Justified

1-11-17
Wednesday
 
Luke 10:25-28,29
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
 
We all want to justify ourselves.
 
The word justify is a very important word. Jesus is trying to say, “You will never justify yourself by your love. You’ll never be loving.”
 
Let’s take a look at this word justify. The word justify isn’t a word we use too much anymore. The word justify
means to make right with something, to become right with someone.
 
If my friend borrows a hundred dollars from me and promises to pay it back next week, it’s no big deal. I give it to him without blinking an eye. But next week comes and goes and still no money. So now I am watching to see when he is going to pay me what he owes me. Not because I need the money, but because it’s the right thing.
 
The only way we can be right with each other is he can pay me back or I can choose to forgive the debt. But why would I do that?
 
Now what if I told you my friend was my 6 year old grandson and he wanted to buy his mom a Christmas present so I loaned him the money? You would say that wasn’t a loan, it was a gift! You never expected payment and he can’t repay anyway.
 
Exactly.
 
We are justified with God not because we paid a debt (works based religion) but because we were forgiven (grace based relationship). God loved us enough to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. We could not save ourselves. We could not pay the debt we owed God. So God did everything for us.
 
We are his because he created us and we are twice his because he redeemed us from sin. We are justified because of Jesus.
 
Prayer: Thank you for loving me like that.


It’s About Love

1-10-17
Tuesday
 
 
 
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” -Luke 10:25-28
 
 
One of the foundational truths of the Bible is God is love. And because he loved us, he created us in his own image with the capacity to love him back. And even though the first man Adam broke God’s commandment God was willing to send his only son Jesus to come to earth, and he was willing to die a horrible death making payment for our sin. That is how much God loved us. Jesus explained the plan of redemption this way:
 
 
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16
 
 
That’s it. We don’t have to work for it, we don’t have to be better than other people to receive it, and we just have to believe we are sinners in need of salvation and accept Jesus as our only hope of eternal life. It is all by faith in Jesus Christ.
 
 
Unfortunately, the most difficult thing for people to admit is that we are not good enough just as we are, or that we are in need of God to save us. “Don’t give me anything, just give me an opportunity to earn my own way and I will do it!”

 

This was the general condition of the human heart when Jesus walked on the earth and that is still the general condition of people today. The lawyer who tested Jesus on the law actually thought he was earning a relationship with God with his conformity to the Law of Moses.

 

Jesus’ response is incredible. He said OK, be perfect. Just keep the law perfectly by loving God perfectly and by loving your neighbor perfectly. “Puteth thy money wherin thy mouth lieth.” (Revinations 1:9)

 

The lawyer knew he could not keep the law and we know that about ourselves as well. We need to turn from our own self-reliance and place our faith and hope in Jesus.

 

Prayer

: Thank you Father for not requiring us to be good enough in order to earn salvation. We will never be good enough, but by grace we are saved through faith.


The Parable

1-9-17
Monday
 
 
 
We began a series yesterday about the parables of Jesus and we will be looking at 5 specific teachings of Jesus where he used a parable to illustrate a truth. There are many ways to use language effectively and Jesus used a number of common figures of speech as he preached to the crowds that gathered to hear him speak.
 
 
A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them. That is, a metaphor is language that directly compares seemingly unrelated subjects. For example, “You are my sunshine.”
 
 
An analogy is the inference that if two things agree with each other in some respects, they will probably agree in others. For example, “shells were to ancient cultures as dollar bills are to modern culture.” An analogy is often used to make a difficult idea or an archaic subject easier to understand.
 
 
An allegory is it is similar a metaphor or an analogy but it is generally longer and more detailed than a metaphor, and appeals to imagination, while an analogy appeals to reason or logic. An allegory can be quite long and complex.
 
 
The word parable comes from the Greek parabolē, meaning “comparison, illustration, analogy.” It was the name given by Greek rhetoricians to an illustration in the form of a brief fictional narrative. Parables often utilize many forms of speech with the purpose of highlighting one or two important implications. Jesus’ use of parables illustrated many spiritual truths and made them accessible to non-religious people.
 
Jesus did not invent the parable, there are many parables, allegories, and analogies in the Old Testament. For example, there are 12 parables in 7 different books.
 
 
But Jesus used parables far more than any of the Old Testament authors. By some counts, there are 46 parables recorded in the New Testament gospels but as John’s gospel tells us “many other things Jesus taught that were not recorded, for if they were the books could not contain them.”
 
 
It was the practice of Jesus to teach the crowds with parables. Often the disciples would come privately and ask Jesus to explain the meaning of these parables because they did not fully understand the meaning or significance of the message contained in the teaching. Jesus was always willing to explain these truths to his people.
 
 
It is our prayer that as we look at these five parables in this series that we too will find the meaning and significance to our own lives today.
 
 
Prayer: Open our eyes to the truth of your word as we study these parables of Jesus.



Daily Devotionals based on Current Series