Friday, July 20, 2018

Out with the old in with the new



Luke 5: 33 Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?”

34 And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.”

36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’ ”

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After hours of work, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I had followed each step meticulously and had finished my entire quota. When someone came by, they asked if I had followed the new procedures. “What new procedures?” I asked. I had to redo everything.

  • Sometimes I think I need to work hard in order to please GOD.
  • Sometimes I like to see progress with GOD so I follow the rules meticulously.
  • Sometimes I believe that when I follow the law, I am closer to GOD and when I break the law I am far away from HIM.


Heart language is very different than head language. In other words there are those who know the rods of the Bible, but not the heart of what is spoken. JESUS proves this over and over as HE explains that HE is the fulfilment of the Old Testament, therefore HIS disciples were indeed following the law by not fasting at that particular time.

  • GOD wants me to know “A new commandment that I give to you, that you love one another.”
  • GOD wants me to know “Love ME with all your heart and with all your mind.”
  • GOD wants me to know “Without love, nothing can be done.”


This new way of thinking that JESUS introduces is more SPIRIT led than legal. The problem is wide interpretations can leave me confused so tend to cling onto the law HE gave in the first place. GOD does not mind me following the law, in fact HE loves when I try.

BUT GOD also desires that I become a new wineskin so I can accept HIS new wine of love for those I would ordinarily hate. The “Good old days” and the “Good old ways” sometimes leave me stuck in judgment of people who GOD simply wants me to love. JESUS is my bridegroom.

  • Are you trying your best to follow every letter of the Bible and are feeling exhausted?
  • Are you judging others for not following the Bible as you have learned?
  • Will you allow GOD to work in others differently than the way HE has you working?
  • Will you become a new vessel for HIM to pour new love for others into your heart today?






Thursday, July 19, 2018

Acting Removed



Luke5: 27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.
29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. 30 And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

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Jumping in my luxury car, I sped off to my office. Mulling through the projects of the day, I finally organized what I was going to accomplish. I attended numerous meetings, filled out reports and then went home to do this again and again. I never once noticed the people I passed on the street.

  • There were times when work was the focus.
  • There were times when most of my thoughts were on the job.
  • There were times when I placed a large amount of esteem in my career.


The scribes and Pharisees had the “job” of telling people about GOD and they did it with a judgmental attitude. “Why do YOU eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” was their question to JESUS. They thought they were so far removed from their sins that they no longer considered themselves sinners.

  • JESUS wants me to seek the lost.
  • JESUS wants me to fill up some of my time for HIM.
  • JESUS wants me to think of HIS kingdom each and every day.


Being far removed from poor, hurt and overtly sinful people doesn’t make me a better follower of GOD. In fact, the more removed I am from the more highly I think of myself. After a while I speak in “those people” terms instead of saying “us people.”

Being busy is also an exclusionary tactic. If I do not purposefully stop and look for the poor, lost and the hurt I can easily forget that I am one of them. JESUS wants me to be part of the crowd that seeks HIM in need of a Savior. I am sick and need GOD daily.

  • Do you think you are better than someone?
  • When is the last time you personally went out and sought after the sick, poor and lost?
  • Can you plan on spending some of your time speaking on behalf of GOD in an inclusive way?



Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Know the Power



Luke 5: 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”

25 Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!”

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With one eye squinted I focused on the bad guy, played by my neighbor. My “laser vision” deterred him from stealing the prize. “Wait a minute” I said. I had to put my cape back on which happened to be a bath towel I borrowed from clothes drying outside. When we resumed I stuck my hands out and moved as if I were flying. I was truly powerful that moment.

  • There were times when I wanted to be powerful.
  • There were times when I desired to be a superhero.
  • There were times when I thought it would be good to have super powers so I could fight for good and get rid of evil.


The scribes and the Pharisees heard JESUS forgive the paralyzed man of his sins. They claimed JESUS was not GOD therefore HE could not forgive sins. JESUS perceived their twisted words and proved to the onlookers that HE was in fact GOD by healing the paralytic right in front of their eyes.

  • JESUS wants me to recognize HIS healing power.
  • JESUS wants me to understand HE is GOD along with the FATHER and the HOLY SPIRIT.
  • JESUS wants me to have faith in HIS power and not mine.


“In you weakness I AM made strong” JESUS tells me. HE doesn’t want me to be superior to humans, nor inferior. HE wants me to simply recognize that all humans need HIM to be GOD, not a human concept of a king-genie. JESUS truly has the power to forgive me and I desire to serve HIM.

  • Do you want power?
  • Are you tired of being weak?
  • Can you focus on GOD’s power instead of yours today?


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ingenuity


Luke 5: 17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

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“We have a business problem” were the words posed to me that started my wheels turning. I loved solving business problems, the more complex the problem, the better. I pondered solutions for days, even weeks. Finally I came up with a solution and when I implemented it, I received awards and cash!

  • There were times when I spent enormous amounts of time thinking of business solutions.
  • There were times when I spent huge amounts of time trying to get the company ahead.
  • There were times when I put forth large efforts developing complicated business solutions that made wealthy people wealthier.


The paralyzed man’s friends probably came up with a simple plan to go see JESUS who was healing people left and right but they ran into a problem. The crowd was too large. They had to think of something.

I could imagine the quick meeting as they discussed options. “Do you think the roof would support our weight?” “How will we get through the roof?” “Does anyone have any rope or should we use our clothes?” JESUS saw their faith as they implemented their solution.

  • GOD wants me to think of ways to bring people to HIM.
  • GOD wants me to spend time pondering solutions to bringing lost people back to HIM.
  • GOD wants me to spend some time developing solutions to meet the needs of people who are seeking HIM.


“Your sins are forgiven” was the unexpected reward JESUS gave the paralyzed man. Who knows how he got paralyzed in the first place. Was he doing something that he wasn’t supposed to? The Bible does not say. JESUS forgave him and I believe his friends benefited as well. GOD sees any ingenuity I can give HIM.

  • Do you have someone who is seeking GOD but they are facing barriers to accepting HIM?
  • Do you know someone who is trying to run from GOD?
  • Can you ask GOD for HIS ingenious plan to be brought to you so you can begin implementing it today?

Monday, July 16, 2018

Willing and Able



Luke 5: 12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.”
15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

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“LORD I don’t know what to do!” was my cry. I just sat there in tears as it seemed like everything I tried to accomplish was falling apart rapidly. Broken relationships, broken vehicles and broken appliances piled up.

  • Sometimes it seemed like GOD wasn’t listening.
  • Sometimes it seemed like I was the problem and I could not find a solution.
  • Sometimes it seemed like there was no end to the pain I was going through.


With tears in his eyes, the man begged JESUS to get rid of his infirmities as if to say, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!” He then said to JESUS “If YOU are willing, YOU can make me clean.” He had faith that JESUS could do anything but also knew permission was necessary.

  • JESUS tells me to have faith that HE can do anything.
  • JESUS tells me to believe that HE is willing to do anything for me.
  • JESUS tells me to know HE wants me to ask for anything and it will be given to me.


After begging JESUS for some help, it seemed like things eased up for me. I mean just as fast as everything went bad, they turned around to good. Relationships started healing and so did the material possessions. I could only thank GOD for bringing me through the storms of life.

  • Are you going through something?
  • Do you feel like GOD isn’t hearing you?
  • Will you cry out to GOD today and ask HIM “If YOU are willing” and allow HIM to say “yes” or “no” to your request but believe HE has to power to do all things?


Friday, July 13, 2018

Partnership



Luke 5: For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

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“Ask them questions to get to know them” someone suggested to me. I did not like this group of people, but I tolerated their arrogance because they were in charge. The more questions I asked, the more I did not like them. “Why am I here?’ I thought to myself.

  • There were many times when I made up my mind to not like groups of people.
  • There were many times when I sought to point out problems in people.
  • There were many times when I brought negative words into a conversation even before meeting the person.


After JESUS performed the miracle of filling their nets with fish, HE said “Do not be afraid.” I believe HE was speaking on many levels. Do not be afraid of ME or what you will eat or what you will wear or who you talk to, just follow ME and you will catch those I give you. They decided to follow HIM.

  • GOD wants me to partner with HIM so I can seek HIS merciful ways.
  • GOD wants me to partner with HIM so I can point my ambitions toward HIM.
  • GOD wants me to partner with HIM so I can drop the negative opinions of people and give them labels that only come from HIM.


Partnering with GOD means loving people I would not ordinarily love. It means getting rid of my prejudices and filling my mind with grace and fortitude to pursue humans who run away from GOD at every turn.

James, John and Peter also had a human partnership as friends and coworkers. One thing they had in common was they all sought JESUS as their savior and they gave up their lifestyle to follow HIM. They partnered with JESUS on a level that enabled them to do great things.

  • Are you serving GOD on the surface?
  • Are you afraid to give HIM your sins and are trying hard to be good and make everyone around you good?
  • Will you stop trying to manipulate people and allow GOD to use your dirty parts to bring people to HIM?
  • Can you drop your prejudices and allow GOD to send you to people who do not look or act like you today?


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Personal Fuel



Luke 5 : When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

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“There is no way I can accomplish that” I said to myself. I looked at my resources and assessed my intellectual prowess and concluded the task at hand was too large for me. “Can you do it?” was the questioned posed to me again. Sadly I said “No.”

There were times when I thought “I” was in control.
There were times when I depended on “my” knowledge.
There were times when I believed in “my” strength.

Simon (Peter) was told to go fish after unsuccessfully fishing all night. He was a professional fisherman who probably had caught many fish and knew when he was not going to have a good day. JESUS knew something different.

GOD tells me to believe the unbelievable.
GOD tells me to have faith in HIM rather than what I see.
GOD tells me to trust in HIS power rather than thinking “I” have all the answers.

Having faith in GOD means letting go of “my” power. If I believe in “me” and “my” abilities, then I may not have room for GOD to take care of the situation. Only when I toil to the point of exhaustion, do I call on GOD. HE wants me to add HIM first when I make my plans. I get my fuel from GOD.

Are you exhausted?
Do you think you need to fix everything?
Can you let GOD handle your situation and give you strength to do what HE wants you to do today?