Tag Archives: Luke 11

More Than A Story: Persistence

More Than A Story: Persistence

[Friend at Midnight: Luke 11:5-13 / Persistent Widow: Luke 18:1-8]

“Prayer is not an exercise. It is the life of the saint.” – Oswald Chambers

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17“Rejoice always; pray continually.” [NIV]

Pray without ceasing, pray constantly, never stop praying, continually be prayerful

     UnceasinglyAdialeiptós (ad-ee-al-ipe’-toce) – unceasingly, without remission, without intermission

Philippians 4:6“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” [NLT]

     Everythingpas (pas) – all, the whole, every kind of, each / every part that applies

Luke 11:8“I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” [NASB]

     ShamelessnessAnaideia (an-ah’-ee-die-ah’) – shameless persistence, no shame, unembarrassed boldness, without embarrassment, shameless audacity, impudence, importunity, sheer persistence, refusal to take a denial – used only in Luke 11:8

   “stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors” [MSG]

Luke 18:5Yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.” [HCSB]

Constant requests, continually coming, keep coming, constantly coming, unending pleas

     Beaten black-and-blue by her pounding [MSG]

“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”
– Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God)

BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS

More Than A Story: Persistence

[Friend at Midnight: Luke 11:5-13 / Persistent Widow: Luke 18:1-8]

1) In the parable of the Friend at Midnight, the friend in need knocked and his friend answered, “Do not bother me…”

                What were his excuses?

                How is this different from how God responds to us?

                Has there ever been a time when you felt like you were bothering God? Why?

2) In Luke 11:9, the Bible says—ASK and it will be given, SEEK and you will find, KNOCK and it will be opened.

                What does this mean to you? What does this say about prayer?

                 How can we apply this to our lives?

3) Luke 18:7-8 says, “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

               What does this mean?

               How does it involve you? What can you do to take steps in the right direction? What does this look like?

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused

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Opportunity

The Apostle Paul wrote that he prayed for the opportunity to visit. So many of us fail to pray daily, and many others pray the same prayers day after day. It is fine to be persistent with prayer. Luke 11 is a great example of persistent prayer.

Have you ever prayed for opportunity? I’m not referring to a new job opportunity or a new housing option. Have you prayed for the opportunity for God to use you to answer a prayer? There are times when we pray for a struggling friend. We may pray for healing, for encouragement, for comfort. Do we pray for God to use us to accomplish His will with the situation? Do we pray for the opportunity?

Prayer shouldn’t be packed full of what we want God to do in our lives. Much of prayer is God working through us. Pray for opportunity. Pray to be used. But I warn you—it’s a very dangerous type of prayer. When you pray to be used, you will be used. When you pray for the opportunity, you will not lack that open door to step through and be the hands and feet of God.

“One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you.” – Romans 1:10 [NLT]

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How Many People Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

How many people does it take to change a light bulb? Many people have heard this question asked as part of a joke. This morning I entered the kitchen and realized that it was a bit darker than usual. I looked to where the light usually comes from and noticed that there was a bulb in some cylindrical thing and it was out. I had no clue how to change this bulb or even where I could purchase a replacement bulb. Two months ago, I did not even know that under-the-cabinet lights existed.

It took me quite some time to remove the old bulb. Then I went over to my laptop and started to search for the numbers I found on the bulb. I got a lot of information, but I had to sift through things to make sure it was the correct information. Then it was off to the store and I was so confused when I found all of the different types of bulbs in the lighting supply aisle. There were so many bulbs that looked like the exact same bulb. I had to take the old bulb out and make comparisons. I had to read paperwork. I had to take my time to make the right choice. When I got to the cash register, I told the cashier that I was so nervous to install the bulbs. She could tell that I was in need of a confidence boost and she let me know that I would get the job done, and she even gave me some pointers. She was right!

We are often faced with situations that are new, things that are more grueling and more important than a simple light bulb. We are called to do things that are challenging. We are given work that seems nearly impossible. Some situations overwhelm us if we let them.

What do you do when you have your own light bulb to change? Your light bulb could be anything. You do the same thing you do with anything that comes your way in life.

Things to remember:

* Do not hide from the situation.
Hiding from the situation will not make it go away. Remember that you are a child of God (Galatians 3:26). God can do more than you ever could imagine (Ephesians 3:20). If God is for you, what can be against you? (Romans 8:31). Many times, you will find that the situation is a great test of faith which can result in spiritual growth that will help you to one day be complete (James 1:2-4).

* Take it one step at a time. There is usually no need to rush a situation. When Jesus was ministering on earth, notice that He wasn’t rushing around healing and feeding. He took steps. He took time. He left us an example of great patience and self-control. If we practice this behaviors, we are more likely to be successful. Remember that “the steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23 NASB).

* Prepare yourself. Do the research. Read. Learn. Grow. Even when I was changing the light bulb, God’s Word was in my head and heart. Spending time in His Word helps to provide us with what we need when we are facing tough situations. Seek Him for guidance. His Word provides instruction and encouragement (Romans 15:4).

* Do not be afraid to ask for help. Don’t let your pride get in the way. God wants us to be part of a community. We each have our own part to play. We each have different talents, different specialties. We are all given the command to love one another. Sometimes we do the giving, sometimes we do the receiving. We should always seek help from Him. But remember, there are times that we need to ask others for some assistance. People do not always know what is going on in your life and they cannot read your mind. Luke 11 gives us instruction on how to pray as it also tells us of a friend who helps another. The friend is knocking on the door and announcing the need. Sometimes we are the helping friend, sometimes we are the knocking friend.

* Surround yourself with positive people. Positive people will be encouraging. Positive people share, love, and can see the good in things. Proverbs 11:9 states, “With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor.” Words are powerful and if you are surrounded by negative people, in time it will start to become your way of life. Proverbs 17:22 says that “a joyful heart is good medicine” (NASB). When you are facing tough situations, it is wonderful to have some “good medicine” from some positive people.

Finally, show yourself some grace. God thinks you are worth it!

The Power of Prayer

Children are a great part of our future. I read a story I want to share with you. It is actually about a professor who is at Southwestern Seminary. When he was 5 years old, his family was not well off. They barely had the money to make it and he didn’t have any shoes. His mother thought it was very important to pray– she understood the value of prayer.

When she sent her son to the store, she gave him the grocery list. HE didn’t have shoes to wear on his feet to go to the store. His mother said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have the money to buy you shoes.” She told him that they should pray to God and ask Him to provide and He will provide, and so they prayed.

He went to the store and handed the man behind the counter the grocery list. The man looked at the list and then looked at the boy’s feet. He asked the boy why he didn’t have any shoes on his feet and the boy told him that they did not have the money for shoes.

The grocer packed up the list of groceries, wrote a note, and stuck everything into a bag. The boy proceeded home and gave his mother the groceries. When his mother was going through the items, she noticed the note that the man left, along with money for her to purchase the boy a pair of shoes.

Luke 11:9-10 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”

There is great power in prayer. As James wrote, “an effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” Never doubt for a moment if God can hear your prayers or not. He hears each one of them and He answers each one of them.

As this little boy found out, God heard him and his mother praying for those shoes and God provided. This story shows the importance not only of sharing the power of prayer with young ones around us, but also in remembering the great power that prayer can have in our lives.

Walking By Faith

We don’t know where the future will take us. We can merely speculate what may or may not happen, and we can make an educated guess that turns out correct from time to time. But for the most part, we must walk in faith. Some people do not believe. Some people do not know God. Some try to control their lives, and believe they have got it all figured out.

This past week my Bible study group discussed the feeding of five thousand. Most are familiar with this event, and it is one of the few events that appears in all four of the Gospels. When all of the people stood before Jesus and His disciples, He told the disciples to feed the people. After seeing so many miracles and healings before this event, the disciples didn’t think of anything except how THEY could get the food for the multitudes. This was not just five thousand people– this number was the men; women and children increased this number. Some believe that there was close to 15,000 people involved in this memorable event. But what did the disciples look to when seeking a way to feed this large group? They immediately thought of the cost, the cost of food to feed so many. They tried to figure out how to get the money to feed the people.

Are there times in our lives when we come across a problem, and we look for our own solution? Are there times when perhaps we try to figure out how WE can solve a problem, rather than taking it to God? Perhaps we like to think we are doing a good thing by solving our own problems. Or maybe we think that the issue is so small, so why bother God with it– we will hold out for a bigger issue. The problem is that God wants to be a part of our lives. He has a great interest in EACH one of our lives. He doesn’t care how small or how large the issue. He wants to be involved. He is always there, ready for us to ask, ready for us to talk. He listens 24/7, wherever we are, and there are no cell phone overages and no waiting to say our piece.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Luke 11:9-10 [NIV]

“Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” – Galatians 2:16 [NIV]