8 posts categorized "Gospel of Luke"

Our Father IS the Father in Luke 15

Lessons From Prodigal SonJesus tells the story to His followers of the Prodigal son in the book of Luke 15. And there is so much more going on in this story than we comprehend. I hope you have enjoyed the posts about this passage over the past few weeks.

But today, we are going to look at the Father in Luke 15. I’m so excited.

There are so many things I love about this story. I often share on radio and television my personal story about my prodigal years and how I met and married my unbelieving spouse during that season. So, when I recount my return to the Father and how I see this story in Luke as my own, I become positively  emotional.

Each time I share my prodigal story, I envision my story playing out in my mind. I literally see my five-foot-two, blonde self, running as fast as possible toward my Father, God. His arms are OPEN WIDE and the smile on His face…… Well it breaks me into tears every time. His face is filled with such joy and love that I am instantly delivered from all doubt, fear and oppression. And I know, that I know, that I know, in my knower, I will see my heavenly Father one day when I cross over into the heavenly Kingdom and His arms await. Just like I envision! Halleujah!

Let’s take a look at the lessons from Luke 15 about the true nature of our Father:

  • God is generous. In verse 11 God not only gives the share of His estate to the younger son who demanded it but at the same time He gave the older son his portion as well. Wow, I don’t know how to process this fully. I know the lesson here is that there is a vast amount of inheritance and it’s made available to God’s kids, and available now.
  • God embraces the wayward son and kisses him. Our Father God is not angry with us when we fail, run, are mad at Him, or even defy Him. He is always hopeful, full of love, and accepting and forgiving of our past, no matter how horrible we think our past was or horrible we think we are.
  • God doesn’t hold a grudge. I will mention here that it only took the younger son to leave his deception and turn back to God and ask His forgiveness. One sentence prayer. DONE!
  • Our Father God, looks past the smell, the dirt and grime. I you remember the son was galivanting in the pig pins. God sees us in our worst moment and loves us and wants us so badly.
  • God wants us back so badly that he will send circumstances into our lives to lead us home. Take a look at verse 14. A great famine swept over the land and the son began to starve. Just ponder the numerous times God reached out to your through circumstances which trust to you to rock bottom? We often miss the outreached hand of God. Yes, indeed, how many times does God sends us a life raft, but we are waiting for a helicopter???
  • Sonship is restored. The GREATEST gift is a restored, reclaimed identity. With a hug and a kiss, the son is home. He is robed as a royal son. A ring that bears restored authority, power and privilege is once again upon his finger.
  • Finally, let’s par-tay! A giant party awaits for each of us the day we cross over. But what is even more beautiful, the day or our baptism, all of heaven sang. The day or our pre-believer’s baptism, all of heaven will celebrate!

My friends, our God is good. All the time in every way. And He has so much to give us.

Confusion about his goodness rest in the deceptions of lucifer. The Great Deceiver is responsible for the pain, trauma, hurts and confusion in life. Hear me now… learn about our enemy because we blame God for so much that is perpetrated by satan.

Jesus is the perfect reflection of the Father. He demonstrates God’s love and goodness through this story in Luke 15. It’s our truth! Period. The end.

Okay, share the goodness of God in the comments today. What other lessons are in this story and how has God turned your ashes into beauty?

See you in the comments. Lynn


The Perfect Son Who Stayed on the Farm

Lessons From Prodigal SonThe Perfect Son Who Stayed on the Farm

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’” —Luke 15: 25-32

I wonder if you feel offense for the older brother?

After all, this man dutifully stayed at home, working hard, toiling in the land and never disobeyed his father. Honestly, if you’ve been a prodigal, you wished you had never run away, and you feel guilty that you come home and are welcomed back. You compare yourself to your brothers and sisters and feel shame. You also feel admiration that they were faithful.

What is interesting is that what the older brother doesn’t realize is that God did a few things for him that he is unable to see clearly.

  • The older son received his inheritance the day the younger son received his. Go back and read the passage. It’s true. Wow, I never knew this until recently. How generous, how profound is our Father? We get our inheritance now, while we are living in the world. To contemplate what that entails is so far reaching, I scarcely can take it in. I like to ask God about portions of my inheritance that are at my fingertips, but I haven’t recognized it yet. I encourage you to ask as well.
  • The older son was told by his Father that ---- now get this----- Everything the Father has, is his. Already his. He owns it. It’s given.
  • What the older son doesn’t know, thank God, is that he will not have to go through all the years of breaking off destructive mindsets, terrible addictions, fear, shame, and the demonic oppression that the younger son picked up while in satan’s stronghold. Hallelujah! This alone is worthy of any and all sacrifice the older son feels he made.

So gang, what are other lessons the older son missed? And what are other blessings he has coming? See you in the comments.

Next post, my favorite. Lessons about the Father….. I can’t wait. I adore you, Lynn


Our Pre-Believers Are Prodigal Sons

Lessons From Prodigal SonSo, gang, let’s look at this Prodigal son and consider our spouses. They have been hoodwinked into a kingdom of darkness. And what is flabbergasting to me is this. They are convinced, passionately, that they are neutral to faith/religion. Or they are committed also with a passion in opposition to our God, in which they believe they know all about, but actually don’t know at all, and are deceived into blindness.

Sounds bleak, doesn’t it?

When I looked closely at this story, the lessons I learned in the Prodigal land were more severe than I realized. Let’s take a look. See if you relate to any of these and consider what your spouse believes is true but is actually a falsehood.

Lesson from the Prodigal Nation:

From Luke 15: About this time his money ran out. The son went to feed the pigs. The son was so hungry the pig food looked good. No one gave the son anything.

  • The son took on a poverty spirit. For the first time in his life he was living in abject poverty. Poverty of pocketbook, poverty of spirit, poverty of relationships and more. Think about the depression that comes with poverty.
  • He left the covering of his Father. Rebellion pushes God away. We walk in our own strength which is never going to protect you from lucifer and his minions.
  • The son then learned, shame, confusion, deception, desperation, uncleanness, etc., etc.
  • The son settled for less than…… Oh how many of us settle for less than what we are offered through the hand of our Father.
  • LOST IDENTITY

My dear SUMites, I can attest that this is the ultimate goal of the devil. If we don’t know who we are or whose we are, we can’t fight back. We are captured and live in bondage, oppression, sickness and are targets for greater destruction.

Now contemplate what is happening with our unbelieving spouses?

This story is in the Word for our enlightenment but also so that we can perceive the poverty spirit in our spouse. Let our understanding of where they are, push us to our knees to pray for their deliverance and restoration to our loving Father.

Okay, gang, what other lessons do people learn when they dwell in the Prodigal Nation?

March on Warriors! We can help ourselves through Jesus and help our prodigal spouses and kids!  Hallelujah!


Prodigal Spouse, Prodigal Believers

Lessons From Prodigal SonSUMites,

I am having an amazing time reading the Word and meditating on two different stories. One in the Old Testament, in the book of Joshua and one in the New Testament, in Luke 15, the Prodigal son.

Gang, WOW!  The sub-plots and lesser-known lessons that most believers miss, are blowing my mind. But today, I want to chat with you about the unseen lessons in the Prodigal son story.

I’m compelled to write about this story because through my prayer ministry, and often with people who don’t know Yahweh, our Father very well. I’ve come to discover that far too many people don’t really know that God is truly always good. They are blocked by numerous lies about His love, goodness, and kindness. So-much-so, they feel far away from God or that God is distant, mean, and punishing.

Also, in this passage in Luke, we can learn so much from each of the sons. So, what say you??? Want to take a look at this story with me?

So glad you said yes! *Grin* So, let’s begin with two questions?

How do you perceive the Father?

How do you perceive Jesus?

You can share in the comments. And hear me now. Judgement and/or condemnation does NOT exist in the House of SUM. If you don’t “get” God as Father, it’s okay to say so. In doing so, you bring God closer so that He can reveal Himself. I believe your honesty opens the door to your heart, and He will meet you where you are.

Let’s look at Luke 15:11-24

Luke 15:11-24 New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Lost Son

11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

This story begins with two sons. And the ornery, younger, son demands his inheritance from his dad, then splits towards the Prodigal Nation. Now, many of you know that I relate to this story in such depth that I nearly cry every time I read it.

I AM or I WAS- this prodigal child. I went AWOL from my Father in the badest part of the Prodigal Nation, Las Vegas, NV. Yes, Sin City. And it’s not a mere coincidence this town wears this label. Even today when I drive into town, I can feel the demonic oppression that sits over it. I pray a lot before I go there to visit my family.

For all of you who arrived in your spiritual mismatched marriage because you were a backslidden Christian, I understand you. If you relate to this rebellious son, I want to say something to you now:

If you came before God, even just once, and asked our Father for forgiveness. IT IS FINISHED! You are completely forgiven for your disobedience. You are completely reinstated, just as the son in this story is welcomed home in the book of Luke.

God has forgiven you. He is not mad at you over your marriage to an unbeliever. He will NOT punish you for your rebellion. He will help you walk through the consequences that are a result of your choices when you left His side. And He will give you a tremendous inheritance in the middle of your mess as you work to clean it up. And finally, you don’t have to do the cleanup by yourself. Jesus is there. He will never leave you nor forsake you. You are surrounded by the angelic, the Holy Spirit and you have been given a community to march with you.

Hallelujah!

So, if you have walked the road of the prodigal, what is your story? I would like to hear it in the comments. I will meet you there and bless you.

More on Friday about our spouses, who by the way, are also prodigal – right now- and what lessons they are learning and how we can counter the tide of evil influence. And finally, what about the dutiful son that stayed home. Well, he has issues as well.

Stay tuned. This story is bigger than you think. I love you, Lynn


Because of The Manger... Our Voice Is Restored!

Emmanuel God With US spirituallunequalmarriage.com While reading the Christmas story in the book of Luke on Monday, I pondered Zechariah’s story. The Holy Spirit began to speak to me about Zechariah’s angelic encounter, his response, and the significance and similarity in many believers lives today.

Let’s read it together and then I will share the revelation that could very well change the course of your life this very day. 

Let us recall that Zechariah was the High Priest serving in the Temple, in the Holies of holy. He and his wife Elizabeth were devoted to the Lord, however, they lived in shame as they were childless. Childlessness was considered a curse in ancient Biblical times.

In Luke, chapter one, Zechariah received great honor when chosen to burn incense in the Temple. While ministering to God behind the curtain the angel, Gabriel, appeared before him and said, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elizabeth will bear you a son and you are to call him John….”

Gabriel continues to declare the destiny of John who becomes The Baptist. Let’s pick up in verse 18 and listen to Zachariah’s response:

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people. — Luke 1:18-25

Now this is where the Lord began to speak to me, “Lynn, I know that you are aware through your many prayer session, that many of my children have experienced this very thing.”

“Huh?” I pondered until the Lord went on to explain. “You see, many of my children’s voices have been stolen from them. They suffered much at the hands of those in authority over them who silenced their cries for kindness, consideration, and cries for help. CRIES TO BE HEARD!”

“What happened to Zachariah continues to play out in millions of lives today."

"And Lynn, it wasn’t by My Hand that Zachariah lost his voice. No. His voice was stolen by the demonic the instant Zach decided to doubt and believe a lie. He believed this miracle birth was impossible. He chose by his free will to partner with doubt and deceit, two principalities of darkness. Thus, giving the enemy an entry point to come in, snatch his voice, which was ordained to be a powerful witness of the Kingdom. He believed a lie even though my powerful angel stood before him speaking truth.”

“Stealing a believer’s voice is the goal of every demon. Your voice carries so much power to change everything in the world. But the devil tricks, swirls doubt, pain, and trauma to snuff out the realities that I offer. My children partner with deception even though they have My Word, the Holy Spirit and the testimonies of millions of believers who declare the reality of My power and love."

"Lynn, I’m so glad that you pray with My children and restore their voice.”

“I’m so glad too, Papa.”

“Lynn, but did you see what happened when Zachariah acted in faith and partnered with Me, with My son, Jesus, and with truth? The demonic stronghold was immediately broken, and Zechariah’s voice was restored. Read on!”

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. — Luke 1:61-66

“Meditate on this truth. Partner with Me no matter how impossible the circumstances. If I have decreed a thing. IT MUST HAPPEN!”

-----

Whoa, Gang!

Who knew the Christmas story could be this powerful.

This is the season of miracles and receiving gifts. Has the devil stolen your voice? Ask the Lord about your voice. Has it been silenced? Do you use your voice to bless and not curse?

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. — Colossians 4:6

For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. —Luke 6:45

Share your thoughts with me in the comments. Let me pray for you in the comments today. I love you Merry Christmas. AND, I can’t wait to discover more on our journey toward Bethlehem!


Advent - God of Surprises

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Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I sat chatting with my publisher. We’d only just met face to face for the first time and here we sat, an Englishman and an Aussie, having a cup of tea (as in hot) in a café in a Nashville hotel. We were attending a Christian Writers Conference, he prospecting for new content and I hoping he’d give me an update on my manuscript that I’d sent through to his employer three months previous.

Unfortunately, Tony knew nothing about my manuscript. He was now a contractor to the business and so wasn’t involved in the day-to-day. I thought we’d end up having a nice chat about nothing in particular until he quickly changed the subject with the question: “Have you thought of writing non-fiction?” (for those of you who don’t know I write fiction).

My heart jumped a little. I’d come to the conference having played around with an idea for a non-fiction project to discuss with some of my writing friends and one in particular, our very own Dineen Miller. But I didn’t plan on pitching it, as this was a fiction conference so I naively thought who’s going to be interested in non-fiction? Well, Tony was.

Not being prepared, I babbled out an idea and it was clear to both Tony and I that all I had was a general concept. He kindly agreed to my suggestion of sending him a proposal in the next month.

As soon as I finished with Tony I sought out Dineen and with much excitement shared what happened.

I’ve attended two of these conferences now and both times the Lord has surprised me.

Mary

We’re all familiar with the story in Luke 1. Last week we looked at Gabriel surprising Zechariah with the news of a baby. In verses 26-38, Gabriel appears a second time to a poor Galilean peasant girl. Most commentators believe Mary was 13 or 14 years old. It was relatively common in those times for girls of this age to be married and pregnant and I’ve always loved the innocence of Mary’s question to Gabriel: “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (v34 ESV)

This was only the first of a lifetime of surprises for Mary. God turned this girl’s life upside down in an instant.

Mary and Elizabeth

The surprises continue. And we’re still in Chapter 1. Mary’s now pregnant and she visits her cousin, Elizabeth who is now almost six months pregnant.

“and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit ”” (v40-42 ESV)

The babe inside Elizabeth, ie, John, leaped when Mary greeted Elizabeth. The spiritual electricity is hot. The baby senses the presence of the Messiah. And then Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit! Wow.

After this initial Holy Spirit-charged greeting, Mary, we’re told remained with Elizabeth for about three months. (v56) Here we have a 60-year-old woman, six months pregnant, with her fourteen-year-old cousin who was in her first trimester. Both women no doubt supported each other in very practical ways through their respective pregnancies. Just imagine some of their conversations! 

Can we presume Mary was present at the birth of John? Did she assist in the birth? Did she hear Zechariah speak his first words after being mute for nine months?

And then Mary went home. With a baby bump. Surprising her betrothed, their families and communities. I expect Mary would have been dreading that day of departure. 

How has God surprised you recently?

It didn’t take long for more surprises. Chapter 2 starts by telling us that the Romans are planning a census and everyone needed to go to their own towns to register. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem “the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David” (v4) only for Mary to soon go into labour then giving birth to Jesus in a barn because the inn was full due to the influx of people registering.

The Messiah! Born in a barn? Another surprise.

As we journey closer to Christmas, now only 14 days away, may we all be surprised by our Lord. May we all have expectant hearts as we keep our eyes on Him.

When was the last time the Lord surprised you? It would be lovely for us all to share in each other’s surprises by adding them in the comments. I trust this will fill us with even more hope as we wait upon the Lord in this season of Advent.

Grace and peace,


A Big Word for a Little Man

23765716_sDear friends, I've finished reading the book of Luke and have one final story to share. Again I thought this was two stories, two nuggets but the Holy Spirit impressed upon me the bigger picture AND how they are linked together to my previous post about the the Kingdom of God Within Us. I just love it when He helps us make those connections!  

This time the story begins with Zacchaeus. Is that Sunday School song going through your head?

​He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 

So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 

And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” — Luke 19:1-10 EVS

This story has always fascinated me in how this "wee little man" had such a dramatic turn of heart. No doubt, the Holy Spirit was already at work, but I found a little more to this story in that one word Jesus uses.

Must. Jesus says He "must" stay at his house. I looked up the Greek meaning of this word and was astounded by the force behind it:

dei — behoved, be meet, must (needs), (be) need(-ful), ought, should, must, ought, it is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right and proper, necessity lying in the nature of the case, necessity brought on by circumstances or by the conduct of others toward us, necessity in reference to what is required to attain some end, a necessity of law. 

But this last part especially grabbed me:

necessity established by the counsel and decree of God, especially by that purpose of his which relates to the salvation of men by the intervention of Christ and which is disclosed in the Old Testament prophecies concerning what Christ was destined finally to undergo, his sufferings, death, resurrection, ascension.

After looking this word up, I understood how Zacchaeus had such a stunning and powerful transformation! This one power-packed word spoke to Zacchaeus the heart of his Savior and literally holds the promise and power of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

God's Word is powerful. It is life. Our own Joanne has been sharing this very message with us frequently in the comments, and I have a little more I want to share along these lines. We so often discount how powerful our words can be, to encourage and give life, because we think we don't have something to say, or we don't know what to say. 

Guess what? You don't have to have the words, because the One who lives in you does. Take a look at what Jesus said:

And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” — Luke 12:11-12 ESV

This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. — Luke 21:13-15 ESV

My friends, as we carry the kingdom of God within us, it makes perfect sense that the Holy Spirit will give us words of life to speak in any and every situation, whether in witnessing to a stranger or sharing our heart with our pre-believer. We can apply and expect this in every situation we encounter.

And I have a feeling you are doing this more than you realize as well. Those nudges to speak and act that we know are from the Holy Spirit are "living proof" of the Holy Spirit's presence and the fulfillment of Jesus' promise to us. Living in this understanding and awareness will open our eyes and heart to hear more and more.

Zacchaeus' big word is a powerful example of the Holy Spirit's presence in words. Pray for discernment snd believe that He's there and will teach you when and what to speak. I’m always amazed when the Holy Spirit does this. And don't be surprised if those words you wind up speaking come back to speak to your heart as well. Your faith and trust will grow too!

I love you, my friends, and I love walking this amazing faith journey with you!
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Weary From Long-Term Issues

There is enormous insight in a well know passage in the book of Luke. If you have issues. If you are weary. If you are wondering where your breakthrough is... THIS VIDEO LOG is for you. 

I love you my friends. Have a great week. Lynn

 

 

A Woman With An Issue of Blood by: Lynn Donovan from Spiritually Unequal Marriage on Vimeo.

this is a profound story within a story from the book of Luke. Chapter Eight. Join me for several profound insights you may have missed.