GPS for Monday 3.1.2021 – Luke 9:1-6 (CEB)
Jesus called the Twelve together and he gave them power and authority over all demons and to heal sicknesses. He sent them out to proclaim God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. He told them, “Take nothing for the journey—no walking stick, no bag, no bread, no money, not even an extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, remain there until you leave that place. Wherever they don’t welcome you, as you leave that city, shake the dust off your feet as a witness against them.” They departed and went through the villages proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
Prayer Tip: How are we sent out like the disciples in 2021? What does it mean to proclaim God’s Kingdom? How can we participate in the healing of our world? Jesus’ instructions include imperatives about simple living, being present in the moment and not holding grudges. How can you offer good news to someone today? May we be open to being sent out by Christ into places that need good news and a word of hope.
GPS for Tuesday 3.2.2021 – Luke 9:10-17 (CEB)
When the apostles returned, they described for Jesus what they had done. Taking them with him, Jesus withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. When the crowds figured it out, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about God’s kingdom, and healed those who were sick. When the day was almost over, the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so that they can go to the nearby villages and countryside and find lodging and food, because we are in a deserted place.” He replied, “You give them something to eat.” But they said, “We have no more than five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all these people.” (They said this because about five thousand men were present.) Jesus said to his disciples, “Seat them in groups of about fifty.” They did so, and everyone was seated. He took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them, and broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. Everyone ate until they were full, and the disciples filled twelve baskets with the leftovers.
Prayer Tip: The disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away saying there wasn’t enough. Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.” Jesus was focused on what they did have. He asked them to sit in groups and he blessed the loaves and the fish. They ate and had leftovers. Do you focus on what you lack or on the resources/blessings you have? What was the greatest miracle of the story? How can we participate in God’s miracles/blessings today?
GPS for Wednesday 3.3.2021 – Luke 9:18-27 (CEB)
Once when Jesus was praying by himself, the disciples joined him, and he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others that one of the ancient prophets has come back to life.” He asked them, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ sent from God.” Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell this to anyone. He said, “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected—by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts—and be killed and be raised on the third day.” Jesus said to everyone, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me. All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will save them. What advantage do people have if they gain the whole world for themselves yet perish or lose their lives? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I assure you that some standing here won’t die before they see God’s kingdom.”
Prayer Tip: Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Can you answer this question? What does it mean to follow Christ? What does it mean to deny yourself and take up the cross daily? The way of the Christ and the cross is challenging. It means sacrificing self for love of others.
GPS for Thursday 3.4.2021 – Luke 9:28-36 (CEB)
About eight days after Jesus said these things, he took Peter, John, and James, and went up on a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes flashed white like lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, were talking with him. They were clothed with heavenly splendor and spoke about Jesus’ departure, which he would achieve in Jerusalem. Peter and those with him were almost overcome by sleep, but they managed to stay awake and saw his glory as well as the two men with him. As the two men were about to leave Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it’s good that we’re here. We should construct three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—but he didn’t know what he was saying. Peter was still speaking when a cloud overshadowed them. As they entered the cloud, they were overcome with awe. Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my chosen one. Listen to him!” Even as the voice spoke, Jesus was found alone. They were speechless and at the time told no one what they had seen.
Prayer Tip: This story describes a mountain top experience where Jesus is transformed. The power of the experience caused Peter to want to build tents and stay on the mountain. There are times we want to freeze a moment in time. Have you had moments like that? The voice from heaven claimed Jesus as God’s Son, chosen and beloved, and said, “Listen to Him.” Listen to him about service, sacrifice and loving your neighbor. Listen to him! Do you set aside time to listen for God’s calling in your life each day? Gracious God, help us to open our ears and hearts to hear your call this day.
GPS for Friday 3.5.2021 – Luke 9:46-48 (CEB)
An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Aware of their deepest thoughts, Jesus took a little child and had the child stand beside him. Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me. Whoever welcomes me, welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever is least among you all is the greatest.”
Prayer Tip: In our world today, we often argue like the disciples about who is the best, the greatest. What is Jesus’ description of greatness? What does it mean to be the least? What does it mean to welcome a child in Jesus’ name? Jesus didn’t name any exceptions to this. We are to welcome all. Are we spending our time trying to be the greatest or are we spending time welcoming one another as God’s beloved children?
GPS for Saturday 3.6.2021 – Luke 9:57-62 (CEB)
As Jesus and his disciples traveled along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Human One has no place to lay his head.” Then Jesus said to someone else, “Follow me.” He replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. But you go and spread the news of God’s kingdom.” Someone else said to Jesus, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say good-bye to those in my house.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand on the plow and looks back is fit for God’s kingdom.”
Prayer Tip: How quickly do we say that we will follow Jesus wherever he goes? Then, we realize that Jesus rarely chooses the easy or most convenient path. Are we like the people in the story who start to make excuses? Many of the reasons seem valid. Yet, Jesus wants us to make the Way of Christ a priority. He challenges us to choose Loving God and Loving Neighbor above everything else.