MARCH

2019:


Rev. JT Overby

March 1st
Mark 16

Gary Reynolds

March 4th—8th
Luke 1—Luke 5

 

Dr. Craig Bowers

March 11th—March  15th 
Luke 6—Luke 10

 

Dr. Kevin Calhoun

March 18th— March 22nd
Luke 11— Luke 15

 

Jonathan Norton

March 25th—March 29th
Luke 16—Luke 20



  • March 1st, 2019

     

    by JT Overby

     

    Read Mark 16

     

    The first day of the week doesn’t start with joy, celebration, and hope. Instead, it starts with sadness and mourning. The women come to the tomb with spices to anoint the body of Jesus. As they go, they are hit with the realization that they won’t be able to roll back the massive stone. It is a new day, but darkness feels so close.

     

    As they approach the tomb, they see the stone already rolled away. I can’t imagine the fear and confusion they might have felt in that moment. I’m sure it wasn’t happiness as they probably thought something evil had been done and something done to his lifeless body. But, as they approach, they see a young man sitting where his body was supposed to be.

     

    The lifeless body of Jesus was not there. That wasn’t because any evil had been done though. The young man has the most alarming message. Jesus wasn’t dead! Jesus has risen from the grave. He has conquered death and the enemy. All of darkness collided on Jesus on the cross, but Jesus won. Jesus conquered our true enemy. Our debt is paid and our Savior is alive.

     

    We know from the other gospels that after Jesus spent time with the disciples and other followers He ascended to the throne. Our risen Savior, flesh and blood, one who suffered and was tempted just as we are, one who can sympathize with us, is now reigning. All authority over heaven and earth has been given to Him. The darkness that was felt no longer reigns. Light has broken through, and we have life in Jesus.

     

    Application:
    Put yourself in the shoes of the women as they head to anoint the body of Jesus.  What thoughts and emotions flood your heart and mind? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    Now imagine hearing the news that Jesus is alive, and imagine the moment of seeing your risen Savior who you saw die on a cross.  We don’t have to imagine that for long. The day is coming when he will come again and we will see our beloved Savior!

     

    Prayer:
    Make me a person who lives in the light of resurrection. Give me grace to know you are alive, you are reigning, and that the darkness I feel all around does not reign. Give me grace to know the life I have in you all the more! Amen.



  • March 4th, 2019

     

    by Gary Reynolds

     

    Read Luke 1

     

    Have you ever found yourself in a situation that was totally and completely  impossible? Or at least at the moment it seemed to be such. It seems the longer that I live this life, the more of these opportunities come my way. Yes, opportunities is the word that I intentionally used. These situations almost always provide the “opportunity” for personal growth, a strengthening of my faith, and a chance for me (and others) to see God truly works in ways that are completely unexpected and   unexplainable.

     

    We read of Elizabeth and Zacharias, who were both advanced in their years and  Elizabeth was barren. There is the announcement that they will be having a child. Then we read of a young girl by the name of Mary, who was a virgin and not married but was told she would be having a child.   Impossible!  But...

     

    Let’s take a side bar here and notice a couple of things: Elizabeth and  Zacharias were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless (v6).  And that Mary had found favor with God (v30).  You see, impossible situations favor the young, the old, those who are blameless, pure, good ....  I would imagine that Mary, Elizabeth, and Zacharias, their families, friends, and everyone that knew them thought this was an impossible situation. But look at verse 37. Nothing is impossible with God!  Look at what God did in both of these   situations.

     

    Application:

    What situations are you facing in your life that seem to be impossible for you to handle?

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     

    How many of those times have you allowed God to work in and through that  situation or opportunity to allow His glory to be known in a greater way? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Pray that God will work in your next impossible situation or opportunity.



  • March 5th, 2019


    by Gary Reynolds


    Read Luke 2


    I love Christmas! Even when we read about it in March. I have always been  fascinated with the Christmas story and the different characters involved. Probably the group of characters that most interest me are the shepherds. Common, ordinary, working class folk just living day by day and never expecting such an event. Yet in all of God’s creation, they were the first to be told what was happening! And what a way!  A dark, cold, quiet, regular night at work when all of a sudden... the darkness gone... an ordinary night became  extraordinary... the quiet was interrupted by magnificent sounds of angels,  multitudes singing and praising God!! Can you really imagine what those humble guys really thought??!! What would you have thought? If I’m honest, then I’m sure I would need more than one time to be told “do not be afraid!”

     

    I actually think that it’s interesting that the angels did not tell the shepherds to go to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus. The angels just announced the event! It was solely their choice and decision to immediately act upon what they heard. They went to Bethlehem, saw the baby with their own eyes, just as they had been told.... and they believed!!! 

     

    How do we know that they believed? Because they left and told everyone they saw what had happened and praised God the whole time.

     

    The shepherds were the first ones told and they were the first to tell others.

     

    Application:

    How do others know that you have believed? Are you telling what you have seen? Are you sharing what God has done in your life?  ________________________________________________________________

     

    _______________________________________________________________



  • March 6th, 2019

     

    by Gary Reynolds

     

    Read Luke 3


    Do you remember that impossible situation with Elizabeth and Zacharias? We now see the opportunity that it became. John the Baptist went into all the  region around Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sin (v 3).  John preached the words of the prophet Isaiah and there were multitudes that came out to be baptized because it was the popular thing to do... John called them a brood of vipers, and told them “do you think a little water is  going to deflect Gods judgement?”

     

    John was clear, your life must change!  The Message translation reads this way: “what counts is your life. Is your life green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire!” After that, the crowds began to ask “What are we to do?” 

     

    I think John’s response to the people is very interesting, he says basically, a life of repentance is a life that gives to others, that doesn’t cheat, that is content. These words sound very similar to those of the Apostle Paul.

     

    Application:

    Are you doing the “popular” thing or are you living a life of true repentance? John clarified that true baptism was of the Holy Spirit ... and was reflected in a life of repentance that showed in the actions of our lives.

     

     

    What are ways that your life exhibits true repentance?   ______________

     

    _______________________________________________________________

     



  • March 7th  , 2019


    by Gary Reynolds

    Read Luke 4


    Jeremy Myers says, “It often happens in the Christian life that after the blessing comes the battle, after the mountaintop comes the valley, the greatest temptation follows the greatest victory.”

     

    Jesus has just been proclaimed as the Savior who would baptize in the Spirit. Jesus himself had just been baptized by John the Baptist. After this, the heavens opened up and spoke the words “You are my beloved son and in you I am well pleased”. That must have been an awesome mountaintop experience!

     

    And for the next 40 days Jesus is alone. Facing tremendous temptation from  Satan.

     

    Jesus went from a great mountaintop experience to a tremendous valley of  temptation.  Myers explains that Satan’s only tactic in temptation is to raise doubt in our minds about the Word of God. He twists the Word of God. He makes subtle  changes to the Word of God. He adds to and subtracts from the Word of God. He rips verses out of context from the Word of God.

     

    If this is the way that Satan tempted Jesus, then we must certainly be aware that this is the way Satan will tempt us. Jesus responds to this temptation by  correctly quoting the word of God.

     

    In order to overcome temptation, you must be able to correctly handle the Word of God like Jesus. If you don’t know the Word of God and you don’t know how to  correctly handle the Word of God, you will be easy prey for the devil.

     

    Application:

    Temptation is inevitable! What are you doing to prepare for it when it comes? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Are you learning the Word and how to correctly use it?  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



  • March 8th , 2019


    by Gary Reynolds


    Read Luke 5


    Faith and persistence.

     

    Have you ever been a fisherman? I grew up absolutely loving to go fishing. As I’ve gotten older, I still enjoy it, but honestly, I cannot call myself a fisherman. You see, I loved it as long as I was catching fish! When there was no catch, I was ready for  something else! 

     

    Can you imagine Peter, a true fisherman by trade, fished all night with no catch? Exhausted from the work, ready to clean up, and call it a day. Yet when Jesus said to get in the boat, go out to the deep water and put down the nets, Peter had the faith to do as Jesus said.

     

    Peter had the faith and persistence to do whatever it took to catch fish!

     

    What about the guy’s whose friend was paralyzed and believed Jesus could heal him. The crowd was so big, they couldn’t get their friend through. Yet they had the faith and persistence to find a different, unique, and extraordinary means to get their friend to Jesus. Can you imagine how much time, work and energy it took a few guys to literally tear a hole in a tile roof of a neighbor’s house, large enough to lower a man on a mattress down through it to reach the floor?

     

    Both Peter and these men had the faith and persistence to do whatever it took....

     

    How about you today?

     

    Application:

    Do you have the faith and persistence to do what God asks of you when you’ve expended all your strength and resources?

    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    What are you willing to do to bring a friend to Jesus?  ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    What was someone willing to do to bring you? ________________________________________________________________
    ________________________________________________________________

     


  • March 11th, 2019


    by Craig Bowers


    Read Luke 6


    He went to the place of worship although he was very nervous. His discomfort was rooted in the fact that he was disqualified from being in the place of worship because of his hand. It was “withered” so he was unclean. He was not supposed to be inside the synagogue!

     

    But he heard of a Rabbi who healed people. If he were caught by the synagogue  officials, he would be openly shamed. He tried to “fit in” and hide the source of his disqualification. To his great joy the healing Rabbi was present. His heart was warmed by the teaching of God’s truth from the great Teacher. But then his worst nightmare happened. The Rabbi pointed him out. The Rabbi revealed the fact that he had a withered hand. Everyone stared! Some of their looks were harsh and judgmental. Others looked on with curious eyes. But the Rabbi looked at him with acceptance, love, and hope.

     

    The teacher asked him to stretch out his hand. When he did, it became whole! He was healed. Yet the leaders of the place of worship were angered by the violation of their rules. The Rabbi wasn’t supposed to heal on the Sabbath and he wasn’t supposed to be inside the synagogue!

     

    That story is replayed across the world as people who feel “disqualified” from being in a place of worship finally work up the courage to attend. At times they are met with judgmental our curious looks. At times, people who are “disqualified” discover a place of truth, love, and wholeness. They experience healing!

     

    Application:
    When people who may be uncomfortable at the place of worship encounter you, will they see love and acceptance in your eyes? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    Are you willing to make those who are uncomfortable in church more comfortable by warmly greeting them before or after the time of worship? ________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    Prayer:

    Lord, may my heart be sensitive to others who may feel out of place at church. I pray that I will do my part to create a culture that facilitates acceptance of others.




  • March 12th, 2019


    by Craig Bowers


    Read Luke 7


    The chapter ends with an incredible story. The account can be summed up with this principle: the degree of forgiveness determines the depth of love. This story reminds me of something that happened at the first church I pastored. An elderly couple paused as they left the worship service to speak to me. She said softly in my ear, “This is the first time we have been in church in over 30 years! Please visit us.” I went by to see them that week.

     

    After some small talk, I asked them to share their salvation testimony. They both had a clear testimony of surrendering to Christ. I discretely asked them where they had been going to church. He shared their story. When they were a young couple, actively involved in church, something happened that deeply wounded him. He could not forgive them. He refused to go to church for 30 years. He had tried to forgive them but he “just couldn’t.” Then he said, “What do you think I should do?”

     

    I asked him to spend the next 3 days thanking God for every sin which God had forgiven him. He promised to ask God to remind him of sins long forgotten. I left. 2 days later he called me to come over that day. I arrived to find him looking haggard. He said he hadn’t slept in 2 days! God flooded his mind with sins he had long forgotten. He said at some point he realized if God could forgive him of all those sins he should forgive those who had sinned against him. He was free!

     

    Application:
    Pause now and think about all the sins that God has forgiven you? Praise God for His forgiveness! Will you release those who have sinned against you? ___________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________

    Prayer:

    My Lord and King, forgive me of my trespasses even as I forgive others of their trespasses against me.



  • March 13th, 2019


    by Craig Bowers


    Read Luke 8


    The chapter ends with two miracles! Jairus’ 12 year old daughter is dying. He implores Jesus to come to his house and heal her. On the way, there is an interruption. A lady who “had a hemorrhage for 12 years” touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. This lady had exhausted all her resources seeking deliverance. Her ailment rendered her “unclean”. She was not allowed to touch anyone or they would be declared unclean. She tried to hide in the crowd and inconspicuously touch Jesus. She knew He could heal her. When she touched the edge of his robe she was immediately healed. She wanted to simply blend back into the crowd and walk away.

     

    But Jesus stopped and asked, “Who touched me?” She was stunned. He knew! She knew! But they (the crowd) didn’t know. Everyone looked around until she stepped forward. When she did, Jesus praised her for her faith.

     

    The account of this lady reminds us that Jesus is never too busy to meet our need. And that our Lord wants us to let others know WHO met the need.

     

    But while we read her healing, someone is waiting! A fretful father is pacing back and forth. Is it too late? When will we get back on track? The account of Jairus teaches us that Jesus is never late! Even when our plans change, Jesus is still in control.

     

    You may be in the “waiting room” of life. It is a challenging place to be. There are so many possible outcomes that may change our plans. Will you pace back and forth or will you rest in His peace trusting that His timing is perfect?

     

    Application:
    What are the greatest lessons you’ve learned from the “waiting room”? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    Prayer: 
    King Jesus, your delays are not denials. May I learn that even when all hope seems to be lost, you are on the Throne.



  • March 14th, 2019

     

    by Craig Bowers

     

    Read Luke 9

     

    The first ten verses of this chapter teaches us the ten characteristics of a Great Commission Christian. First, we are to walk in His power, vs 1. We must continuously submit to the control of the Holy Spirit in order to walk in His power and overcome the world. Second, we stand in His authority, vs 1. God is the only One who has the authority to declare truth. We simply share it! Third, we share the Kingdom message.  Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of God. The King robed himself in human flesh to pay for sin. The King conquered death, hell, and the grave! That is the      Kingdom message.

     

    Fourth, we demonstrate compassion by helping others, vs 2. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care! Show them you care! Fifth, we trust Christ, vs 3. He will provide exactly what we need at the time of our need. Sixth, we are content, vs 4. In order to be effective in serving the Lord, we cannot be constantly long for the things of the world. We must learn to be content.

     

    Seventh, we must exercise discernment, vs 5. God expects us to be good stewards of our time and resources. We must carefully discern the wisest investments. Eight, we faithfully obey, vs 6. A great commission Christian simply obeys the King. Obedience is the test of your loyalty. Loyalty is based on love. If you love someone you will be loyal to them. Remember, incomplete obedience is disobedience.

     

    Ninth, create thirst, vv 7-9. We are the salt of the earth. Salt creates a thirst. Our world is thirsty for truth. When others see the work of God in our lives, they long for God to work in them. Tenth, be accountable, vs 10. All the disciples returned and   reported to the Lord. Do you have accountability built in your life?

     

    Application:

    Which one of these 10 characteristics is your strongest? Which one is your weakest?

     

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Lord, I want to be a great commission Christian. May all ten of these characteristics be true in my life. 



  • March 15th, 2019


    by Craig Bowers


    Read Luke 10


    Psychological studies report that grateful people experience a higher degree of  satisfaction in life. There is an old hymn that says, “Count your blessings name them one by one…” I looked up the top things for which people are grateful. Here’s the top five: Basic necessities of life, loving family, friends, health, life experiences.


    The disciples returned to Jesus rejoicing. They had victory in healing people and over evil spirits. Jesus clarified that which is to bring us ultimate joy – that our names are written in the Lamb's book of life. You see, you can have a great family, a lot of friends, excellent health, and unbelievable life experiences. But if you are not saved, all of those things are meaningless in eternity. Suppose you actually had every single desire of your heart but then died without being saved! What if you lived for 100 years with the best life ever and then you stepped through the doorway into eternity. There awaiting you is the host of hell. You are condemned for eternity. People may joke about having a good time in hell, but no one is having fun in hell.


    When you articulate those things for which you are grateful, where on that list is the salvation you have in Christ. It is really the most important blessing in time and eternity.


    Application:
    If you are saved, begin every day thanking God for His grace to allow you to be a part of His Kingdom. If you are not saved, what is keeping you from surrendering to Christ?  ______________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    Prayer:
    Lord, I am grateful that my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. Thank you for your grace! Thank you Jesus for paying for my sin. You deserve all the praise! 



  • March 18th, 2019



    by Kevin Calhoun                                                                                                                        

    Read Luke 11


    Our scripture reading for today begins with Jesus spending time alone with His Father in prayer.  While Jesus is praying, one of His disciples asks Him to teach them how to pray.  In the verses to follow Jesus provides the disciples with a “model” prayer (vss.1-4), a parable about the need for persistence in prayer (vss. 5-10), and a word of        encouragement as we pray.

     

    Jesus wants us to understand that learning to pray is important, but the real key is   recognizing our need to pray.  We learn to pray by praying.  It is not simply a matter of reading more about prayer or taking another Bible study on prayer (though these are good habits to maintain).  As we pray, we truly learn to pray.  When the need is real, we continue to pray out of desperation.

     

    Jesus also wants us to understand if an earthly father seeks to respond to his children’s requests, “how much more” will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit.  God is the giver of every good gift. Furthermore, the best gift God ever gives us is the gift of His presence. 

     

    Thus, He teaches us to ask, seek, and knock continually. Prayer is not a “once and done” activity.  We pray to our Father in heaven, we trust in His goodness, and we walk by faith believing the Holy Spirit is present with us each day. The promise of God’s presence provides us with hope and assurance. 

     

    Application:
    What are your greatest needs today? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    I encourage you to take these needs to God in prayer today? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    Prayer:
    Lord, thank You for Your presence in my life each day.  I want to walk with You today by faith and not by sight.  Fill me with Your comfort and peace.  Amen!

     


  • March 19th, 2019


    by Kevin Calhoun                                                                                                         

    Read Luke 12


    When I was 10 or 11 years old, I was playing a game outside with my brother and some of our neighbors.  As we were playing, the mother of one of our neighbors came out and told us about something exciting on TV.  Everyone ran to the neighbor’s house to see what she was talking about.  Everyone, that is, but me.  I had a new bicycle, and I wanted to ride it to the house (just next door).  I ran to my driveway, got on my        bicycle, and rode next door to my friend’s house.  By the time I arrived, the television show was over, and I had missed the action. I do not remember what was on TV, but I remember how crushed I was to miss all the fun.

     

    In Luke 12:35 Jesus says, “Be dressed in readiness . . .,” and in verse 40 He says, “You too, be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” Many people have tried to predict when Jesus will return, but the Bible tells us no one knows the time or day. Only the Father knows.  We are simply told to be ready.

     

    I have missed many opportunities in my life. Some were no big deal, but others were quite significant. The exhortation to us is to be ready when the Son of Man comes. That will be an event for which we all will want to be prepared.

     

    Application:  
    List some things you can do to be better prepared for our Lord’s return. ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    What can you do to make sure those you love are prepared as well? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:
    Lord, I want to know You.  I want to walk with You more closely.  Draw me close to You!



  • March 20th, 2019   


    by Kevin Calhoun   

                                                                                         

    Read Luke 13


    This chapter in Luke’s Gospel contains one of the saddest pictures in the Bible to me.  In verse 34, Jesus states, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!” How sad to think that Jesus wanted to gather His people to Himself, but they would not have it.  That is so hard for me to imagine.

     

    However, as I read this passage of scripture, I have to ask myself, “what have I refused to do for my Lord?” Have I refused to hear His voice calling to me each day?  Have I heard His voice but chosen to go my own way instead? Have I overlooked the child who was hungry? Have I neglected those who are thirsty? Have I walked past those who are without clothing or shelter?  Have I ignored the least of these?

     

    The Bible says we have all sinned.  We have all rebelled against our God.  But, Paul tells us, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,”  (1 Corinthians 15:57). As we turn to God by faith in Jesus we are redeemed. We stand in a new relationship with our Father. Let us turn to Him today by faith in Christ Jesus. Let us not refuse to respond.

     

    Application:
    Have you trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin?  If not, will you do so today?

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     

    How is the Lord speaking to you today?

    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:
    Lord, draw me near to You each day.  Give me ears to hear, eyes to see, and hands to serve. Amen!



  • March 21st , 2019                                                                                                                          

    by Kevin Calhoun


    Read Luke 14


    I learned many things from my father when I was a child.  Many involved simple things like saying yes mam and no mam, yes sir and no sir.  My father also taught me about finances because he was in banking – always pay your bills and never sign your name to a bad check.  But one of the most valuable lessons he taught me was about borrowing money.  Before borrowing any money (whether the amount was large or small), be absolutely sure I would be able to pay it back.  He taught me to count the cost.

     

    Because of these teachings, Luke 14:25-35 is interesting to me. The crowds following Jesus were growing by the day so Jesus turns and tells them that being His disciple is costly. Following Jesus will have an impact on our family relationships (vs. 26). Being a disciple will involve carrying a cross and following Jesus (vs. 27).  Then Jesus tells them about a man building a tower and a king going to war (vss. 28-32).  Jesus sums up His comments by saying, “no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”  Jesus concludes with these words - “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” (vs. 35).

     

    Following Jesus makes demands upon our lives. We are to surrender to His Lordship.  We are to count the cost.  Are we listening?

     

    Application:

    What relationships or possessions might be a hindrance to your walk with Jesus? 

    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________


    What Steps will you take today to surrender fully to Him?

    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Lord Jesus, open my eyes to areas in my life that may be a hindrance to my walk with You.  Give me ears to “HEAR” Your call on my life.  Amen!

     


  • March 22nd, 2019 


    by Kevin Calhoun                                                                                                         

    Read Luke 15


    Luke 15 is one of my favorite chapters in all of Scripture.  This chapter contains the Parable of the Prodigal Son, also known as the Parable of the Loving Father.  This   parable is linked in Luke 15 with two other parables – the lost sheep and the lost   coin - forming a threefold emphasis of one message.  A shepherd leaves 99 sheep in the fold in order to look for one lost sheep.  A woman who loses one coin out of ten searches carefully until the one is found.  Then, a loving father stares out his window longingly awaiting the return of his son.  Each of these three parables culminates with a beautiful statement: “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance,” (Luke 15:7); “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents,” (Luke 15:10); and “we had to be merry and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found,” (Luke 15:32).  Every time a sinner turns to God by faith in Jesus, there is rejoicing in  heaven. 

     

    Wow! There was rejoicing in Heaven when I trusted in Jesus.  Now I want to share my faith with those I encounter each day!  Let us join the party and rejoice with the  angels in Heaven!

     

    Application:
    List three people you know who recently trusted in Christ Jesus.  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    List three people you will share your faith with in the coming days.  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Prayer:
    Lord, thank you for the gift of my salvation.  I pray I will be faithful to you each day by sharing my faith with others.  Amen.



  • March 25th, 2019


    by Jonathan Norton


    Read Luke 16


    As we read this chapter we are reminded that we as Christians should invest our lives in others in need and to the glory of God. Life is a stewardship, and we must be faithful whether God “gives us much or little” (v.10). One day we must give an account to the Lord of what we have done with all He has given to us, so we should listen to what Jesus says in this chapter about the right and wrong use of money.  

     

    A Steward is someone who manages another’s money. He/she do not own that  money, but they have the privilege of enjoying it and using it for the profit of the  master. The most important thing about a steward is that they serve the master faithfully (1 Corinthians 4:2). Christian stewardship goes beyond paying God our tithe of our income and then using what is left as we please. True stewardship means that we thank God for all we have (Deuteronomy 8:11-18), and we use all of it as He      directs. God should control what we do with the 90 percent as well.

     

    If God is our Master, then money will be our servant, and we will use our resources to the glory and will of God. May we learn today not to be like the Pharisees in  verses 14-31 where God was not their Master, and they became the servants of money. For with their lips, they honored the Lord, but with their money they lived like the world. 

     

    Application:

    Who or What are you investing in for the glory of God and His Kingdom? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________


    What changes in your finances might the Holy Spirit be laying on your heart? 

    ________________________________________________________________
    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Heavenly Father, thank you for all you have blessed me with. May I honor you in how I invest all those resources for your will and your glory. Amen.         



  • March 26th, 2019


    by Jonathan Norton


    Read Luke 17


    In this chapter, Luke gives us four lessons that Jesus gave His disciples that are applicable to all Christians today. We learn about: Forgiveness (vs 1-6), Faithfulness (vs 7-10), Thankfulness (vs 11-19) and Preparedness (vs 20-37).

     

    Let’s look at “Preparedness”. In verses 20-37 we see Jesus answer the Pharisees and then turn to teach His disciples about the coming of the kingdom. He warned them not to become so obsessed with His return that they do nothing else but try to figure out when and where he is coming. We should certainly look to His return with excitement, but at the same time, we should be busy doing His will and His work when He comes (Acts 1:6-11). 

     

    When Jesus comes for His church it will happen “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye”  (1 Corinthians 15:52). Matthew tells us in chapter 24 that His coming will be “as  sudden as a flash of lightning”. So while we should study the scriptures of prophecy to help us understand about His coming, we cannot know the day or hour (Luke 12). The most important thing for us as Christians is to be ready when He comes!

     

    How do we make sure we are ready? By daily practicing the other lessons Jesus teachers us in this chapter: forgiveness, faithfulness and thankfulness. By doing these things we will be obeying His word, living for Him and we will help prepare others to be ready for His return.    

     

    Application:

    How do you know you are prepared for Jesus’ return? 

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    How often do you tell others about Jesus so they can be prepared?
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    Prayer:

    Lord, may our focus be on telling others about you the king and your kingdom while we are still here on earth, so that more people will be prepared to enter your kingdom when you return. Amen.   

     


  • March 27th, 2019


    by Jonathan Norton


    Read Luke 18


    Dr. Luke writes about several types of people in this chapter and each one has a spiritual lesson to teach us. We read about widows and politicians (vs. 1-8), Pharisees and publicans (vs. 9-14), little children and adults (vs. 15-17), and rich men and  beggars (vs. 18-43).

     

    In verses 9-17 we read about an arrogant Pharisee who had a selfish view of prayer. He prayed with himself and told God how good he was. This Pharisee was using  prayer as a way to get public recognition. This man thought he would be accepted by God because of what he did. But the Pharisee’s pride condemned him, while the publican‘s humble faith saved him. 

     

    Also, we learn Jesus wants us to be childlike and humble in verses 15-17. We know that an unspoiled child illustrates faith, humility and dependence. A child is excitable and filled with wonder. It is important for us as Christians to be childlike in our faith, but not be childish.

     

    If we desire to grow in our faith and attract others to Jesus, we must humble ourselves like children before our Lord. We must not tell others what we are doing for the kingdom, we must simply allow our actions to demonstrate our love for Jesus, for His kingdom and for others.      

     

    Application:

    What areas of your life are you prideful? ____________________________


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    How can you be more childlike, but not childish in your faith? ________________________________________________________________
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    Prayer:

    Father, please help me to always remain humble and childlike. May I be more excited and filled with wonder as I study your word. I pray that you will continue to put Godly people in my life that will hold me accountable and keep me humble whenever I become prideful. Amen        

     


  • March 28th, 2019


    by Jonathan Norton


    Read Luke 19


    As we read this chapter I think all of us are like Zacchaeus in a spiritual sense, in that we are all “little” compared to our “Big” God.

     

    Think about this, that Zacchaeus thought he was seeking Jesus (v. 3), but Jesus was seeking him (v.10). Isn’t that cool to think that King Jesus would seek us out? Verse 10 is the key verse when Luke tells us “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”. Not only that, Jesus invited himself to go to the house of Zacchaeus. That would be awesome wouldn’t it? Well, we must remember Jesus wants to be in our house as well. He desires to be in every home!        

     

    Not only do we read that we have a King that seeks us, but Luke tells us that during the triumphal entry to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped and wept over their sin. Our Lord and Savior cries over our sin! That is how much he cares about us. Whether we are spiritually blind or ignorant in our hearts like the people in Jerusalem back thousands of years ago, or if we have sinned against a friend or loved one just recently. Jesus still grieves over our sin and pours out His love for us through His grace. The question we must ask ourselves is do our hearts break over the things that break the heart of God?

     

     

    Application:

    How many times have you cried over your own sin? ___________________

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    How many times have you cried for the lost? _________________________

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    Prayer:

    Lord, thank you for seeking to save me even though I was a sinner. Thank you for    continuing to seek communion with me as a follower of you. May you burden my heart to the point of grief when I sin and may you give me a burden for the lost. May I seek to share the Gospel with all that I come in contact with. Amen



  • March 29th, 2019


    by Jonathan Norton


    Read Luke 20


    In this chapter we meet three groups of religious leaders and witness their conflict with Jesus. Not only was there conflict, they were really rejecting Him. But a great point we see here is that even though these religious leaders were questioning the authority of Jesus, He still listened patiently and kept teaching. That is a great lesson for us to learn when dealing with conflict or persecution in our own lives. We need to Listen and respond with the love of God’s word.

     

    In verse 41-44 while the Pharisees were still gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son?” In the Gospel of Matthew we read it this way:  “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” (Matthew 22:41-42). This is a vital question that every one of us must answer. Every generation and every individual are dependent on what we think about Christ for our salvation and eternity. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Do you believe He died for your sins? If you believe this, then do you tell others about Him? Do you tell others who Christ is to you? How we answer these questions is very important. How we live out these answers is also important.      

     

     

    Application:

    Who is Christ to you? ____________________________________________

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    How have you responded to conflict recently? _______________________


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    Prayer:

    Our Father in Heaven, may you give me the grace and mercy to handle conflict in a manner that will glorify you. Thank you for being the ultimate example of grace. I pray you give me divine opportunities to ask others who Christ is to them, and in   return share with them who you are to me. Amen