Bearing Christ’s Burden – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Bearing Christ’s Burden – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

…in this, of course, we begin to see echoes of the cross where, in fact, the one who was the Good Shepherd bore on his shoulders every sin by which his flock had been lost and isolated from him, so that they might be restored to him. But if we do not also see our own stake in the care for the rest of the flock—especially those that are loss—and our own call to bear that burden with him, then we have missed the point of the parable entirely. This parable is not just about God’s love for sinners and the lost, but also about our call to care for, love, seek out and even bear the burden of helping those who are lost be restored the community for which they were made: they community that is founded and fed on the love and grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Like a Rock in a Torrent – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Like a Rock in a Torrent – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

“Certainly the pressures upon us to conform are colossal, not only from the direct challenge to traditional beliefs and morals, but also – and more – from the insidious and pervasive atmosphere of secularism which even seeps into the church. Many give in, often without realizing what they are doing. But again and again the word of God addresses us, calling us not to be moved. We are not to be like a ‘reed shaken by the wind’, feebly bowing down before it from whatever direction it may blow. Rather, like a rock in a mountain torrent, we are to stand firm.” John Stott, II Timothy, p. 92)

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No Greater Love – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

No Greater Love – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

It is only by loving God above all things and all people that we can not only be opened to His love, but also formed by it, and so become more perfect instruments of that same love to the people in our lives and around us. Sometimes this will mean sometimes loving them in ways that are challenging and difficult to understand, but it is always rooted in the sure hope and confidence that God’s love for them is infinitely greater than our own. For he is the one who is Love, and his is the love of the cross.

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Confidence in Distressing Times – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Confidence in Distressing Times – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

We need to know…that until Christ’s return there will be distressing times when the forces of evil rage most furiously or seduce most deceptively and we are going to be caught right in the middle of them…We may not wish them, but we are ready for them.

“’I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” (J.R.R. Tolkein, The Fellowship of the Ring)

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No Act Too Small – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

No Act Too Small – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

To choose to demonstrate the power of God’s kingdom in the life of a woman who, up to that point would have either been ignored or treated with revulsion, and …considered among the lowest in society may have seemed counter-intuitive; and yet it is in this that the true nature of God’s kingdom is made known—for it seeks not coercion, power or privilege, but is made present “even in such seemingly inconsequential acts as the restoration of an ill woman who lived on the margins of society” (Green).

Such small acts, we are promised, do not remain in isolation but have the power leaven the whole of life with the healing, restoration and salvation that are the hallmarks of the kingdom of God.

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The Foundation of the Gospel – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

The Foundation of the Gospel – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

When it is our turn and our responsibility to defend the gospel, how will we do it?

Our tendency is to fight with anger, belligerence, and uncharitable polemics. But that way is never allowed. For the Christian, how we confront false teaching is as important as that we do. We must not respond in ways which “deny the very foundation of the gospel itself” (N T Wright) Rather we are to follow in the way of Jesus himself: “to bear evil without resentment…and then correct opponents with meekness- these are sure signs that the teacher has been learning from the example, and has been empowered by the spirit, of Jesus himself.”(N T Wright)

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Servants of the Truth – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Servants of the Truth – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

It is on this point that Paul is most clear in his instructions to Timothy and to us. He and we are to “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.” It is the consistent, clear, straightforward presentation of the faith built on the solid foundation of Christ and the teaching of that faith by his apostles which is our strongest weapon and surest defense…In doing so we may not please the world but we will certainly serve the world, for we will be sharing the truth and, as our Lord has said, it is the Truth that shall set us free.

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Freedom and Detachment – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Freedom and Detachment – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

“Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us…something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? . . . No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation…Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen.”

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The Call to Justice – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

The Call to Justice – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

“If you are trying to live a life in accordance with the Bible, the concept and call to justice are inescapable. We do justice when we give all human beings their due as creations of God. Doing justice includes not only the righting of wrongs, but generosity and social concern, especially toward the poor and vulnerable. This kind of life reflects the character of God.” (Tim Keller, Generous Justice pg. 18)

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A Single Purpose and a Sure Hope – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

A Single Purpose and a Sure Hope – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

“We do not depend on the inspiration of a memory, however great. We enjoy the power of a presence. When a Christian is summoned to a great task…he must go into it in the certainty that he does not go to it alone, but there is with him forever the presence and the power of the risen Lord. When fears threaten, when doubts assail, when inadequacy depresses, remember the presence of the risen Lord.” (William Barclay)

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