Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Because You said so

So many times growing up I remember my mom saying "Because I said so" in response to my endless questions of why. Or to my complaints or excuses as I tried to get out of 'whatever' I was doing or not doing at the time. I truly hated that response. Yet, often I find myself resorting to those same words with my children. Oh, how I long for the day when my kids will say "I got it done, because you said so."

An interesting story in the Bible is found in Luke 5, it is the story of Peter's calling. Jesus is teaching people all around. Jesus says (My paraphrasing) "Hey, let me borrow your boat so I can sit down and teach." Without question, Peter did it.

Then Jesus teaches and preaches to the people around. When he is finished, He returns his attention back to Peter. Jesus tells him to go back out in the deep water and let down his nets. Peter tells Jesus why he shouldn't do this, but still says "I'll do i because you said so."

When Peter obeyed, the response was more than He expected. It was such a big response that his partners, and other boats around were blessed also - out of his overflow.

What a lesson - when God's Word, or even that still small voice inside us tells us to do something - even if it seems insignificant or something we have done before without response, we need to obey because " He said So." You never know what that simple act of obedience will bring, who will be touched or how much will be accomplished.

Great Escapes

Luke 4 tells of different times in the Lord's life where he made a "great escape."

Luke 4:1-13 Jesus escaped to the wilderness to be tempted, but also to receive power. When we are able to go through trials and tribulations and escape the entrapment of those times 0 then we are refreshed and filled with power from the Holy Spirit.

Luke 4:14-27 Jesus went on to Nazareth, his hometown. There are times in life where we need to get away from the things of this world and just be at home.

Jesus also during this time went to the synagogue. This can represent our modern day church. It is important that we escape to the presence of God, a time of prayer and worship. A time to focus on God's word.

Luke 4:28 - 30 Jesus escaped death. The crowd was angry at him. But he was able to talk right through them. If God be for you, who can stand against you. There may be times that we face persecution, but through Christ, we can stand against it and escape.

A few other examples:
Luke 4:35, 41 Jesus escaped or helped others and the work of the enemy. We too must take time to help others and break away from the work of the enemy.

Luke 4:39, 40 Jesus helped others escape illness. We to can have the power through the Holy Spirit and work don on the cross to pray and help others receive healing.

Luke 4:38 Jesus escaped to the home of a friend. It is important that we take time for friends.

Luke 4:42 Jesus escaped to solitude. Sometimes we just need to get alone.

Luke 4:43 - 44 Jesus escaped to help others. Sometimes despite the demands on our life, we are going to have to escape to spend time helping others.

Fullness and Power

Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit when he went into the desert. The Holy Spirit led him there to be tempted forty days and forty nights. (Luke 4:1-2).

So many times, I think of this time in Jesus' life and I think He fasted for forty days and then the devil came to him with the three temptations that are told. But the Bible actually says that he was tempted by the devil for forty days and he didn't eat during that time.

There are so many things that I find fascinating about this story. One being that Jesus was FULL of the Holy Spirit. Even being full, he still fasted during this time to overcome the flesh of being tempted.

Second, he went there to be tempted. He was led by the Holy Spirit to the desert where he would be tempted.

We know that Jesus lived a perfect life, and that he overcame the temptations without sin.

But that is not the end of the story. Luke 4:14 states that Jesus returned with the POWER of the Holy Spirit. That tells me that I can be full of the Holy Spirit and not walk in the power that comes from the Holy Spirit. It was only after Jesus came out on the other side of the temptation that he walked in that power of the Holy Spirit.

The fullness of the Spirit will sustain us through the trials and temptations. The power of the Holy Spirit will be received when we show that we can withstand the trials and temptations we face.

Right Living

Luke 3:8 states prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.

Our lives here on earth will never be perfectly lives, as we are sinful by nature. However, when we become Christians and repent of our sins, our life should show that to others. As we turn to God, those sins of habitual nature should lessen and cease. People should be able to look at our lives before and after Christ and see a difference.

Yes, we are forgiven, but our life should demonstrate change and growth. Our live should have fruit that shows we are Christ's chosen. If it does not, we will eventually be shopped down and cast into the fire (Luke 3:9).