Luke 19:33-34 (NIV)
As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" They replied, "The Lord needs it."
Seriously – does God NEED anything? The short answer is no. God has all resources, all power, all knowledge, all wisdom – he doesn’t need anything from anyone. He’s the only person in the universe who can lay claim to being totally ‘self-sufficient’!
But the Jesus needed a colt, a donkey to ride on. Although He had access to unlimited supernatural power and probably could have made one appear at will – instead He asks for it from those who have one.
Most of the time we live with the illusion that we actually own stuff in this life. If we think about it, we realise that everything that we have actually already came from Him. You may have bought a new LCD TV. But the particles that make up that TV were originally created and put together by God. Humans have never ‘created’ anything – we’ve only ever modified what God put there in the first place! The earth and everything in it really is the Lord’s!
So these owners have a donkey – a prized possession for a Jewish household. Jesus asks for it – and they give it willingly and without complaint. Then Jesus rides in to Jerusalem on their donkey. Imagine how proud they would have been afterwards… ‘this’ is the donkey that Jesus rode on!
We never lose anything when we put it back into God’s hands. It might seem like we do for a while, but in the end – whatever we invest into the Kingdom of God will bless a multitude of people, as well as us!
Luke 15:17 (NIV)
17 "When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! i
In the story of the Prodigal Son, the son has an awakening moment when his money has run out and he’s eating pig’s food! Even the servants in his father’s house have it better than this!
The son is motivated by his own need. He now ponders returning to his father but not because he is motivated to set things right at home, or for restoring relationships or anything. He’s motivated by his hunger. He has nothing to eat – and even the least of the servants have more than enough bread in his father’s house.
This shows us two things:
1) It’s vitally important that we have ‘bread in the house’. Jesus refers to healing as ‘the children’s bread’. When healing and life is prevalent in the house of God, it will make what the prodigals are eating in the world seem very, very second rate.
2) When prodigals return, their motives may be less than noble. They may come back simply because they’re starving. But it’s here that the goodness of God is shown – he doesn’t judge the son, but instead he lavishes even more on him! Our response needs to be the same. It’s his kindness that leads us to repentance!
Luke 18:12 – I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’
The Pharisees were the uber-spiritual people of their day. Whatever it was that God wanted, they always wanted to go one further!
On the outside, it appeared as righteousness – but the issue was that they had replaced the grace of God for their salvation with the efforts of their own hands. God ‘owed’ them because of all they had done. Here, in Luke 18:12, we see the ‘Pharisee’ singing the 18:12 overture! He fasts twice a week and gives tithes of all he gets. However, in his pursuit of these things – he neglects the more important matters of justice, love and mercy.
When we get our eyes of how much our heavenly Father loves us and His grace toward us, we can start to try to earn our way to heaven through our own efforts. We can start singing our own ‘1812 Overture’!!
Fall once again on the mercy and love of your heavenly Father toward you today! He’s not looking for repayment – He’s simply looking for you to accept what He has given!
Luke 5:39 – No man having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’"
They don’t ‘immediately desire’ – it is hard when you have drunken old wine to enjoy the new wine. It doesn’t mean that we can’t change, but it can become very difficult!
Old wine is the domain of the connoisseur – the one who has ‘been around’. The old ways, the old songs – they bring a sense of comfort and peace. It’s easy in an environment like this to let traditions become more important than the commands of God.
But if we are going to walk with Christ we must become accustomed to ‘new wine’. We must be prepared for change – and leave behind the things of yesterday to embrace what God is doing today!
Luke 24:45 – Then he opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures.
The Bible is a wonderful gift from God – yet it remains as a ‘locked book’ unless the Spirit of God helps us to understand it. We need the Lord to open our minds and give us insight and wisdom to comprehend the things that He is saying to us through His Word.
The Scriptures were never intended to be a substitute for a living relationship with a living God. This was in essence what Jesus levelled at the Sadducees, when He said “You search the Scriptures , because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me.” The Lord has ‘rigged’ it – so that you need the Spirit of God to understand the Scriptures, and that an understanding of the Scriptures will ultimately lead back to Him anyway!
There’s a huge amount of encouragement in this verse. It means that whenever we find something in the Bible that seems hard to understand or comprehend, we can pray and ask God to ‘open our minds’. He’s always willing!
Luke 9:52-53 – They went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, so as to prepare for him. They didn`t receive him, because he was traveling with his face set towards Jerusalem.
Talk about missing your moment! Jesus had set His face toward to Jerusalem, and sent messengers ahead of him into a village of Samaritans – to get them ready.
But the Samartians rejected Jesus because he was going to Jerusalem. An old rivalry existed between the Jews and the Samaritans – and because of this rivalry, the Samaritans missed their opportunity with God!
How often do we miss opportunities with God because we don’t like the direction He’s going? You mean ‘that person’? No way God, I don’t like them, I won’t have anything to do with them! I have to do ‘that’? I’ve never done that before God, and I’m not about to start now!
Yet when God sends messengers ahead of Him, He’s getting you ready for Him! Whatever it is that we don’t like about where God is going – get over it! It’s just not worth it! Today could be your opportunity! Don’t miss it!
Luke 12:35 – Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning.
No one knows when our King will return, but there are numerous times that He calls us to ‘stay awake’ and ‘be ready’!
This verse shows us how we are to stay awake – with our ‘loins girded’ and our ‘lamps burning’.
In Exodus 12:11, the Passover meal was required to be eaten with ‘loins girded’ – ready for travel, ready for battle. They knew that they were going to be leaving Egypt that night, and so although they ate and drank, they were doing so prepared to leave at any second.
We are also to keep our lamps burning. The lamp speaks of revelation – and was kept burning continually. They would not just burn by themselves, but required daily tending.
The world we live in encourages us to go off to sleep! To eat, drink, rest up and take it easy. But we must fight to stay awake – for there is a great blessing promised to the servant who is ready and waiting for His master when He comes!