March 26

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“And the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside” (Luke 7:17 NLT).

From: March 26, 2019

SEEING THE GOOD NEWS SPREAD THROUGHOUT

After Jesus interrupted a funeral procession to raise a widow’s son from the dead, the news of his miracles and teachings “spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside.” This illustrates a truth easily discovered anywhere humans dwell, namely, news spreads. Whether it’s good or bad news, people love to talk about the latest happenings.
 
The gospel is good news. The gospel begins to spread when it happens afresh in someone’s life. Whenever the word gets out that someone has believed the gospel and experienced the kind of life change that only comes from Jesus, it becomes fresh news. As news of miraculous life change is shared, a doorway of spiritual opportunity is opened. The good news starts to spread. Imagine what it would look like for people who don’t even yet know Jesus to start talking about him. Why? Because news spreads.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, empower us with your Spirit to be witnesses of what Christ has done in our lives. Draw people to yourself to heal those who are hurting and to set free those in bondage. May the news of your Son be on everyone’s lips. We would desire to see you move in our city, so that the good news spreads throughout. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it” (Luke 7:35 NLT).

From: March 26, 2018

THE WISDOM OF THE SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE
The wisdom of the Spirit-filled life appeared in both John as the ascetic and in Christ, as the social and later the suffering. Yet, the Pharisees rejected both of them. For they did not see with spiritual eyes, but with natural. As the apostle Paul wrote, “So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23-24).
 
There is a wisdom that is beyond the world’s understanding. This is the wisdom that is ours in Christ alone.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NKJV).

From: March 26, 2017

After Moses reminded the people of the “words,” which were the Ten Commandments and other instructions from the Lord, he commanded them to teach their children what he had taught them. They were to be diligent in teaching them, both formally and informally, as a way of life. They were to weave this teaching into every facet of their day together with their kids.
 
This is still the job of parenting. The responsibility for educating our children belongs not to the school, nor the church, but to us. We may include the school and church in our efforts, but the primary role belongs to fathers and mothers.
 
Are you teaching your children and grandchildren the “words” of God as a part of your everyday life?

‘And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”’ (Luke 7:13 ESV)

From: March 26, 2016

Jesus is a funeral crasher. When he encountered the crying widow of Nain marching behind her only son’s coffin in a funeral procession, he interrupted their progress (Who does that?). He was moved with compassion for the widow whose only link to a hopeful future lay in the casket. The rights and possessions of her husband belonged to her now dead son. She would be left destitute and alone. But Jesus crashed the funeral and told the widow, “Don’t cry!” How offensive this would be if he were only telling her to deny her feelings. After all, what else could she do? She had no power to overcome death. She had every right to those tears! Who is this that he would stop a funeral along with its tears? He is Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life. And when death meets Life, Life wins. So, Jesus touched the bier and told the young man to arise. And the dead boy arose and began to speak, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. Because Jesus has defeated sin, death, and the grave, He is able to turn our mourning into laughter.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV)

From: March 26, 2015

In Deuteronomy, Moses restated the wilderness stories and God’s law to encourage the Israelites to remember and keep their covenant with the Lord. He encouraged them to make God’s Word a daily part of their lives, so that they knew it in their hearts. The above verse is known as the “Shema” (Pronounced “shee-mah,” it means “listen, hear”). It became the centerpiece of the the Jewish morning and evening prayers. Today, you can still hear it sung by the cantor in the synagogue every Sabbath and taught to every Jewish child as a bedtime prayer. “Shema, Yisrael Adonai eloheinu Adonai echad.” The cantor sings in a lilting baritone, sounding like a cross between singing and chanting. Of course, they substitute the word “Adonai” (Lord) for the actual name of God (“YHWH – Yahweh”) as found in Deuteronomy, because they consider the Name too holy to say. Singing, repeating daily, praying, and memorizing God’s Word can help us know it by heart. Yet, if we want the Word “written” on our hearts, only faith in Christ will move it from stone tablets to circumcised hearts.

“When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. ‘Don’t cry!’ he said” (Luke 7:13 NLT)

From: March 26, 2014

Jesus doesn’t like funerals. When he encountered the crying widow of Nain marching behind her only son’s coffin in a funeral procession, he interrupted their progress. He was moved with compassion for the widow whose only link to a hopeful future lay in the casket. The rights and possessions of her husband belonged to her now dead son. She would be left destitute and alone. But Jesus crashed the funeral and told the widow, “Don’t cry!” How offensive this would be if he were only telling her to deny her feelings. After all, what else could she do? She had no power to overcome death. She had every right to those tears! Who is this that he would stop a funeral along with its tears? He is Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life. When death meets Life, Life wins. And tears end and laughter begins.

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation” (Psalm 68:19 ESV)

From: March 26, 2013

Every day we awake to a new day never expecting otherwise. Yet, we have no control over the sun’s rising nor setting. We haven’t even any authority over our heart’s beating or lung’s breathing. Even the faithless atheist counts on such things remaining constant, setting his alarm and marking his calendar as if there were some galactic guarantee. But the Psalmist “blessed the Lord,” recognizing that it is God who gives us life and daily sustains us, awakening us to a new day.

Jesus crashes a funeral.

From: March 26, 2009

Luke records the raising of the widow’s son by Jesus. I love this story! Jesus and the disciples approach a city and are met by a funeral procession coming towards them. You know, their headlights are on and they’re heading for the graveyard. But Jesus stops the pall bearers and tells the dead boy to get up (Jews buried their dead within 24 hours and usually carried them on open pallets or caskets)
The boy is raised and Jesus gives him to his overjoyed mother. Doesn’t Jesus know that you’re not supposed to stop a hearse on the way to a funeral?