Suggested reading for week of January 2nd
Happy New Year Project Ezra! It has been wonderful sharing this ministry with all of you, and I hope you are excited, as I am, for a new year of public scripture reading. I will be sending out our reading schedule in the next few days, which will give the weekly reading lists through 2010, as well as the special holiday readings and large events, such as The True Gift of Christmas. We love having as many of you as possible participating weekly, but I know some of you have not been able to. If you have or plan to participate less frequently, the list may be helpful. Try going through the year and picking a set of dates you can commit to. Consider the larger events in particular, since many are planned around days that will involve either more people out in public (such as July 4th) or the higher likelihood of people thinking about spiritual things (such as Halloween or Easter). And encourage others to join you, even if only to watch and pray. They may surprise you and end up reading.
This week’s suggested reading is Luke chapter 10. This chapter contains the parable of the Good Samaritan, which is a story and a concept that has become very well known in our culture, which makes it a good springboard and more likely to catch people’s attention. But there are a number of other excellent transitions in the chapter as well. The subject that seemed most prevalent to me was priority of devotion to Jesus Christ. In the Woes against the unrepentant cities, Jesus condemns the for rejecting him despite the mighty works he performed. In the story of Mary and Martha, Mary was commended as choosing the better task, devotion to Christ’s teaching first. And after the return of the seventy-two, Jesus reminded them not to rejoice from the power and authority entrusted to them, but to rejoice in their salvation.
I’m excited about this passage because it in many ways goes counter to my more standard gospel presentations. When I share the law with people to bring the conviction of sin, I tend to focus on the more easily tangible sins, such as theft, lying, lust, hatred, and the like. But the issues Jesus addressed here go primarily to the first two commandments, and I believe these are the most commonly broken commandments by far, and often lay the foundation for the breaking of the other commandments. If we don’t love and honor God as we should, or if we create a false image of God in our minds, one that is accepting of our sins, then the breaking of the rest of the commandments becomes much easier. I plan to try to transition from idolatry into the breaking of the other commandments. I think that may be a very effective tactic. If you try this method, please let me know how this goes for you as well.
Once again, Happy New Year, and may the Lord be glorified in your life and ministry in 2010!