Luke and The Lost
It was a grand weekend of listening to a powerful, spirit led speaker and worship music that filled our souls with praise for God. I was one of the organizers, helped in the kitchen, helped lead worship, and made the speaker comfortable. I had also invited my best friend who had not accepted Christ…yet. In the busyness, I noticed that the Holy Spirit was softening my friends heart with the messages. There were tears in her eyes as we lined up for lunch. I went to her and was about to talk with her about Jesus when details called me away. Missed opportunity. I will regret it for the rest of my life. God gave me another opportunity with her later, but I will always regret THAT one.
Jesus is teaching in the meeting place. He sees a woman who needs His touch. He stops what He is doing and heals her. The church leaders go wild with anger saying he disobeyed God’s law of no work on the Sabbath. Jesus refocuses their thoughts and actions on what the Kingdom of God is really supposed to be.
Each day is filled with possibilities and opportunities to help others find and follow Jesus. This is the picture of Kingdom living God’s way. If we focus less on the details and stay tenaciously focused on Jesus, He will show us these times to stop and offer His love to someone else. It might be just a smile to a face twisted and lined with worry over a challenging situation. It might saying “you’re doing a great work here” to a store associate just trying to eek out a living. It might be showing patience and kindness to others who are angry as they stand in line to wait. It might be praying with a woman at Sam’s Club because she broke down to tell you she is going through a divorce while admiring jackets on sale. (Yep, that happened last week.) Start with the day to day and then God will move us on to more intense Kingdom work. God will lead us. God will bless the small stuff. His Holy Spirit will always give us the words to say at the right time. To God be the glory for Kingdom living!
“How can I picture God’s Kingdom”, says Jesus to all of us. It might make us late to church but save the life of someone in distress. It might help us to see the world through HIS eyes. Kingdom living might make us more compassionate as we pray, “Lord, break my heart of those things that break yours.” Kingdom living is more concerned about living abundant and free from sin that entangles us and helping others to break free as well.
How can we picture God’s Kingdom? Love God. Love Others. Do this with all our heart, mind and soul. The rest of life falls into place as we serve in His ways.
Luke 13, The Message
Healing on the Sabbath
10-13 He was teaching in one of the meeting places on the Sabbath. There was a woman present, so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn’t even look up. She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years. When Jesus saw her, he called her over. “Woman, you’re free!” He laid hands on her and suddenly she was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God.
14 The meeting-place president, furious because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the congregation, “Six days have been defined as work days. Come on one of the six if you want to be healed, but not on the seventh, the Sabbath.”
15-16 But Jesus shot back, “You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it. So why isn’t it all right for me to untie this daughter of Abraham and lead her from the stall where Satan has had her tied these eighteen years?”
17 When he put it that way, his critics were left looking quite silly and red-faced. The congregation was delighted and cheered him on.
The Way to God
18-19 Then he said, “How can I picture God’s kingdom for you? What kind of story can I use? It’s like a pine nut that a man plants in his front yard. It grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches, and eagles build nests in it.”
20-21 He tried again. “How can I picture God’s kingdom? It’s like yeast that a woman works into enough dough for three loaves of bread—and waits while the dough rises.”
22 He went on teaching from town to village, village to town, but keeping on a steady course toward Jerusalem.
23-25 A bystander said, “Master, will only a few be saved?”
He said, “Whether few or many is none of your business. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires your total attention. A lot of you are going to assume that you’ll sit down to God’s salvation banquet just because you’ve been hanging around the neighborhood all your lives. Well, one day you’re going to be banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you’ll find the door locked and the Master saying, ‘Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.’
26-27 “You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives!’ only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don’t know the first thing about me.’
28-30 “That’s when you’ll find yourselves out in the cold, strangers to grace. You’ll watch Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets march into God’s kingdom. You’ll watch outsiders stream in from east, west, north, and south and sit down at the table of God’s kingdom. And all the time you’ll be outside looking in—and wondering what happened. This is the Great Reversal: the last in line put at the head of the line, and the so-called first ending up last.”
Think about it….
–How do you picture God’s Kingdom?
–Are we the yeast of this age, working Kingdom living into the dough and fiber of society?
–Be a difference. Love unconditionally like God loves us.
Dear Heavenly Father, You have taught us, reminded us, now help us live Your Kingdom, Your way.
In Jesus Name, Amen