Daily Devotionals 2021 - Luke

We hope you join us in this daily devotional for 2021.

April 18

“We know that God causes all things to work together for the good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28


As I write today’s devotional, I am drinking coffee and enjoying some of my sister-in-law’s fudge brownies.   They are delicious!    But have you ever noticed that when you make a cake, the individual ingredients don’t taste good? Flour by itself does not taste good. Raw eggs by themselves do not taste good. Vanilla by itself does not taste good. But mix them all together and you can create a tasty masterpiece.


When you let God work all the “ingredients” of your life together, he can take the bitter, put it in the batter, and make you better. Why? Because he’s a good God.


We live in a broken world where bad things happen to good people.   Good people get sick, have accidents, have problems, etc.   Nothing in our lives go perfectly.   God did not promise us perfection, that will have to wait until we reach heaven.    


In heaven, there is no sorrow, sadness, sickness, or suffering. We should not expect heaven to be on earth, because the earth is filled with brokenness. But even in the middle of all this brokenness, God has a good plan for you.   


God is greater than your bad decisions and can turn bad things into good things.  A few weeks ago on Easter Sunday, we saw how God was able to turn a crucifixion into a resurrection.   But this promise of God is not for everyone.  As you notice, Paul said in Romans 8:28 it is for those who “love God and are called according to His purposes.”  God is a good God and he has good plans for your life.  Other’s may have bad plans and we ourselves have made bad plans.    But God’s plans are always for our good. 


Thought For Today:    Can you say that you love God and are living for his purposes?  If so, then you can thank God today that He can turn your brokenness and problems into good.


Today’ Prayer Focus:   Praise God today because He Is Good!  Remember to pray for today’s worship service that and that God would be honored and glorified.  Deo Volente. 

--Rev. Ted Esaki


April 17

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32


Yesterday as I was going for a walk, I saw a homeless man get up from lying down on a bus bench and then take several minutes to wipe it down and clean it up.   I thought that was a very thoughtful gesture on the part of that individual.  


Thoughtfulness comes in many forms, and is virtually always welcomed by its recipients. Thoughtfulness is a habit—a way of life that is well worth cultivating and practicing.  A thoughtful person is quick to pay a well-deserved compliment, send a prompt note of appreciation or to do good to others.   


Thoughtful people create opportunities to make life brighter, smoother, and more enjoyable for those around them. Our thoughtful attitudes and generous deeds can make many people happy including ourselves.

Being thoughtful is being kind, it is being loving, it is being "as Jesus" to people.


Thought For Today:  What can you do today to show acts of thoughtfulness and kindness to those around you?  


Today’s Prayer Focus:  Pray that the Lord would help you to be loving, kind, and thoughtful today.  Deo Volente. 

--Rev. Ted Esaki


April 16 - Luke Chapter 18

  1. Is there anything that stands out to you in this passage?
  2. Did you notice anything that you hadn’t noticed before?
  3. Does any text bring thoughts that relate to something you are dealing with currently?

As I was reading these questions, what stood out to me was how Jesus compared prayer to going to a judge for justice. When I was a younger believer, I thought prayer was just me asking God for things I need or want. But as I learned more about Him from the Bible, I realized that there is an aspect of prayer that is like presenting a case - a legal argument - before a judge - our Father God, the righteous Judge of this universe. We have rights by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus, the right of salvation, peace, health and prosperity, and when Satan violates these rights (because the Lord never will), we have a case the present before the Father - a prayer. And Jesus tells us He isn't as some unjust judges on earth, but is a faithful and just judge who will rule in favor of the law - and for us that's in our favor when we are in Christ.

Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate to you something from this chapter of Luke and expect to learn something new about your Father.


Jesus was telling them a parable about their need to pray continuously and not to be discouraged. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him, asking, ‘Give me justice in this case against my adversary.’ For a while he refused but finally said to himself, I don’t fear God or respect people, but I will give this widow justice because she keeps bothering me. Otherwise, there will be no end to her coming here and embarrassing me.” The Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.Won’t God provide justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he be slow to help them? I tell you, he will give them justice quickly. But when the Human One comes, will he find faithfulness on earth?”

Jesus told this parable to certain people who had convinced themselves that they were righteous and who looked on everyone else with disgust: “Two people went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself with these words, ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like everyone else—crooks, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give a tenth of everything I receive.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He wouldn’t even lift his eyes to look toward heaven. Rather, he struck his chest and said, ‘God, show mercy to me, a sinner.’ I tell you, this person went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. All who lift themselves up will be brought low, and those who make themselves low will be lifted up.”

People were bringing babies to Jesus so that he would bless them. When the disciples saw this, they scolded them. Then Jesus called them to him and said, “Allow the children to come to me. Don’t forbid them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people like these children. I assure you that whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it.”

A certain ruler asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to obtain eternal life?”

Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except the one God. You know the commandments: Don’t commit adultery. Don’t murder. Don’t steal. Don’t give false testimony. Honor your father and mother.”

Then the ruler said, “I’ve kept all of these things since I was a boy.”

When Jesus heard this, he said, “There’s one more thing. Sell everything you own and distribute the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me.”When he heard these words, the man became sad because he was extremely rich.

When Jesus saw this, he said, “It’s very hard for the wealthy to enter God’s kingdom! It’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.”

Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?”

Jesus replied, “What is impossible for humans is possible for God.”

Peter said, “Look, we left everything we own and followed you.”

Jesus said to them, “I assure you that anyone who has left house, husband, wife, brothers, sisters, parents, or children because of God’s kingdom will receive many times more in this age and eternal life in the coming age.”

Jesus took the Twelve aside and said, “Look, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and everything written about the Human One by the prophets will be accomplished. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. He will be ridiculed, mistreated, and spit on.After torturing him, they will kill him. On the third day, he will rise up.” But the Twelve understood none of these words. The meaning of this message was hidden from them and they didn’t grasp what he was saying.

As Jesus came to Jericho, a certain blind man was sitting beside the road begging. When the man heard the crowd passing by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus the Nazarene is passing by.”

The blind man shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy.” Those leading the procession scolded him, telling him to be quiet, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, show me mercy.”

Jesus stopped and called for the man to be brought to him. When he was present Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

He said, “Lord, I want to see.”

Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” At once he was able to see, and he began to follow Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they praised God too.


April 13 - Luke Chapter 17

Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit will remind us of what He has said. If we are to hear from Him, the Spirit, we must know what Jesus said. That doesn't mean we have to memorize the Bible but that we are familiar with it, just like someone is familiar with the voice of a parent. And that happens by reading God's Word daily.

As you read today, think about our questions:

  1. Is there anything that stands out to you in this passage?
  2. Did you notice anything that you hadn’t noticed before?
  3. Does any text bring thoughts that relate to something you are dealing with currently?


Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause people to trip and fall into sin must happen, but how terrible it is for the person through whom they happen. It would be better for them to be thrown into a lake with a large stone hung around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to trip and fall into sin. Watch yourselves! If your brother or sister sins, warn them to stop. If they change their hearts and lives, forgive them. Even if someone sins against you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times and says, ‘I am changing my ways,’ you must forgive that person.”

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Would any of you say to your servant, who had just come in from the field after plowing or tending sheep, ‘Come! Sit down for dinner’? Wouldn’t you say instead, ‘Fix my dinner. Put on the clothes of a table servant and wait on me while I eat and drink. After that, you can eat and drink’? You won’t thank the servant because the servant did what you asked, will you? In the same way, when you have done everything required of you, you should say, ‘We servants deserve no special praise. We have only done our duty.’”

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men with skin diseases approached him. Keeping their distance from him, they raised their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, show us mercy!”

When Jesus saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they left, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw that he had been healed, returned and praised God with a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus replied, “Weren’t ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? No one returned to praise God except this foreigner?” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

Pharisees asked Jesus when God’s kingdom was coming. He replied, “God’s kingdom isn’t coming with signs that are easily noticed. Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ Don’t you see? God’s kingdom is already among you.”

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “The time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Human One, and you won’t see it. People will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Don’t leave or go chasing after them. The Human Onewill appear on his day in the same way that a flash of lightning lights up the sky from one end to the other.However, first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be during the days of the Human One. People were eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage until the day Noah entered the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise in the days of Lot, people were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, and building. But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.That’s the way it will be on the day the Human One is revealed. On that day, those on the roof, whose possessions are in the house, shouldn’t come down to grab them. Likewise, those in the field shouldn’t turn back. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to preserve their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in the same bed: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together: one will be taken and the other left.”

The disciples asked, “Where, Lord?”

Jesus said, “The vultures gather wherever there’s a dead body.”

April 11

10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”  Philippians 3:10-11


One week ago on Sunday April 4th, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.   We do not remember the resurrection just on Easter Sunday, but it something that we should remember every day of our Christian lives.   One of my life verses is Philippians 3:10-11.  In these two verses Paul outlines four of the most important things in life.


1 That I may know Christ

2 That I may know the power of Christ’s resurrection

3 That I may be a partaker in the sufferings of Christ

4 That I may be conformed into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ


This verses outlines everything that we need to live a victorious Christian life.  It was the act of the resurrection that was the indisputable evidence that identified Christ as the Son of God with power. It was His glorious resurrection that demonstrated His own mighty power that works in us as His children. The resurrection raises all who believe in Him from spiritual death to a new life in Christ.  The cross gave forgiveness of sins – but the resurrection broke the power of sin and death that reigns in the mortal body of fallen humanity.  As that great hymn of the Christian faith says, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone, because I know who holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.”   


Thought For Today:   How about you, is your purpose in life to know Christ and the power of His resurrection more each day?   Is it your desire to day by day to share in Christ’s suffering and to be conformed to His image.   


Today’s Prayer Focus:  Take time to pray that through the power of the resurrection you would come to know Christ and the power of His resurrection more and more each day.  Deo Volente.   

--Rev. Ted Esaki


April 10

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of anger, selfish ambition, dissensionsfactions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”   Galatians 5:19-21


On Wednesday April 7th, I was invited to participate in a virtual roundtable discussion with Congressman Jimmy Panetta and local community leaders on the Monterey Peninsula from the Asian American and Pacific Island community.   It was interesting to hear each other’s take on what is happening across our country with the rise of anti-Asian sentiments and hate crimes.  This hits even closer to home when my niece was verbally abused on a subway in New York City and a Korean American friend was given a dirty look from an elderly white haired lady while eating breakfast this week on Monterey’s famed Cannery Row.


My comment to the discussion was that we need to recognize that racism is not a modern problem.  It has plagued humankind for thousands of years.   So, how do we overcome racism?   The first step is to identify the root cause.    The root cause is a heart that is sinful.    Hatred is a sin. Anger is a sin. Racism is a sin! If you pull a weed without pulling the roots, it will quickly grow back again.   Human effort alone cannot overcome racism and hate.  In Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, he appealed to God and the Bible several times.  The only one who can change the heart is God.  We must seek his strength and power to fulfill the Great Commandment of Jesus, “Love One Another.”  


Thought For Today:   What are your thoughts on the rise of anti-Asian sentiments and hate crimes.   What do you see as the root cause?   What solutions can you offer?


Today’s Prayer Focus:   Pray for our Asian sisters and brothers for safety and protection.   Pray for God’s sovereign help in defeating this great national sin and universal sin!  Deo Volente. 

--Rev. Ted Esaki

  

April 9 - Luke Chapter 16

Pay attention to the second half of this chapter and the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. In this parable, the rich man is in hell looking up to heaven pleading to God. This chapter talks about serving two masters and using what God has provided for us wisely. The key this chapter is that if you are shrewd with your possessions and your money, then you are not serving God. Read this chapter today and ask yourself if you worship God or idolize wealth?

As before, consider our questions when you read our text today:

  1. Is there anything that stands out to you in this passage?
  2. Did you notice anything that you hadn’t noticed before?
  3. Does any text bring thoughts that relate to something you are dealing with currently?


Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’


“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’


“So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’


“‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.


“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’


“Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’


“‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied.


“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’


“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.


“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?


“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”


The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.


“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.


“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.


“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.


“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’


“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’


“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’


“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’


“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’


“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”


April 8 - Luke Chapter 15

It this chapter we read the so-called parable of the lost son. I've heard it referred to as the parable of the good Father, which I like much better. He says to the son who never left, "Son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours." This is our God, when we abide in Him, keep our relationships with Him active, everything He has is ours. He will direct the Holy Spirit speak to us about everything in life that we have a need of.


As before, consider our questions when you read our text today:

  1. Is there anything that stands out to you in this passage?
  2. Did you notice anything that you hadn’t noticed before?
  3. Does any text bring thoughts that relate to something you are dealing with currently?

All the tax collectors and sinners were gathering around Jesus to listen to him. The Pharisees and legal experts were grumbling, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose someone among you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them. Wouldn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the pasture and search for the lost one until he finds it? And when he finds it, he is thrilled and places it on his shoulders. When he arrives home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes both heart and life than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to change their hearts and lives.

“Or what woman, if she owns ten silver coins and loses one of them, won’t light a lamp and sweep the house, searching her home carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, joy breaks out in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who changes both heart and life.”

Jesus said, “A certain man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the inheritance.’ Then the father divided his estate between them. Soon afterward, the younger son gathered everything together and took a trip to a land far away. There, he wasted his wealth through extravagant living.

“When he had used up his resources, a severe food shortage arose in that country and he began to be in need. He hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He longed to eat his fill from what the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, but I’m starving to death! I will get up and go to my father, and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son. Take me on as one of your hired hands.” ’ So he got up and went to his father.

“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion. His father ran to him, hugged him, and kissed him. Then his son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Fetch the fattened calf and slaughter it. We must celebrate with feasting because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his older son was in the field. Coming in from the field, he approached the house and heard music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. The servant replied, ‘Your brother has arrived, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he received his son back safe and sound.’ Then the older son was furious and didn’t want to enter in, but his father came out and begged him. He answered his father, ‘Look, I’ve served you all these years, and I never disobeyed your instruction. Yet you’ve never given me as much as a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours returned, after gobbling up your estate on prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ Then his father said, ‘Son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive. He was lost and is found.’”


April 7 - Luke Chapter 14


The Holy Spirit is one of the three parts of God - Father, Son- The Word, and Holy Spirit. In the very beginning of the Bible, Genesis 1:1-3, we see all three parts doing their part in creation. The Father initiates the creation, He speaks Words - Jesus is the Word, and the Holy Spirit works with those words to make them happen. He was hovering over the waters, but nothing happened until all three parts of God did their part.


The Spirit does the same today, He hears from Jesus who hears from the Father (and from us when we pray according to God's word) and then He works in our lives. He speaks to us the instructions and warnings of Jesus. The more we learn about the Holy Spirit, the easiest it will be for us to hear His voice.


As before, consider our questions when you read our text today:

  1. Is there anything that stands out to you in this passage?
  2. Did you notice anything that you hadn’t noticed before?
  3. Does any text bring thoughts that relate to something you are dealing with currently?

One Sabbath, when Jesus went to share a meal in the home of one of the leaders of the Pharisees, they were watching him closely. A man suffering from an abnormal swelling of the body was there. Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, “Does the Law allow healing on the Sabbath or not?” But they said nothing. Jesus took hold of the sick man, cured him, and then let him go. He said to them, “Suppose your child or ox fell into a ditch on the Sabbath day. Wouldn’t you immediately pull it out?” But they had no response.

When Jesus noticed how the guests sought out the best seats at the table, he told them a parable. “When someone invites you to a wedding celebration, don’t take your seat in the place of honor. Someone more highly regarded than you could have been invited by your host. The host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give your seat to this other person.’ Embarrassed, you will take your seat in the least important place. Instead, when you receive an invitation, go and sit in the least important place. When your host approaches you, he will say, ‘Friend, move up here to a better seat.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. All who lift themselves up will be brought low, and those who make themselves low will be lifted up.”

Then Jesus said to the person who had invited him, “When you host a lunch or dinner, don’t invite your friends, your brothers and sisters, your relatives, or rich neighbors. If you do, they will invite you in return and that will be your reward.Instead, when you give a banquet, invite the poor, crippled, lame, and blind. And you will be blessed because they can’t repay you. Instead, you will be repaid when the just are resurrected.”

When one of the dinner guests heard Jesus’ remarks, he said to Jesus, “Happy are those who will feast in God’s kingdom.”

Jesus replied, “A certain man hosted a large dinner and invited many people. When it was time for the dinner to begin, he sent his servant to tell the invited guests, ‘Come! The dinner is now ready.’ One by one, they all began to make excuses. The first one told him, ‘I bought a farm and must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I bought five teams of oxen, and I’m going to check on them. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’When he returned, the servant reported these excuses to his master. The master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go quickly to the city’s streets, the busy ones and the side streets, and bring the poor, crippled, blind, and lame.’ The servant said, ‘Master, your instructions have been followed and there is still room.’ The master said to the servant, ‘Go to the highways and back alleys and urge people to come in so that my house will be filled. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus. Turning to them, he said, “Whoever comes to me and doesn’t hate father and mother, spouse and children, and brothers and sisters—yes, even one’s own life—cannot be my disciple. Whoever doesn’t carry their own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

“If one of you wanted to build a tower, wouldn’t you first sit down and calculate the cost, to determine whether you have enough money to complete it? Otherwise, when you have laid the foundation but couldn’t finish the tower, all who see it will begin to belittle you. They will say, ‘Here’s the person who began construction and couldn’t complete it!’ Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down to consider whether his ten thousand soldiers could go up against the twenty thousand coming against him? And if he didn’t think he could win, he would send a representative to discuss terms of peace while his enemy was still a long way off. In the same way, none of you who are unwilling to give up all of your possessions can be my disciple.

“Salt is good. But if salt loses its flavor, how will it become salty again? It has no value, neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. People throw it away. Whoever has ears to hear should pay attention.”


April 6 - Luke Chapter 13


In our daily devotionals this year we are reading the new testament one chapter a day and practicing listening to the Holy Spirit. You may think, "I haven't heard anything yet!" To hear God, we must be quiet inside and willing to hear. Then it comes without us knowing. Like receiving anything from the Lord, it isn't by our hard work or trying, but by faith. God speaks to us. Have faith in that. Make up your mind that you will learn how to hear from the Lord and He will teach you.

As you are reading today, think about these questions:

  1. Is there anything that stands out to you in this passage?
  2. Did you notice anything that you hadn’t noticed before?
  3. Does any text bring thoughts that relate to something you are dealing with currently?


Some who were present on that occasion told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices. He replied, “Do you think the suffering of these Galileans proves that they were more sinful than all the other Galileans? No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did. What about those eighteen people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think that they were more guilty of wrongdoing than everyone else who lives in Jerusalem? No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did.”

Jesus told this parable: “A man owned a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none.He said to his gardener, ‘Look, I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree for the past three years, and I’ve never found any. Cut it down! Why should it continue depleting the soil’s nutrients?’ The gardener responded, ‘Lord, give it one more year, and I will dig around it and give it fertilizer. Maybe it will produce fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’”

Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. A woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and couldn’t stand up straight. When he saw her, Jesus called her to him and said, “Woman, you are set free from your sickness.” He placed his hands on her and she straightened up at once and praised God.

The synagogue leader, incensed that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, responded, “There are six days during which work is permitted. Come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath day.”

The Lord replied, “Hypocrites! Don’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from its stall and lead it out to get a drink? Then isn’t it necessary that this woman, a daughter of Abraham, bound by Satan for eighteen long years, be set free from her bondage on the Sabbath day?”When he said these things, all his opponents were put to shame, but all those in the crowd rejoiced at all the extraordinary things he was doing.

Jesus asked, “What is God’s kingdom like? To what can I compare it? It’s like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in a garden. It grew and developed into a tree and the birds in the sky nested in its branches.”

Again he said, “To what can I compare God’s kingdom? It’s like yeast, which a woman took and hid in a bushel of wheat flour until the yeast had worked its way through the whole.”

Jesus traveled through cities and villages, teaching and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”

Jesus said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow gate. Many, I tell you, will try to enter and won’t be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ He will respond, ‘I don’t know you or where you are from. Go away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in God’s kingdom, but you yourselves will be thrown out. People will come from east and west, north and south, and sit down to eat in God’s kingdom.Look! Those who are last will be first and those who are first will be last.”

At that time, some Pharisees approached Jesus and said, “Go! Get away from here, because Herod wants to kill you.”

Jesus said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Look, I’m throwing out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete my work. However, it’s necessary for me to travel today, tomorrow, and the next day because it’s impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you! How often I have wanted to gather your people just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you didn’t want that. Look, your house is abandoned. I tell you, you won’t see me until the time comes when you say, Blessings on the one who comes in the Lord’s name.”

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