March 27– (Luke 17:1-6) Jesus’ approach to forgiveness (17:3,4) is utterly different from basic human nature.  How is forgiving someone like making yourself their servant rather than their master? This is a principle for living with Christian “brothers and sisters”.  How good are you at following these steps?

                The disciples realize in verse 5 that forgiveness would require more faith than they think they have. What does Jesus teach them about the nature of faith in verses 5-6?

March 28 – (Luke 17:7-19) What nationality was the one leper who came back to thank Jesus?  How many times in the gospels do you see a “foreigner” coming to Christ instead of “His own”.

                How do gratitude and humility go hand in hand in the story of the lepers?  Jesus’ closing words to the Samaritan leper invite a closer look.  The word for “get up” or “rise” is a word early Christians would have recognized as having to do with resurrection.  Like the prodigal son, this man was dead, and is alive again.  New life, the life which Israel was longing for as part of the age to come, had arrived in his village that day, and it had called out of him a faith he didn’t know he had. 

March 29 – (Luke 17:20-37) The Pharisees expected the kingdom of God to be visible and earthly – in other words, the political state of Israel freed from Roman rule.  How does Jesus’’ teaching on the kingdom of God clash with their idea (17:20-21)?

    Citing two Old Testament examples, Jesus warns about people’s lack of preparation for God’s judgment.  You can probably see the parallels between those generations and our generation (17:26-29).   Consider the powerful influences in our culture.  How do these influences mislead us?  What can we do so that we are not mislead?

March 30 – (Luke 18:1-8) Jesus continues his instructions on how to live while waiting for his return (18:1,8). To encourage us to persist in praying, Jesus draws a portrait of a helpless widow stubbornly appealing to a heartless judge.  How is God different from the judge?  Many of us may partially view God as a heartless judge.  How can we replace this lie with truth? On a personal note, there are times when I just don’t see an answer.  Sometimes I wonder if He is answering. Maybe I just don’t want to hear the answer He is giving so I ignore it for a while.  Sometimes I feel like He just doesn’t hear me or I’ve sinned into His withholding (both wrong assumptions).  Sometimes, after I have repented of all I can think of, gotten quiet, and listened the best I can, I fast until I either get an answer or there is a peace that He is working and doing of His good pleasure.  I always spend those times with a song in my head…God move or move me!  How do you deal with unanswered prayer? 

March 31 – (Luke 18:9-17)  As I was reading about the Pharisee and the tax collector’s prayers, I asked myself these questions: What do I thank God for when I pray?  How do I approach the throne of Grace with repentance?  Selah

                In verses 15-17, the disciples demonstrate their society’s attitude toward children as insignificant while Jesus gives them eternal significance.  He says they have characteristics that qualify people for God’s kingdom.  What characteristics does this include?  Why not encourage “little ones” you meet today… this week?

April 1 – (Luke 18:18-30) From verses 18-30 what do we know about the rich young ruler? Jesus asks one more thing of him.  How is that applicable to us today? The disciples are astonished by Jesus’ comment about the rich (vv. 24-26).  The Old Testament thinking was that riches are a sign of God’s blessing.  How does Jesus answer them?  I must admit; I need some healing in this area.  There are many times I judge whether God is pleased with me…us by whether I “feel” we are being blessed financially.  That is Old Testament thinking!  “God, please help me live in Your grace and not just the law!”

April 2 – (Luke 18:31-43) This is the third time in Luke that Jesus talks about His death and Resurrection and they still didn’t get it.  This tells me we need to keep reading His Word over and over.  His Word is a living Word, which means the Holy Spirit teaches us new things from the same passage that may apply to the new “day” we are currently living.  Isn’t that cool?  This time reading through, I noticed that Jesus described in detail exactly what would happen to Him.  We know Jesus knew He would die on the cross.  I just realized He also knew all the torture He would have to endure.  This helps me understand why He had sweat-drops of blood while praying just before He was taken.  This is my Selah for today. J