Recently, I was going through the Gospel According to Luke was amazed at Luke’s introduction to the gospel. It is quite different from the other three gospels, and I say that because Luke seems to be talking in the first-person.
Essentially he starts out by saying, “I am writing to you the most incredible story humanity has ever known.” And we can certainly testify to that, can’t we? We are able to more credence to Luke’s version because it actually came from firsthand witnesses. His stories came from folks who personally knew Jesus. They heard his teaching and saw his miracles. They personally witnessed his death and resurrection, and then his ascension to the right hand of the Father in heaven!
That is something you cannot dismiss, at least not easily. The gospel is indeed the good news of Jesus Christ and the freedom he purchased for us through his death and resurrection. It is clearly God’s word for us today! It is a living word that has power to change, transform, and bring freedom and healing to anyone who is willing to humble themselves and accept it as the word of God. If you are hungry for God’s word, then you must receive it with expectant faith and trust!
But as I was reading in the twelfth chapter, I stumbled upon something that struck a chord. In verses 8-12, you read:
I can guarantee that the Son of Man will acknowledge in front of God’s angels every person who acknowledges him in front of others. But God’s angels will be told that I don’t know those people who tell others that they don’t know me. Everyone who says something against the Son of Man will be forgiven. But the person who dishonors the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
“When you are put on trial in synagogues or in front of rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say. At that time the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say” (Luke 12:8-12)
What struck me was that last verse, “. . . .the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.” I realize that the context has to do with the times we are required to testify about our Lord, but I believe the principle also applies to when we are praying. I once heard it said that, “Denials are an attempt to pervert God’s presence, blasphemies are an attempt to pervert his purposes.” Hmm. Now I can especially see how this is true in our prayers. When we are on our knees and crying out to our Father, we must maintain an open and honest communication with Him. We must be free to honestly review our hearts and confess our weaknesses and sin. When we do this, it affirms our Father’s presence in our lives and allows us to submit to His plans and purposes in our life.
Is that too confusing? I apologize. Let me try to put it this way, we need to be open enough to ask our Father to keep us from denying the reality of the sin in our life, and our irreverent blasphemies and our stuttering anxieties. We need to be able to speak simply and directly to our Lord. He is supposedly everything to us and this certainly pertains to our prayers.
Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen what I posted on Saturday night. I said,
With all of the churches who are choosing to embrace immorality, we must awake to the reality that ALL of us have been infected by the moral depravity of sin. That is why we fail to do the good we want to do and find ourselves committing the evil we do not want to do. It is only in Christ that we find deliverance! But if we have NO desire or yearning (or feel we have no need) for deliverance, than we are lost.
In our lives, too many of us run hot and cold depending on the time of day; we can be kind, then turnaround and are cruel. We are able to control ourselves, and suddenly we are filled with lust. One moment we are the epitome of honesty, then we lie and cheat our dearest friends. We can be generous with everything, then become protective and covetous. Our desire is to be good. then we choose to be evil. We are eager and hungry to know our God, and then turn our back upon Him. We hope for heaven, and then travel the road toward hell. Frankly, we are morally irrational and demented.
As Paul said, “Who is going to free us from this madness?”
Aah, he then answers it for us:
I thank God that our Lord Yeshua Christ rescues us!
Jesus calls us to be vulnerable and available to the times of cleansing and correction. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “The truthfulness which Jesus demands from his followers is the self-abnegation which does not hide sin. Nothing is then hidden, everything is brought forth to the light of day. In this question of truthfulness, what matters first and last is that a man’s whole being should be exposed, his whole evil laid bare in the sight of God. But sinful men do not like this sort of truthfulness.”
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.