Day 24

Day 24

- DAY 24 -
Jesus Meets Us Where We Are

Read: Luke 24

Have you ever felt like God let you down? Extreme disappointment can make us bitter and reluctant to hope for anything again. Proverbs 13:12 says when we hope for something that doesn't come through, our hearts become sick.

Jesus’ followers knew this feeling all too well. They thought Jesus came to save them, but after watching Him die their hearts were overwhelmed with grief. As they walked the road to Emmaus discussing their hopelessness, Jesus approached them. Can you imagine how much Jesus longed to reveal Himself and restore their hope? Although He wanted the men to know they could place their hope in Him, Jesus waited to reveal His identity until they urged Him to stay with them longer.

Notice Jesus only acted like He was going to leave them. He was never planning to abandon the believers and leave them disappointed. It is true that Jesus can, and does, work in our lives without waiting for us to ask Him to work. However, He will often wait to reveal Himself until we faithfully seek Him with all our hearts.

It can be difficult to move toward God when it looks like He hasn't come through for us yet. But while we are waiting on God to work for us, He may be waiting for us to ask for Him. If we are willing to urge Jesus to stay and keep working in our lives, He will reveal that He is worthy of our hope.


‣ We’re all hoping for something. What areas of your life are you asking God to move in?
‣ Think back to a time when you felt abandoned by God but later realized He had been working all along. What did you learn during that season? How has that experience changed your relationship with the Lord?


Day 23

Day 23

- DAY 23 -
Why I Should Forgive?

Read: Luke 23

At the darkest hour of Christ's life, His prayers still focused on forgiveness for the lost. When pain and separation from His Father were weighing down on Him, to the point of death, He never lost sight of His purpose.

While He was being crucified, “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34). The declaration of their need for forgiveness makes it clear that they were guilty, despite their ignorance. Some sins we willingly and rebelliously commit; others we are entirely unaware of. Regardless of what motivates sin, we are still indebted sinners, hopelessly lost unless we receive Jesus’ forgiveness.

Once we receive that forgiveness, Jesus says to forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15). It's easy to cling to our pain and hold it up as evidence as to why we should remain unforgiving. But, Jesus’ example on the cross allows no room to nurse grudges.

If we don't yield our pain to Jesus and follow His example, the hurts that we hold onto may become permanently attached to our hearts. Over time, unaddressed pain will likely give way to anger, which grows into a grudge, which develops into an unforgiving spirit.

When someone intentionally wounds us, we are offered the beautiful opportunity to share in Christ's sufferings. But, the Bible dictates how we should respond to those sufferings: die to self and offer the same forgiveness we've been shown.


‣ Do you see pain as an opportunity to share in Christ's sufferings or a reason to hold a grudge? Why is that?
‣ Is there someone who comes to mind when you read about forgiveness? Why not accept or extend that forgiveness today?
‣ What step do you need to take toward forgiveness today? Ask Jesus to heal your hurt and give you the courage to forgive.


Day 22

Day 22

- DAY 22 -
How To Be The Greatest

Read: Luke 22

Pride is a powerful force, perhaps more destructive than any other. The desire to elevate ourselves above others can drive us to do crazy things like fight with our best friend or cheat at work. We all want glory, credit, and attention from others. As followers of Christ, we can win the battle against pride.

In Luke 22:24, Jesus' disciples argue about which of them is the greatest. Jesus had just served the Lord's Supper where He told them He would suffer and die. But, instead of being upset at their misunderstanding, Jesus calmly taught His disciples the ways of the kingdom, which contrast sharply with the ways of the world. He said that great people in His kingdom are those who serve others and consider themselves the least entitled. They don't lord their authority over others or want a prestigious title to draw attention to themselves.

Jesus, who humbled Himself to become a man and die for us, said to them, “...I am among you as one who serves" (Luke 22:27). Jesus is the one who serves. If we want to be more like Jesus, and if we want to be great in His kingdom, then we need to serve.

Pride is an enemy of serving because it causes us to focus on what we think we deserve rather than how we can serve. Ask Jesus to reveal where pride has crept into your thoughts and actions. Then confess it, and ask Jesus to help you walk in humility every day.

Jesus has all power over pride, and He will change us into servants who do great things in His kingdom.


‣ Where has pride crept into your thoughts and actions? If you are not sure, ask Jesus to reveal it to you.
‣ Who is a trusted person in your life you can confess this pride to and who will help you overcome it?
‣ What is one thing you can do to serve someone today?


Day 21

Day 21

- DAY 21 -
What Does Jesus Want From Me?

Read: Luke 21

The widow gave everything—all she had to live on. Others gave a portion of their wealth. She gave all, out of her poverty. She could have given just one of her two coins. Had she done that, she would've given 50 percent of everything. Fifty percent is quite a bit. Imagine liquidating half your assets and giving them to church or charity. That would be substantial and impressive. Had she given 50 percent of her money, anyone watching would say, “This woman gave generously, even sacrificially.” In this case, the widow chose not to divide everything. She gave everything.

Jesus is not after a percentage of our life. He is after it all. He is passionately after our entire existence. There is nothing hidden from Him. Everything is laid bare in front of Him. We will give an account of everything. He wants it all. Not because He wants to take something from us, but because He loves us and will do so much more with us and for us than we can do on our own.

The Bible says in Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” In other words, based on the fact that Jesus gave everything, our only reasonable response is to give Him everything.

So, how are we doing? This story about the widow is not about how much money you put in next week's offering. It's about something bigger. Have you emptied yourself in complete surrender to Jesus? Every day you’re faced with the decision to offer Jesus a percentage of your life or offer Him everything. Will you give Him all?


‣ Is there any area of your life that doesn't belong to Jesus 100 percent?
‣ Is Jesus asking you to give something up in order to follow Him completely?
‣ What step do you need to take today to give that area to Jesus?


Day 20

Day 20

- DAY 20 -
What Will Relationships Be Like In Heaven?

Read: Luke 20

What happens when we die? How does this question make you feel? For many, it can evoke a sense of uncertainty and fear. In our desperate need to be in control, this question quickly reminds us we are not. But, that’s OK.

In Luke, a group of religious leaders who denied the possibility of the resurrection asked Jesus what the marriage relationship looks like in the resurrection.

Jesus said, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels” (Luke 20:34-36).

Jesus reminds us to not think of heaven as an extension of the earth as we know it. While marriage is a gift from God, our relationships will be different in heaven than what we are used to right now. Our relationships in this life are limited by time, death, and sin. In eternity, none of those things will exist.

Our intimacy will be with God and He will satisfy our every need.

Heaven is our greatest triumph. This world is a temporary home for us. As Christians, our citizenship has always been and will be in heaven. Everything we go through on earth is a preparation for our true journey with God in heaven.

Billy Graham put it best when he said, “Though Christians have no immunity from death, death is to them a friend rather than a foe — the beginning rather than the end.”

God is in control and our hope rests in Him. It’s never too late to become a part of God’s family.


‣ How does the way Jesus described heaven in this passage affect your view of death?
‣ It’s OK to feel uneasy about what happens after death. What is one step you can take to let go of control and trust Jesus?
‣ Do you have a relationship with Jesus in which you can confidently say you’re going to heaven one day? If you answered no, you can start a relationship with Jesus today.


Day 19

Day 19

- DAY 19 -
Jesus Wants You As You Are

Read: Luke 19

Zacchaeus, the hated tax collector, wanted to see Jesus but couldn't see over the crowd. So, he climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus. Jesus sees Zacchaeus and invites Himself over for dinner.

Zacchaeus went to great lengths to see Jesus. Maybe he heard of Jesus' miracles or maybe he heard the commotion in town and wanted to see what the fuss was about. Whatever his reason, this short little man went to the trouble of climbing high in a sycamore tree to see Jesus. Whether out of simple curiosity or skepticism he pursued the Lord and made himself available. The Bible says that when we seek the Lord with all our heart, we will find him (Jeremiah 29:13).

When Zacchaeus met Jesus, he could not stay the same. Regardless of Zacchae- us' sinful lifestyle and the baggage attached, Jesus called out to Zacchaeus and claimed him as His own. A perfect Lord was ready to accept an imperfect man. The choice was then up to Zacchaeus. Should he act and come down, or stay in the tree and remain in bondage? Zacchaeus opened his heart and jumped down, running towards Jesus' open, accepting arms.

Maybe you're questioning this thing called Christianity right now. Perhaps you're skeptical or simply curious. You're watching from a distance trying to understand what Jesus is all about. He's there; ready to have an active, intimate relationship with you. Don't watch from a distance but jump and run towards Him. He will no doubt accept you with open arms!

“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 the lost (Luke 19:9-10).”


‣ Was there ever a time in your life when you made the decision to follow Jesus?
‣ If yes, how has that decision changed your day-to-day life?
‣ If no, what is holding you back? We'd love to talk with you today about working through that decision!


Day 18

Day 18

- DAY 18 -
How To Know What You Worship

Read: Luke 18

Throughout the Bible, we see God’s people worshipping someone or something other than God.

From the Israelites who worshipped Baal (1 Kings 18:19-39) to the Pharisees who worshipped the law and their own righteousness (Luke 18:10-14), people missed the mark when it comes to making God the object of their worship. It’s easy to read these stories and think, “I would never worship another god” or “I would never worship my own good deeds.” But Jesus proves how easy it is for us to get it wrong as well.

In Luke 18, Jesus is speaking to a crowd when a wealthy man asks how to inherit eternal life. Jesus answers by listing off a few of the commandments, and the man claims, “All these I have kept since I was a boy.” Instead of commending the man’s righteousness and celebrating his perfection, Jesus says, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The man became sad at this statement because he was wealthy.

The ruler’s problem wasn’t his money; it was his heart. He worshipped his possessions and his own good deeds. He was proud of himself for keeping the commandments, he was possessive over his money, and he expected Jesus to grant him access to eternal life based on his own achievements.

Jesus wasn’t saying we have to be broke to inherit eternal life. He is asking us to give up anything that competes for our worship. For some of us that might be a career. For others, it might be a house or car. The beautiful truth is that when we put God first He provides in every area of our lives. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When God asks us to make changes in our lives — or to give up something completely — He promises to provide for us if we are obedient to Him.


‣ What is most likely to compete with God for your attention and affection?
‣ Take some time today to seek God and ask Him, “Am I worshipping you, or is something getting in the way?”


Day 17

Day 17

- DAY 17 -
Instead Of Being Quick To Blame, Be Quick To Thank

Read: Luke 17

Americans are quick to blame others for our problems. We blame McDonald’s for our obesity. We blame Mountain Dew for our cavities. We blame advertising ploys for the way we mismanage money. We blame our spouses for our unhappy marriages. We’re good at giving others credit when there’s a problem.

Yet when something wonderful happens to us — when a blessing falls into our laps from the Lord — we are sometimes slow to thank God, if we even thank Him at all. Notice that in Luke 17 Jesus healed 10 men but only one came back to give thanks. How often are we just like the nine that walked away? We are often so enamored by the blessing itself that we forget who it came from.

God delights in giving us good gifts. No doubt it brought Jesus much joy to touch the sick, disabled and infirm and watch their ailments disappear. What a rush it would be to experience and witness such miracles!

But consider how it must have hurt Jesus’ heart when those He healed simply walked away, not even considering a word of thanks. Whether it’s a sense of entitlement or simple forgetfulness that stops us from showing gratitude, the result is the same.


‣ Have you ever prayed for something for years then when it happened, you never stopped to consider God’s role in the miracle? It’s not too late to stop and say thank you!
‣ Take a look around you, wherever you’re reading this. What are some of the blessings you take for granted every single day? What can you thank Jesus for today?


Day 16

Day 16

- DAY 16 -
How To Make Investments That Last

Read: Luke 16

The Bible describes two kinds of wealth. The first kind of wealth is used to buy and build houses, buy cars, go on vacation, get clothes, and pay bills. To acquire this type of wealth, we must have a job or a rich family member as this type of wealth comes from a worldly source. The second type of wealth comes from God and is described as “true riches.” True riches are those with eternal value. True riches can't be spent here on Earth. They are a reward for how we manage all that Jesus has given us.

In order to be faithful in handling our wealth, we must understand the difference between ownership and stewardship. An owner has rights to his property and can do whatever he wishes with his property. A steward manages the property with the understanding that, one day, he will be called to account for his handling of the property. We are stewards of God's property, not owners of our own.

We would say we know the difference between ownership and stewardship, but often our actions tell a different story. Consider your attitude toward money and stuff. Where do you turn when making financial decisions? Knowing who are belongings really belong to changes our hearts. We become less interested in building our kingdom and more interested in building God's. We make decisions with our money based on what God cares about, not based on our ambitions or desires.

We can be short-sighted when it comes to money. But when we view the money and stuff passing through our hands as God's, our perspective changes. No longer pleased with a bigger house or better phone, we start to play the long game, looking for investments that will make a difference today and into eternity. And that is where true riches are found.


‣ Looking back over the last couple weeks, how did you handle your wealth? Like the owner or like a steward?
‣ When making decisions about money, to what extent do you consult God?
‣ Where is one place your wealth can make a difference for God?


Day 15

Day 15

- DAY 15 -
Where To Turn When You Feel Lost

Read: Luke 15

There are so many ways to get lost. Sometimes we think we know where we're going, but we end up on the wrong side of town altogether. Other times we're aware of our navigational deficiencies, but proudly and silently proceed, hoping no one notices. There's something about the challenge of finding your own way that wrongly appeals to pride.

The parables in Luke 15 portray situations where the person or item in trouble had no way of solving the problem. Sheep are foolish animals that follow the cravings of their bellies; they don't know how to tell the difference between what's best for them and what will harm them. Inanimate objects like coins may not be in harm's way when they go astray, but money is of no value if it disap- pears. Its entire purpose for existing is thwarted. Both of these examples are like our accidental, careless wanderings away from Christ.

In the third situation Jesus describes, the lost son is intentionally walking away from his father. The son's prideful pursuit of sin destroyed him. Though he finally became aware of the error of his ways, he was helpless to change his desperate situation.

There are so many beautiful truths woven into these stories. The owner knows the true value of the lost thing and is always looking for it. Even with the lost son, who belligerently sought his own way, the father's eyes stayed on the horizon, watching for his return. Luke 15:20 says, “...while he was still a long way off, his father saw him...” And there's always a celebration when the lost is found. Whether our path away from Him has been gradual or immediate, accidental or intentional, He always welcomes us back with rejoicing and blessing.


‣ Was there a time in your life where you felt closer to Jesus than you do right now?
‣ What event led you closer to or further from Jesus?
‣ What is one step you can take to walk closer to Jesus today?


Day 14

Day 14

- DAY 14 -
Who Is In Charge Of Your Life?

Read: Luke 14

In Luke 14, the Pharisees’ priorities stand in sharp contrast to Jesus’ transparency and compassion.

First, they seat Jesus across from a man in need of healing. Jesus is compelled to heal this man on the Sabbath, in spite of the Pharisees’ objections. Jesus asks the Pharisees if their sons needed healing, would they bend their own man-made rules to help? Their silence was telling.

Next, Jesus watches as guests posture and position for seats of honor at the table. While everyone else worries about where they were sitting, Jesus is worried about their hearts. He gently corrects their attitude by explaining why pushing ourselves forward is never the best way to gain attention. “...take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 14:10-11).

Jesus’ patience and restraint in dealing with the Pharisees is amazing. Instead of destroying them, He instructs them. Instead of belittling them, He corrects their faulty thinking as a loving Father would a wayward child.

We are quick to condemn the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. But if we’re honest, we would probably behave in the same manner given similar circumstances.

If Jesus came over for supper, what changes would He make to the guest list or the seating chart? Is Jesus seated at the head of our spiritual table? Do we care about the things that Jesus cares about? Or, are we more interested in our status and the perception of others?

It must have been embarrassing for the host of the dinner party to hear Jesus talk about his guest list and seating arrangements. I wonder if we would be embarrassed as well if Jesus came for supper. We would do well to begin the process of placing Him at the head of the table before He comes to set things straight.


‣ Does Jesus sit at the "head" of your life?
‣ What is one thing hindering you from taking your next step in your relationshipwith Jesus?
‣ What do you need to start doing or stop doing to take that next step?


Day 13

Day 13

- DAY 13 -
How To Not Be Fake In Your Faith

Read: Luke 13

Have you ever visited the home of someone who had a thing for decorative plants?

Walk in and it's hard not be impressed by their green thumb. At first glance, you'll be amazed at the number and variety of their plants. You'll marvel that each of them is at the peak of their glory, with leaves lush and flowers blooming. Until, of course, you realize the homeowner is no gardener at all. What you thought was a captivating botanical wonder suddenly becomes a plastic deception.

As Christians, we must always remember that God isn't into decorative plants; fake “Christians” that just sit there and look pretty.

In Luke 13, Jesus tells us plainly that only plants that produce fruit belong in the house of God. In Mark 11, Jesus curses a fig tree. The plant gives off the appearance of having fruit, but he is rightly disappointed when he finds it cannot feed his hunger.

So it is with everyone in our schools, our neighborhoods, and our workplaces. If those in our lives who are spiritually hungry cannot find the fruit of eternal life on our branches who can blame them if they curse us?

Our infinitely good, infinitely loving God designed everything for His kingdom to have maximum glory. If we aren't fruitful “grace givers,” we should ask ourselves whether we're truly planted in God's garden, or whether we're only fake decoration.


‣ What is one area in your life where you have recently seen growth and fruitfulness?
‣ What is one change you can make in your day-to-day life that will help you to become more like Jesus?
‣ Part of healthy growth includes pruning. Is there an area in your life that needs to be cut away to prepare for future seasons of growth?


Day 12

Day 12

- DAY 12 -
Why You Don't Have To Worry

Read: Luke 12

In Luke 12, Jesus speaks to His disciples about anxiety and fear. Four times, Jesus specifically tells them not to be afraid. His message is made more significant because His life is in danger. A group of religious leaders called the Pharisees are plotting to take His life. Naturally, Jesus' disciples are concerned for their own safety. Jesus understands their concerns. He knows our fears and needs, too. He knows when we're worried about our children, jobs, health, and finances.

Jesus puts everything in perspective for the disciples. God is in control of our eternity. He doesn't forget the sparrows, and He won't forget us either. God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers, and He'll take far better care of us than He does of ravens and lilies. Twice, Jesus speaks of our value. We are much more valuable to God than birds, so valuable, in fact, that He's coming back from heaven to get us, and He wants us to be ready.

God, our Father, values us and has “chosen gladly” to give us His eternal kingdom. When we understand God's love and our unearned worth to Him, we'll stop worrying and start being faithful. Earthly cares will lose their grip on us. We'll be set free to seek God's kingdom first, store up treasure in heaven, start ministering to others, and become faithful stewards of all He's given us until He comes again.


‣ What is one thing you are worried about?
‣ What is one thing that hinders you from trusting God with your future?
‣ What is one step you can take today to give your worries to Jesus and startliving in faith?


Day 11

Day 11

- DAY 11 -
What Jesus Says About How To Pray

Read: Luke 11

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. He responded by offering a simple model for our prayer time.

"He said to them, 'When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation'” (Luke 11:2-4)

This prayer is not meant to be recited. It's a model of how to pray.

When we pray, we should acknowledge all that God has done, is doing, and will do in our life. We should be thankful to God for providing for our needs and we should ask God to forgive us of our sins.

Too often we forget that we are to pray simply, as a child speaks to his father. Humans are good at overcomplicating things. Prayer is no exception. Sometimes we will beat ourselves up for not adequately impressing people with our public prayer; as if prayer is a show piece of our spirituality. Or, we will often recite words and go through the motions of prayer without engaging in meaningful dialogue with God. God is our Father. We should simply speak to Him.

Not only should we pray simply, we should pray boldly. Jesus tells us to ask, seek, and knock (Luke 11:9-10) These are not waiting words. These are words of action. Even though He doesn't need our help, Jesus wants us to participate in His activity by boldly and persistently making requests to our Father. God works through people. He always has. We can approach God with confidence knowing that a good Father wants good things for His children.

Prayer is an opportunity for us to speak to our awesome, incredible Creator. What are we waiting on?


‣ How would you describe your prayer life?
‣ What is one way you can better engage God in a simple, but meaningful dialogue?
‣ What time can you set aside today to spend in prayer with God?


Day 10

Day 10

- DAY 10 -
Busyness Can Cost You The Best Part Of Living

Read: Luke 10

The Duck Dynasty picture of growing up in the South wasn’t far from the truth for a lot of us. Grandma thrived on cooking hearty meals for the family. Fried chicken was a favorite at Sunday dinner. The chicken was usually pecking around in the yard the day before, and there were two of just about everything, except the neck and gizzard.

Families gathered around the table as Mama doled out the fried chicken. The men got the big white-meat pieces, older kids got the choice thigh pieces and legs, and wings went to the little kids. Mothers ate the neck and sometimes the gizzard. They made sure everyone else got the best parts of the chicken.

In Luke 10, Jesus sends out 72 missionaries to prepare the cities for His visitation. Next, He tells a story about what it means to be a good neighbor. Then, during a visit in the home of two sisters, Martha and Mary, Jesus says something we can relate back to that chicken.

As Martha scurried around and fretted over the details of His visit, Mary just sat at Jesus' feet and listened and learned. But rather than scolding Mary for not helping her sister, Jesus said Mary had chosen the best part (Luke 10:42). In our everyday spiritual choices, Jesus—like Mama—wants to be sure we get the best part.

Instead of worrying about your finances, trust the Lord to provide enough. Trust is the best part. Instead of being bothered by what people think or say, look to the Lord for your security. Identity in Him is the best part. Instead of fretting over the details of life, rest in the Lord, and He will give you peace. Rest in Jesus is the best part.

If you spend time with Jesus and look to Him for all you need, you will always have the best part of life.


‣ Do you identify with Martha or Mary in this story?
‣ Are you are settling for less than Jesus' best in any area of your life?
‣ What is one way you can spend quality time listening and learning from Jesus?


Day 9

Day 9

- DAY 9 -
Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

Read: Luke 9

Jesus got alone with His disciples after a day full of ministering and serving. After Jesus spoke to His Father in prayer, He began to question His followers and prod their hearts, “Who do the crowds say that I am” (Luke 9:18)? If you were to poll a crowd today, you would get similar answers:

‣ A healer of the sick and crippled
‣ A wise teacher and theologian
‣ A “nice person”
‣ A good example
‣ A close friend
‣ A good luck charm
‣ A martyr
‣ A prophet foretold or a former prophet who'd come alive again
‣ John the Baptist (who was actually Jesus' cousin)

“'But, what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?' Peter [without hesitancy] answered, 'God's Messiah'" (Luke 9:20).

Just like today, Jesus was known more often by things that He did. Above all, despite all, Peter saw Jesus as the promised Messiah and the Son of God. He was sure of Jesus' identity, as well as Jesus' place in his own life.

What about you? Who do you say that Jesus is? Is He merely one of those things in the list above, or a combination of several? Or is He the total, end-all, be-all in your life? Is He the risen Savior who has set you free from sin? Is He The King of your heart, and the reigning Ruler of your life? Romans 10:9-10 says, "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Who do you profess that Jesus is?


‣ Who do you say that Jesus is?
‣ If you have confessed Jesus as Lord, does your life reflect your decision?
‣ What is a step you can take today to surrender to Jesus' will for your life?


Day 8

Day 8

- DAY 8 -
What Do Your Actions Say About Who You Are?

Read: Luke 8

One day as Jesus was teaching to a large gathering of people, His mother and brothers tried to make their way through the crowd, but couldn't reach Him. When someone mentioned it, He simply responded, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice" (Luke 8:21).

Jesus' words don't leave room for ambiguity. The family of God does what the Word of God says. His people know and follow Scripture.

Christ is making a direct, pointed distinction between our natural family and God's family. Jesus' listeners knew He had a mother who gave birth to Him and His brothers. But our identity in God's family isn't dependent on natural birth, it's dependent on supernatural rebirth through faith in Jesus. The apostle Paul says, "So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God, through faith...” (Galatians 3:26). Christ's family is made of the people He's redeemed from sin and death, people who aren't just hearers of the word, but doers.

Apart from God's grace, we're fundamentally incapable of doing what He commands in the Bible. We don't have it in us. We're dead in our sins.

Proverbs 20:11 says, “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright” (ESV). This theme is repeated throughout the Bible — the idea that our character is predominantly shaped by our consistent actions over time.

Without Jesus, we'll still be known by our acts, but our conduct won't be pure or upright because our sinful nature prevents it. Repenting of sin and trusting in Jesus enables us to hear and to do, to be sons and daughters of God, to be reconciled to our Creator, and to be able to, “...offer [ourselves] to God as those who have been brought from death to life...[instruments] for righteousness" (Romans 6:13).


‣ What is the best way for you to hear clearly from Jesus?
‣ Is there a sin in your life He is asking you to repent of?
‣ What is one truth Jesus has taught you recently that He wants you to put into practice?


Day 7

Day 7

- DAY 7 -
What Do You Think You're Entitled To?

Read: Luke 7

If you feel entitled, you believe that your possession of one thing gives you the right or privilege to something else. For instance, “This coupon entitles the bearer to a free ice cream,” or “Every citizen is entitled to equal protection under the law.” In each case, the person has something (a coupon or citizenship) and expects to get something in return.

In Luke 7 we see a story about entitlement. A centurion's servant was sick and about to die. The local elders pleaded with Jesus, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue” (Luke 7:4-5). Based on the centurion's patriotism and construction efforts they felt he deserved special recognition. They said this because they felt entitled to special treatment because of their status in the community. They thought their influence would leverage Jesus to act on their behalf.

The centurion, on the other hand, didn't feel that he was entitled to receive any special treatment based on his position or experience. The centurion said “...I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Luke 7:6-7).

The elders of the town were Jewish by birth, dressed in traditional clothing, were well-educated, attended synagogue, sacrificed at Temple, and followed all the rules. The centurion didn't look, sound, or act anything like a religious person. All he knew was that he didn't deserve Jesus. Much like the tax collector in Luke 18:13 who “...would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner,'” the centurion knew nothing but desperation.

Could it be that we make our requests to God based on entitlement instead of desperation for Jesus? When we bring our resumes or pedigrees or possessions to God, He is not impressed. What God wants is a broken and contrite heart —a people who understand that death is what we deserve and anything good we have is the result of Jesus' mercy and grace.


‣ Where in your life has entitlement crept in?
‣ What is one way you can take up a posture of humility before God?
‣ What are some ways God has already blessed you beyond what you deserve?


Day 6

Day 6

- DAY 6 -
Following Jesus Doesn't Always Make Friends

Read: Luke 6

“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets" (Luke 6:22-23).

Jesus doesn’t just speak these words from Luke 6, He lives them out. He is consistently ridiculed for doing the work of the Father. When we are hated and reviled for loving Jesus, we can look to Christ as our example of how to be ambassadors of truth.

Jesus assures us that the worst the world can throw at us cannot compare to the joy of a relationship with the Lord of all. We have Christ now and for all eternity! From everlasting to everlasting we will know the sweetness of God. He is more beautiful than the sun, moon and stars. Our reward in heaven is the enjoyment of God's glory forever.

Paul writes, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35, Romans 8:37-39).”

God's love given through Christ should lead us to a joy in all situations and the hope of an eternity to come. Rejoice that God gives Himself as our reward. May we find strength to endure in Jesus' name and continue to treasure the Lord above all things.


‣ How do you respond when people do not agree with your faith in Jesus?
‣ What is one way you can find strength in Jesus during tough situations?
‣ What is one way you can you fix your eyes on Jesus rather than messycircumstances around you?


Day 5

Day 5

- DAY 5 -
What It Means To Be Made New

Read: Luke 5

New. This word sells everything from dish soap to identity. No wonder we miss the magnitude of its meaning. New isn't old plus something. "New" is not just "improved," "bigger," or "better." It is something we don't even have a grid for. It is unique — without comparison.

In Luke 5, Jesus wants us to understand the life He brings confounds all our expectations. Jesus shows Simon Peter, James, and John that success as fishermen wasn't about hard work or experience but was found in obeying His word to "let down the nets" (Luke 5:4). Even their idea of success itself is transformed, as the three bring in a catch so large it threatens to sink their boats!

That's why they, and we, must follow Jesus once we've encountered Him. Without Jesus, we don't know what it even means to live in Him and for Him. The first disciples are told they will now learn to fish for men? Everything is new. Jesus warns that many will try to put this "new life" in old containers of thinking and understanding and expectation, but as God's one and only son, He will break out of them all.

In what part of your life are you failing to give up your own understanding and trust Jesus to teach you something completely new? If you don't, Jesus warns that you'll waste your "new life," and the old one won't hold up either.


‣ What is one old way of life Jesus is trying to break in you?
‣ What is one new thing Jesus is teaching you?
‣ Do you have someone in your life to hold you accountable forgrowing in your relationship with Jesus?