Wednesday, February 5

The Gospel of Luke - Chapters 12-13



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There is an affiliate link in this blog post.


What do we read about in the twelfth & thirteenth chapters of Luke's Gospel?
What do we learn from Luke?


What is the main focus?
Is it important to know the words from this chapter?







I am doing this in response to an Advent Reading challenge where we read 1 chapter of the Gospel of Luke per day from 1st to 24th December which will allow the whole book to be read.



If you missed The Overview or any of the chapters please click  HERE  for a list of them all.



Now let's look at the Twelfth Chapter of Luke.



Today we are dividing this chapter into 5 sections



Jesus teaches about Fear v. 1-12:


A multitude had gathered and Jesus began to teach His disciples about the Pharisees and how they cannot be trusted

So many times we hear the Pharisees criticising or accusing Jesus and now we hear Him warning the disciples about them.

They are hypocrites and probably very good at twisting what people would say but God knows the truth.  They or none of us should think that what we say or think will escape God.



Who are we to fear and who are we not to fear?

We are not to fear those who can kill us physically.   verse 5

We are to fear God who has the power of life and death but also the decision of eternal hell or salvation.    verse 6

We are not to fear men, we are not to keep quiet about God before others.    verse 8

We are to fear God.     verse 9







What are we reassured about?

God knows everything about us in all the details and we are important to Him.     verses 6-7

The Holy Spirit will help us in everything and at all times.    verses 11-12



Who are we to fear and who are we not to fear?






The Parable of the Rich Fool  v. 13-21:


Jesus tells this parable because of the question from someone who was thinking more about his inheritance than anything else so much so that he wanted to enlist the help of Jesus to get his way in things.

Jesus says that our life does not exist in the amount of our possessions.


 Possessions do not aid our relationship with God.


Our life is not prolonged by what we own nor does anything we have ensure our state before God and hence give us eternal life.  


Possessions do not aid our relationship with God.




Jesus teaches about Worry  v. 22-34:


Basically in verses 22-23 Jesus says  DO NOT WORRY

22 Then He said to His disciples,  
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 
23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.

He gives examples in verses 24 and 27 of the ravens who are fed by God and the lilies who God has made beautiful.


Then tells us that worrying will do nothing for us in verse 25  and what we need is faith in verse 28


Most of us will be familiar with the words  -  "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you".   But do we stop to think about them, really think, because if so then we will recognise that it is important that we know just WHAT it is that will be added to us and WHY.


PLUS do we know what is meant by the phrase The Kingdom of God?

Well to know what the Kingdom of God is, is to know God and what His will is for us.


We need to look at verses 29 - 31 
29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.  
30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.  
31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
Here we are told not to be anxious about the WHAT


The WHAT that will be added is found in verses 29 - 30  are all the things that the whole world needs and
The WHY  -  because God knows we need them.


WHO will look after us so that we do not need to WORRY or to be ANXIOUS?






GOD WILL LOOK AFTER US

WHAT do we need to do?

FOLLOW GOD'S WILL, OBEY HIM

 and

 DO NOT WORRY or be ANXIOUS


HOW do we do this?


WE LEAVE THINGS IN GOD'S HANDS


I love the next verse

verse 32
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.


God wants to look after us and now He wants to share everything with us!

It gives Him pleasure!

Truly we are important to him!


and just look at verse 34
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

He directs us in verse 33  to focus on the right things so that we have the important things to God, as the important things to us, and then our heart and mind will be in the right place and condition.







The Faithful Servant & The Evil Servant  v. 35-48:


When we have read God's Word and know what it says and understand the truth within then we have a responsibility to do what is right.

So when we know what God says in His Word then

Doing what God instructs us to do is being faithful,

  NOT doing what God instructs is being disobedient




Division & Peace  v. 49-59:

We are all willing to believe that Jesus brings peace - at Christmas we think of Jesus as the Prince of Peace but that is not for now.

Not everyone will trust in Jesus now so the whole world cannot be in unity and that also will be evident in our countries, cities, & families.

God's Word has given us signs for way the world will be, the way people will act and yet we will have to be careful to be aware of this and not be easily swayed with the culture and pressure of others.

But Jesus told the disciples here that it is better to make peace with people than to fight with them.
A hard thing to do in these times when even some people professing to be Christians are so dogmatic and insist that everyone thinks and acts like they do.   Wisdom is so much needed and should be our prayer each day.







Now let's look at the Thirteenth Chapter of Luke.



Today we are dividing this chapter into 6 sections.



Repent or Perish  v. 1-4

Here Jesus tells the people that if they do not repent they will perish.

So for those nowadays who like to say that surely God will not punish the people He has created this is a short passage which will show them otherwise.  -  Yes God hates sin.




The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree  v. 5 - 9

A Fig Tree has not borne any fruit for 3 years, it seems worthless but the keeper of the vineyard pleads for it to have another year with good care and attention.

Do we bare fruit without care and attention to God's Word - NO!

Do we bare fruit without having been helped, guided and fed by others - NO!

Do other new Christians bare fruit without our help, guidance and teaching - NO!





A spirit of Infirmity  v. 10 - 17

For 18 years a woman had been physically bent over and could not stand up straight.

She was in the synagogue on the Sabbath when Jesus spoke to her and told her to come to Him and He laid His hands on her and healed her in verses 12 - 13

12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.”  
13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

She did not ask for healing BUT that didn't stop Jesus.
She was in the synagogue and the religious leaders would not be happy about this BUT that didn't stop Jesus.

She would have been seen and heard BUT that did not stop her from glorifying God.
She had not met Jesus before BUT that didn't stop her from recognising whose power Jesus had.


In verse 14  the ruler of the synagogue thought he was "calling out" Jesus for healing on the Sabbath

But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”


However in verse 15 - 17  it was Jesus who was "calling out" the ruler.

15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?  
16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”  
17 And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

Look at the result of this healing in verse 17 above.
More glory was given to God


We do need to remember that Jesus' words and actions were always the means of pointing to the father and bringing glory to Him.




The Parables of the Mustard Seed & the Leaven  v. 18 - 21

Both of these are told to illustrate the Kingdom of God.

It will grow and become strong like the mustard seed - one of the smallest seeds there are will grow into a strong tree and be a home for the birds.

It will have a strengthening and growing effect on those who accept it.








The Narrow Way  v. 22 - 33

Jesus was travelling through towns and cities on His way to Jerusalem


He was asked what would seem like a simple question in verse 23

Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”


Jesus answered in verses 24 - 27

24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.  
25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are 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 you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’

We will need to enter by the narrow gate but there will be a certain time frame and then it will be too late.  We will not be known if we have not turned our backs on sin.


He then continues in verses 28 - 30  to describe how those who have not been able to enter through the narrow gate will know who is already in God's presence and the grief will be great.




Jesus knew His way and His future and was going to be obedient to God's plan.




Jesus Laments over Jerusalem  v. 31 - 35

Some Pharisees tell Jesus that Herod wishes to kill Him.

Jesus refers to Herod as a fox and explains that He will journey on to Jerusalem because He will not die outside of Jerusalem.


Jesus knew His way and His future and was going to be obedient to God's plan.



Then we see the sadness in the heart of Jesus in verses 34 - 35

34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!  
35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ 



If you would like to read more of the posts in this series please click  HERE  for a list of them all.





For anyone looking for a book to give a thorough explanation of The Book of Luke  then I would recommend the following two commentaries by Warren Wiersbe which cover ch. 1-13 and ch. 14-24  available here below on Amazon and also at other leading bookshops.


 



For anyone looking for to do a Bible Study of The Book of Luke  I would recommend the following two studies by Warren Wiersbe which cover ch. 1-13 and ch. 14-24  available here below on Amazon and also at other leading bookshops.


 



Disclaimer: If buying here through Amazon I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.




Wednesday, January 29

Chronological Bible Reading Plan


Do you follow a set Bible Reading Plan each year?


Do you try to read certain books of the Bible each year?


Do you like to try to read through the whole Bible in one, two or three years?








Tim Challies recommended a bible reading plan and this was not just a read from the beginning to the end of the bible in one, two or three years, this was a read through the bible in one year in chronological order  -  A 5 Day Bible Reading Plan


 I had already been talking with some of our family about wanting to get a chronological Bible to read through in (what I call) a logical way, so I thought I would look at this Chronological Bible Reading Plan and try it out.


The name of this plan:   
The 5 Day Bible Reading Program


The order of this plan:   
It is organised so that the reader will read through all of the Bible in Chronological order in one year.


The cost of this plan:
It is free to download but will cost you time and determination.


The structure of this plan:
It is reproduced anew each year to suit the days and dates because it is a 5 day reading plan working on a weekly basis.

This means you have only 5 days listed each week with readings allotted to them and so if you cannot read all the sections for each day you do not need to worry about getting very disheartened and giving up because you have 2 days to catch up.


The starting date of this plan:
For This Year 2020 the start date is Sunday 5th January.

This means I had the first 4 days of the year to think seriously about how I planned to do this - which days would I plan to read on and which would be my 2 catch-up days because I was sure I would need these catch-up days each week.


I enjoyed doing the Advent Reading Plan of The Gospel of Luke which included one chapter a day for the first 24 days of December.

(What I really mean is Fred and I kept up with the reading plan
 but 
I'm still working through my blog posts on those chapters.)

So knowing that I would probably want to blog about this reading plan as well I know I will need a 2 day buffer each week to help with that as well so that I do not feel as if I am under too much pressure.


As I started to write this post I had not started to read any of the passages.

It is Sunday 5th January already

So I feel that I will probably not read all of the passages set for today 

  Genesis 1-2;  Psalm 19;  Mark 1
 which are clearly shown in the pic below:











So what did I have to think about before I started?

I needed to think about which bible version I would read.

How I would take notes.

Which sections I would take notes on because I was being realistic and knew that I would not take notes on everything.

(It is a reading plan of course and not a bible study plan.)



Well I am now almost 4 weeks into the plan.



What am I using to read through the plan?

I am reading through this plan on a new Bible App on my iPad.
I had already agreed to be a beta tester for this ESV version App so felt that reading this plan on this App would be a good test of the App.

You can see the app bottom centre on my iPad screen below.







How am I taking notes?

The App is compatible with the iPad Pro pencil so using it I am taking notes in the notes section giving myself headings of one verse or a short passage.

I am also using the favourites part of this to make a note of any verses I want to make Bible Verse Graphics of later.








Which sections am I taking notes on?

Taking notes really adds to your reading time so I knew that choosing the old or New Testaments as a section was not a good idea.
So I would have to choose one or more individual books of the Bible instead.

My next thought was that I would take the Gospels because while I was going through the Gospel of Luke for the Advent Reading Plan I had often thought about doing a detailed comparison between the gospels.

Also scanning through the plan it appeared that only one chapter of the Gospels would be covered in any day.








This lead me to start with the Gospel of Mark (as that is the first Gospel introduced in the plan) and if this was not too time consuming I would then go on to take notes from Matthew and John.

If I was not getting overwhelmed with the note taking at the end of those 3 Gospels I would consider tackling another book later.



How am I managing so far?

Well I started off great and then we went on holiday for a week  from 16th - 23rd January which overlapped week 2 & 3.

However it was a relaxing holiday so not a lot of plans to be out and about except by the pool so I was able to keep up there.
My only problem was that my iPad got left on the plane - not entirely my fault!
This meant I had to use my old kindle to read and hence had to use a different Bible version and also had to make my notes on letter paper the hotel had in the room.

Since I came back I have been suffering badly with sinus problems and neck problems and I have to admit I am a little behind now.

By date I should be well into week 4  but I have not started Galatians yet so if you look at the plan above you will see I have not done very much of week 4 yet.



Last Question is -  Why do we use a plan to read our bible?

Everyone will probably have a different thought as they read this question but right now I'm thinking about not just now but of in previous years.

When I was a young Christian it was good to have some kind of guide to keep me reading.

When I got more disciplined I would sometimes use a plan and sometimes not because I felt like I could trust myself to read regularly.

Now I want to give myself the challenge of reading in the chronological order to understand more of the timing and setting of different parts.

Looking back I see one great reason that I probably had not really thought about so much before  -  setting a good example to our families of planning to read and structuring out thoughts.








Something to Note:

I took more detailed notes while I was away on holiday and even took notes on Genesis and the Psalms as well as Mark




You can download the plan here  The 5 Day Bible Reading Program





Tuesday, January 28

5 Bargain Winter Mysteries



Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link in this blog post.



I was on holiday last week and in my travel preparation list I always have a certain ToDo listed.


Download Books to Kindle



Now that doesn't mean that I go searching at the last minute to find books on Amazon because I already have so many ebooks found (mostly free ones) and have them already downloaded.  However I don't like having my actual old original model of the kindle cluttered with all the books I have read or ever intend to read so I keep the majority of my books in the cloud.  Hence my ToDo really meant that I was to take a little time to chose from my many books the ones I felt like reading on this trip.

So having done that I immediately started thinking that it was one thing choosing for a holiday relaxing in the sun and nice temperatures of 19 - 22 degrees centigrade but what about when I would come home again into the cold Wintery weather here in Northern Ireland with temperatures of 4-11 degrees.






Hence the idea to share with you some of the free or nearly free Winter themed Cosy Mysteries that I have on my kindle.  Well we still have the end of January and all of February to get through of the winter to curl up on the couch with a hot mug of coffee and a good quick read.


So if you are ready to snuggle up with a good mystery then enjoy investigating these ones.


Read the quick Amazon blurbs below and then click on the title or pic of the book if you are interested in finding out more or would like to read some reviews.


Note: I am not sure when prices will go up or down.



1.  Ice Blue 








Anthony Hetheridge, ninth Baron of Wellegrave, Chief Superintendent for New Scotland Yard, never married, no children, no pets, no hobbies, and not even an interesting vice, will turn sixty in three weeks. With the exception of his chosen career, too sordid for his blue-blooded family to condone, his life has been safe and predictable. But then he meets Detective Sergeant Kate Wakefield – beautiful, willful, and nearly half his age. When Hetheridge saves the outspoken, impetuous young detective from getting the sack, siding with her against Scotland Yard’s powerful male hierarchy, his cold, elegantly balanced world spins out of control. Summoned to London’s fashionable Belgravia to investigate the brutal murder of a financier, Hetheridge must catch the killer while coping with his growing attraction to Kate, the reappearance of an old flame, and the secret that emerges from his own past.







2.  The Winter Mystery 







Jenny Starling is spending Christmas in a snowed-in country house cooking all the traditional food she loves. But the family she’s working for are not full of the seasonal spirit. In fact, they seem to hate each other.

On Christmas Eve, someone is found dead on the kitchen table. And the head of the family is blaming Jenny!

But with an incompetent detective called in, and seemingly no motive for the murder, Jenny will have to give the police a hand.

She will stop at nothing to clear her name and find the real murderer.






3.  Snowed In With Death 






Six famous detectives are snowed in together.


One by one, they start to die.


Getting snowed in with six private detectives in a remote house in Scotland is actually the stuff of Holly’s daydreams. An enthusiastic amateur sleuth herself, she is thrilled to have won the chance to attend the annual meeting of the best private detectives in the country.

But when dinner is served with a side of death, everyone knows… there is a murderer in their midst!

Will Holly crack the case before her number is up?



Rest and relax with some Bargain Mysteries this Winter






4.  Murder On A Winter Afternoon







A snow-covered cottage is nestled in the hills… but inside a body lies dead upon the floor.

Melissa Craig is enjoying winter in the Cotswolds, taking brisk walks through the snowy fields and basking in the winter sunshine. The only thing Melissa is plotting is her Christmas shopping.

But after the unexpected death of local writer Leonora Jewell, Melissa is asked to complete Leonora’s final book. However, on her first visit to the cottage, she finds a gruesome object overlooked by the police: a metal bar covered with dried blood.

Terrified, Melissa rushes to the nearest telephone box to call the police. But by the time they reach Leonora’s cottage, the murder weapon has mysteriously vanished.












5.  The Winter Garden Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries)








In England, 1923, The Honorable Daisy Dalrymple has made a decision that, while shocking to her class, is in perfect keeping with the spirit of the times. Rather than live with relatives until she marries, she has decided to make her own living with her writing. Her series of articles on country manor homes has proven to be a success, and she travels to Occles Hall to research her latest piece.
What she finds is a household under the thumb of the ill-tempered and demanding Lady Valeria. And the discovery of the body of a pregnant maid buried in the winter garden does nothing to improve Lady Valeria's mood. A young Welsh under-gardener is arrested for the crime but Daisy is sure of his innocence. 







Disclaimer:
If buying through Amazon via the links above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.