Based on: Luke 13:31-35
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wing, but you were not willing!” With this brief illustration our Savior opens his heart and allows us to see his heart breaking over those who refuse to accept his help. He came to them as their Messiah to rescue them, to save them the with his almighty power from an eternity of suffering. He loved them with such a love that he was willing to live a whole life of service to them. He drove out demons. He healed their sick. He told them the truth about God. He even died for them.
He came to give them the one thing they truly needed and in return they did to him what they did to so many others sent by God. They killed him. They would not listen to what he had to say and like a stubborn little baby chick who ignores its mother, they would not stand still under the protecting wings of the almighty God. They refused the protection he had to offer against our enemies in this world or against God’s wrath on judgment day.
Based On: Luke 2:13-14
The shepherds were doing what they did every night – watching the sheep. The night was quiet and peaceful as a single angel told them Christ was born in Bethlehem. Suddenly thousands of angels, if not tens of thousands, broke the peace of that night and sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” The Christ child came and the angels proclaim that there is now peace. As I look around I don’t see much peace in this world. Where is this peace?
What do you think? Isn’t that a catchy title – “The Daze Before Christmas”? You know, those days before Christmas can be so busy – so full of gift shopping, decorating, and Christmas gatherings – that they leave you in a daze. But I must be honest. The title isn’t my own idea. The title for this article comes from the video-based Bible study we will use for the Sundays in Advent (November 30th – December 14th ).
Based on: Luke 23:46
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Jesus said from the rough wooden cross as life itself was allowed to leave his body. With all of our offenses paid for he placed himself into the loving hands of the Almighty Father and gave up his spirit.
Based on: Luke 24:13-35
Imagine walking along the road and having Jesus come up to you and start talking to you. Wouldn’t you be surprised and shocked? Wouldn’t you listen to every word that he had to say? Wouldn’t your attention be focused on him and nothing else?
Based on: Luke 17:1-10
You have probably heard this statement before; "if you’ve had faith size of a mustard seed." Perhaps you’ve also thought, "If only I had a faith that could move mountains." The first thing that comes to mind is that our faith has to be stronger or that I have to work harder at believing. Some even try to connect good health or wealth to the size of one’s faith, but this isn’t what Jesus is saying. Jesus says if you have faith as “small” as a mustard seed, then you can move a mulberry tree. Jesus is certainly telling us that we have power through our faith, but this power doesn’t come from our faith. This power comes from God. Jesus describes one of the things we can do with his power – forgive. We have power from God to forgive.
Based on: Luke 16:19-31
There was a man who had a winning lottery ticket. It wasn’t worth a million dollars, but then again it wasn’t a ten or twenty dollar lottery ticket. This man held on to the ticket thinking that one day he would take it and claim his prize. The days and the weeks went by. He intended to redeem that ticket, but there were always other things that needed to be done. Work was busy or his family needed him at home. One day he realized that the lottery ticket had expired. He needed to claim his prize by a certain date and that date had passed. The piece of paper that had once been worth a substantial amount of money was now worthless.
Based on: Luke 16:1-13
The world really appreciates and looks up to someone who is clever. Those who are able to outwit someone, to solve a problem in an ingenious way, to beat the odds with shrewd determination and innovative thinking win the world’s respect. Think of those who have shown their military shrewdness such as Alexander the Great or Napoleon and those who are successful in business like Donald Trump and Bill Gates. We may not agree with the way they achieved their success, but we have to admit that the world considers them clever and resourceful, even shrewd. They have used the resources that were available to them to get what they wanted. Jesus tells us to do the same thing. He tells us to be shrewd – to use the resources available to us to win friends in heaven.
Based On: Luke 15:1-10
You know there are two types of people in this world, right? There are those who, when they are lost, know they are lost and are willing to admit it. Then there’s the other type of people who when they are lost are not willing to admit it. Perhaps they are new to an area and realize they’re lost or perhaps they may not even know they are lost. This is exactly the two types of people that Jesus is dealing with when he tells the parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coins. They are the tax collectors and the sinners. The sinners knew they were lost. They are the ones who were gathering around to hear Jesus. They knew they needed to hear what Jesus had to say. In contrast there were the Pharisees. We know they were lost as well, but they didn’t think there were lost. And if they did realize there were lost, they weren’t about to admit it. With these two parables Jesus tells them that he came into this world so they could be found.
Based On: Luke 14:25-33
How many unfinished projects do you have lying around the house? You know, those things you thought would be a great idea – redecorating the house or a new hobby you thought would be fun. I have plenty of those projects that I keep thinking, “Oh, I’ll finish that some day,” but that day never comes. Most of these are little things – if they don’t get done it’s not a big problem. It is very different when we are building a house. In fact, the bigger the project the more we will want to plan and think about it ahead of time. We don’t want to get partway into the project and find out we don’t have the resources to finish. The half built building is a waste of time and money and makes the builder look like a fool. How much more important is it to look at to the cost of discipleship, the cost of following Jesus. This is a matter of eternal consequence and so we must, as Jesus directs us, look at the cost of discipleship. The cost is high, so consider it carefully.