Posts Tagged ‘Luke’

Verse 7: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

I can think of several analogies that this verse brings to mind, such as the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when Indy has to make the “leap of faith” across a large chasm to save his father. I think of an old, dear friend of my wife and mine, who, although physically blind, can see better through her walk of faith than you and me. How about the scene from The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke fails to lift his massive X-wing fighter out of the swamp using the Force, sees Yoda do it when he failed, and says to him, “I don’t believe it”…and Yoda replies, “That is why you failed.”

But today, I think this is a good verse to claim when confronted by the world-wide pandemic we’re living in. Experts come on TV daily with predictions and charts over where hotspots will wane or where “the curve flattens out”. Governors talk about when it will be safe to resume certain activities and not others, all hoping to restart their economies without risking a resurgent outbreak of the coronavirus infections. Just like some things in our lives, we can’t see what the future holds with great certainty.

But I know Who holds the future, and it is faith in Jesus Christ to bring us through. We’ll get through this…through Him.

Something to think about.

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Verses 23-24: “For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.'”

Whenever I do not drive myself on Carpenters for Christ mission trips, most of the other times I travel with my father in his truck. Since he is driving, I’ll chart our progress on a map to see how close we are to state lines and such (in most cases to take some snapshots). There have been times he has asked me where we are on the map and how close we are to certain landmarks or towns. He has even asked before how many miles we are to a certain area (good thing I took land navigation in high school!) I thought of this when reading all the detail that Luke put into the account of Paul travelling to Rome aboard the ship and his trials during the storm. Most of the account is filled with this navigational detail, but there were three things that drew my attention while reading this account.

In verse 3, Luke writes that Julius (the centurion in charge of the prisoners) treated Paul kindly. I’m reminded that God “clears the way” when we need His help, and sometimes that help comes in unexpected people that He sends our way.

The second item is in verses 23-24: that God reminded Paul that he was to make it to Rome alive to be brought before Caesar. Worry is one of the devil’s favorite weapons…with that weapon, he can rob us of the energy and focus that we need in ministering for God. Paul was probably emboldened and strengthened to be reminded of this by God’s angel. The weight of concern about their survival was lifted from him with this reminder, allowing him to focus on the task at hand.

The third item is in verse 36; Paul encouraged the men, who hadn’t eaten anything in the last 14 days, to take nourishment for their survival. The angel had told Paul that they would survive, but the ship would be run aground, so they would need strength to make it shore (go without food for 2 weeks, and see how strong you are!) This verse is a reminder that God gave us physical bodies that we need to take care of in order to better serve Him. That means making sure we take the nourishment we need to keep our bodies running as they should.

Sounds like common sense, right? But as I’m often reminded in this old world, common sense ain’t as common as it used to be. It’s better to let God do the driving and we “ride shotgun” with Him!

Something to think about.

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Verse 3: “to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

Welcome to 2015, as we begin a walk through the Acts of the Apostles. I feel like I should start this first devotional with the phrase “when last we left our hero”, because the author, Luke, starts Acts where the Gospel of Luke leaves off: restating the historical events of Jesus’s resurrection, time spent with the disciples over the next 40 days, and His ascension into Heaven.

I want to focus on the phrase here “infallible proofs”. I love to watch the old Columbo TV mystery movies that were originally shown on NBC. I always enjoyed the way that Lt. Columbo would find the proof he needed in the killer’s “perfect” crime so that he could eventually corner them. For the most part, it was always the little things that the killer would try to deny, but eventually have to accept, as all the things that Lt. Columbo would find would become part of the case against them…things that when put together, were impossible to deny. Even the killer would have to admit it.

Infallible proofs. Eyewitness accounts of seeing Jesus after the resurrection. Eyewitness accounts of Him appearing in a room with the disciples with the wounds of the cross still present. Proof of His being real, by talking with disciples and eating with them. The eyewitness account on the road to Emmaus. Not just one account but several. The verse here is best put as Jesus lives! Following this is the spread of His church here on earth.

So again, to paraphrase another old TV phrase, “tune in for the next episode” to see what happens. 🙂

Have a blessed day in Him.

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2 Timothy 4:11 “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.”

Sometime after The Incredible Hulk TV series ended, NBC showed a few made-for-TV movies about the characters. The first one was The Incredible Hulk Returns; in this plot, David Banner and his hulking alter-ego are re-introduced to a former college student David encountered named Don Blake. Blake had sought out Banner to try and help him deal with a unique situation: on a northern archaeological expedition, Blake had discovered a Viking war hammer and somehow became “linked” with a Viking warrior-king named Thor. (NOTE: this version of Thor and Don Blake differs somewhat from the comic book version.)

Discovering the hammer within Thor’s crypt, Blake’s interaction with it brought Thor back to our world; the warrior had been punished by Odin for the sin of arrogance, and had to perform a series of heroic deeds to gain entrance to Valhalla (the Viking afterlife). Odin linked the two and put Blake in charge whenever Thor was called back to our world. The following conversation occurs after David encourages Blake to try and to talk with Thor to get some answers. Thor is describing the “limbo” he waits in while he’s not on Earth.

“Do you know what it’s like to be without flesh, Blake? Without flesh that you can feel…without blood pumping through your limbs. With no heart and no chest to hold it?. And still, at the same time…to be awake. Not sleeping, not dead. Not anything. A place of mist and smoke. Darkness…alone…as if in some terrible dream.

And then…then, Blake…to hear the call…like a war horn in battle. And then to awaken as you were! When men and women ate life with shining teeth!

None of them are left now. but I am what I always will be.”

Thor’s melancholy countenance brightens when he mentions hearing the call to action, the call to life. When I read the above verse, I wonder how Mark felt when he received Paul’s request that Paul wanted him to come to him, “for he is useful to me for ministry.” To hear that call to action. I know from my own experiences that it is one of most fulfilling, satisfying feelings ever, when you are used by God for ministry. To know that you have followed His instruction and been a part of His work here on Earth. You just feel so good, it can be hard to express it in words, the joy of serving the Lord.

So, for your information…do you hear God’s call today? It’s time to follow His direction and be used by Him for His glory.

Something to think about.

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