Author: Clarivel Anne Dinh

For You Read Luke 22:20 A simple thought today, both simple, but profound; maybe the most profound thought of all . . . Jesus says He went to the cross and shed His blood “for you.” “You” is plural, but it’s a plural made up of a lot of yous-singular. Ponder that today – When Jesus hung on that Cross, He did it all for you....

Remember & Feel Read Luke 22:19 The Passover meal was packed full of meaning. Every dish and course was a rehearsal of what God had done for Israel in delivering them from Egypt and providing for them in their on their journey. It may not have been the most “delicious” meal as some of the courses aimed more at reminding them of the hardships they’d endures as slaves. But it was certainly a meaningful time. What’s the most memorable meal you’ve had? Why was it memorable? Was it that the food was so good, or that the moment was packed with emotion? Now consider this . . . A large part of taste is smell. And smell is strongly connected to both memory and emotion in our brains. We can smell something just once and if it’s identified, though it may be years later, can recall what it is. And if the smell comes...

Enjoy in Moderation  Read Luke 22:17-18 Yes, Jesus drank wine. It was part of the culture. But the wine they drank wasn’t what we’re familiar with. It was far less potent since it was watered down. The only people who could afford to drink regular wine lived in palaces. And, this is important, the average Jew was always on guard against being drunk. This was a society that ran on honor. Reputation was a major concern to all. So, how you carried yourself in public was something people took great care over. Public drunkenness was shameful. Even the hint of having drunk too much was avoided. We call it getting ‘buzzed.’ So while Jesus and the disciples drank wine, they never abused it. The cups used at this meal would have been small; a few ounces. After the four cups of the meal, the disciples would have been relaxed, but not buzzed since...

 Saying “Goodbye” Read Luke 22:14-16 Jesus was profoundly moved because He knew His time with these men who’d become so dear to Him was running out. Keeping with the theme we started yesterday, of entering into the story as a disciple of Jesus, reconnect to the emotions here by thinking of a time you had to say goodbye to a good friend. Maybe you or they moved away. Maybe they died. Maybe some argument or dispute busted up the friendship. People handle the pain of loss differently. But it’s something we all feel. Jesus felt it too....

Just Be There Read Luke 22:14-16 This is it; the last meal Jesus and the disciples will share before the Cross. It’s the last they’ll share on this Earth. As Jesus later says, they won’t share a meal like this until the End of the Age. Jesus will in fact eat after He rises from the dead. He ate a piece of fish on Sunday evening to prove He wasn’t a ghost, and later cooked them breakfast in Galilee, though it never says He ate. But those weren’t meals. They weren’t the daily evening main meal shared by family and friends as a time to sit and fellowship at their leisure. And they certainly weren’t the feast this Passover meal was. One of the most important things we can do in cultivating our relationship with Jesus is to meditate on little passages like this; putting ourselves into the story. The great privilege of...

False Teachers are Doomed - Luke 17:2 The word “these” is a clue to whom the “little ones” are. Jesus isn’t speaking of children. He’s talking about those who’ve gathered round and are hanging on every word. Besides the disciples, they’re all just starting out with Him. They’re spiritual infants. So, they’re susceptible to being easily discouraged or led astray. Jesus gives strong caution against anyone doing so. It would be better to drown than be the cause of others falling away. Severe judgment rests on those who cause new believers to stumble. False teachers are both a grave threat and in grave danger. A word of caution: Just because someone is on the radio, TV, or the internet doesn’t mean their use of the name “Jesus”  in order to lull you into believing everything they say is legit....

 Don’t Trip Others - Luke 17:1 That word “offense” refers to a stumbling block, a tripwire; something that causes others to fall. This isn’t secret sin; it’s public. It’s the kind of thing that becomes a double-sin. Because it’s not only wrong to do it; it provokes others to sin in response. An insult is an offense because it tempts the one insulted to fire back. A slap is an offense because it invites retaliation. Jesus warns us such provocations to sin are inevitable. We’re not to walk around all starry-eyed and naïve as though everything’s peachy. We’re to be wide-eyed, & alert to the tripwires strung up to take us out. BUT: We are to make sure we aren’t the ones setting them. What we do and say ought to not cause others to sin. On the contrary, we’re to be examples of truth and grace....

Parable of the Rich Fool - Luke 12:16-21 This is called the Parable of the Rich Fool. His error wasn’t in building bigger barns and warehouses. It was his reason for doing so. His motive was greed. He was going to spend his abundance solely on himself. Jesus applies the lesson of the parable in v. 21 when He says we ought to be rich toward God. He doesn’t say it’s wrong to have earthly wealth. It’s only wrong when that wealth is all we care about, our sole sense of what’s valuable. As we process all this we need to realize Jesus isn’t talking here about the rich and poor at all. He’s talking about what’s of supreme importance and value to us. We have to decide what the word “treasure” means. What we truly, genuinely treasure is that which we’d never give up, even at the peril of our lives. It’s of...

The Antidote to Covetousness - Luke 12:15 (Yet again) Notice in particular the last part of the verse. Jesus (literally) says our life isn’t about accumulating stuff. We paraphrase for a clearer take on what Jesus said, “A person’s life isn’t IN getting more possessions.” That flows naturally from His warning about covetousness. And it’s why we need to be on guard against coveting, because it doesn’t add life, it subtracts from it. While Jesus tells us what life ISN’T about in v. 15, He doesn’t tell us what it IS about. What it IS about is implied by the opposite of coveting – contentment. Contentment is the antidote to the desire for more. Contentment lies in choosing to be satisfied with God and His provision. That’s easy to do when we realize how much He loves us and has promised to care for us....

Coveting is Dangerous - Luke 12:15 (again) Jesus’ call to beware of covetousness echoes the Tenth Commandment prohibiting coveting (Exo. 20:17).  In light of Colossians 3:5, which says covetousness IS idolatry, we realize the Ten Commandments are a closed loop. The prohibition on coveting in the last commandment sends us back to the first two commandments; to have no other God but God and to make no idol to worship in His place. Many consider the Tenth Commandment’s forbidding covetousness as not belonging with such serious sins as murder, adultery, theft, and deceit. Maybe they lighten the seriousness of the idolatry of coveting precisely because it’s their sin while the others are not and so are easy to condemn. It’s human nature to give a pass to those sins we like. Let’s ask the Spirit of God to instill the same moral weight toward coveting as we give to murder, adultery, and theft....