Archive | June 2011

A Letter from Luke (Part 4)

Here is chapter 4 in the letter from Luke:

Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, journeyed into the wilderness. There in the wilderness for forty days, he ate nothing, and when the forty days had ended the devil came to Jesus and began to persuade him saying, “If you are really the Son of God, say to this stone, ‘Become bread,’ that you may eat and be satisfied.” Jesus quoting from Deuteronomy said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” The devil, not willing to give up to easily continued to attempt to persuade Jesus, “I will give you all the kingdoms of this world and all their glory, all I ask is that You worship me.” But Jesus was still not persuaded once again quoting from Deuteronomy he said, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’” Still the devil continued to persuade Jesus and in a final attempt the devil took Jesus to the top of the temple in Jerusalem and said, “If you really are the Son of God then throw yourself down from here.” And just like before Jesus responded from Deuteronomy saying, “It is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” The devil would then leave Jesus, until an opportune time later.Jesus returned to Galilee and many began to hear news of Jesus’ returning. Jesus would begin to teach in the synagogues and was praised by everyone who came to listen. He would arrive at Nazareth, where he was raised, and would enter the temple on the Sabbath. He began read from the prophet Isaiah about his calling and his purpose. How he would preach this gospel to the poor, release the captives, give sight to the blind, and set free those who are oppressed. These were great times for Jesus he seemed to be praised by everyone.

But Jesus knowing there hearts and what was to come rebuked the people in the town reminding them of their wicked ways in how they treated the prophets, Jesus also reminds them of some prophets who came only for Gentiles. And this drove the people in the synagogue to anger and they drove Jesus out of the synagogue. From there he came to Capernaum and began teaching on the Sabbath. There he taught with authority and many were amazed. There, in the synagogue Jesus would rebuke a demon dwelling inside of a man commanding the demon to come out of the man. Jesus would show such authority over the demons.

Later, Jesus would leave there and go to Simon’s house. There Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a fever and they asked Jesus to help. Jesus then rebuked the fever and the fever left immediately. Jesus would continue to heal those who were sick for the rest of the day and throughout the night; He would heal those who were demon possessed as well. Finally when day came Jesus fled to a secluded place. And crowds tried to follow him and when they found Him Jesus told them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities, for this is my purpose.” So he continued in the synagogues preaching and teaching those who were willing to hear him.

To be continued…

A Letter from Luke (Part 3)

And so we continue through chapter 3:

Once the Word of God came to John the son of Zacharias, which was during the reign Tiberius Caesar, John would journey to the Jordan where we he would begin preaching about a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Quoting from the prophet Isaiah, “Make ready the way of the Lord.” And as John began to baptize the many who came he was saying to the crowds, “Wicked sinners! Why are you coming? Is it because you see the wrath to come? This is not merely a decision to go to heaven, but a lifestyle change to repent. Do not use anything to justify yourself because all will taste the wrath unless they repent of their sins.”And the crowd responded, “What shall we do then?” John said to them, “If you have two jackets give one of them to someone who has none, likewise with food.”  Then tax collectors began to ask the very same question of “What shall we do?” John responded, “Do not collect more money than what you have been assigned to collect.” Soldiers, likewise, would ask the very same question and John responded to them by saying, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with what you make.”Many would begin to think that John was the Christ. But John would clear that up by saying, “I came only to baptize with water, but there is One who is coming. One who is more worthy than we can fathom, for I am unfit to untie his sandals. This One will come and baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” John continued to preach the gospel until Herod locked John up in prison.

While the crowds were being baptized, Jesus was also baptized, except when He was baptized the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form and then a voice came out and said, “You are My beloved Son in You I am well pleased.” Jesus would begin his ministry when he was about thirty years old. And this is not the ministry of an ordinary son of David. This would be the ministry of the son of God, the One who is before Adam.

To be continued…

A Letter From Luke (Part 2)

Here is the second chapter in the thrilling tale of the life of Christ. If you haven’t part 1 I urge to read it.

Soon after, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus (governor of Syria), the decree ordered that a census be taken of everyone. And so everyone traveled back to their homes in order to take the census. This would include Joseph and Mary who would return to Bethlehem, where Joseph is from, and because Mary is still engaged to Joseph she would return with him. Both her and the baby that is still in her womb. So while they were in Bethlehem Mary would give birth to a son and it would be there in Bethlehem that the Christ, or Messiah, would be born. He would be placed in a manger simply because there was no room for him at the place they were staying.Several shepherds would be notified that evening by an angel telling them to visit the Christ who is now born and as the shepherds learned of the Messiah who had been born, the heavens opened up to the praising of God, they were saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” When the shepherds had visited Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem they told them about the things they had heard and Mary worshiped God because of these things.

Now Jesus would grow up to be as ordinary as possible. He would be circumcised on the eighth day and they would take him to the temple to be presented to the Lord, for this was the custom of the Law of the Lord for every firstborn male. And while they were there, there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, and this man was righteous in the sight of the Lord, now the Lord had revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. And so when Simeon went into the temple he finally would get to see and hold the Messiah and when he did joy filled his heart and an outpouring of praise saying, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your servant to depart in peace, according to Your Will. For my eyes have seen the Christ who is the salvation for the world. He will reach all peoples. He will be a light to the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel.” Simeon would then tell Mary of the suffering that will take place in life of Christ.

Also in the temple would be Anna, the prophetess. She is a widow, eighty-four years of age. Very devout always in the temple fasting and praying constantly. And she also came up and began praising God along with Simeon. Once everything had finished in the temple the young couple would return home to Nazareth.

Jesus would continue to grow and would increase in wisdom and the grace of God was upon him. Soon after, his parents would travel to Jerusalem for the yearly Feast of the Passover. Jesus, who is now twelve years old, would journey with them and they would spend several days there. It would be on the way back that Joseph and Mary would discover that Jesus was not with them. They would return to Jerusalem and search for three days only to find their son in the temple listening and questioning the teachers who were gathered around him. All who had gathered around Him were amazed at both His understanding and His answers. But Mary was very upset, “Son why have you treated us this way? We have been worried to death about where you had been.” But Jesus replied, “Why were looking for Me? Did you not know that I am to be in My Father’s house?” Many did not understand this statement. And so Jesus continued with his parents and submitted to them. He would continue to grow in wisdom and stature finding favor with God and men, and His mother treasured all things in her heart.

To be continued…

The Character of God

One of the greatest things that anyone, especially Christians, could do is study the character, or attributes, of God. They are essential to the growth of any Christian and essential in the understanding of the gospel of Christ. And so I wanted to put up this awesome resource that has been used mightily in my life. It is the HeartCry Conference from 2005 where Paul Washer and several other men got the chance to speak on the different attributes of God. They are as follows:

  1. The Holiness of God
  2. The Justice of God
  3. The Power of God
  4. The Sovereignty of God
  5. The Truth of God
  6. The Love of God
  7. The Mercy and Grace of God
  8. The Glory of God (Part 1)
  9. The Glory of God (Part 2)
  10. The Ability of God
  11. The Wrath of God

Hope you enjoy. If I could recommend a couple: Holiness, Glory, Truth, and Wrath of God are my favorites.

A Letter From Luke (Part 1)

This will be the beginning of my journey through Luke. Some of my friends are staying in Cookeville, TN over the summer and we have decided to journey through Luke together. So how we are going to study Luke is go through a chapter a week and then summarize the chapter as a whole. Our summaries can be anything we want them to be. So I have made mine into a story, or letter, that explains what happened in Luke. Here is the first chapter. I hope to be updating these each week. Enjoy.

Dear Theophilus,

I am writing to you to inform you of what has happened thus far among us. This account is exactly what happened for I have confirmed it before many different people. It all started with a priest named, Zacharias, and his wife Elizabeth now they did everything that the Lord had commanded them and were righteous in the sight of the Lord. Elizabeth was barren and had no children of her own. But one day that all changed when by “chance” Zacharias was randomly chosen to burn incense to the Lord in the temple. Upon arriving into the temple Zacharias was met by the angel, Gabriel. Zacharias was greatly troubled and afraid when he saw Gabriel, but Gabriel told Zacharias, “not to fear for I have come to tell you news that your wife, Elizabeth, will have a child. And you will name him John. John will be great in the sight of the Lord. And the Lord will use him to turn many people back to the Lord their God. This child will prepare the way for the Lord.” But Zacharias doubted Gabriel’s word, considering how old he and his wife were. But Gabriel reaffirmed to Zacharias that his wife will have a child. And from that moment on Zacharias was unable to speak for he had doubted Gabriel’s message. When he left the temple many were amazed knowing that Zacharias had seen a vision yet was unable to tell of it because he could not speak.

Sometime later Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth. There we find Joseph and his fiancee Mary, who is a virgin. Gabriel came to Mary and said to her, “You have found favor in the sight of the Lord, and behold you shall have a son, whom you will name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will make him King over everything. And He will reign forever.” Mary then asked, “How can this be since I am only a virgin?” But Gabriel comforted Mary saying, “Don’t you worry about that, with man nothing is possible, but with God all things are possible.” And Marry, who was not concerned about her status or reputation knowing that she was not married and still claimed to be a virgin, responded with faith saying, “May it be done to me according to the Lord’s will.”

So both Elizabeth and Mary became pregnant and they would spend several months together.  Until it was time for Elizabeth to give birth to her son. When here son was born there was much quarreling about what to name him. Many said that he should named after Zacharias, after all the Jews usually named their sons after their fathers. But when they looked to Zacharias and asked him he wrote on a sheet of paper, “John”, and it was then that Zacharias was able to speak and he went on to prophesy about his son, John, who will prepare the way for the coming Messiah. And so John would begin to grow and he became strong in the Lord, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

To be continued…