Tag Archives: Luke 11

Morning Thoughts (Luke 11:7)

Morning ThoughtsLuke 11:7, "And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee." 

This morning, persistence and perseverance to see a good thing through to the end is more of a rarity than the norm.  In days gone by, people were more determined to finish what they started, but sadly, the crumbling culture has made the days of the here and now a lot of starts with very few finishes.  Scripture abounds to encourage and exhort the disciple of Christ to see paths of righteousness to fitting and proper conclusions.  Paul – in illustrating the point by pointing to gardening with sowing and reaping – encourages people not to faint and become weary in well doing. (Galatians 6:9) To persist in upright things, we need to take courage and strength that the Lord will be with us and supply all our need to do those things that are pleasing to Him.  

Our study verse comes in the midst of a discussion on prayer, and Christ is in the midst of illustrating points He made in the opening verses in laying out the model prayer.  After giving the foundation points of what prayer should entail and include, Christ analyzes the points to show forth the touching nature of our God in heaven.  Our verse is in an illustration that starts in verse 5 continuing through verse 8.  The story illustrates the prayer point in verse 3 of requesting our daily bread and natural needs. 

The essence of the story is that if someone needs something and asks a friend, how will the friend respond?  What if the circumstance and timing of the request is non-ideal?  If a man asks his friend for help in the middle of the night, it is possible that even a friend will tell him to come back at some other time.  If it is midnight, the house closed up, and the children in the bed, the friend could respond unfavorably and not fulfill the request of his friend needing 3 loaves of bread.  The illustrative story concludes by Christ saying that if a man was persistent enough in asking, the person would rise and give his friend what he needs: not because of their friendship but just to get rid of him.  If someone you knew was knocking on your door at midnight asking for something, you might not initially rise up, but if they kept knocking and knocking, you would then give them what they were asking just to be able to get back to sleep and leave you alone. 

What does this illustrate for us in prayer and tell us of God's mercy?  Though we are commanded to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17) and pray always not fainting (Luke 18:1), does God require of us to do such before He will finally answer?  Does it take 17 attempts at a minimum before God will finally rise up and give us what we need?  What is His present circumstance and situation when we make the request?  If we can find the answers to these 2 questions, I believe we will find some of the most touching concepts that deal with our Heavenly Father's interactions with us here in this world. 

To answer the first question, we need not go far to find the answer.  God does not require multiple attempts before even considering granting our request.  Now, we should be ready always to ask and repeat our request, but consider verses 9-10 of this same chapter.  Christ said that if we ask, knock, and seek, then we shall receive, be opened, and find respectively.  The succeeding verses after that starting in verse 11 show the touching nature of a natural father with his children.  If his son asks him for something that is good, he will not in turn give him something that is evil.  Rather, the natural father will give his natural son what he needs.  Christ then puts it in perspective: how much more shall our Heavenly Father do for us?  Notice in this lesson that it only speaks of knocking, seeking, and asking in a singular sense.  Though it does us good to request often (it reinforces our dependence and reliance upon God), it is not the bulk of asking that affects an answer.  In James 5:16, we are told that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  How many men?  One.  How many prayers?  One.  One prayer from one man (of good, upright character) is all that is necessary to bring about a very positive outcome. 

Knowing that our Father is so merciful that we do not have to worry about Him behaving like the friend in the story that might not initially arise to give us, what about the answer to the 2nd question: what is His present circumstance and situation when we make the request?  The answer to that question is found in our study verse, and I freely admit that this thought has deeply affected me recently to consider the magnitude and weight of its implications.  Christ said in the story that the man who is being sought is in bed with his children at the midnight hour with the doors now shut.  Many times, our needs and distresses come in the midnight hours (most inopportune moments and darkest periods).  Though we should be careful to implore our Father for guidance during the day hours (periods of better times), our highest times of need come in dark stretches.  Though the midnight has profoundly affected us in our pilgrimage, where is He?  What is He doing? 

There is no way that I could possibly summon the will to define what percentage of God's family is still in this world or yet to come into this world versus the percentage that is now already with Him in heaven.  I simply have no idea.  However, after close to 7,000 years of human history, combined with all that Scripture declares, it is easily seen that there is already a sea of multitudes there with Him now.  These heirs of grace sing unto Him right now in the heavenly portal.  Their praise is perfect, matchless, and without end.  Combined with these dearly bought souls, our Father has the abiding presence of His only Begotten Son on His right hand and the bands of celestial servants – angels, cherubims, and seraphims.  This collection of beings resides with the Father in a place that knows no defilement.  Perfect and spotless in every way. 

How easy is it for a friend today to have a pleasant circumstance and not initially rise up to help another?  Even though his pleasant environs do not come close to matching the beauty and majesty of heaven, it is easy to see someone behaving in such a manner.  Consider God.  He has many children in the bed with Him right now.  Their environment is pleasant without measure: boundless seas of peace, love, and harmony.  It is a place that knows no midnight like our lives do now.  However, though surrounded by all that perfection with countless children in the bed with Him, He still rises to give us those things that we stand in need of. 

One of the most humbling things to consider that should elicit the highest thanks we can muster is that our prayers – lowly though they seem – find their way into a place of perfect praise and endless majesty.  A survey of the heavenly portal that John saw in Revelation 5 shows a collection of all the beings that we have previously mentioned.  However, in addition to that, John saw golden vials that contained the precious odors of the prayers of the saints.  Friends, though midnights come, consider how merciful He is.  He rises from ultimate peace in a place of perfection to assist us daily in those things that we need daily.  He does not do so because we "just won't leave Him alone."  He does it because He loves us beyond comprehension.  Does this make you want to call upon Him more and thank Him more often?  It does for me.  However, let us call upon Him often not thinking we will see greater effects but because we realize just how much we need Him and know how merciful He has been to us. 

In Hope,

Bro Philip

Morning Thoughts (Luke 11:34-35)

Luke 11:34-35, “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.”

This morning, our society drives completely by “feel.” To modern day man’s way of thinking, “If it feels good, do it. If it feels bad, don’t.” Now, feelings do matter in this world – they are for our benefit – but they are not the overriding and overarching precepts by which we conduct our lifestyle. Rather, Godly feelings corroborate what we know to be right and proper from the standard: Bible. The reasons that feelings themselves cannot be the governing standard by which our lives are led are numerous, but one of the reasons (which we hope to examine in more detail) is the fact that children of God have polarized sets of feelings. Since the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh (Galatians 5:17), children of God’s actions feel differently between the old and new nature. When righteousness is exalted, the flesh abhors it, while the spirit delights in it. Likewise, the flesh delights in unrighteousness, while the spirit abhors it. This complexity of feeling makes it impossible for the feelings themselves to be the standard by which something is judged.

Jesus, in our verses, compares light with its manifestations to actions in the lives of people. The verse previous to ours depicts our lives as those that should be set on a candlestick rather than hidden under a bushel. Our lives are meant to be lived in such a fashion that they redound to the glory of God. (Matthew 5:17) So, Christ uses the example of light to show forth this principle. Yet, the manifestation of that light depicts the corroborated feelings that an individual experiences as a result of that lifestyle. Let us dig into these words just a little to pull back the fabric of these verses and see the plainness of the teaching, even amidst the complexities of the individuals being discussed.

The first point that Christ introduces in these verses is the importance of the eyes. They are the light of the body. In other words, things begin with the eye that will emanate to the rest of the person. If we study the word employed for “light” in verse 34, we notice that its primary root stems from a thought of brilliancy and white purity. Studying the definitions of this word (Greek word: lychnos, root: leukos – taken from www.blueletterbible.com), the foremost application is the light of brilliancy and glistering whiteness that applies to the garments worn by angels and the glory of God Himself. What our eyes should take in should be of the purest form of Godliness that emulates the refulgent glory of God and clothes His celestial servants while they do His bidding.

Christ further strengthens this point by saying that should this type of light be taken in, there will be a “single” aspect to it. This word “single” quite often is used in our modern day vernacular is “singular.” Whenever someone is said to be singular minded, have a singular thought, etc., two things are generally meant by such statements. The first thing that is meant is that they are driven primarily and completely by one thing and one thing only. In a negative sense, someone might say that an alcoholic is singularly driven by alcohol – to the expense of anything else. The other thought that generally emanates from those statements is that the particular thing that drives these people (whether work, hobbies, or otherwise) “completes” them in some way. By engaging in the particular singular thrust, they feel liberated and complete while pursuing after that particular thing.

Christ displays that having light of a refulgent fashion enter the body, we should feel not only singularly driven but also complete by the glory of God. When we feel the light of His goodness, the completeness that we have in His Son (Colossians 2:10) should swell within our soul. By feeling complete with that singular affection interwoven throughout our person, what is the logical result? The logical result is Christ’s next statement.

When singular affection stemming from light of a Godly sort hits us, the whole body is full of light. Now, as we have already mentioned above, the flesh abhors the things of God, for the body is still a body of death even after regeneration until the resurrection. (Romans 7:25-27) So, how would light fill the entire body if the body detests it? The second appearance of the word “light” in this verse comes from a different word than the other. This word “light” (Greek word: photeinos, root: phos – taken from www.blueletterbible.com) has reference to natural manifestations of light. Materials like phosphorous – used to make light – are so named from these Greek words. Rather, than saying that Godly light radiates through a sinful body that changes it to be Godly itself, Christ shows forth the glorious aspect of sinful flesh being veiled by the Godly conduct of His people.

Have you ever known someone whose actions radiated above and beyond their physical appearance? When I was a young boy growing up in the church, my longest-lasting thoughts and impressions about the dear saints in the church was not what they looked like physically. Rather, it was their demeanor that most stuck with me. In fact, should I have been given a test on physical qualities on those in the church, I would probably have failed the examination. Christ here declares that light can manifestly be filled within the person to such a degree that others “stand up and notice.” As the joy of Godliness swells the soul, it cannot make the flesh desire the righteousness any more than the flesh can cause the spirit to enjoy sin, but the swelling of the soul can push down and mortify the deeds of the flesh (Colossians 3:5) to the point where people see the light filling the body rather than the darkness of the old flesh.

When people live by faith, take in the Godly refulgence found in His word, prayer, study, meditation, worship in His house, fellowship with His saints, etc, those things should radiate and fill the body. In so doing, a distinct impression will be stamped on the individuals that even natural men can see. A natural man (void of the spirit of God) does notice when someone does not curse, exalts joy in the midst of trials, and seems up while everyone else is down. While he will never understand the “point” of those things, he will notice. However, more important than that, other sin-sick souls burdened by their faults (i.e. ignorant but regenerated children of God) will also notice the emanation of light surrounding people living by faith. Who knows whether our actions will impress them to “Come and see” where it is and what it is that we delight in to such a degree?

Logically, Christ also gives us the opposite to this scenario. When our eye takes in the things it should not, the body is emanated (filled) with darkness, and verse 35 “seems” to show a contradiction. In verse 35, light is equated with darkness. Christ’s very own words display that light can be darkness. The word “light” in verse 35 again comes from the Greek word “phos” having reference to perception and manifestation. In other words, this light simply manifests the dark things that our eyes are indulging into.

Just as the child of God is capable to take in the good things that emanate into manifestations of joy and peace, so the child of God may also take in the evil things of the world that emanate into the manifestations of misery and destruction. (Proverbs 14:12) This complexity (capability to do either one) is one of the reasons that “feelings” are impossible for a standard. Which feeling is it? The emanation of light that comes from singularity of Godliness or the emanation of darkness from the light of ungodliness?

Some part of us desires what we do, while another part desires what we do not. These are contrary; the natures are opposite. Yet, their manifestation is guaranteed. Things our eyes see will affect our lifestyles. Be they things good or bad, they will most certainly affect our actions that men see and perceive in us to be. May our eyes take in the light that promotes the light filling the body rather than the light that opens the door to the invasion of darkness. By so doing, people will see the light (God’s work shining forth) rather that the old clod surrounding it. By focusing on the light and missing the clod, they will glorify our Father rather than we ourselves.

In Hope,

Bro Philip