Hey MVBC students! We are jumping into the Gospel of Luke as a group. Every week we will have 3 devotionals that can be found here! There will also be discussion questions and a video weekly. We pray that this helps build a routine of bible and prayer time, plus building a community of faith. Whethe
Week 6 - Devotional 2
“Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean” Luke 5:12-16 Throughout the Bible when people come to God in faith and repentance God makes things happen. When Abraham intercedes for the city of Sodom God saves the one. When the Israelites cry out in slavery in Egypt God parts the red sea. When Joshua asked God for the sun to stand still, God made it happen. Today as a man with leprosy approaches Jesus, he knows Jesus has the power to heal him. The man says, “if you are willing, you can make me clean”. The man understood the great power of Jesus. He is not asking if you can, but if you are willing. When we come before the throne of God in prayer, do we understand the great power of God? God can make anything happen, that is within his will. Check the statement, if you are willing. So, today take some time to reflect on how big God is, how capable God is of anything. Thank him for salvation and the ability to approach the throne in prayer; it is a miracle in itself. Then, take your concerns to God in prayer, not asking if God’s power can make something happen, but if you are willing Lord you can make anything happen.
Week 6 - Devotional 1
Are you following? Luke 5:1-11 Luke 5:11 • “So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” In Luke’s gospel Simon already knows Jesus. Jesus healed his mother-in-law in Luke 4:38-39. In verse 5 we can see that Simon has great respect for Jesus. When asked to put his boat back out into water after fishing all night, to no avail, Simon begins with “Master” and ends his statement with “because you say so.” At this point Simon was not following Jesus. He knew who he was and even addressed him as master, yet he was not actively following Jesus. I think many of us in church find ourselves here. We know who Jesus is. We address Him as Lord. We may even do some awesome tasks for him from time to time, like putting out the boat for this miraculous catch. Yet, in our day-to-day lives, we do not leave everything to follow Jesus. After this moment, Simon was with Jesus every day for the next couple of years, and then the Holy Spirit after Jesus went to heaven. Today I pray you know Jesus as Lord. However, more than that I pray you learn to follow him daily. This means reading scripture like Luke 5:1-11, praying, listening in prayer, and doing whatever Jesus prompts you to do. Today, take a moment to talk to God about how well you are following Jesus.
Week 5 - Devotional 2
Get up and serve Luke 4:38-44 Luke 4:39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. A couple weeks ago we talked about the fruit we bear as believers. People can see the work of Jesus in our hearts as we interact with others. Simon’s mother in-law is healed in our story today and she immediately begins to serve Jesus. Serving is simply the natural overflow from being with Jesus and seeing everything He has done for you. It is not a duty we have to serve, but an opportunity. We get to join Jesus in His work of loving all people and building God’s kingdom on Earth. Have you committed to following Jesus? If so, how are you serving? Are you being patient with your siblings, willing to play with them? Are you volunteering to do the dishes? Are you looking for ways to serve the community around you? Are you checking in on friends you have not seen? Are you calling your grandparents? Today pray about how Jesus is working in your heart and how he is calling you to serve.
Week 5 - Devotional 1
Call It Out Luke 4:31-37 Luke 4:36 • All the people were amazed and said to each other, “what words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” Are there pieces of your life that you know are not of God? In our story today, a man comes before Jesus possessed by a demon. Jesus casts it out and everyone is amazed. They are awed at Jesus authority and power. That demon was not of God and Jesus casted it out of that man’s life. For us we may not think in terms of demons, but they exist. We can be consumed with all sorts of things that keep us from God. They may not look like the cartoon version of the devil, but they still keep us from being fully present with God. Perhaps its anger, lust, pride, distraction, addiction, and the list could go on. The world is broken. Sometimes that brokenness hits us hard and takes us away from the presence of the one who can fix it. Today talk to God about what keeps you away from him. Put yourself in the story and ask God to call out things in your heart, like Jesus calls out the demon.
Week 4 - Devotional 2
What are you expecting from Jesus? Luke 4:14-30 Luke 4:29- They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill of which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. In our story, Israel has been occupied for hundreds of years and are waiting for the anointed one. They are hoping to return to the glory days of David, a kingdom of their own making. Jesus says I am the anointed one, but I am not coming to do what you think. The town of Nazareth then tries to throw him off a cliff! Crazy right?! Throw Jesus off a cliff! However, have you ever been angry with God because something didn’t work out the way you wanted it to? You may not have thrown Jesus off a cliff, but did you take a break from talking to him? Jesus comes to bring an abundant life when He steps into our life, but sometimes that abundant life looks differently than we could ever dream. Do you have faith enough to let Jesus decide what is good? Are we coming to Jesus for relationship with God, or for the things he can give us? Take some time today to talk about these questions with God in prayer.
Week 4 - Devotional 1
This is how I fight my battles. Luke 4:1-13 Luke 4:8- Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘worship the Lord your God and serve him only’.” Last week we ended with the huge celebration of Jesus’ baptism. This week we begin with his temptation. We can learn from how Jesus resists temptation and turns away the devil. In verses 4, 8, and 12 Jesus uses scriptures to turn the devil away. How do we act when tempted? Do we fold to anger? Do we give in to our appetites? Do we succumb to peer pressure? Or do we pause, remember who God is calling us to be and resist. However, Jesus not only resists but quotes scripture, the sword of our spiritual armor to do so. Memorizing scripture isn’t simply to have it in your head, but to fight battles like Jesus. This week take some time to memorize a scripture. Perhaps Deuteronomy 6:13 like Jesus quotes or some of the scriptures listed below. Therefore, when the time comes to resist whatever the devil may tempt you with, you will be ready. Proverbs 3:5-6 Romans 8:28 Joshua 1:9 2 Corinthians 5:17
Week 3 - Devotional 3
Luke 3:21-38 Jesus’ baptism is a wild scene. Heaven opens up while he was praying. The Holy Spirit descends like a dove upon him. A voice (I assume its loud and booming) comes from heaven saying “you are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Can you imagine seeing a baptism like this? It would be so cool. However, when you accept Jesus into your heart the same thing takes place. The Holy Spirit fills your heart and you become a child of God: loved, claimed, and pleasing to God. Today reflect on your relationship with Jesus. Have you had a moment of surrender and baptism like Jesus? Is it something you are still working towards? I pray you feel the peace and joy of becoming a child of God like Jesus did in this story, and if you need to talk about it please message Matt or a student leader.
Week 3 - Devotional 2
Luke 3:1-20 John comes onto the scene again asking people to come back to God because they have walked away from following him closely. He even calls out people that are coming to be baptized saying they weren’t living out the life they should. Their fruit is how John says we can tell whether they are following God closely or not. You may ask “what is fruit in my life, like berries?” well, sort of. As we dive in we can see that fruit is our actions, how others see and perceive us. You may think of Paul’s fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (I hope you sang that). Do people see all of these things in you? Not simply because you try hard, but because God’s spirit is flowing out from you. We find these fruit by spending time with Jesus in scripture and prayer.
Week 3 - Devotional 1
Luke 2:41-52 Jesus is 12 years old in this story. His parents accidently leave him in Jerusalem and when they find him three days later where is he? Jesus is sitting in the temple courts asking questions of the teachers. These are the people who would have spent their whole lives studying the scriptures and they were amazed at the insight and questions of Jesus. You may of say “well of course, he is Jesus.” That is a valid and honest answer. However, Jesus leads the way for us. No matter your age, you can start getting serious about your faith. Dig in to scripture. Ask questions. This is not simply so your small group leader, Sunday school teacher, or pastor will be amazed. Dive in so you develop a deep and life giving relationship with Jesus that will lead you on an adventure through life. If you need those people to ask questions too please never hesitate to ask one of your leaders or pastors; they would love to talk with you about whatever question you have.
Week 2 - Devotional 3
Luke 2:21-40 However you serve: In Luke 2:19 we watch Mary store up all of these miraculous happenings in here heart. Here in today’s scripture we see Mary and Joseph being faithful to what God required of His people in Leviticus. We hear Simeon praising God with poetry and praying over Joseph and Mary. Then we see Anna, a prophetess, praising God for Jesus and going to tell everyone about Him. Some are outspoken and some are quieter. The neat thing is they are all seeing God work and responding in their own way. Today take some time to think about God. Maybe you can journal a prayer, or write a psalm in your own words, or sing worship music, or get on your knees and pray, or bake cookies for a neighbor, or get a bunch of friends together. However, you can think about God today and show others who He is…do that.
Week 2 - Devotional 2
Luke 2:1-20 Let’s Go: When we read today, watch how the shepherds in the field respond. They are terrified. When God shows up or speaks it can be scary. God may ask us to do big things, or small things. Yet, imagine if the shepherds had just sat in the field. In a couple years they may have talked about a weird time where something odd happened. Instead, they get to praise God and tell others of an incredible story where they met baby Jesus. When God asks you to move, or invites you into building his kingdom, what do you do? This may not be moving to the mission field, but could easily be to move across the room to say hi to someone who looks lonely. Not as intimidating as angels and traveling miles to a manger, but challenging in its own way. If we watch the shepherds our response should be “Let’s Go.” Today, pray about where God may be calling you to go.