Archive for the ‘Luke’ Category


Genesis 36:1-8 Now these are the records of the generations of Esau (that is, Edom). Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah and the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite; also Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth. Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, and Basemath bore Reuel, and Oholibamah bore Jeush and Jalam and Korah. These are the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan. Then Esau took his wives and his sons and his daughters and all his household, and his livestock and all his cattle and all his goods which he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to another land away from his brother Jacob. For their property had become too great for them to live together, and the land where they sojourned could not sustain them because of their livestock. So Esau lived in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom.

When I read this chapter, I was left with amazement of how God truly blessed Esau even though he was not the one to receive Isaac’s blessing.

Clearly Esau was blessed with a lineage of great kings who ruled the lands around Israel and great wealth that was for all to see. What then is the point of Isaac’s blessing and where is Israel in all of this? (more…)


Luke 24:1-7, 25-26, 46-49
…the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus… two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”… He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”… He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

It seems like for centuries, people have battled most with the concept of Jesus rising from the dead. Something completely out of the natural order of things and beyond human comprehension. I cannot imagine how difficult it must’ve been for the disciples who even though they were prepped about it did not realize it. In today’s day and age, we have the powerful medium of cinema which helps us believe more than the improbable. Star Wars, Back to the Future, Avatar and so many more movies help our mind go beyond the reasonable and often people start to believe in fiction to a point of death. However, in those days, this was not something anyone was willing to accept and tore the world apart. Believing in a miracle working man was hard enough, now to contend with the fact that he had absolute control over death and life was just impossible and anyone who believed such a message was considered a lunatic for obvious reasons.

When I read the passages above, what struck me was the statement the angels made to the women who came to Jesus’ tomb. Why do we look for the living among the dead? While it sounds so simple, there is significant meaning in it and Jesus himself explains it to the disciples in person after that. The question for us is the same. Are we following a dead or a living God? Are we mourning Christ’s death or celebrating his resurrection and sharing the joy of salvation through him with those around us? Are you joyous about his victory over sin and death or are you still beating yourself up about his physical death? We do however have to be cautious here not to overlook the sacrifice but instead to put it in perspective to our sinfulness and the hope that he gives us beyond the grave. I pray you like me are encouraged to go out and share the good news to those who are sinners like us and in need of a savior?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Baby Elephant


Luke 23:8-12
When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.

Jesus is and was always highly regarded for his magical powers, at least to the unbelievers. There have been many who have been compared but none that equalled him like Houdini, Blaine, P.C. Sorkar, etc. For an unbeliever like Herod, Jesus was merely a court jester of sorts because he was hoping to be amused by him. In his seat of power, he felt no one could cause him any harm, even if that person were to call himself the Son of God! What was even more interesting was that he considered this gesture of Pilate sufficient to consider him a friend rather than a foe because Pilate was showing him the respect due. Is it not amazing that we see people in very different lights through the suffering of our Lord?

As a Christian, I have had the opportunity to see many Churches around the world and meet many people of varying beliefs and I have found it interesting that to some, believing in Christ was because of a miracle they witnessed in their own lives. However, it is worrying that this would be sufficient for them to base their faith in God because with God, we are called to believe not only in his works but to submit to his entire being and to follow him to the cross. Jesus offers us a way to be with him in heaven but the path is treacherous and the end might be painful. Jesus does not offer us a bed of roses for a life where he becomes a genie. I hope that you see Christ from the foot of the cross, much like the other criminal who was crucified with Christ and said that he was being punished justly whereas Jesus was not. Are you fully submitted and do you realize what your commitment to Christ means?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Aboriginal Fishermen


Luke 22:3-6, 31-32, 39-40, 45-46, 61-62
Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present… “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift youa as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”… Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”… When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”… The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

As you read the passages above, you will notice that they all refer to our sinfulness and how Satan uses it to attack us and God. Judas’ weakness was his love for money which eclipsed his love for God. Simon’s weakness was his need to protect himself at the cost of his savior’s life. The disciples weakness on the mount was their need to rest which was prioritized over being in prayer. Obviously Satan knows our every weakness and plays it against God and us. Satan knows that our weaknesses are his strength but we are also reminded by Jesus that in our weakness, he is made strong. What a paradox? What is the Lord saying to us today?

When we examine our lives through God’s lens, we know our areas of weakness and these may be few or many. The challenge we face is to ensure that our weaknesses never take over our strengths. When we are saved by the Grace of God, we are no longer bound by sin because he has paid the price for it but we are called to pray that we will not fall into temptation. Jesus reminded the disciples over and over again on the mount that they need to pray to God not to fall into temptation. When we submit our issues to Christ, he will cover and protect us like he did for Simon Peter, else we could stumble like Judas and lose everything we had, most importantly our salvation! Let’s acknowledge our weaknesses before the Lord and pray for his protection that we will not fall into temptation from today.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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"Elepal"


Luke 21:7-9
“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

Mystery of mysteries, the end of the world as we know it seems most confusing and worrisome as we have been waiting on the Lord from when he spoke about his coming again and so much has happened, yet the Lord has not returned yet. As much as people of those times waited, we still await the Lord’s return but one issue we face is that as we wait, we lose hope and get on with our lives. This morning, as I decided to restart writing the devotionals, I prayed and felt the Lord speak to me that we need to once again find our hope in Jesus and we need to mark this as the year of the Lord! No, I am not saying that the Lord said he would return this year but I am saying that we are to observe each day in 2010 as the Lord’s and live for his glory. I know this might sound silly but it is not. We are called to live each day for the king of kings and to do his will.

2009 was a year that went by so fast for me and my family. So much happened, both good and bad, and as we sat together to read God’s word and pray, my son prayed first requesting God to help us give him glory for everything that happens this year, regardless of whether it was good or bad. I pray that for each of us that as the time is drawing near for the Lord’s coming, we would not lose hope and become one with the world but instead we would put on the armor of God and serve him in love. This is not a new year resolution, which is joked to be the shortest living thing but this is our commitment to the Lord and I pray you are able to make that today. Ask the Lord to use you today for his glory and follow his voice faithfully.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Village Grocer


Luke 20:20-25
Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

How rich is God’s word that each time we revisit it, we can draw new and insightful meaning from it. I hope you are starting to enjoy this journey we have undertaken through the new testament and I hope that God is using his words to inscribe his DNA into your body, mind and soul. The spies sent to falter Jesus approached him in a very respectful manner and posed a question that was being asked by many in the land as they felt imprisoned by the Romans. An answer this way or that would mean certain death to Jesus and we can compare it to a ‘Checkmate’ move in a game of chess. Jesus not only had to navigate himself through an impossible situation but also chose to teach us through it.

I earned my first Canadian paycheck and also got paid for a wedding photography shoot this week. Being carnal in nature, my first thoughts were to see how I could use it for myself, my needs, then my family, etc. However, as a Christian, I am reminded that I need to give to God what is God’s and then to the government what is theirs and live on the rest. Many weeks back, I said that I would tithe 10% of my gross earnings I make to God, before taxes. I probably spoke too soon because I can now see how hard that decision is. However, knowing that I serve the Lord of the Universe who has provided me more than I need, I will give as I should and not hold back from the government too. I know the remainder will only be a fraction of what I earned but I also know our Lord provides as much as we need and so we need to learn to live within what is remaining. I hope you are also encouraged today to stop complaining about how little you have and rather focus on how much you are blessed by the Lord and give back to him what is his.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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The Crooked Tree


Luke 19:8-10, 41-44
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost”… As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

What a stark contrast both these passages have! The first is Jesus’s proclamation of salvation to Zacchaeus based on his act and statement of faith and the second is his frustration with Israel for it’s hardheartedness because the people believed they were living by the law but in reality were far away from God. Is this not strange? Zacchaeus was the height of sin and corruption whereas Israel were God’s own people! How could Jesus be so dreadfully mistaken? Aren’t God’s own people automatically holier and worthier than cheats and thieves like Zacchaeus? What specifically are we being reminded today by the Lord if we are saved and if we are unsaved?

Jesus in his ministry on earth constantly reminded us that everything in his kingdom is the reverse of what we believe and know through the world. The world teaches us that we are good people and if we believe in ourselves and live by it’s rules, we are considered well. However, the Bible reminds us that all mankind has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. When Zacchaeus was called by the Lord, he saw his unworthiness before Jesus’s perfectness and realized what Jesus was offering to him. A new start! If you are not in a relationship with Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, the message is clear. Submit and get a new start plus the perfect reward . If we are saved by God’s grace alone, we are reminded today to not live in a ritual religious lifestyle but in a living relationship with the Lord. Every day and every moment we are to remember how unworthy we are and how the Lord has blessed us with a new life. We are called to forgo ourselves to be of service to the Lord. Let’s all be reformed Zacchaeus’s!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting http://groups.google.com/group/in-his-loving-service. Share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement.

Birds Flock Together