Reflection on Luke 13:1-9


Scripture

“No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish too.”

Observation

Jesus learns that Pilate has murdered some Galileans as they were offering sacrifices in the Temple. He tells the crowd that they did not die because they were more sinful than others. No, everyone must repent or they too will perish.

He then tells a parable about a barren fig tree. The landowner tells the gardener to cut it down because it is a waste of space. But the gardener suggests they give it another chance. They can leave it in the ground, give it extra attention and more fertiliser, then if it still fails to produce they can cut it down.

Application

A week ago a man entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and went on an evil killing spree that has shocked both New Zealand and its neighbour Australia.

Many things have been said and written, some of them helpful and others not so helpful. Some have demanded tougher gun laws, others have pointed out the hypocrisy of the media that gloss over Islamic terrorism while obsessing over this incident.

Jesus says that it is not important to think about whether any particular group of people is more sinful than others, or who is more worthy of judgement.

We must all repent, every one of us, and turn away from our sins. Otherwise we too will perish.

These events come as warnings to us, reminders that we too will die and face God.

It doesn’t matter whether we are less sinful than others whom we might want to judge. What matters is our own relationship with Jesus.

Turn away from your sins today and ask Jesus to forgive you. Make Him Lord of your life, seeking to follow Him in all you do.

Prayer

Today, Lord, I give up on judging who is the worst sinner. I recognise the sin in my life and I ask you to take it away. I choose to follow Jesus, and I ask for your grace to do that. Amen.

Reflection on Luke 5:1-11

Scripture

As soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.

Observation

Jesus is preaching on the shore of Galilee. The crowd presses in around Him, so He gets into an empty boat and tells Simon to go out a little way.

After Jesus has finished preaching, He tells Simon to go deeper and let down his nets. When Simon does this, there is such a large catch, he has to call for help to bring it in. There is enough fish to fill two boats.

Jesus tells Simon, James and John to come with Him to catch people instead of fish. So they immediately leave everything to follow Jesus.

Application

It was the right place, the right time, the right thing to do. So they left everything to follow Jesus.

When Jesus calls, it is always right to go with Him. He is never late, always on time- the kairos time, the time of opportunity, the crossroads moment.

A decision “Yes” or “No” in that moment of calling changes the direction of our whole lives.

Not all of us are called to abandon our business and family on a spur of the moment decision. But when the call to take a new direction comes, you know because God has been talking to you for months, maybe years.

The opportune moment comes, or perhaps a crisis, and Jesus says, “Come and follow me.”

I have found in my life that God plants an idea or dream in my heart. I think “Yes. Some day that will happen.” Suddenly “some day” is “this day” and always too soon in my human thinking. But in God’s timing the opportunity, the resources and support from others, all come together and I am persuaded to say “Yes” again to Jesus.

Prayer

Lord I thank you for your invitation to work for you in your Kingdom. Help me to always say “Yes” to your call. Amen.

Reflection on Luke 3:15-22


Scripture

“I baptise you with water, but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am- so much greater that I’m not worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Observation

People are eagerly expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they begin to ask John the Baptist if he is the one. John says that there is someone coming soon who is much greater, and who will baptise with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

One day, Jesus comes to be baptised by John. The heavens open, the Holy Spirit descends , and a voice from heaven says, “You are my beloved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

Application

The baptism of John was a baptism of repentance from sin. The baptism of Jesus is a baptism into the Holy Spirit and fire.

When we turn from our sins and ask Jesus to take control of our lives, we are immersed, soaked and filled with the Holy Spirit. This is the empowering to live for Christ and in Christ. The Holy Spirit comes with many gifts to enable us to have the power of Christ, and the fruit to give us the character of Christ.

Sometimes the expression of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is delayed. I have no explanation for that. I do know that at conversion we get all of the Holy Spirit.

There is another baptism, a baptism of fire. Fire represents judgement on sin. For those who do not follow Jesus it is a destructive fire. For those who so know Jesus, it is a purifying fire, a fire that burns away all of our sin.

Water baptism is a one-off event that symbolises our death to self and resurrection in Christ. Spirit baptism is a constant process in which we soak continuously in the grace of God.

Prayer

Glorious God, thank you for the baptism in the Spirit and of fire. Soak me and burn away all the chaff from my life so that I can be totally dedicated to you. Amen.

Reflection on Luke 21:25-36



Scripture

“Keep a constant watch over your soul, and pray for the courage andgrace to prevail over these things that are destined to occur, andthat you will stand before the presence of the Son of Man with aclear conscience.”

Observation

When the Son of Man returns, there will be perplexing signs in the heavens, raging of the seas, and earthquakes. Then the Day ill come when Jesus returns in clouds and with power and miracles.

The trees show the changing of the seasons and, similarly, when we see these prophetic signs cme to pass, we will know that the earth is yielding to God’s kingdom.

The Day will come suddenly, and we are to make sure we keep our hearts and souls pure.

Application

The doctrine of Christ’s return is not about looking for the signs of the end times so much as making sure that we are ready.

Jesus here tells us to “keep a constant” watch over our souls.” In other words, I must constantly be aware of the state of my soul. That means watching out for sinful attitudes, treating people in a way that confirms Jesus’s love for them, being in touch with God through prayer, Scriptures and corporate worship.

Jesus wants us to have the grace and courage to overcome the adversities and temptations in our lives. This is not about the Great Tribulation and the Antichrist, but our daily life in the world. Am I allowing bitterness or vengeance or secret sins to take hold?

The aim of this is simple. Jesus wants us to be able to stand before Him with a clear conscience. How can we enter spiritual worship if our sins condemn us, much less enter the divine throne room?

All of us sin, even after we start to walk with the Lord. We must confess our sins to Him and receive His forgiveness so stand guiltless in His glory.

Prayer

Thank you Father that through the Blood of Christ I am free from sin. Help me to stay clean in you. Amen.