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Luke 11:14-26

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, MAY 16

SCRIPTURE:  Luke 11:14-26

By:  Josh Boles

Today’s portion of Luke 11 is a very interesting chapter, but has a very important truth. Verse 14 opens up with a short, but powerful story. Jesus casts out a demon that was responsible for a man’s muteness. Jesus drives out the demon, it leaves, and the people are amazed. This is important information to set up the powerful theological truth. Demons are real, they sometimes afflict people, but Jesus rules over demons and casts them out.

We first read that the crowds were amazed, but then categorized themselves into two negative groups. The first group were the slanderers in verse 15. They accused Jesus of driving out demons but the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons. The second group is in 16 who were the skeptics. They asked for a sign from heaven that Jesus was the real deal.

The first thing we see in verse 17-19 is that Jesus gives the crowd a very theological sound argument. Jesus says that, “No group will last long if they are fighting themselves.” Jesus was not talking about the group being divided but was making a point on his authority to cast our demons. Jesus is basically saying that it would not make sense for a satanic power to drive out a device of satanic torture. Why would Beelzebul fight Beelzebul? Verse 19 most likely refers to other Jewish exorcisms at the time. If this is true, Jesus is calling them out on their own hypocrisy.

The next truth that we see is the fact that the Kingdom of God is upon us. Jesus strikes down their wrong presuppositions, and establishes His authority in verse 20. Jesus does this by discussing the “finger of God.” This phrase is so important. Jesus is telling the crowds that this was not witchcraft, or trickery. It is the very hand of God that drives out demons. The very same hand that struck Egypt with plagues. If you remember that story, Moses brought about the plagues, and pharos magicians tried to recreate it. When they failed, Moses told them, “This is the finger of God.” This is Jesus referring to His direct power He receives from God.

In verse 21-22 Jesus gives an analogy of a strong man guarding his own goods only to be overthrown by a stronger force. A divided kingdom cannot stand as we read in 17-19, so a new and more powerful kingdom will take its place.  This is what Jesus has come to do. To take away from the spoils of the kingdom of Satan by reclaiming us to His kingdom. Some in the crowd could not see this, and they missed the kingdom of God.

Jesus continues this thought in 23-26. In verse 23 Jesus Himself divides the group into two kingdoms. There are those that are for Jesus, and those that are against Jesus. There is no in-between, or beyond. Then, in 24-26 Jesus warns the people not to be recaptured by Satan’s kingdom.

There are only two sides to spiritual warfare, those who are for Him or those who are against Him. The two opposing sides are not those who believe, and those who do not believe. The book of James tells us that, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” So the only way to be on Jesus’ side is to join Jesus in His work. This means that we do not simply affirm that Jesus is Lord, but devote our entire lives in servanthood to Him and His bride, the Church. This certainly does not mean that good works grant us access to salvation and eternal life. Faith in Jesus is the only way to eternal life. The point is, our faith in Jesus equips, empowers, and compels us to fight these spiritual battles.

There is a response for all of us in here to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. Are you involved in the ministry of the Church? Are you involved in the ministry of taking away the spoils of the Kingdom of Satan, bringing lost should to Jesus? If you are not, this is your chance to do so. Get involved, and carry the hope of salvation everywhere you go.

Posted by Josh Boles with

Luke 11:1-13

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, MAY 15

SCRIPTURE:  Luke 11:1-13

By:  Josh Boles

Today we have the privilege of observing the Lords prayer. For many this is simply a ritual. Something we do before a sports ball game, or even for many other denominations, it is a part of almost everything they do. We need to understand that Jesus never intended it to be this way. This is a model for us to use for every prayer we ever pray.

As the chapter opens up we see that Jesus is praying, and His disciples are there with him. When Jesus was finished praying the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. This probably means they were there watching and listening to Jesus’ prayer but were to distracted, or felt inadequate to pray themselves. I would imagine that Jesus was praying for a great length of time, and they ran out of things to say. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have.

Then, in verse 2 Jesus says, “When you pray, pray like this.” He doesn't say, “You can pray like this,” or, “sometimes pray like this.” It is a model for us to follow overtime we pray. Lets break this down a bit.

This prayer starts off as any of our prayers should. Exaltation and praise to our most high God. “Hallowed be your name,” is a request that God’s name be honored with reverence. God has paved the way for salvation to be granted to us so we should praise, and honor Him in everything we do.

Next we see the words “Your Kingdom come.” The account in Matthew says, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” As Christ followers we are to live a life set apart from the rest of the world. Our goal is to become more like Christ everyday we are alive. The life we will live in heaven will be perfect, full, and fully devoted to God. This is our goal while we are here on earth. It might not be achievable, but we strive for it each and every day.

Verse three is pretty simple. We trust that Jesus will provide us with all of our physical needs, not wants. Then, in verse 4 we are to pray for others, and forgive others as Christ has forgiven us. This a great model for us to pray. We should always praise God for who he is. We should always pray for His will to be enacted in our lives. We must always pray for others, and we should even pray for ourselves.

Jesus sums these powerful words up with a parable on prayer. Jesus discusses the reality of a friend or a father helping another friend, or his son in a time of need.  If a friend is not willing to come to your side in the middle of the night, then he might not be a true friend. I love even more the analogy Jesus uses in 11. What kind of father would give his son a scorpion if he asks for a fish?

There is a promise here that we see all throughout the New Testament. It is, “Ask for anything in my name and it will be given to you.” Next, Jesus calls his disciples evil. Ouch! But we are all born into this world sinful. We are inherently evil, but even we know how to give our children what they need. That is what makes these words of Jesus so beautiful. “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

This takes us back to yesterday’s devotional. He is our portion for life. He knows our every need, and if we just have the faith to ask in His name, it will be given to us. This doesn't mean that it will be always given to us in our timing or the fashion we hope for. It does mean that God will not neglect us, and He ALWAYS answers our prayers.

So the first part of prayer is to simply do it. The disciples asked to be taught to pray, and Jesus taught them. This means that we can learn to pray, and the only way to learn is through practice. The second part of prayer is faith. Have faith that God is sovereign and knows everything we need even before we know it.

Posted by Josh Boles with

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