Daily Devotion Text

February 20, 2018

Luke 2018-02-20

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 13:22–35 (ESV)

    22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

    31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32 And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 13:22-24
    • Jesus says being saved is like entering through a narrow door.  Why would this be the case?  Or, in what ways is this true in my life?

    Luke 13:25-30

    • To Jesus’ audience who believed that only Jews could enter the kingdom of God, what would be their response to what Jesus said in v. 29?
    • Who are the “last who will be first” and who are the “first who will be last” in v. 30?

    Luke 13:34-35

    • Who are the “prophets” sent to me today?
    • Do I welcome or resist Jesus’ longing to gather me under his wings?

February 19, 2018

Luke 2018-02-19

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 13:10–21 (ESV)

    10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

    18 He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

    20 And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 13:14-15
    • What can we conclude about the state of the synagogue ruler’s heart?
    • The synagogue ruler became indignant at Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath.  Is there a relationship between what angers a person and what “cripples” a heart from functioning as God intended?  How does this apply to me?

    Luke 13:10-16

    • What is revealed about Jesus—his heart, his power—from this incident?

    Luke 13:18-21

    • What is the similarity between the mustard seed and the yeast?
    • How has this parable worked out in history and in my life?

February 16, 2018

Luke 2018-02-16

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 13:1–9 (ESV)

    1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

    6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 13:1-5
    • What false notion was Jesus addressing by asking two rhetorical questions about the victims of these tragic events?
    • “Unless you repent…”  With these words repeated twice, Jesus emphasizes that the issue of ultimate importance is that they repent.  In what ways do I need to heed this warning?

    Luke 13:6-9

    • Why was the owner’s reaction to the fruitlessness of the fig tree appropriate?
    • The gardener represents Jesus, whose intervention helps us avoid judgment. The gardener says that he’ll dig around and fertilize the tree.  What would it look like for me to respond to these efforts of the gardener?

February 15, 2018

Luke 2018-02-15

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 12:49–59 (ESV)  

    49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

    54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

    57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 12:51-53
    • Why would living a life for Jesus cause division?
    • Why does Jesus use the family context to describe the division he brings?

    Luke 12:54-59

    • What is the proper interpretation of the present time, according to v. 58?
    • If going before the judge refers to the final judgment at the end of one’s life, what does settling with your accuser “on the way” to the judge refer to?

February 14, 2018

Luke 2018-02-14

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 12:35–48 (ESV)

    35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

    41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 12:35-40
    • What is surprising about the master’s reward for the servant who is ready when he returns?
    • What does this response reveal about the master’s heart?

    Luke 12:41-46

    • What is the master’s expectation of his servant?
    • What might have been the unfaithful servant’s thoughts as he was saying to himself, “My master is delayed in coming”?
    • How is my sensitivity to consequences?  Does my sensitivity diminish as long as it won’t happen today?  Or not until next month?  Next year?  The next decade?

February 13, 2018

Luke 2018-02-13

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 12:22–34 (ESV)

    22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

    32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 12:22-23 
    • What is Jesus saying about the nature of humanity here?

    Luke 12:24-32 

    • According to this passage, what truths about God and about life show the folly of being anxious?

    Luke 12:33-34

    • What suggestions does this text make about concrete ways I can shift my heart heavenward?

February 12, 2018

Luke 2018-02-12

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 12:13–21 (ESV)

    13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’   20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 12:15
    • If a man’s life “does not consist in the abundance of his possessions,” what does it consist of?

    Luke 12:16-21

    • Count the number of times the words “I” and “my” appear in this passage.  What does this reveal about this man?
    • What made the man feel so confident and secure?  On what basis do people feel confident and secure?  On what basis do I feel confident and secure?  How strong or permanent is that basis?
    • What does it mean to be rich towards God?
    • In what ways can I be rich towards God?

February 9, 2018

Luke 2018-02-09

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 12:1–12 (ESV)

    1 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

    4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!         6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

    8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9 but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 12:1-5  
    • According to this passage, why is hypocrisy so foolish?
    • How is hypocrisy related to fear of men?
    • What is the relationship between fear of “those who kill the body” and fear of the one who “has the authority to cast into hell”?

    Luke 12:6-7  

    • How is God portrayed in this passage?

    Luke 12:8-9  

    • In what ways does fear of men come in conflict with acknowledging God?
    • In what ways, or before whom, have I not acknowledged God?

February 8, 2018

Luke 2018-02-08

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 11:33–54 (ESV)

    33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

    37 While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. 38 The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39 And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.

    42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”

    45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” 46 And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. 48 So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”

    53 As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 11:33-36
    • In comparing our eyes (the organ we use to assess and evaluate) to a lamp, what lesson is Jesus teaching about our value-system and its impact?

    Luke 11:37-44

    • Jesus rebukes the Pharisees with very harsh words.  What is it about the Pharisees that Jesus found so repugnant?
    • What aspects of the Pharisees do I find in myself?

    Luke 11:53-54  

    • Why couldn’t the Pharisees and the lawyers accept Jesus’ rightful criticism about their hypocrisy, even though they were purportedly people who were interested in knowing God?
    • What are the inconsistencies in my life that I have not been acknowledging?

February 7, 2018

Luke 2018-02-07

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 11:14–32 (ESV)

    14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” 16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe;     22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

    24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.

    26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

    27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

    29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.


  • Reflection QuestionsLuke 11:14-15  
    • Some “marveled,” but others made some very odd claims about how Jesus healed the mute man.  What does this show about human pride?  What are some dismissive things that people say regarding God’s work in others’ lives?

    Luke 11:16

    • Reflect on being put to the test like this, and why this is offensive.  Are there some ways in which I keep putting God to the test?

    Luke 11:24-26 

    • What constitutes a house being swept clean and put in order?
    • What is the danger of keeping the house empty (i.e., not having the “strong man” occupying it)?
    • What warning is here about just cleaning up my life morally without having Jesus as the Lord of my life?

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