Monday 30 September, 2019

Luke 5:12-16

12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

It doesn’t matter how many times I read this passage, I always stumble over Jesus’ reply to the man with leprosy. The man asks, “Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus has the power to heal, to provide, to comfort… But how often do we fail to ask, under the impression somehow that He is unwilling to involve Himself in our daily lives? I need to meditate on Jesus’ words, let them ring in my ears, “I am willing.”

Written by Beth Waugh

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Sunday 29 September, 2019

Luke 5:1-11

5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

This is a freakish event. Simon and his companions had had no luck all night, and then one word from Jesus and they haul in an “astonishing” catch of fish. From a night of nothing comes a morning of abundance. How quickly things can change when Jesus intervenes and speaks.

This inspires me to seek the voice of Jesus. To seek out His word for my life. For Jesus’ voice is the loving voice of conviction. Or the clarifying voice of direction. Or the decisive voice of obedience. How I need His voice!

Simon didn’t even think He needed the voice of Jesus for his life. But one word from Jesus, one astonishing catch of fish, and Simon has transformed from a fisherman to an evangelist. Do I expect the voice of Jesus to change my circumstances and my life-direction like this? I need to – because that’s the power and authority of the voice of my King.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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Saturday 28 September, 2019

Luke 4:38-44

38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. 40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah. 42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Jesus has had a busy day of ministry – teaching, deliverance & healing, in a synagogue, in a private home & with the people.

In the midst of all, verse 40 has caught my attention. “At sunset” the people brought others to Jesus to be healed, to be ministered to, to be set free. It was the end of the Sabbath & the people were now free to move around & come to Jesus but they had to wait until then. We on the other hand, have no need to wait.

We have access to Jesus 24/7, day or night. That is truly Good News. I can bring my needs to Jesus right now, through my belief in Him as my Lord & Saviour. You too can bring your need to Him right now!

Lord Jesus thank for always being available to us, no waiting or ritual required. Thank you for your sacrifice that allows us this full access. Thank you for your active care, presence, healing and nurture of my life.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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Friday 27 September, 2019

Luke 4:31-37

31 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. 36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Just like the people in this passage, I am always amazed by the power and authority of Jesus. But I also note that Jesus wasn’t running a media campaign or advertising on billboards (not that I am saying there’s anything wrong with that). The power of God stands on its own merit. The presence of God is sufficient to invoke a response. The authority of Jesus set one man free of what tormented him. Maybe I can be more invested in making sure that the power and presence of God is in me so that wherever I go people might be touched and changed. Not by me, but through me. Less hype, more genuine, humble presence of God.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for all that you have done for me. I pray that you would fill me with your Holy Spirit and that I would always be a faithful witness for you. I pray that you would be able to use me mightily for your Kingdom. May I be a vessel for your power, love and grace to be poured out on those around me. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen

Written by Christine Knight

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Thursday 26 September, 2019

Luke 4:22-30

22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. 23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’” 24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[a] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

When I read this passage, I consider the first words “all spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips” and then 6 verses later “they were furious and tried to throw him off a cliff”.

How quickly the words of Jesus were loved and then hated.

Truth to those who love it – find it refreshing and life giving.  Truth to people who hate it and are convicted by it – find it challenging and dividing.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and life, no comes to the Father but by me” (John 14 v 6).  Let’s not be afraid of the truth but allow it to reveal the deeper things within us.  Allow it to convict us of our “stinky” attitudes and refine our worldliness.

Lord help me to love truth.  Help me to take a hold of the truth and run with it.  Make me not afraid but someone who is willing to be strengthened, knowing that you are good and love us completely.

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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Wednesday 25 September, 2019

Luke 4:14-21

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit.  I love that Jesus, this man, was reliant on the Spirit of God.  He is our model of faith and relationship with God our Father, and this relies on being ‘in the power of the Spirit’.  All too often I find myself pushing in with my own efforts, trying desperately to get a supernatural result with only natural means, my efforts.  But here Jesus is in the power of the Spirit.  I can be in the power of the Spirit, you can be in the power of the Spirit.

Father help each of us to experience being in the ‘power of the Spirit’ each and every day – through His wisdom, grace, love, miracles, healings, insight and power and may we bring about supernatural results!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Tuesday 24 September, 2019

Luke 4:1-13

4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted[a] by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” 9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

This passage shows interesting dialogue between Jesus and the devil. In everything the devil speaks, his intentions of selfishness and greed are displayed. He attempts to deceive Jesus into making Himself bread to satisfy His hunger, claim all authority and splendor, and ‘prove’ God’s promises. This just goes to show how the devil may have some knowledge of God and Who Jesus is, but really didn’t actually know Him. To think that he could fool and undermine Jesus is simply ridiculous!

What Jesus shows in conversation with the devil, is nothing but submission and dependence on His Heavenly Father. His responses show that He knows what truly satisfies, Who should be served and worshipped, and the faithfulness of God’s character. I am encouraged to pay more attention to the dialogue/thoughts that play in my head and focus on the sovereignty and perfection that is my Heavenly Father.

Lord God, there is no one like You. You alone are perfect and holy in all Your ways. Please help me today, to listen to Your voice and follow Your lead. May the way I live out this day, reflect Your goodness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.   isHis

Written by Ps. Laura Samperi

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Monday 23 September, 2019

Luke 3:23-38

23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josek, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melki, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon,[a] the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,[b] the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, traced back to King David and then right back to Adam. It differs from the genealogy presented in Matthew chapter 1, and many scholars believe this is because the genealogy in Matthew is Joseph’s line, whereas Luke gives us Mary’s line (the biological genealogy of Jesus). Reading this I’m struck by three things:

Firstly, the genealogy actually appears to start in verse 22, when God Himself says to Jesus ‘You are my Son, whom I love’. In this one sentence Luke gives us Jesus’ bloodline through his father – he comes directly from God. Luke then immediately follows with Jesus’ bloodline through his mother Mary

Secondly the genealogy starts with Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, and ends with Adam, who is named ‘the son of God’ in that he was supernaturally created directly by God. Through Adam sin and death entered the world and we were all separated from God. Through Jesus, a restored relationship with God and eternal life is made available to all who put their faith in him.

Finally it’s clear that God’s story has been going on for generations at this point. Since the beginning of mankind God has been weaving together His story of grace, culminating in the introduction of Jesus: fully God and fully human, who took the punishment we deserved for our disobedience and instead gave us the reward he deserved for his obedience, and all as a gift, the very definition of grace. Thank you God.

Written by Rhi Mellor

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Sunday 22 September, 2019

Luke 3:21-22

21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

One of the most powerful aspects of Jesus nature is put on display here in these verses…. humility.

As John the Baptist preaches in the desert, the crowds come, hear his message of repentance and are baptised. And then Jesus arrives.

Jesus did not expect to be excused, to receive special treatment or to be acknowledged for who he really was. He didn’t consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage Phil 2:6. Instead he humbled himself and was baptised in the same way as all the sinners. And the result was to receive honour from God the Father.

So how can we humble ourselves in our daily lives?

In Phil 2: 3-4 NIV, Paul encouraged the Christians in Philippi to be humble…

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vein conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Lord, please help us to humble ourselves as your servants today. Open our eyes to see the people around us and the needs they have. Help us to prioritise others and push back on our natural desire to look after ourselves first. Amen

Written by Jocelyn Petschak

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Saturday 21 September, 2019

Luke 3:15-20

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[a] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them. 19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.

I find myself challenged by the single mindedness of John. No matter what people thought about him, good or bad, he stayed on mission. I wonder if he was ever tempted by the crowds?  The crowds loved him. They even thought that he could have been the Messiah that they were expecting to come.

Surely, he could have stayed on mission but enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle? No one would have questioned him or thought less of him. I mean, was it really that important to keep his Nazarene vow? Maybe not to the crowd, but it meant everything to John.

This is the path that God had set for him, and I imagine that never once did he consider anything else. For John, he chose complete obedience to God. Even though this obedience put him in jail, and eventually claimed his life, he didn’t waiver.

It’s easy to get distracted by life and all the ups and downs and not focus on the mission and plan that God has for us.

Father I thank you that you have a plan and purpose for each of us, and a mission to serve you with. Help me today to not be distracted but to stay on mission for you.

Written by Andrew Martin

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