March 22, 2017
What makes the gospel of Luke unique? Unlike Matthew and John, Luke was not an eyewitness to Jesus’s life, yet Luke’s account is very reliable. It is carefully researched. Look at Luke 1:1-4. “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”
March 21, 2017
Do you know who wrote the majority of the New Testament? When you put the gospel of Luke and its companion book, Acts, together, they comprise 28 percent of the New Testament. Luke wrote more than anyone, including the apostle Paul. He was the only Gentile writer of the New Testament. Now, if you wrote most of the New Testament, wouldn’t you want everybody to know? You’d put your name on the book in big letters.
March 20, 2017
One writer describes the impact of Jesus Christ on the world this way: “Along with two thieves, Jesus was executed by the authorities about 2,000 years ago. Yet today, from countless paintings, statues, and buildings, from literature and history, from personality and institution, from profanity, popular songs, and entertainment media, from confession and controversy, from legend and ritual
March 17, 2017
A positive purpose has the power to give us joy in an uncertain future. Look at Philippians 1:19-21: “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
March 16, 2017
A positive purpose has the power to give you joy in the face of unfair criticism. When your purpose in life is God-centered, you’ll be amazed at how little you care about what other people think about you. And that was true of Paul. Paul knew some people were preaching Christ like they never had before. But Paul was a realist too. He realized some people were preaching Christ not from the purist of motives. Look at Philippians 1:15–17: “Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.”
March 15, 2017
How did Paul’s imprisonment clear the way for the gospel to advance? He tells us two ways. First of all, Paul’s imprisonment gave him contact with unbelievers. Now, if your life purpose is to make Christ known to others, you want to be in contact with unbelievers, don’t you? Paul’s imprisonment allowed him to do that. Look at Philippians 1:13: “My imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else.”
March 14, 2017
When the Christians at Philippi got word that Paul was imprisoned in Rome, they became very distressed at his situation. When Paul heard about the Philippians’ distress, he became distressed at their distress. So what did he do? He wrote them a letter of encouragement. He assured them, “Don’t worry about me. All of this is working for good because it’s helping me achieve my purpose in life.” Paul was a man who understood the power of a positive purpose. And he had the same purpose in life that you and I have--to glorify God.
March 13, 2017
In his book “Laugh Again,” Chuck Swindoll retells the short story by G.W. Target entitled “The Window.” Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their service in the military, where they had spent their vacations.