Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gospel of Luke ~Tuesday November 30

Chapter Three Tuesday, November 30, 2010

“John went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Luke 3:3

Don’t you just love John the Baptist!? He is a bit scruffy, does his own thing, lives in the wilderness, smells a little ripe, and carries the potent image of the great prophet Elijah in his soul. He calls it like he sees it!

Even though he carries the mantle of Elijah, he captures his preaching theme from the writings of the prophet Isaiah. From Isaiah 40 we hear him speak to the people about his authority to call them to repentance.

Take a moment to read Isaiah chapter 40, you will be glad you did. It will provide you with a great blessing.

It all begins with a word of comfort for the people of God. Have you ever needed comfort? Then it flows to a powerful message about the Word of God and the image of the shepherd who tenderly cares for the flock. But the last words of Isaiah 40 are really my favorites. In fact, the words of Isaiah 40:31 are painted on the top tube of my favorite bicycle as a reminder that the power of God can overcome anything.

That’s why I love John the Baptist--he is an overcomer. Nothing stops him or his message. In fact, he ultimately gave his life for his faith in Jesus and his commitment to the message of repentance.

Do you hear his message? As we draw closer to the celebration of Christmas, are there any areas of your life that need to hear a message of repentance? I know there are places like that in my life. I am going to take some time to listen and respond. Will you join me?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gospel of Luke Monday November 29th

Chapter Two Monday, November 29, 2010

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32

Take a few minutes to read this chapter and then see if you agree with me. There is only one word, “WOW!” That is the only way you can faithfully describe this blessing of Luke’s description.

It is the birth place of our Christian faith. We were built on Jewish roots, became obedient to the law, found our way through with the prophets, then we arrive at the birth of Jesus and everything changes.

Together we enter into the possibility of new life as Mary and Joseph stand near the manger cradle and gaze lovingly at their newborn child. The angels sing, the shepherds pay their honors, and the world begins to change. Slowly at first, but soon everything that has life and breath will be impacted by this obscure birth.

Things were already set in motion when Gabriel spoke to Mary. Then the child is actually born and presented in the temple for dedication on the eighth day of his life. A wise man named Simeon saw him, asked if he could hold him, and then offered his praise to God. Simeon was one of the first to recognize that the times were changing. History was shifting. The world was in the process of being transformed by an infant who would grow to “become strong, filled with wisdom, and with the grace of God.”

Let me ask you, can you imagine taking the infant Jesus in your arms? Can you imagine being in the position of Simeon? Would you be able to look at his tiny face and proclaim “My eyes have seen your salvation?”

Let me ask you, have you seen and experienced the salvation that Jesus provides? Take a moment to pray. Ask God to restore to you (or provide for you) the joy of salvation. Yesterday you were Theophilus, today you are Simeon. I wonder who you will be tomorrow. Jesus has a way of changing people!

Gospel of Luke Sunday November 28

Chapter One Sunday, November 28, 2010 The First Sunday of Advent

“It seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Luke 1:3b-4

I am grateful that Luke helps set the stage for his account of the life of Jesus the Christ. As it turns out, Luke is a skilled historian. We will also discover that he is a physician. In addition, he is an evangelist, a fellow traveler in the faith with the Apostle Paul. His first identity is in Christ but his profession is in the medical arts.

Luke also gives us a clue as to his audience. We are blessed to listen in on his conversation as he describes an ‘orderly account’ of the life and teachings of Jesus. He is writing to someone who is addressed as the ‘most excellent Theophilus.’ Don’t you wish someone would address you in that same way? Wouldn’t you like to be ‘most excellent’ in a category of faith?

It is a title that implies great honor, deep respect, and a personal relationship. But it is the name that really draws our attention. Have you known any one named Theophilus? Are you considering that name for your first born or as a suggestion for your grandchildren?

But if we take a minute to break it down, the name has deep value and meaning for us. It literally means ‘lover of God.’ Wouldn’t you like to be known as a ‘lover of God?’ When you think about it, that is not a bad name!

Now, Theophilus (I know it is not the name engraved on your birth certificate…but may I call you that as we approach the birth of Jesus?)…Now Theophilus, read the chapter and whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity to sing a song or two. The birth of Jesus is fortold, the angel Gabriel makes and appearance, Mary sings, and Zachariah follows with his song.

Ask yourself, “Am I singing a song that would announce to the world that my name (in the heart of God) is Theophilus?”

By the way, it is a right and good thing that we should begin our journey with Luke by gathering for worship on this day! Thanks for being a part of the Wilson Family!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

African Children's Choir

WOW, do you believe that a coincidence is when God creates a miracle and chooses to remain anonymous? I do.

Here's the deal; Last Thursday I saw an email notice that the African Children's Choir was going to be in the Denver area. I have always been interested so I found their web site at www.africanchildrenschoir.org and located a phone number. I spoke to Tina who told me that the group just had a very unexpected cancellation that eliminated a key concert and three nights of housing.

Here is where I am so blessed to be a part of the Wilson family! The kids needed a place to be, host homes for three days, and they were arriving on Sunday afternoon. Could we do it? Who will do it? Wilson will!

I said yes, send them our way. Then I sent out an email asking for help with housing, meals, and a potential concert. Before the day was done, it was all cared for with great detail. Momentum is a wonderful thing.

Anyway, the bus pulled in, host families went into action, a concert was presented to an overflow crowd, and everyone (especially the Wilson team!) was blessed.

What a great God we have! Many thanks to everyone who made it happen. It wasn't water into wine...but it was real close!

God loves to do stuff and then remain anonymous!