Tag Archives: 24 Day Devotional

Publicly Pious, Privately Perverse

The Gospel of Luke Devotional

  • Day 3 Luke Chapter 3
  • Bible Reading: Luke 3:1-38
  • Focus Scripture: Luke 3:3 “And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;

Social media is messy. Some of the platforms can really get us into trouble. Who our friends are, what their profile pictures advertise, and how much we interact with other men and women may have our significant others, family members, or friends questioning our character. In some cases, social media is the next level of “party all night, Bible study in the morning” culture. Being online we think we are hidden under a veil of privacy because our devices and accounts are password protected. No one has to know we are snap chatting with an ex, browsing nude photos, gambling away our savings, or binge-watching reality shows. We can even snuggle up with our loved ones while downloading wickedness and perversion. But some of these platforms will tell the sordid history of our deeds. Did you know that with a few clicks anyone can view what you’ve viewed, subscribed to, and commented on?…


John the forerunner of Christ came to preach the two sides of repentance 1. to turn away from sin and 2. turn toward God. (Luke 3:3) John called out the corrupt religious leaders referring to them as “a brood of vipers.”(Luke 3:7) They were outwardly appearing holy but inwardly they were sinful and did not want to truly follow God’s command. (Matthew 23:1-7) They wore their fine robes, enjoyed a celebrity status, sat with high-ranking politicians and leaders. They rested on the fact that they were descendants of Abraham, earning them a place in eternity simply because of their ancestry. (John 8:33) John was a stark contrast to these refined teachers. (Matthew 3:4) His clothing was something straight out of the wilderness, his diet was odd, and his message made people uncomfortable.

What we ‘like’ or lust over is a choice. We usually aren’t suspicious of the wealthy, well dressed, successful, alluring people in life and rarely question their motives. We imitate them and support whatever business venture or idea they’re selling. We are turned off by people who push us to become morally righteous because we don’t like the way the lesson is ‘packaged’. The truth is we think we can hide behind our online personas, our excuses, our busyness, and our emotions as if God can not see through it all. (Hebrews 4:13) The more we try to conform to this world the less like God we will be. During John’s ministry, he called sinners to repent; that message is also for us. When we repent we should regret what we have done, the forgiveness we receive will help us to lead a changed life, turning towards God.

~ Torrie


Discussion Questions:

  1. What areas do you lack restraint?
  2. What are you constantly apologizing for but have not turned away from doing?
  3. How did God reveal Himself to you in this chapter?

 

A Few Points:

  1. Luke clearly defines both the secular political leadership and the religious leadership showing how God is in control of both physical and spiritual realms. Luke 3:1-2
  2. John son of Zacharias begins his ministry quoting from the prophet Isaiah telling us that all obstacles must be removed in order for the Kingdom of God to spread. Luke 3:3-6
  3. John warns the religious leaders to stop blindly leading God’s people astray. God and religion were not something that was inherited. Luke 3:7-9
  4. The crowds questioned what they should do in order to be saved? Luke 3:10-14
  5. John points toward Christ as the who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. Luke 3:15-18
  6. The Holy Trinity! The heavens open, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus and a voice came out of heaven. Luke 3:21-22
  7. John is imprisoned for pointing out Herod the Tetrarch’s (Governor) sins. Luke 3:19-20
  8. Jesus’s ministry begins and His ancestry traced through Joseph with God being the end and the beginning. Luke 3:23-38

 

 

 

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com, 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amber Alert: Jesus is Missing!

The Gospel of Luke Devotional

  • Day 2 Luke Chapter 2
  • Bible Reading– Luke 2:1-52
  • Focus Scripture: Luke 2:48-50: When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for you. And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them.

I’m looking for Jesus…have you seen Him!!?!” I can imagine the panic that swept over Mary when she realized that Jesus was not with the caravan. She and Joseph frantically running from relative to relative, person to person, asking and searching for Him. Anxious worry rising up over the entire campsite. Where could Jesus be!? After searching long and hard they began to retrace their steps journeying back to Jerusalem. I’m sure close relatives went along combing through the well-traveled route calling out, Jesus! Jesus! Where are you? What if He had been hurt and couldn’t cry out because of an injury or worse someone had taken Him? All of those fears, along with guilt and shame for “losing” their twelve-year-old son likely swept through Mary’s mind as she considered the worst possible outcomes. I envision the other mothers trying to calm Mary telling her, Jesus: was a special child; old enough to fend for Himself, and at any moment they would see Him walking towards them. Finally, they reached the very grounds they departed from three days ago. (Luke 2:46) Exhausted from searching and frazzled from lack of sleep, Mary’s eyes fell upon Jesus. There He sat questioning and listening in the Temple. Perfectly fine, fulfilling His purpose…(Luke 2:49)


The major school field trips I’ve had the pleasure to chaperone used the “buddy system”. This was one of the best accountability methods, especially when traveling in a large city. Pairs of students were responsible for each other’s whereabouts. But what if your “buddy” is God the Father? What Jesus had done was show Himself as part of the Holy Triune God. He was found teaching and listening (Luke 2:47); in fellowship with other believers. If we look at this from a different perspective had Mary and Joseph left God?… They had celebrated the Feast of the Passover as a ritual for the week and were going back to their regular schedules. They did not understand why Jesus had stayed or why He answered them the way He had. But Mary pondered it, just as she had when the angel Gabriel called her favored one. (Luke 1:28)

We often leave God when we dismiss Him because we think we’ve given enough tithe, time, and praise at church or during midweek Bible Study. We go about our daily activities until something happens to jar our memories. If we leave Jesus we can simply and sincerely call on His name. His Holy Spirit is our guide and will give us the peace and clarity we need when we acknowledge we’ve tried to move ahead without Him. If you’ve searched and felt like something is absent ask yourself, “is Jesus missing from my life?”

~Torrie


Discusion Questions:

  1. When was the last time you misplaced something only to find it exactly where you left it?
  2. What are you waiting and praying for?
  3.  How did Jesus reveal Himself to you in this chapter?

A Few Points:

  1. Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem to be included in the census. Luke 2:1-5
  2. Mary gives birth to Jesus. Luke 2:6-7
  3. The shepherds are told by the Angel of God that the Savior had been born. The shepherds visit Christ praising and glorifying God. Luke 2:8-20
  4. Mary and Joseph have Jesus dedicated at the Temple by Simeon. Simeon also blesses them. Luke 2:21-33
  5. Anna the prophetess spreads the news of the Messiah. Luke 2:36-38
  6. Jesus astounded the religious teachers with His depth of wisdom. Luke 2:46-47
  7. Mary and Joseph are dismayed by “losing” Jesus and search for Him. Luke 2:48-50
© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Save the Turtles, Silence the Gnats

 

Introduction to 24 Day Devotional ‹  (Clicking this video link will redirect you to YouTube)

Welcome Friends! This marks the beginning of a 24 day devotional, studying the Gospel of Luke. I hope we will engage with each other through prayer, testimonials, and encouragement. Thank you for taking this journey with me.                                                          ~Torrie


Day One Bible Reading: Luke 1:1-80

Focus Scripture– Luke 1:20  “And behold, you will be silent and not able to speak until the day these things take place because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”

This morning I saved a turtle’s life. No, I didn’t give it mouth to mouth but I saw it on the road, picked it up, and placed it in a safer area. He looked back at me and I felt his gratitude. With a smile on my face and warmth in my heart, I walked away… SMACK!!! I killed the gnat that was flying around my face. Yep, I saved the turtle and “silenced” the gnat. Why??? Well, the obvious reason; gnats get into places they shouldn’t!! Buzzing around eyes and ears, they are annoying little… buzzers. GASP!! I shocked myself with my thoughts. I reacted with compassion for the turtle and annoyance to the gnat. (Something I could control, versus what I could not.) We don’t always understand the bigger picture; so we question it and may react poorly. I recognized my need to be mindful of my impulses and even though it was a gnat it showed me how quick emotions change.

Luke 1:13-17 The angel Gabriel came to give Zacharias good news. His prayers being were answered! Not only was he going to have a son but this child would grow up and announce the coming of the long-awaited Savior of the world. But, Zacharias smacked down this wonderful news with his questions and doubts. Through the angel Gabriel, God responded to Zacharias by silencing him. Zacharias’ posture was in need of change, he needed to slow down. God’s divine timing was at hand and Zacharias was unaware of the glorious miracle that was about to take place.

Have you ever worked with an architect, event designer, or watched a conductor direct a group of singers or musicians? One of their talents is seeing and understanding the completed picture. The coördinator assigns duties to his colleagues, as part of the process. If we doubt or question the assignment we may find ourselves demoted to looking for a specific shade of paled turquoise tile, balloons, or bow ties instead of interacting with the main group. The “busy work” given to us, because of our doubt, could usher in a time of self-reflection. We could grow more trusting to those in charge and/or those entrusted by the Master Coordinator, God.

Zacharias’ words demoted him. He was part of an intricately woven master plan but questioned the authority and ability of God. He was unable to celebrate until John was born. His season of reflection made the wonder of this miraculous event even more powerful and historic. God’s arrival in human form was something to behold, a prophecy fulfilled. But He had to work around His created humans…He often has to work around us. 

Whether we meet turtles crossing the road or gnats that fly around us, we are responsible for what we feel, say, or do. Will we react in understanding, doubt, or annoyance? Let’s be careful not to quickly dismiss or smack down the events in our lives simply because we can not see the immediate usefulness. God’s plan defines us, we all serve a purpose in His WILL being done. How much involvement we have may depend on God being able to trust us.

~ Torrie


 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What am I idly praying for?
  2. Am I living out my purpose in God’s plan or have I given myself “busy” work?
  3. Has God rendered me silent in an area I wanted to celebrate because I doubted Him?

A Few Points:

  1. Luke introduces himself and gives an explanation for writing his Gospel. Luke 1:1-4
  2. Zacharias and Elizabeth are ready for retirement and had been praying for a child of their own. Luke 1:5-10
  3. Zacharias offers prayer in the temple and is visited by the angel Gabriel. Luke 1:11-12
  4. Zacharias doubts the validity of God’s answer to his long cried for prayer and as a result struck silent. Luke 1:18-20
  5. Mary is visited by the same angel Gabriel and told she will be the one to bring Christ into this world. Luke 1:26-38
  6. Joseph threatens to leave Mary, but is stopped by God. Matthew 1:18-25
  7. Mary visits Elizabeth and enjoys meaningful fellowship with her relative. Luke 1:39-56
  8. Elizabeth gives birth to John and Zacharias is able to speak. Luke 1:57-64

 

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.