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Then Jesus told them a parable to show them they should always pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people. There was also a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but later on he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor have regard for people, yet because this widow keeps on bothering me, I will give her justice, or in the end she will wear me out by her unending pleas.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says! Won’t God give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay long to help them? I tell you, he will give them justice speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Today we have a story of a judge who is "unjust". The end of this parable finds the corrupt judge granting justice to a widow who simply would not stop bothering him. She does not find justice in her situation because the judge's heart turns around, but because of her persistence. The question on the table is: Do you believe that God will give you justice? This passage promises that God gives justice to "his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night", and that he will do it quickly. Are you willing to believe that today and live in a way that reflects that you trust God completely with justice? When we are hurt or wronged, and wish to seek retribution - we either take matters into our own hands, or we release matters into God's. Let Him take the lead on justice, and allow Him to work forgiveness in your heart.
But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation!
In Christ our accomplishments are a product of the unfailing love and faithfulness of God. We have no grounds to self-righteously boast in anything, yet sadly that does not stop many of us from falling into that trap; always poised at our doorstep ready to strike. His love ought to spark in us an ongoing desire to surrender ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and a commitment to the truth. He is the author of everything that is worth anything, and if we find ourselves accomplishing something of value to the Kingdom of God, we must step aside and direct the credit to Jesus. Through Him anything is possible with God – even that we become completely new creations. Rest in the sufficiency of His grace and surrender all to Him; then hold on tight for the transforming power of God.
Now a man from Baal Shalisha brought some food for the prophet—twenty loaves of bread made from the firstfruits of the barley harvest, as well as fresh ears of grain. Elisha said, “Set it before the people so they may eat.” But his attendant said, “How can I feed a hundred men with this?” He replied, “Set it before the people so they may eat, for this is what the Lord says, ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” So he set it before them; they ate and had some left over, just as the Lord predicted.
Today we have an event that reminds us of a few of the miracles that Jesus performed during His ministry on earth. Elisha, according to the word of the Lord, instructs the feeding of 100 men with only twenty loaves of barley bread and some grain. While the numbers aren't as drastic, the idea is the same. The Lord is directing this miracle, just like the ones found in the New Testament. These examples of miraculous provisions challenge us to see Jesus as the bread of life that is always enough. The Lord can do "more than enough" with what has been given you in your life. He is the master of cultivating the raw material that we are, and transforming our lives "according to His word". Today, recognize Jesus as the bread of life! His love will never fail you.
Create for me a pure heart, O God! Renew a resolute spirit within me! Do not reject me! Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me! Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance! Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey!
Pray these verses. This is personal, it must come from our hearts and be an authentic request of surrender and commitment to God. We all fall and stumble at times, and we will again. We desperately need God! He will not turn away those who seek Him through relationship with Christ! His power is perfected in our weakness. When we are weak, He is strong. Holy Spirit, we thank You for interceding for us when we are weak, and correcting us and humbling us when we believe we have enough of our own strength to do it alone! Lead us to receive grace and live with humility all the days of our lives! Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us and making our joy complete!
John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he is not a disciple along with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”
It must have been quite the scene when the disciples tried to stop some random person casting out demons in the name of Jesus. Whoever it was - was succeeding. If demons are fleeing at the name of Christ, does it really matter who is doing the casting out? John and the others want to "corner the market" on casting out demons to "disciples of Christ". Jesus says in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” The mark of a disciple is doing the will of the Father.