan has locked in on in your life and that “thing” keeps tripping you up? Jesus continues to heal on the Sabbath over and over again to prove to the people that we should not let traditions of men and “religion” get in the way of our relationship with people and most of all, the Lord. These Pharisees were more concerned about not healing on the Sabbath than they were the man who was obviously in pain and suffering from his condition. Jesus said, “Come on guys…you’ll take care of animals that fall into a well on the Sabbath…will you not take care of a HUMAN BEING!”
Now…let’s ask again. What is it that needs to be taken care of in our lives? Where are we struggling? What is it that Jesus wants to heal in your life and mine that He keeps bringing to our attention? Let’s let Him do it. Shall we?
I love you dearly!
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Luke 14:7-11 “Think About Somebody Else”
7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Well…this is about to get uncomfortable. Here Jesus is at this Pharisees house and He tells them… “Hey…you guys need to take the lowest place…the worst seat in the house…not the best.” Can you imagine the tension in the room? All of those folks were fighting to get the best seat…probably right up next to the “best” Pharisee or the most popular person.
We’re just the same. I’m amazed at how few people will give up their seats anymore. When the Costa Concordia began to sink off the coast of Italy a few weeks ago, men were pushing pregnant women out of the way to get on to the life boats.
Sad isn’t it? When the Titanic sunk, the word was: “Women and children first!” This is a Judeo-Christian principle that comes from the teachings of Jesus.
So, here Jesus sits with these “fat cats…big fish” kind of people and he says, “Quit fighting over the best seats and think of others above yourselves.”
I was taught as a young man to stand when a lady enters the room. I was taught to give up my seat for a lady. I was taught to hold the door for a lady (or a man for that matter). We should be respectful. I was taught to stand up in the presence of an elderly person if they entered the room as well. Boy, have things changed. We no longer teach such things as Jesus did. We no longer honor those that are less fortunate. We look down on them or make fun of them if they wear clothes that don’t look like ours or they don’t have the right kind of purse of cell phone or whatever. We look down on them because they don’t look like we do.
I pray that we will be known by our politeness and our respectfulness of all people. Jesus said, “Don’t exalt yourself…but, instead to exalt others.” What does that mean? It means that we get up and give people the best seat and we take the worst.
I love you!
So, there you have it. If you are interested in receiving these daily devotions during the week, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you to the email list (confidential of course).
Why do I do these? Because I want my girls to grow in the Word of God.
As parents, we make so many investments for our kids. Clothes, sports, college, vacations, summer camps, etc. But, what about spiritually? Most parents don’t make a spiritual investment in their kids. They take them to church and say “grace” over their meals and that’s about it. We expect our kids to do their homework and do well in their extra-curricular activities (because we are making monthly payments for those activities, plus buying jerseys, shoes, outfits, etc…so we expect them to do well where we make that kind of investment).
I’ve had many people say, “I just don’t know where to start with doing family devotions.” Well…use these. We’re going through the book of Luke and so, if you want to piggyback onto the Brown train of devotions… Make that investment. Print these out and use them. Even if you can’t do a devotion all five nights during the week (that’s impossible for most)…at least try to schedule 2 or 3 a week. It will only happen when we get “intentional” in how we make investments into our children’s lives. So, let me know.
After all…shouldn’t we as parents be like the Apostle John?
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 4