Luke 22:48 A False Kiss

“But Jesus asked him, Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:48

Jesus and the disciples were in the garden. Jesus had just finished praying and was talking with the disciples. A large crowd comes up to them. Out of the crowd Judas walks up and kisses Jesus. This was the sign of who Judas was pointing out as the guilty one to be taken into custody.

Judas had been one of the disciples of Jesus. He had been a close follower of Jesus. Due to greed in his heart for money, he chose to hand Jesus over to the authorities that wanted to kill Him.

Right after the kiss, Jesus asked Judas if he was betraying Him with a false kiss. The question was never answered because both knew the answer. That answer was not a good one, because it was true that Jesus was betrayed with a kiss.

Kisses are supposed to be a way of showing love and care for someone. It is a sign of approval and acceptance. In this case it was none of those things, it was betrayal, condemning and false.

It is easy to look at Judas and get angry with him. How could he betray Jesus that way? Why would he do it?

As you question Judas, you must also look at your own life. How many times as a person gone to church, and while in church, bad-mouth someone else? Or had a bad thought about someone? Or “embellished” the truth to sound better?

Others will go to church, sing and pray out loud as though an enthusiastic believer, then go home to curse and watch bad things. In the workplace, some may have the prime opportunity to be a witness to someone else, and they decide to stay quiet and say nothing.

All of these things are kisses of betrayal. With one word a person states he believes in Jesus, in the next he betrays Jesus and cuts Him down.

What are you doing in your life? Are you really living for Jesus? Or are you betraying Him with false kisses?

Examine your life and pray to not fall into temptation. Stay focused so that you will not betray Jesus with a false kiss. Give Him your whole life.

I pray today that God will strengthen your walk with Him; that God will reveal ways you need to improve; that you will not betray Jesus; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Luke 22:40 Forgotten Prayer

“On reaching the place, he said to them, Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” Luke 22:40

The disciples and Jesus had just finished the last supper together. They went to the Mount of Olives. Jesus had told them that one of them would betray them and He would get crucified. Now was a time for prayer. He tells them to start praying to not fall into temptation.

Jesus knew the troubles the disciples would be facing over the next few days. He would be crucified and anyone who followed Him would be severely persecuted. They would have to face the decision of whether to continue to stand with Him, trusting Him when everything showed not to.

He would be dead. Would they trust that He would rise again or give in to the pressures to not follow Him anymore?

This is where the time for prayer comes in. In themselves, they would not have the strength to overcome the temptation to deny Him. They would need the strength of God’s Holy Spirit in them.

It is no different today. You will go through times of troubles in which you may doubt God or turn from Him into temptation. The devil and the world will seek ways to get you to sin against God.

Long before that time comes, you should be in prayer asking God for strength to escape the temptation to sin. God will always provide a way out, then you must be willing to take that step. You must be willing to flee from all temptation.

Seeking God for help before temptation comes gets your eyes on Him first. When your eyes and thoughts are focused on God, you will be able to flee from temptation. You will not fall into temptation. Do not allow yourself to fall asleep and not prayer.

Keep your eyes and thoughts focused on God today.

I pray today that God will give you strength to not fall into temptation; that you will keep your eyes on Jesus; that God will reveal ways to avoid temptation; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit; and that God will give you strength to flee all temptation.

Luke 22:31-32 A Major Shake Up

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

As Jesus is getting ready for His event with the cross, He gives some last words to the disciples. He makes the statement that Satan has requested to sift the disciples like sifting wheat. It appears that Satan has been given the permission to do so.

Sifting of wheat is a shaking to get rid of the chaff (shells) of the wheat. The chaff is worthless as a food and no one wants it. Satan is looking at the disciples and wants to shake them up and try to get rid of them.

In sifting wheat, the light chaff is blown away in the wind, while the heavier wheat falls back down to be used.

Although it is nearly 2,000 years later, Satan is still making the same request of believers today. There is, or will be, times that Satan is allowed to give you a sifting.

Everything that can go wrong will seem to go wrong. It will try to shake your belief in God. You may question if He is real. You may question if you are really a Christian.

Just like Simon Peter, you may fall and deny Jesus. Yet, you can, like Peter, get back up and serve God in a mighty way. Do not allow yourself to quit. Do not allow your faith in Jesus to fail.

Jesus already knows that there will be times when you will fail. He knows there will be times when you will deny Him. He is already praying for you for strength. Jesus wants you to get back up and strengthen others through your experience.

When you are going through the shaking, do not feel that you are a failure. It could be that it is just Satan trying to shake you up and destroy you. Look to God and remember His promises to you.

I pray today that your faith will not fail; that God will strengthen you in your times of shaking; that you will be able to strengthen others after the shaking; that you will continue to look to God and His promises; and that God will use you to build His kingdom daily.

Luke 21:19 Stand Firm

“Stand firm, and you will win life.” Luke 21:19

The disciples were looking at all the great looking buildings in Jerusalem and commenting on how great they looked. Jesus tells them that all the things they see will one day be destroyed. He then goes on to tell them some bad news. This news was that they will be persecuted. This persecution would even come from their own families. It would be because of Jesus that they will be persecuted. He continues with the fact that they will not be harmed, but they must stand firm.

As the days pass, the time of persecution is rising more and more. The world is taking a stronger stance against Christians each and every day. Satan is on the warpath. He knows his time is limited, so he is making every effort to stop believers from believing in Jesus.

Jesus said to stand firm. This is standing on what you know is the truth. Do not allow yourself to be persuaded of anything different. The persecution will get very rough. The times will be very tough. You must be willing to hold your ground.

Know that you know that Jesus is the One who is saving you and will return someday. Know the truth that Jesus preached and live it. Do not allow others to change those thoughts.

There are some people, when under persecution, give up. They feel that God has abandoned them and all is lost. Others will feel it is not worth the persecution and pain.

Life with Jesus in heaven will be perfect and for all eternity. There will be no sorrow, pain or suffering in heaven. The suffering and persecution of today is very small and short in light of all eternity.

Do not give up! In the end you will win the crown of life. That life will be for all eternity. What better prize could there be than that?

Each day be willing to be God’s witness and live for Him. God is on your side and you will win.

I pray today that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit; that God will strengthen you to follow Him; that you will stand firm in what you know to be true; that you will not allow anyone to deceive you; and that you will know God is by you and with you in all you go through.

Luke 20:46 Doing For Show

“Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.” Luke 20:46

Jesus gave out a warning of a group of people. These people would look very good and even sound very good, but were much different on the inside. They were the teachers of the law. These were the important, high level religious people of the temple in those days. The teachers of the law were being accused by Jesus of trying to make a great big show of themselves.

People can still be like that today. There are some people who will dress up in very nice suits or dresses when they go to church. While in a church service, these people will pray very beautiful and long prayers. They may even sit towards the front of the church.

Yet, at their home, they never pray or read the Bible and are doing very sinful things. They are rude to their family. They look down upon any person who is not “looking good” to them in the public places. They refuse to help those in need.

This type of people are doing things just for a show. They want to look good. They want to appear to be great Christian men and women. Yet, they are living a lie.

Jesus says to watch out for those people. They may speak a good word in the church service or Sunday School classroom, but their lives are not matching. Do not allow yourself to be deceived by them.

Along with not being deceived by them, you must also not be one of them. Why do you do the things that you do? Is it for a show? Are you doing things to look good to other people?

Everything you do must be done to bring God glory and praise. It must not be done to bring yourself praise. Live the life that Jesus did, because that is who God has made you. Don’t do it just to look like Jesus, to look good. Don’t look for the praise of the people. Remember, God looks at the heart, not just the outward actions.

I pray today that God will reveal your heart to you; that God will give you strength to change where needed; that you will not do things for a show; that you will not be deceived by others; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Luke 20:2 Questioning Authority

“Tell us by what authority you are doing these things, they said. Who gave you this authority?” Luke 20:2

While Jesus was teaching the people, various leaders came up to Him questioning Him. They wanted to know how He had the authority or right to speak as He did.

Jesus had been speaking like someone in control. He was not an elected official, nor did He have a titled position in the community.

This type of questioning has not stopped over the years. People in the world are questioning Christians all the time. Christians are accused of being very closed-minded. True Christians believe that Jesus is the only way to get into heaven. The world does not like that idea. That means that they are wrong in what they believe.

As believer take a stand against sinful lifestyles, many are questioning them on whose authority that they can make these statements. Often they will be accused of hating people because of their stand against sin.

In America, the government makes rules allowing all kinds of sinful lifestyles to be lived freely. Believers will often teach against these lifestyles. The world does not see, nor accept their authority. The authority of all believers comes from God Himself.

Jesus had a standard that was perfect and holy. Men must work at trying to live with that standard. No man will ever attain that level, except through Jesus. Despite not attaining, it the level must be aimed for. It must be taught.

You must be willing to stand on God’s Word for your authority. In yourself, you have no authority of any value, but in Jesus you are a leader in this world. The world will not want to recognize it, but it is still there.

Are you living up to the standard God has set? Are you telling others about that standard God has set? Do not allow the world to intimidate you into being quiet. You have God’s authority to teach His word to all the world. Some will accept it, while others will reject it. Do not let that deter you in any way.

I pray today that God will reveal His word to you; that God will give you His wisdom in what to say and when to say it; that you will know the authority God has given you; that you will speak in His love; and that you will be His witness.

Luke 19:47-48 Hanging Onto His Words

“Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.” Luke 19:47-48

Jesus had been teaching every day, everywhere He went. His teaching was not to just please everyone. The leaders of the people and the leaders in the temple did not like Jesus. His teachings tore apart their traditions and exposed their falsehood. They wanted to get rid of Him, but were unable to do so.

The teachings of Jesus, to this day, will still make some people upset. He taught that a sinful lifestyle will send a person to hell. Now, leaders are trying to say that it is a hate crime to speak out against a sinful lifestyle. It does not matter that a person may speak it in love for the person, it is still against the way of the world.

Many people want to get rid of Christianity. It makes them uncomfortable. It goes against their traditions and ways.

In this passage, the leaders could not get rid of Jesus because all of the people hung on to His words. They had believed Jesus and followed Him.

Today people will try to quiet Christians down and get rid of Jesus. Every believer must be willing to hold on to His words. You must proclaim the words of Jesus boldly and without fear.

As you speak the teachings of Jesus to others, you keep His words alive in this world. You spread His words and more people will believe in Him.

Satan and the world cannot get rid of Jesus when more and more people are following Him. Do not let the world scare you and force you to be quiet. Do not let the world get rid of Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life and the world needs to know it.

Hang on to the words of Jesus. Hide them in your heart…memorize them. Study them. Know them. Do not move away from them. This will keep Jesus alive in your life and in this world.

I pray today that you will hold on to the words of Jesus; that God will fill you with His boldness to proclaim His words; that God will remove all fear in your life; and that Jesus will be more real to you each day.