From Handbook to Scripture, Day 221
READING: LUKE 1
Luke is the most comprehensive of the Gospels, and it is marked by careful chronological development and accurate historical details. It combines with Acts as the first of a lengthy two-part historical narrative that begins with the foretelling of the birth of John the Baptist and ends with Paul’s first Roman imprisonment. Luke is a beautifully written Gospel that documents the perfect humanity of Jesus and presents Him as the Son of Man who seeks us out and makes it possible for us to have a life-giving relationship with Him.
Luke places a strong emphasis on the ancestry, birth, and early years of the perfect man and of His forerunner John the Baptist. Their infancy stories are intertwined as Luke records their birth announcements, advents, and temple presentations.
Prayer: Lord, I delight in Mary’s response to Gabriel’s announcement, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done according to your word.” I ask for the grace to respond to Your perfect will in humility, trust, and obedience.
Meditation passage: verses 17, 30–38, 42–55, 76–79
From Simple Prayers, Day 221
I DRAW NEAR TO YOU, GOD
As I approach Your throne of grace today, I am grateful that You care about the things that concern me and that You want me to offer them up to You.
Hear my cry, O God,
And listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to You
When my heart grows faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
You have been a shelter for me
And a strong tower against the enemy.
I will dwell in Your tent forever
And take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. (Psalm 61:1–4)
Take a moment to share your personal needs with God, including your physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual concerns.
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE
No one has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; only He has seen the Father. (John 6:46)
I must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour when I do not expect Him. (Matthew 24:44; Luke 12:40)
I LISTEN TO YOUR WORDS OF TRUTH
This is what the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)
MY RESPONSE TO YOU, LORD
Since I belong to the day, I will be self-controlled, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
This is love: that I walk in obedience to God’s commandments. And this is the commandment: that as I have heard from the beginning, I should walk in love. (2 John 6)
Lord, I thank You for Your Son who has revealed You and for the truth that He could come at any time. I thank You that my salvation is in repentance and rest, and I ask that I would walk in faith and love.
From Handbook to Wisdom, Day 221
TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS
I will guard my heart with all diligence,
for out of it flow the issues of life.
We have the prophetic word made more certain,
to which we will do well to pay attention,
as to a light shining in a dark place,
until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts.
(2 Peter 1:19)
“Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times. And a very small number, really. How many times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”
Actor Brandon Lee made these poignant observations in his last interview before his death in 1993 after completing the film, The Crow. Who would have known that he would be ushered into eternity so soon after his comments on the brevity of life? Lee was right to say that we cannot presume on the future, even though most people do just that by assuming that their lives are limitless.
As Moses prayed near the end of his life, “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).