What I read: Luke 11
Observations: Verse 29 stood out to me as I read. “When the crowds were increasing…” Jesus seems to almost work to push them away. He never seems overly impressed by the size of the crowds that are following him, and when the crowds increase he says stuff designed to almost offend them. Later in the passage when one of the teachers of law tells Jesus he is offended by what Jesus has said about the Pharisees it seems like Jesus goes out of his way to MAKE SURE he is offended by directly addressing the lawyers in the crowd.
Application: The opening section on prayer is very convicting to me. I don’t often pray the way Jesus describes here – in a persistent, and faith-filled way that God will come through in whatever area I have a need. Jesus talks about this kind of praying that is continually asking, seeking, and knocking, and I tend to be more like the “ask once, seek once, or knock once” kind of person. Sometimes I think it’s out of the unwillingness to be annoying, but really, if I’m honest it’s probably pure laziness. I just give up too easily. So my application today is to pray more persistently about those things that are closest to my heart, rather than giving up on it quite so quickly.
Prayer: Jesus, I suppose this is an immediate opportunity to put into practice that application. Above all the thing I want most deeply is to be shaped into the man that you want me to be. I want to keep putting off those things that hinder my growth with you, and keep working into my life those things that awaken my love for you. I want to be the kind of man that inspires others to love you not just by what I say, but by how I live my life. I want to be a husband and father that reflects the character of Jesus. I want to love my wife like you love the church, and give myself for her, and more often I find myself trying to figure out how she can do things for me. I want to love my children and lead them into the place where they relate to you out of joy rather than obligation, but more often I feel like I settle for allowing myself to just get them to do what they’re supposed to do rather than helping them genuinely fall in love with you. And I want to be the pastor that you want me to be. When I think about it I’m humbled that you allow me to serve the church this way, and I want to do it well because your church is worth everything I could possibly give to help her become the beautiful bride you have prepared for yourself. Help me to BE those things that you want me to BE.