3 Days of Prayer and Fasting (2019/02)

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Luke 6:37-49 (ESV)
37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Day 1: Loving God
Reflect:
In Luke 6:18, before Jesus began His Sermon on the Plain, we were told that a “a great multitude of people … came to hear him.” “Come” and “hear,” these two words are repeated in verse 47 as Jesus brings His sermon to a close, but He adds a new word, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like.” It’s not enough that the crowds came to hear Jesus, they must do what He has taught them. We always want God to speak to us, but if He were to speak, would you obey Him? Because God has spoken to us through Jesus Christ, and God’s Word has been recorded and preserved for us in this book! We have come to God, and we have heard Him in His Word. Are you doing what God asks of you?

Jesus teaches in verses 43-45 that “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Our actions and speech are not caused by our circumstances or environment, but by our hearts. As much as we like to blame others for our misbehaviors, the circumstances are the context for our behavior, not the cause. Look around you at the fruit of your lives, in your families, in our church, in your workplaces, are you bearing good fruit or bad fruit? What are the people and circumstances that you tend to blame for your sins?
Pray:
  • Confess the ways in which you have disobeyed God’s clear teaching in Scripture. Acknowledge that bad fruit in your life, and receive God’s forgiveness in Christ Jesus.
  • Pray that you would grow in humility before God and have the faith to submit everything in your life to God.
  • Pray for the Spirit’s power to obey, even when it is difficult.

Day 2: Loving One Another
Reflect:
Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.” Every Christian is called to “teach” and “admonish” one another, and in verses 39-42, Jesus urges those who would teach and admonish others to examine themselves. A blind man cannot lead another blind man, and a disciple will become like his teacher. The man who seeks to remove the speck from a brother’s eye should make sure that he does not have a log in his own eye preventing him from seeing the speck clearly. Jesus is using a humorous illustration to expose our prideful, human tendency to be hyper-aware of the shortcomings and sins of others, but unaware of the shortcomings and sins of our own.
Who would you say are the people in your life whom you follow? Who are the teachers in your life? The ones you tend to rely on for guidance in life? Perhaps it’s a college professor, a pastor or community group leader, an author, or a youtube personality. Whoever it might be, you should make sure that your teacher is following Christ, because you’re going to end up where he or she is. And if you are someone that others look up to and follow, then you should make sure that you are not blind, and that you are faithfully following Christ. Take time this week to ask a trusted Christian brother or sister to help you identify any logs in your life that you’re oblivious to but are obvious to others.
Pray:
  • Pray that God would give us the humility to first consider how we have been hypocritical and judgmental toward others, before considering how others have been hypocritical and judgmental toward us.
  • Pray that the Spirit of Truth would expose our sins so that we might see clearly and repent genuinely.
  • Pray that we would be loving, humble, and courageous enough to teach and admonish one another.

Day 3: Loving Our Neighbors
Reflect:
Jesus concluded the previous passage in Luke 6:35-36 by saying, love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” Now, in verses 37-38, Jesus continues that thought by explaining what being merciful looks like. He says, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.”
The command not to judge here does not mean that we shouldn’t form any moral judgments. If that were the case, there would be no rule of law, no courts, and no church discipline, which blatantly contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture (Matt. 7:1–2, 6; Luke 11:42–44; 20:46–47; John 7:42, 51–53; Rom. 1:32; 1 Cor. 5:5, 11–13; Gal. 1:8–9; Phil. 3:2; Titus 3:2; 1 John 4:1). Rather, the command to “judge not” is explained by the parallel phrase in verse 37, “condemn not.” If we judge, not inviting sinners toward God’s mercy, but shunning them with condemnation, we are disobeying Jesus’s command. If we’re self-righteous, if, instead of mourning over people’s sins as fellow sinners, we gloat over people’s sins and eagerly condemn them, then we are disobeying Jesus’s command. If we presume to sit on God’s judgment seat by condemning others (Rom. 14:10-13; Jas. 2:4; 4:11-12), God Himself will condemn us.
And because forgiveness involves bearing the pain and cost of another’s offense yourself, it is naturally connected to the idea of giving, and verse 38 says, “give, and it will be given to you.” In the same way we generously offer forgiveness, we are to give generously of our finances. Remember the larger context of Luke 6:27-38. Jesus has been teaching us to give and lend without expecting any return favors, because God will reward us. Entrusting ourselves to God’s repayment enables us to give selflessly and sacrificially in this life without expecting repayment from man. The key to Christian generosity is not our wealth, but faith in God’s wealth and generosity. We give, not out of the abundance of wealth, but out of the abundance of faith.
Pray:
  • Pray for your enemies, and ask God for opportunities to do good to them.
  • Pray that you might grow in your understanding of God’s forgiveness for you in Christ, so that you can freely forgive others who have wronged you (Eph. 4;32).
  • Pray that God would make you a humble and gracious witness for Christ, and not a judgmental, condemning one.
  • Pray that your unbelieving friends and neighbors would understand and receive God’s saving grace.

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