Re:Verse passage – Luke 14:12-24 (day five) 

“And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.”

Do you see and sense the picture of the parable?  The master is sending his servant/slave out to bring people to the dinner. The directive was to compel them to come. Not by force. After all, only one man  couldn’t realistically use force.  Not argue. A slave was not well regarded socially. Yet the master sends someone who has experienced the magnitude of the master’s wealth and generosity. I wonder how the slave spoke of the master. I wonder how the slave described the dinner.

We are sent in the same way…. to compel others to come and feast with the master. How will we describe what we have experienced?  What will we say about the Master? What will we say about His character and kindness?  His invitation for others should always be on our lips.

Soil and Care

Re:Verse passage – Luke 13:1-9 (day five) 

And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard;”   Question- Why would someone plant a fig tree in a vineyard?  Isn’t a vineyard a place for grapes, not figs? It was customary in those days for Jewish farmers to plant all sorts of fruit trees in their vineyards. Vineyards were often called fruit fields because of this practice. Answer- Because vineyards were places that had the best soil and received the best agricultural attention and care.

In my days in youth ministry, I always believed if we could have teenagers who weren’t believers join us in weekly worship and study, or better yet, come to camp or a retreat, they more often than not, would sense the Lord’s presence and call on Him to be saved. The “soil” there (worship, fellowship, Bible Study) always seemed to be fertile for growing God’s Kingdom. We constantly prayed and prepared that way.

I still believe that about the church- our church. Back to the parable. Someone brought/planted that fig tree to the vineyard, believing that the soil there was better for growth and there would be contact and care from the gardener.

Do we still invite, bring, and welcome non-believers to join us with that same kind of hope and desire?  Do we intentionally tend our own lives (disciplines, conversations,  behaviors) that we might be fertile soil in our homes, communities, and work places?  Will we pray and prepare that way each week? Each day?

Listen and Look

Re:Verse passage – Luke 12:13-21 (day five)

Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”

Seemingly in the middle of teaching about the Kingdom of God, Jesus is interrupted. This man wanted to change the subject and ask about what is on his heart- that is money and greed (covetousness). Watch what Jesus does. He hears the outward complaint and request, and turns the conversation to a spiritual conversation about the Kingdom of God.

I usually don’t make New Year’s Resolutions- hope that improvements and  new patterns last longer than a year. However, as the new year begins, I usually pause to take a self-inventory and ask the Lord where I can make progress. One of the places He pressed on my heart last week, was to begin and build on relationships to influence and leverage faith in order to witness. Here, we have Jesus doing that. Listening. Sensing what was really in the man’s heart. Then speaking Biblical Principles that point to the kingdom of God. I have taken note. I seek to do the same thing. Intentionally use moments and conversations (even interruptions) to point people to the Kingdom of God and share my faith. Will you listen and look to do the same?


Re:Verse passage – Luke 11:5-13  (day five)

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  

Bold promises given by Jesus at the end of the parable. We understand these verses are not a blank check to ask for whatever we want.  They are an invitation to an honest dialogue within a vibrant and growing relationship with the Lord.

Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves’”.

The persistence described in this parable is no doubt the result from previous encounters and experiences between the two “friends”. There was familiarity, “You know me. You know my heart”.  There was certainty, “I know you have what I need”. There was honesty and vulnerability, “This is why I am asking, I have nothing to give”.

The end of the year provides a good time to evaluate our relationship with God. Is our relationship with the Lord vibrant and growing?  Is there familiarity between us and the Lord?  Byproduct of time spent together. Is there certainty?  What do we know and understand about the Lord and His character and nature?  Is there vulnerability? Confession and repentance are crucial.

Lord, help us have that kind of relationship with You!!  Let’s be persistent in that kind of prayer!

Outside the Lines

Re:Verse passage – Luke 10:25-37 (day five)  But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
The question asked by the lawyer seems innocent and harmless on the surface, but a deeper dig reveals a selfish human heart. What the lawyer is trying to do is to draw a line around his relationships and experiences that will help him feel safe in his worldview and religiously adequate in his keeping of the law. To the Jews of that time “neighbors” were immediate relatives, members of the same tribe, those of Jewish descent, and finally those who hade converted to Judaism.  They were using the law as a wall to insulate and isolate themselves from culture.
Jesus’ answer (in a parable) totally wrecked that line of thinking. Outside the lines.  Tore down the walls. Endless opportunities and possibilities to love and serve others.
Jesus taught that “neighbors” are not only family and friends, but also enemies which implies limitless opportunities and possibilities for us to love our “neighbors”.


Re:Verse passage – Luke 8:1-15 (day five)

“The sower went out to sow his seed;”

It seems like a “no-brainer” to say or think that a sower is gonna sow. But there comes a moment or occasion for action and engagement.  The interesting thing to me, is that the sower knows exactly who he/she is and understands that their identity is tied to their activity.  A decision or determination was made to “sow”, because that’s who they are.

I wonder how well believers understand their/our identity as believers- who we are and how that correlates in to our attitudes and actions.  Let’s mention a few:  We are worshippers. We are witnesses. We are followers. We are disciples (learners). We are servants. We are members (family/body).  So, if identity correlates to activity, what should we be doing because of who we are?  Learning? Witnessing? Worshipping? Etc.

If there is a disconnect, is it in the understanding of identity, or the absence of activity?  Lord, show us/remind us, who we are and help us live that out faithfully!!

Living is Building

Re:Verse passage – Luke 6:46-49 (day five)  Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like.
Jesus concludes His lengthy sermon with a parable. He brilliantly places humans into 2 groups. Wise builders and foolish builders. Don’t miss what He is teaching. Every person is a builder. To live is to build. And construction happens every day. Each life is a house- values, priorities, character, temperament, perspective, choices, dedication, determination, and decisions.  All of these can be formed and framed by obedience to the Lord as a result of an intimate and vibrant relationship with Him (Lord, Lord). Jesus also teaches not only are we are all builders, but the storms of life hit all of us too- trials, tragedy, temptation. They’re Sudden. Intense. Forceful.
We all will experience and feel the storms. Yet in a life (house) whose foundation is built on the Rock, there is a sense of safety, peace, hope, and strength (during and after the storm).  Takes time and work (like digging)- Listening, Learning, Obeying.   We must build daily and regularly.
Slowly and surely, the house comes together.

Advent Answer

Re:Verse passage – Luke 5:33-39 (day five)

Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?”

Isn’t Jesus’ answer to the Pharisee’s question remarkable?  In His question (answer) back to them, Jesus emphasizes the mission and ministry of His Father.  As we think about this season of Advent, we understand that Jesus’ coming over 2000 years ago, was the promise that God would send Emmanuel (God with us).  In addition, not only the ministry of God, but the mission of God- to bring Peace and Joy to the human heart.  The angels declared “good tidings of great joy- which shall be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).  Does your heart feel the celebration that Christ came to bring?  Like a wedding! No need to fast right now (because of this news)-  the Savior has come to be with “all the people” (you and me) and bring to them (us) a cause and desire to celebrate His presence now with us and in us because of the indwelling Holy Spirit and His provision of salvation.

God with us, God restoring sin-filled and broken human hearts with the joy and forgiveness of the Gospel.  That’s the Good News of the Advent season.

God’s Design

Re:Verse passage – James 5:19-20 (day five) 

“My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back,” Does it make you uncomfortable to fathom that you might get “off track” in your faith?  Have there been moments or seasons when you/we “strayed from the truth” in either doctrine or behavior? Part of God’s design for the Christian life is to live it in community- with other believers- to be vulnerable and transparent with one another. God uses other believers to encourage, correct, and restore faith. Has He done that to you?  Through you?  Do you have those kinds of believers in your life?  If so, will you thank them?  If not, will you find them?

“If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4


Re:Verse passage – James 5:12-18 (day five)

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

Were YOU encouraged by the ReVerse passage this week?  Did you sense that you were welcomed and encouraged to experience grace, strength, and help?

God’s invitation to seek and find Him through prayer and praise is not just for the “Super Saints” it’s for Anyone. It’s for YOU, it’s for ME.  We are on this invitation list.  There is help!  There is encouragement!  There are promises!  For Anyone!!