Burning Heart

Journal Entry // April 7, 2022

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Luke 24:32 ESV

In this chapter, the risen Christ comes and spends time with his followers and disciples. The writer gives an honest heartfelt assessment of their inability to comprehend that Jesus died and was now alive, just as he said it would happen. These very ones who had heard the message of the resurrection did not understand this message, even when it was standing in front of them talking! The portion that stood out to me in this section was that Jesus had to open their minds to understand the Scriptures. Both here in this verse and later on with the eleven, Jesus explained the writings of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms to those he encountered. Although they did not recognize or truly believe it was him standing among them, he used the Word of God to reveal himself to them.

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Crowd Demands

Journal Entry // April 6, 2022

So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted.

Luke 23:24 ESV

I always find the story of Pilate interesting. As I read these portions of the story in the Gospels that present Pilate to us, I see this duality in him that seems to make him sway back and forth in doing the right thing. On the one hand he can readily see that Jesus is innocent of any crime that deserves death, but on the other hand his cruelty enjoys making a mockery of any prisoner. He seemingly has a conviction of truth that he has determined as judge, yet is so fearful of what everyone thinks about him that he determines to let the crowd decide the fate of Jesus and give over his authority. In the name of “peace,” Pilate sided with the leaders and rulers of the people – the ones in power – instead of being brave and performing his duty as judge. His fear of man was greater than his fear of the Lord.

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Grumbling at Joy

Journal Entry // March 31, 2022

So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. [7] And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”

Luke 19:6-7 ESV

Why did they all grumble at Jesus deciding to stay at the house of Zacchaeus? Here is an everyday example of Jesus deciding to stay with someone in their house and enjoy a meal together. I am sure that Jesus did this fairly regularly and spent time with a host in the various cities he visited. Why is it that this time, the author reveals that the crowd grumbled? Is it simply because he went into the house of a sinner? Or is it because Zacchaeus was a tax collector? A rich tax collector at that. So when Jesus saw the enthusiasm of this man that was seeking to just glance at him as he passed by, Jesus stopped and gave him the honor of hosting him and his disciples. An honor that was not lost on the crowd and the crowd was not pleased.

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Like a Child

Journal Entry // March 30, 2022

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Luke 18:17 ESV

Faith like a little child is such an amazing picture to contemplate. A little child believes the truth without hesitation or question. A little child will readily believe and adhere to the words of his father and mother. A little child looks at his father with complete adoration and desires to emulate him. A little child trusts completely and without doubt that his parents love him and that they will provide for him and protect him. A little child knows that he can rest securely in life under the watchful presence of his parents. This is what Jesus is calling me to understand and live. He is calling me to a whole-hearted, unwavering faith in the sovereign God of the universe.

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Drawing Near

Journal Entry // March 26, 2022

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.

Luke 15:1 ESV

Am I offended by this statement as the leaders and teachers were when Jesus was ministering among the people? Mentally, I ascent to this statement and fully endorse the compassion and sensitivity that Jesus was showing to the crowds and understand that the lost and hurting were drawn to him because of his compassion and love. In practice, I am not so sure that I live out this same compassion and love toward sinners and those in need. Are those in need of Jesus drawn to me and my life? Am I putting myself in situations and opportunities to be around those who are vulnerable and in need? I know that I want to be this person that so models the life of Christ and the Spirit flowing out of me that the hurting are drawn to me. Yet, I feel I am lacking in this area of ministry. I am slow to leave my comfort areas that continue to give me a false sense of security.

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Unwilling Brood

Journal Entry // March 25, 2022

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

Luke 13:34 ESV

The unwillingness of a stubborn and prideful heart to embrace the very thing that it desires. This is the picture Jesus paints for me as I read his lament over Jerusalem. The very people of the city who thought they were doing the will of God by punishing those they felt were false prophets and teachers. The very people who would adamantly defend their actions as holy and just and righteous. These are the very ones that were putting down and killing the messengers from the God they wanted to serve and honor. The very thing they were seeking, to be obedient to God and find his favor, is the one thing they were rejecting in their pride and arrogance. The question naturally arises in my mind, “Are you not just like Jerusalem?” Yes. A lot of the time I am just as hypocritical and ignorant to the Spirit of God moving in my life.

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Covetous Lies

Journal Entry // March 23, 2022

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Luke 12:15 ESV

It is an extremely simple thing to fall into this trap laid out for me in this world. The allure of covetousness is all around me. It is being shouted at me, it is being whispered to me, it is being encouraged in me, it is used as a weapon against me at every moment of every day both from the world and in my very own heart. My eye sees and wants what it sees. My heart desires those things it sees in others. My soul wants to relax, eat, drink, and be merry. This is the very thing the world is pushing onto me. Companies use advertising to swell my covetousness. Friends and acquaintances are subtly comparing each other through covetousness intentions. And I join in this with them. I drop my guard against all covetousness and base my life on the abundance of possessions.

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Healthy Eyes

Journal Entry // March 20, 2022

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.

Luke 11:34 ESV

How I view the circumstances of my life and the world around me through the lens of the gospel is what this passage is getting at. My eye direcst and guides me through this world and as such, it informs and directs not only the content of what I allow to penetrate my body and mind but how I view these things from a spiritual perspective. It is essential that my eye is healthy. This allows my entire body to be full of light. To be full of the gospel of Christ. When my eye leads me astray and I begin to view the things around me from a worldly perspective, the darkness grows and swells within me.

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Who Do You Say

Journal Entry // March 19, 2022

Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

Luke 9:20 ESV

As I was reading through this section of Luke, I started thinking about this shortened interchange of Jesus and his disciples where Peter gives his great foundational response to who Jesus is. I have always focused on Peter’s response to this question, but this morning I was interested in thinking about what brought Jesus to ask these two questions.

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Manifest Darkness

Journal Entry // March 18, 2022

For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

Luke 8:17 ESV

The deception of the enemy is that the truth of this verse is not a reality in my life. Step one in the process of temptation is to convince my heart and mind that hidden sin will not be made manifest, nor will it ever come to light. For this is the first hurdle any deception must overcome to lure me into temptation. The enemy knows that there is yet darkness that lies hidden in my heart. Darkness that is dormant and hidden even from my own self, as well as darkness that I have hidden in the corners of my heart. It is all of this sin and darkness that will be made manifest in light of the gospel. As the Lord brings the gospel into my heart, it illuminates and reveals those dark sinful areas of my heart. First making them manifest to myself to bring repentance and humility to my heart.

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