“Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit.
Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement quietly.”
~Matthew 1:18-19 GNT~
The bad weather that can through earlier this week left a lot of damage in some areas. I thankful for all the people who survived the devastation. The clean-up process has already begun. Thank-you to the Baptist Disaster Relief that will provide physical clean up and other help, especially spiritual help for people in a time of great need. Please pray for them as they reach out to help others. Your financial help is also appreciated.
Macy Lee‘s gall bladder surgery went well. She is home and resting. Thank-you for praying for her. Please continue to do so.
Donald Alford will be having a lung biopsy today in Covington. Please pray.
David and I were blessed with Christmas carolers last night. They came last year. It was with great joy I shared that David was much better than he was when they sang for him last year. Thanks, New Zion! Prayers have made such a difference for him!
Scripture Writing – December 18 – Luke 1: 30-34
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering – Missionary Kids are provided with $75/year to help with fees for international school when that is the best option for the MK’s. Thanks for helping to provide that for four of my grandchildren at one time or another. The opportunity to attend there has greatly enriched the lives of my grandchildren. I’m thankful.
Jesus talks about how to pray
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a story. He wanted to teach them that they must go on praying always. They must not get tired. 2 He said to them, ‘In a certain city, there was a judge. He was not afraid of God. He did not respect people.
3 A woman lived in that same city. Her husband had died. She came to the judge many times with a problem. “Somebody is doing bad things against me. Please keep me safe from that person,” she was saying. 4 For a long time, the judge would not do anything to help her. Later, he thought, “I am not afraid of God. Nor do I respect people. 5 But this woman causes me trouble. If I do not do anything for her, she will continue to come to me again and again. She will make me ill. So, I will help her to be safe. I will say that she is right.” ’
6 Jesus went on to say, ‘This judge was not a good man. But you should think about what he said. He helped the woman because she caused him trouble. 7 But as for God, he always helps those that he has chosen to be his children. When they continue to ask him for help, in the day and in the night, he will answer them. He will not wait. 8 I tell you this. He will show that they are right. He will help them quickly. I, the Son of Man, will return to earth. But will I find many people that still believe in me then, or not?’
Jesus tells a story about two men who were praying
9 Jesus told a story to teach other people. These people thought that they were very good in front of God. They thought that they were much better than other people.
10 Jesus said, ‘One day, two men went into God’s Great House to pray. One man was a Pharisee. The other man took taxes on behalf of the government. 11 The Pharisee stood there by himself. He prayed like this: “Thank you, God, that I am different from all these other people. They are bad people. They rob other people. They have sex with women that are not their wife. Thank you, God, that I am not like this man who takes taxes on behalf of the government. 12 I stop eating on two days of each week. I give to you one tenth of all the things and money that I receive.”
13 But the other man stood far away. He would not even look up towards heaven. He was hitting his body with his hands to show how sorry he was. He prayed like this: “Please, God, be kind to me. I have done many bad things.” ’
14 Jesus went on to say, ‘Let me tell you about these men when they left there. The man that took taxes on behalf of the government was now right with God. But the Pharisee had not made anything right with God. Some people lift themselves up to be important. They say that they are better than other people. But God will bring all of them down low. Other people know that they are not better than others. God will lift those people up to a good place.’
Little children come to Jesus
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus. They wanted him to put his hands on each child’s head. But Jesus’ disciples did not like this. They told the people that they should not do it.
16 Then Jesus told the children to come to him. He said to his disciples, ‘Let the children come to me. Do not try to stop them. People must become like these children so that God can rule their lives. That is what the kingdom of God is like. 17 What I say is true. A person must become like a little child for God to rule in his life. If he does not become like a child, he will not come into the kingdom of God.’
Jesus meets a rich ruler
18 A Jewish ruler came to Jesus and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do so that I can live with God for ever?’
19 Jesus asked him, ‘Why do you say that I am good? Only God is good. Nobody else. 20 You know God’s rules: “Do not have sex with anyone who is not your wife. Do not kill anyone. Do not rob anyone. Do not say things that are not true about people. Love your father and your mother, and obey them.” ’
21 The man replied, ‘I have obeyed all these laws since I was a young man.’
22 Jesus heard what he said and he replied, ‘There is still just one thing that you must do. You must sell everything that you have. Then give the money to poor people. If you do that, you will have many valuable things in heaven. Then come back and be my disciple.’
23 When the ruler heard this, he became very sad. This was because he was a very rich man.
24 Jesus saw that the ruler had become sad. He said, ‘It is very difficult for rich people to let God rule in their lives. 25 The hole in a needle is very small. A big animal cannot go through it! But it is even more difficult than that for a rich person to let God rule in their life.’
26 The people who were listening to Jesus said, ‘So perhaps God will not save anyone!’ 27 Jesus replied, ‘God can do things that are impossible for people to do.’
28 Peter then said to Jesus, ‘Look! We have left everything that we had. Now we are your disciples.’
29 Jesus said to them, ‘What I say is true. Some people have left their home. Or they may have left their wife or their brothers. Or they may have left their parents or their children. They have done this to work for the kingdom of God. 30 Now, in this world, God will give these people many more things than they have left behind. And in the future world they will live for ever with God.’
31 Jesus took the 12 disciples away from the other people. ‘Listen!’ he said to them. ‘We are going to Jerusalem. There, many bad things will happen to me. All the things that God’s prophets wrote down long ago about the Son of Man will now happen to me. 32 The Jewish leaders will deliver me to people that are not Jews. They will laugh at me. They will say bad things against me. They will spit at me. 33 They will hit me with whips and then they will kill me. But after three days, I will become alive again.’
34 The 12 disciples did not understand any of these things. What Jesus said did not mean anything to them. So they did not know what Jesus was talking about.
Jesus makes a blind man well
35 When Jesus was getting near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the side of the road. He was asking people to give him money. 36 Then he heard a large crowd of people as they went along the road. So, he asked the people near him what was happening. 37 They told him, ‘Jesus from Nazareth is walking past.’
38 The man began to shout out. ‘Jesus! Son of David! Please be kind to me and help me.’ 39 The people who were walking at the front of the crowd were angry with him. They told him that he should be quiet. But he started to shout even louder, ‘Son of David! Please help me!’
40 Then Jesus stopped. He said to the people, ‘Bring that man to me.’ When the man came near, Jesus asked him, 41 ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Sir,’ the blind man replied, ‘I want to see again.’
42 Jesus said to him, ‘See again! You are well now because you believed in me.’ 43 Immediately, the man could see again. He started to follow Jesus along the road. He was praising God.
Many people saw what had happened. They also praised God.
I hope you are enjoying these readings from Luke.