Posted by: Larry Hoekman | July 3, 2018

Luke — A Firm Foundation!

Day 3098: Be thankful – because the fact that you’re reading and I’m writing this has a lot to say regarding why we should be thankful!

Scripture: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:46-49

Thoughts/questions: A familiar story which even has a song written about it, yet it is very relevant to our experience with Jesus. He asks us to come, hear, and act! Most readers of God2me have accomplished the first two – you’ve come to Jesus and by reading this, you are hearing from Him!

What about the actions? What about putting the hearing into practice? A well thought out home is just a dream until the actual building of a solid foundation begins to take place! Without knowing God intimately, when the winds of difficulties overwhelm, one’s spiritual house may fall.

May our knowledge of Jesus and His teachings result in a truly changed life of good deeds and service to others.

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, I call You Lord; help me to also do what You say . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | July 2, 2018

Luke — Not Normal!

Day 3097: Welcome to the 2nd half of 2018!

Scripture:  “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:27-31

Thoughts/questions: How’s this list of someone you might want to stay away from? An enemy who hates you, curses you, mistreats you, slaps you the face, steals from you, takes advantage of you, and does not plan to repay your loan! Probably not a friend. A ‘normal’ response would be to treat them the same way and stay as far away from them as possible.

But Jesus doesn’t expect us to be normal. To those in the above list, He expects us to love them, do good to them, bless them, pray for them, get slapped twice, give to those who steal from you, and keep giving when you know you will not receive anything in return. WOW!!! As a Christ follower, this IS our new normal!

One quick comment –  the list is extensive, but we can all do one thing – pray specifically for anyone who qualifies as some type of personal challenge. When you pray for someone, God softens your heart towards them. Definitely at least pray!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, Your list is hard. Help me to obey . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 30, 2018

Luke — The Sabbath!

Day 3096: A post on the Sabbath about the Sabbath!

Scripture:  One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and His disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Luke 6:1-5

Thoughts/questions: The Sabbath – from Friday evening to Saturday evening. Some Christ followers refer to Sunday as the Sabbath, and Seventh Day Adventists celebrate it as the Jewish people do. Since I do a Sat/Sun post, you will be reading this on the Jewish or Christian Sabbath! We may spend more time considering the correct day to celebrate the Sabbath than how we celebrate it – probably not the correct approach!

When God instituted the Sabbath, it wasn’t that He needed a rest, but He knew we did! As Jesus also said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Jesus was OK with healing and eating grain on the Sabbath contrary to Pharisaic law, and we should be too. 

BUT we are to rest and focus on God whether that be Saturday or Sunday. Are you???

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for freedom. Help me not to misuse it . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 29, 2018

Luke — Objective Are You?

Day 3095: Last weekend in June – enjoy!

Scripture:  Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to His disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Luke 5:29,30

Thoughts/questions:  For some reason, I always thought this question was directed towards Jesus not His disciples. Maybe it was because Jesus answered the question for them saying that He came for the sick, not the healthy. Two thoughts.

1) Jesus didn’t respond to the questioners, but responded to their question. Can we follow His example? Or do we get caught up into the ‘right’ of the questioner to even ask? If we can’t objectively respond to the question/issue at hand, chaos can ensue. Jesus could have easily attacked the Pharisees with His answer, but He chose the proper path. May we also do the same!

2) When challenged as a Christ follower regarding ‘why’ we do something, can we also maintain our objectivity or do we take an emotional, defensive position? Jesus’ disciples remained silent. Jesus remained objective. Two excellent paths when a possible confrontation presents itself. Neither party took the Pharisees’ question personally. Can we do the same?

Suggested Prayer: Father God, help me to always respond in love and to be objective in my answers . . . 

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 28, 2018

Luke — This IS Why He Came!

Day 3094: Thank You Lord for all You’ve done for me!

Scripture:  When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”  Luke 5:8

Thoughts/questions: Peter’s response to Jesus’ helping them catch a boat load of fish is probably the opposite of what we might say, as we might want this miracle man to come and be close to us. And his response certainly isn’t a very evangelistic quote one might use to bring someone to Jesus.

However, Peter directly observed the differential between Jesus and sinful man, and he reacted by acknowledging that immense gap. We, on the other hand, read about it; think about it; try to comprehend it – but that doesn’t compare to what Peter and the disciples experienced first hand.

Can we share the intensity of Peter’s experience – probably not. BUT it is not mandatory that we do so – why – because of Jesus’ response. He didn’t do what Peter requested. Jesus knew how vast this gap was, so it was not a surprise to Him, AND this is exactly why He came – to bridge that gap between a perfect, holy God and sinful mankind.

So Jesus understood Peter’s comment, but instead of separating Himself from Peter and the others, He asked them to follow Him. He desired to commune with them/us, regardless of the gap separating us!

Realistically, we deserve what Peter asked for – separation. BUT thanx be to God for His recognizing our need and meeting that need in His Son, Jesus. Thank You Lord!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You and praise You for not leaving us, but for asking us to follow You . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 27, 2018

Personal Sharing — Stealing This!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 26, 2018

Luke — But Because . . .

Day 3092: The God of ALL seasons is truly our GREAT God! Each season with its own unique and wonderful characteristics.

Scripture:  When Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:4, 5

Thoughts/questions: Why we do what we do is definitely intriguing. We have our DNA, our nature, our nurture, our life experiences and they all combine to control our choices. Or is control too strong a word? Yet some hypothesize regarding if we really have any real choice in our lives given all the input we’ve received!

Well, God says we choose. In today’s verses, Simon had put in a full night’s work, and he’d surely had enough fishing for one night. All of this night’s previous input before Jesus’ words led him to the conclusion that their hard work resulted in no fish. Regardless of that input, Jesus’ words trumped all. Nothing in Simon wanted to let down the nets again, but because Jesus said so all previous input was disregarded.

How about us? Each of our lives have their own unique stories, and the input we’ve received varies, yet the past is just that – THE PAST!

Simon’s choice to obey might be easier than the decisions we have to make regarding the input from our past, but Jesus’ words still ring true – ‘regardless of your past, I want you to do this or that!’ We all know what He wants us to do, and it may seem as foolish as His request of Simon – but He expects us to choose! Choose wisely!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, may my choices always be, because You say so . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 25, 2018

Personal Sharing — Familiarity Breeds ?

Day 3091: MMM – Make Mondays Matter!

Scripture: So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16

Thoughts/questions: While in education, so many times I’d hear students talking with one another and I’d say, “So, that’s your sibling, eh?” The students wondered how I knew, and I’d tell them because of the way they were speaking to each other – and they weren’t speaking nicely!

Yes, as the old adage states, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt!’ In families it may not go so far as to be actual contempt, but daily involvement with anything often results in a form of apathy or lack of passion towards that person/thing. Even in the U.S. where sports are like religion, they are not played year round, so a sort of rebirth happens at the start of each season.

This is also a danger spiritually. For those who have followed Christ for a good period of time, the feeling of newness and excitement can be replaced by a bit of the blahs. For example, when you do your daily ‘duty’ of reading this or some other form of devotion, do you check off that box and go about the rest of your day. I’ll admit that sometimes I do just that. Click ‘post’ without any serious consideration of what I even wrote.

This should not be so! I commit to you who follow God2me that I will NOT do that anymore. Please join me in viewing ALL things as new – Renew my spirit Lord!

Suggested Prayer:  Father God, may my spirit be renewed each day . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 23, 2018

Personal Sharing — Accept Yourself!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 22, 2018

Personal Sharing — Forgive and Forget?

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