1 Many people have tried to tell the story of what God has done among us.2 They wrote what we had been told by the ones who were there in the beginning and saw what happened.3 So I made a careful study of everything and then decided to write and tell you exactly what took place. Honorable Theophilus,4 I have done this to let you know the truth about what you have heard. (Contemporary English Version)
This will be the last devotional for the year 2020. Many will be glad to see 2020 go, however, 2021 will not be starting out very good. We end the year in lockdown, and we begin a new one in lockdown - the "pandemic" still wreaking havoc across the world, and now a new strain has emerged causing great concern. Oh well, such is life - let's move on!
I started a series of devotionals in the Gospel of Luke back at the beginning of 2020. In the first devotional I asked this question: " It's 2020! Have you made a pledge to be more like Jesus; to live like Him, do what He did and wants us to do?" The end of the year is always a good time to evaluate your relationship with Jesus, so you can plan on how to deepen that in the new year. I know many people who have grown deeper in Christ, intentionally desiring to know Him more. Others have been overwhelmed with the pressures of life's uncertainties, and allowed circumstances to dictate their walk with Jesus (or lack of walking with Jesus).
If you were to write down the events of 2020, would you be able to include "what God has done among us". Did you see God move in any way? As I look back, I have seen new salvations, and seen God do great deliverances and healings in people's hearts and minds. Even last week, I saw God miraculously answer someone's prayer for a new rocking chair. Several people I know have discovered the life transforming power of our risen Savior! Could you write down what you saw Jesus do, and share it with a friend who might need to know Him personally or experience the freedom He offers?
Luke wrote his Gospel to someone named Theophilus. He went through a lot of work collecting information, sifting through it, organizing it, and compiling it into an orderly account, so that his friend could know Jesus. He re-told what he had been told and experienced. He wanted Theophilus to know Jesus!
Luke was transformed by Jesus! He experienced, first hand, the power of Christ working through His disciples, transforming people and whole cities - read the book of Acts that Luke wrote to Theophilus (Acts 1:1). Imagine writing two huge letters to your friend about Jesus - one of His life, and the other about His works through His followers. Luke really wanted Theophilus to experience Jesus!
You can't write about something you haven't experienced. Luke was a doctor (Colossians 4:14), who had left his practice to follow Paul on his journeys of bringing Jesus to the world. Luke experienced great and awesome things as he accompanied Paul. But, what he experienced the most was Jesus! He wanted Theophilus to know the "truth" about Jesus.
Would to God that all of us would want to tell our friends about Jesus, and all that we have experienced Him do. Either we are afraid or we have nothing to tell. Could we determine to open our eyes and look for Jesus moving among us? Could we re-arrange our lives so we are not so busy as to miss what Jesus is doing among us? Could we invite Jesus in to control our lives, so we can experience Him doing His transforming work in us, and then have our own story to share?
Who is your Theophilus? Who you gonna tell?
Vow to start 2021 with Jesus!
Peace & Joy,