(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)
By singing praises and hymns, awake your soul, open your heart to the Lord, and prepare yourself to welcome the presence of God and receive the Word of God that will be given to you.
Petition with thanksgiving to God for a wonderful day and pray sincerely for a focused Scripture reading time! (Do not rush into reading the Bible without starting with prayers!) (e.g., you may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what will you be speaking to me today?)
Get the following items ready in advance: your devotional notebook, paper, pen, and/or electronic devotional articles so that you can easily write down the Bible verses, questions, and thoughts you have noticed! You are encouraged to open your Bible and vocally read out the scriptures (Try to practice this reading method daily or once a week)!
Scripture Reading: Luke Ch. 6 (ESV)
Take a moment to quietly reflect on today’s Scriptures. Through such exercises, let God’s Word be gradually written into our hearts and be inscribed to our mind.
Read the devotional articles prepared by CBCLWA (*Read the Bible first before reading any devotional materials.)
(vv. 1-11) As the saying goes, “It takes all sorts to make a world “. For those who were observing the same Sabbath Day, their individual responses to the same matter may still be different. The disciples followed Jesus, got some food on the Sabbath, filled their stomachs, and continued on the road. A man was there whose hand was shriveled. Jesus said to this man, “Come and stand here.” and “Stretch out your hand.” This man did so and rose up and stood there. As soon as he stretched out his shriveled hand, his hand was restored. On the contrary, some scribes and Pharisees chose to pick on the disciples who followed Jesus, instead of seeking peace on that day. Since when did Sabbath Day become a day of spying? Sabbath Day should be the Holy day, to be set aside for God. How did the Sabbath Day become a day for murdering Jesus?
Sabbath was God’s blessing by allowing people to come before him and find rest in him. Ask yourself these: do I feel rested and at peace on Sundays? What kind of things have I valued more? Do I listen to the word of Jesus? Or have I ever been spying on something unconsciously? Weekend is approaching. For this coming Sunday, let us be prepared for worshipping Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, and find true peace in Him by obeying God’s teachings!
(vv. 12-16) In the Gospel of Luke, “prayer” was emphasized. As described in Luke Chapter 3, Jesus had been baptized and when he “was praying, the heavens were opened” (Luke.3:21). In today’s scripture reading, Jesus had prayed through the night before he chose the twelve people and called them apostles. “Apostle” refers to a person who is sent to carry out a special mission. In addition to the Twelve Apostles referred to in the New Testament, Paul was called the Apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11:13) because of God’s special calling for him.
Jesus is interceding for us and he hasn’t stopped doing it (Romans 8:34). As of today, we have been called and saved by the Lord. As we serve the Lord in various kinds of ministry, are we faithful to the Lord and do we value the duties that the Lord has given to us?
(vv. 17-19) From the beginning of verse 17 to the end of this chapter, the entire passage can be called “the sermon on the ground“ because it speaks of what Jesus and his disciples said down the hill and on the ground. In contrast to the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5 to 7, this passage in the Gospel of Luke is like a short version of the “The Sermon on the Mount“ – mainly a collection of short lessons of Jesus.
(vv. 20-26) In this passage, Luke illustrated the contrast between four blessings and four woes. Whether it’s in poverty, hunger, crying, being hated, would I have felt rich spiritually, feel satisfied, laughing, and rejoicing with God? If so, we would understand our value in God’s eyes very well. We will not easily become big-headed by compliments from others nor to be deeply hurt by random words of others.
(vv. 27-42) This passage allows us to think more about the way for personal relationships. This passage was not only for the people in the past, but is also a good reminder for us. As we contemplate on this passage, we can identify many things or ideas that need to be overturned and changed by Jesus. Generally speaking, Jesus cares about the attitude of our heart towards people. Can we treat all people with love? Oftentimes, we would show our love to those who love us and have good intentions to us. What about those who are opposed to us, our enemy, and those who have cursed us or persecuted us?
Jesus’ teaching is that while facing our enemies who either hate us or are unkind to us, we are not meant to tolerate their bully or violence. Not at all! Jesus said, “ Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (v.27-28) We are to take a positive, proactive approach, not with violence but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21). Those who listen to Jesus’ teachings are by no means the “oppressed“, but active “givers”. It would not be easy to follow God’s commands, but his commands are pretty clear. First, “as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them (v. 31)” And then try the next level, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful (v. 36).”
Dear brothers and sisters, if you have an unlovable person around you, someone you really don’t love, ask God to help you, guide you, and know God’s will. Let us start to change our attitude toward others according to God’s will. Do not act based on how you are treated by others. God will help us!
(43-49) Are we eager to bear good fruit for the Lord? Do we want people to recognize us as disciples of Jesus? The key is whether we are willing to obey the Lord’s commands. If we have been unwilling to follow the Lord’s commands, we will never experience the mighty power of His word and His way in us. Let us apply what was discussed today on our personal relationships to experience the power of God! For such people, Jesus said they are like a man who “laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” (v.48)
Give thanks to God for His enabling us to read the Scriptures and for our response for living out the Word of God today! (e.g., You may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what/where are you going to lead me to today?”)