BITE: Hanging on Every Word…

Luke 19:47-48 [AMP]
And He continued to teach day after day in the temple [porches and courts]. The chief priests and scribes and the leading men of the people were seeking to put Him to death,
But they did not discover anything they could do, for all the people hung upon His words and stuck by Him.

This ‘hanging on every word’ is a posture that not only produces conviction and peace (yep, both at the same time), but also a dedication and trust that is discernible by the onlooker. When we hang on the teaching of Jesus, we are drawn to where He is going. His ways become our ways. Putting myself in Gods Word everyday possible (even for a short reading) and prayerfully anticipating something He is going to spurn inside of me, is exhilarating. The exhilaration that comes when we see His hand touching our hearts and minds when we know that within ourselves would have never produced the conviction on our own. It builds our faith.

I also hear a slow consumption and prioritization of hearing what Jesus has to say into my life everyday as an indicator of my walk with Him. Hanging on every Word of Jesus produces a steadfastness in Hope for eternity where will spend every moment in the presence those in Jerusalem felt at the time.

BITE: …the Very Stones Would Cry Out…

As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”  He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:37-40 [ESV]

Long night (writing this at 2:25am) but after reading this passage early this morning, this phrase by Jesus in response to the chiding by the Pharisees just kept ringing in my ears.

The meaning of the fulfilling of prophesy is palpable in this scene and it is not lost on Jesus the magnitude of it. So momentous is this entry into Jerusalem that if the people were not shouting the praise of God sending His Son, the rocks would! In just the next moment, Jesus weeps over the city because they do not understand the magnitude of the occasion. While weeping He says,

“Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Luke 19:42-44 [ESV]

Pretty amazing set of statements in light of what has happened in Israel this month.

BITE: 10 Minas into 20 Minas…

‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Luke 19:26 [ESV]

Today was the parable of the 10 minas. I don’t have time to go through the whole story, but I do want to talk about what the Lord has been revealing to me in this parable.

The Bible authors used 3 primary words for God’s Word that have really helped me understand how to look at God’s voice in my life. 1) Graphe: This is the written word; literally the letters on the paper making words. 2) Logos: This is the message of the words on the paper. I think you could also call this general revelation. The message through understanding the writer, the audience it was intended, and the circumstances in which it was said/written. 3) Rhema: This is the ‘Living Word’; the Word the Lord reveals to me through the Holy Spirit, when I read God’s Word, meant for me as an application to my sanctification process.

So, back to the parable of the 10 minas. The principle of the parable is that the servant who did well actually doubled the money the Noble Ruler left with him. When I read this today, I saw my minas being the divine seed of God deposited in me when I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. That seed (God’s Holy Spirit) is everything I need in this life; I just need to crucify myself and my sin everyday so that it is only His voice that is left…not only that, but I must also listen to and act on what He says. Doing so will align me with the paths He is laying straight before me and that will be a path that increases His Kingdom.

BITE: To Seek and to Save the Lost…

Yep, I missed my quiet time the last 2 days. No excuses, just very little sleep and running to and fro. Last week and the next are huge weeks for my team at work. I have been working from 9AM to about 2AM each day; getting up at 7AM to take Soph to school. I sat down with the family last night after dinner and the next thing I knew I was asleep on the couch. I wandered upstairs, went to bed, and didn’t get up until about 9:30AM this morning. 10 to 12 hours of sleep never felt so good! Because of this last week, all day today was about spending time with the family -> Took Prim and Brooklyn up to ride bikes in the cul-de-sac and when Marianne got home from her photoshoot, we all headed to Bob’s Corn for a day at the playground, pumpkin patch, tractor rides, Corn Crib, Donuts, Crepes, and coffee. It was such wonderful day after feeling so disconnected with them all week.

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10 [ESV]

Today my reading was the story of Zacchaeus who, one of small stature, climbed into a tree to see Jesus. Zacchaeus was a Chief Tax Collector, a job where he was a person the Jews really disliked as he collected taxes for the Romans from the Jews. These people were looked on so unfavorably that when Jesus asked to come to his house, the people grumbled saying “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” (Luke 19:7). But Zacchaeus coming to terms with Who Jesus is, told Jesus “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” (Luke 19:8) The conviction the presence of Jesus brought to this little man caused him to have regret and compassion; a change of heart. Following Jesus produces a change of heart in those who have been saved. A faith that is not changing you is likely not saving you.

BITE: A God-Pleasing Life is a Cruciform Life…

And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30 [ESV]

As I was continuing through Luke 18 today, I was reminded of Galatians 2:20. I feel like the Lord has laid this verse on my heart several times in the last several weeks. To us the Kingdom of Jesus is an upside-down kingdom where the lowest receive the best and the highest are humbled. The laying down of my life here on earth grows my future hope in what is to come. What becomes the most important aspects of my life is the investment in others and dying to myself. Jesus came to save the lost; to redeem a lost world to a right standing the sight of God the Father for all who would believe.

In order for me to walk the Cruciform life I have to crucify all the worldly things that my fleshly body gravitates to hold dear. For the joy set before Jesus, He died on the cross; scorning its shame (Hebrews 12:2). This is what it means to live a God-Pleasing life…to die to the things of this world because of the Joy that is to come. That has to be my ONLY focus.

BITE: Jesus Knows the Heart…

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Luke 18:22 [ESV]

Today was a long day. Got up at 6:00am and made it to church for a meeting at 7:00am. Here I sit at 12:34am after a long day at work. The passage I read today was a discussion between Jesus and a rich ruler. This conversation has many times been taken too literally like you and I might have a discussion…However, what we see is a dialog rooted from a knowledge Jesus had of the man’s heart. All of His questions and suggestions were made to cause the man to reflect on his own words and intentions.

When I look at my own walk and deeply search my own heart as I read God’s Word, I am constantly reminded of my own ‘smallness’ relative to God’s greatness and mercy. When I allow myself to be revealed in my sin and fleshly thoughts, I am convicted almost every time I sit in the presence of my Lord and Savior through His Holy Spirit; being washed in the cleansing Living Word of His instruction and correction. There is no greater builder of faith than to see God break me and then mold me into He wants me to be. After all, He knows my heart better than I know myself.

Living, praying, and studying in the Spirit always results in a continuing sanctification that is a most confirming faith; spurning me on to persevere toward the day that I will have finished my race. Hebrews 12:1 & 2.

BITE: As Children…

Luke 18:16-17 [ESV]
But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

This passage has always been so endearing to me and shows us a side of Jesus that exposes us to His character. I think of those who accepted Jesus when they were very young and the simplicity and trust with which they believed. It’s a no brainer to a child when they hear what Jesus has done for them. The trusting countenance of a young child’s belief is precisely what Jesus is talking about as well as the awe and wonder of belonging to a Kingdom such as His.

My walk in following Him should not lose this sense of wonder and trust; holding His hand as He guides me through this life’s challenges and then Him hoisting me onto His shoulders as He carries me into His everlasting Kingdom.

One of the images I think about in regard to the refuge that is Jesus, is running to Him like a child and clinging to His shins; around this cloak for protection. Running from my own self-sufficiency, from my own sinful tendencies, from the worry and heartache this life presents.

QTVOTD: Thank you ‘T’!!

When I started this Blog 7 years ago, the primary purpose was to have an accountability to reading God’s Word every day and secondly, to share openly what God was laying on my heart through my sanctification and what He was revealing to me through His word. My last post here was 3 weeks ago. This started out being just because I had come into a very busy work and family season where I didn’t have time to add on the 10-15 minutes it takes me to write these after my quiet time, but then I decided to wait and see who would reach out when they didn’t see them for an extended length of time. Well, ‘T’ reached out this morning and asked me if I was still writing as he had not seen one in a while. This totally warmed my heart!

I honestly don’t mind if no one reads this…after that first year of blogging my Quiet Times, I realized that the biggest impact this might be some day was for my own children to have something they could use from their dad when I was gone. I think I passed my 1300th post a couple of months ago so there is a lot of content there. However, I am now revitalized by ‘T’ to continue to set aside the time to bring my notes to this forum each day. Thank you ‘T’!

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:14[ESV]

Last time I posted I was in Luke 16 and am now in Luke 18. Today’s reading was the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Jesus tells the story of these 2 men who go up to the temple to pray and the Pharisee took his typical posture of prayer by ‘standing by himself’ and then said a prayer of gratitude like many ancient Jewish prayers start. However, this was not a God-focused thankfulness, but a self-referential one. The Pharisee thanks God that he is not like other people (really, like the rest of mankind). He actually calls out the types of sinners he is not like – extortioners (robbers), swindlers (unrighteous in heart and life), adulterers…”or even like this tax collector here”. He then reminds God of what he does -> “I fast twice a week, and I give tithes of all that I gain”. This is more a prayer of self-gratification than any acknowledgement of the greatness, mercy, and graciousness of God on his life while he is in ‘his’ sin.

The tax collector on the other hand, ‘standing at a distance’, would not even lift his eyes to heaven. In his humility and self-loathing banged against his chest saying, “O God, be merciful and gracious to me, the crazy sinful hearted man that I am”. That takes us to the verse above where Jesus tells us the difference in how God hears and responds to the two men.


Self-righteousness and self-sufficiency only present an opportunity to be humbled. When I look well on any self-perceived ‘goodness’ that I do as any recompense for the sin I have done and the wickedness in my heart, I am begging God to humble me by bringing me to exactly the place I deserve to be…a place of nothingness without Him. When I remember what I have done against my God, there is nothing I should have other than gratitude for the life I don’t deserve and eternal glory He has given as an absolute gift through the only thing that matters…a faith in His Son’s death on the cross for my sins.

QTVOTD: A Fun JW Visit…

Yesterday two Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door (Bryce and Justin) and we had a wonderful conversation. First, I thanked them for their service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for sharing about Him door to door. When they heard that we had ‘Littles’ at home they showed me some kids videos they offer on their JW website to teach little one’s about God and Who He can be in their lives. I let them know that I did not have time and instead asked them what makes Jehovah’s Witnesses separate from other Bible believing churches? Do they believe that the Bible is ‘the Word of God’, without error, complete, and sufficient for us here on earth?

They didn’t really answer the first question but emphatically said Yes to my second. So then I inquired about what scriptures they could point me to that uphold their belief that God the Father and Jesus Christ are distinct individuals rather than the doctrine that they are indeed One God with 3 functions (the Trinity)? They led me to 3 areas of scripture:

  1. John 3:16 – God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son.
  2. Colossians 1:15 – He (Jesus) is the firstborn of all creation [therefore being ‘Created’]
  3. The Shema Prayer – Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37-41
    • The point of the Shema prayer being that God (the One True God) is to alone be worshipped and served.

I was so thankful for their supporting scripture and although I had many places in the bible where it is clear that Jesus is God (if you know Me, you know the Father), God the Father is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; I pointed them to 1 verse -> Galatians 2:20 which I quoted for them so I could quickly ask them this important question.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20 [ESV]

So, asked them – If I observe the Shema Prayer, how can I also hold true to Galatians 2:20? I just simply stated that the Doctrine of the Trinity is TRUTH as it is supported through the whole of scripture. As you can see, I cannot take Deuteronomy 6:4 (“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”) and Galatians 2:20 as conflicting truths. They in fact help me understand the Doctrine of the Trinity. If you do not see Jesus as the One True God, then you are missing out on a HUGE aspect of the power of God, our freedom, and security in the Almighty God.

As far as Colossians 1:15 is concerned, this is a common reinforcing verse for the JWs. The problem is that if you look at the context of what Paul is saying, he is in fact trying to refute what the false teachers had come in saying about Jesus. The words used for ‘first born’ are used elsewhere in the bible and they always have to do with pre-eminence…not a temporal (point of time) statement. Jesus is over everything because ‘He existed’ before anything else was created…and He did the creating. Paul is actually reinforcing Jesus’ as God Himself.

Justin said that he would like to come back by and drop off some other material supporting their position. I thanked him and told them I look forward to more wonderful conversation.