I hope that everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend celebrating with family.  I know that it is also an important time to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy each day.  One of our liberties that is all too easy to take for granted is the freedom of religion.  As we have been studying the Gospel of Luke, we are able to take time each day to open the Bible and consider the life of Jesus.  A freedom that some are not able to enjoy as we do. 

This week is our final week in the book of Luke.  Please take some time to read chapters 22 - 24.  As two men were walking along the road full of discouragement, Jesus showed up and encouraged them through the Scriptures.  They did not even realize that it was Jesus until He broke bread with them.  At that point, their spirits were lifted and they ran to tell the others.  I am not sure if you are wrestling with discouragement or a lack of hope, but I do know that Jesus is present walking beside us all the time and just like these men, it is possible to be unaware.  Just realizing His presence should offer hope. Let's connect with Him this week, as we are free to do so.


As we carry on in our study of Luke's Gospel, this week we are reading along in chapters 16 - 18. In chapter 18, Jesus is confronted by a young wealthy man who asks Him what is necessary to receive eternal life.  In the midst of answering this man's question, Jesus let this man know that he was lacking in one area.  He then challenged the man to surrender that area and to follow Him whole-heartedly.  The man walked away with his head hung low, deciding instead to carry on in life without a willingness to trust Jesus with his life.  Let's continue to read through the Book of Luke and to ask ourselves some of the same difficult questions regarding our personal commitment to Jesus. 


As we continue reading through the Book of Luke, this week we are reading chapters 12 - 15.  When you get to chapter 15, Jesus tells 3 stories to his audience to communicate one significant point. Something happens in the first two verses that cause Jesus to feel the need to express what God values in contrast to popular opinion in that day. Take some time to consider what God values as you read that chapter.  How do His values match our own?  This Sunday, we will be discussing how to practically live out His values