Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6 - Luke 17

Today's reading in our daily plan is Luke 17. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • When Jesus says to forgive someone seven times in a day, he doesn’t mean you should keep count and then unleash your wrath after someone wrongs you seven times. This passage (verses 3-4) is meant to show us that we need to always forgive.
  • Jesus says we should have the attitude of a servant of God (verses 7-10). Our service is not motivated by potential reward but instead by sheer gratefulness at the opportunity to serve God.
  • On Jesus' travels, 10 lepers stand at a distance and beg for mercy. This was customary, as lepers were were not allowed to come close to anyone.
  • Not only does Jesus show love to the lepers, he asks them to show their faith in action by going to see the priests before they are even healed. All 10 men went and were healed before they reached the temple. However, the story doesn't end there. Only one man comes back to thank Jesus for the miracle, and he was a Samaritan. If you remember from previous posts, Samaritans and Jews held bitter hatred toward one another and did not get along at all. Jews nicknamed them  "dogs" and refused to do business with the Samaritans. This feud dates back as far as 722 BC. 
  • Jesus teaches people to be prepared for when the "Son of Man" (a nickname Jesus used to refer to himself) will return to judge the world and bring his followers to heaven. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We need to be very careful that we do not lead anyone into temptation. But, if we do, we need to ask for forgiveness and turn away from our sin. 
  • We also need to forgive people when they sin against us. This can be difficult, but realizing that God has forgiven us enables us to forgive others. 
  • We often ask God to do things for us, but we don't stop and give him praise and thanks when he does. We need to be like the Samaritan leper and give God the glory for the good in our life.
  • We need to live our lives in anticipation of Jesus' return. This means our faith will be tested. Verses 33-34 remind us that we must be willing to let go -- to let go of material possessions, family, loved ones, even our physical lives, in order to gain eternity in heaven with Jesus. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you beg God to do things for you, but then forget to give him praise or credit when he does? It is not enough to have faith that Jesus will come through, we should give glory to him when he does. If Jesus has done something amazing in your life that you never thanked him for, take time to do just that.
  • We need to live lives of willing service and gratitude towards God. Are you serving God to your fullest ability or are you holding back? How can you change that today? Are you willing to let go of everything on earth that matters to you?