Monthly Archives: March 2019

17 posts

Unmoved (TJL 2.3)

Saturday                                                                                                                            Matthew 10:26-33

If Judas had any trepidation about Jesus’ plan to change the world without violence, Jesus’ words here urged him to be calm. Judas and the rest of the disciples should not fear Rome or any of their enemies. After all, the worst their enemies can do is kill them, right? Not so comforting, perhaps. But Jesus reminded them that serving God and furthering His plan—or not doing so, rather—could have much worse consequences than death. This is among the first warnings Judas would have heard. Imagine how Judas, who even early in his discipleship, may have had a temptation of betrayal stirring in his heart. Have you ever felt the rumblings of temptation before an actual opportunity arose? How do you deal with those temptations?

O Lord,

Help me to recognize temptation quickly and take action to follow You instead. Guide me into Your plan; Your process. Help me to trust that You truly know the best way. Amen

Unmoved (TJL 2.2)

Friday                                                                                                                                  Matthew 10:16-25

Perhaps all the disciples had difficulty understanding Jesus’ words here. They would be “sheep among wolves,” “dragged into courts,” and mistreated because of Jesus. But instead of taking up arms against their enemies, the disciples were to simply accept such treatment. Like many of us, Judas would not have accepted these words easily. Having come from a region that was won, defeated, and won again through war, passivity was not in Judas’ nature. Jesus, however, was trying to change Judas’ whole perspective on revolution.

God,

Help me to turn the other cheek. Allow me to accept what others might say of You or of me and show them who You truly are through my actions. Lord lead me into Your presence, and help me to see Your perspective on revolution. Amen

Unmoved (The Judas Lessons 2.1)

Thursday                                                                                                                            Matthew 10:5-15

Jesus sends out the twelve disciples, commanding them to announce the kingdom of Heaven’s arrival. They were to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. When they approached homes, their message was one of peace and love. Yet, for Judas, this mission may not have been the crusade he had imagined.  How would this help in overthrowing Rome? Why were they wasting their time preaching about a revolution when they should be fighting for it? Jesus had told them not to bring a bag, money, or extra tunic. So, bringing a sword was completely out of the question. Judas may have had trouble seeing the use in this mission. But Jesus knew that the Kingdom of God is not brought by violence, but by small acts of kindness done to others, spurring hope. How will you join Jesus’ mission today?

Lord, Sometimes I want to accomplish Your mission my way. Forgive me. Lead me into Your mission. Help me to follow Your son’s model and spread Your kingdom on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Amen

Meet Judas Iscariot (TJL 1.6)

Wednesday                                                                                                                          Luke 6:46-49

In a mere chapter, Jesus describes the core of Christianity. Love others, live mercifully toward them, and do good even (especially) when they don’t deserve it. This is how you please God, and this is how you build a life worth living. To close, Jesus tells His disciples that failure to live like this will result in catastrophe, like a house that collapses. In other words, your relationships will break down. Your life will feel unfulfilled. You’ll find you don’t have the steady foundation you need to make it through tough times in life. Because He knows this, Jesus urges His disciples to live the kind of love He preaches. Certainly a hard teaching for any of us! How do you think His disciples would have heard this teaching, especially Judas?

O God, You sent Your son to teach us and to take away our sin. Yet we take simple commandments and still fall short. Help me to live into Your teaching. Guide me that I might slow down, and focus on You. Allow me to simplify my life so that I might reflect Your love and Your love alone. Amen

Meet Judas Iscariot (TJL 1.5)

Tuesday                                                                                                                              Luke 6:43-45

This brief passage holds major weight for Jesus’ followers. The reason we look at the sin in our own lives instead of judging the sins of our neighbors is simple: what is inside our hearts and lives will come out. Some say sin is a wrong action. That’s incorrect, according to this passage. Sin is the fruit of a bad heart! So, simply pruning off the bad action (or fruit) doesn’t solve the problem. You have to get to the “root” of the problem… your heart. Today, spend some time exploring your heart, searching it for sin and temptation. How will you address the sinful thoughts residing in your heart?

Lord I know I am a sinner, and I know I’ve been addressing the effects instead of the cause. Help me to get to the root of my sin, to cast it out and to replace it with You and You alone. Lord I want You to be the center of it all; guide me this week in making that happen. Amen

Meet Judas Iscariot (TJL 1.4)

Monday                                                                                                                              Luke 6:37-42

Perhaps the biggest temptation the zealots faced was to dehumanize Romans. It’s always easier to treat someone badly when you forget that they are God’s children, too. Jesus reminds His disciples here that they are not to judge others. Instead, He urges them to treat others as they would like to be treated. Want to be forgiven? Then forgive others. Want to be blessed? Then bless others. Focus on the sin in your own life before you focus on the sin of another. Because, chances are, you aren’t all that different from the person you hate. How would doing this change your life? Or, change the world around you?

Heavenly Father, I want to be a world changer. But most of all, I want to follow You. Help me to love radically as Your son did. Push me this week to love others as they need to be loved. Guide me to see where I am falling short and give me the strength to seek You instead. In Your name, amen