Luke-6-the-secret-to-tireless-service

Luke 6: The Secret to Tireless Service

December Devotional Readings

The Book of Luke has 24 chapters. It starts with the story of the birth of Christ and ends with His death and resurrection. This makes it the perfect Bible reading plan for the month of December. Read a chapter a day and you’ll have an overview of the story of Jesus by Christmas!

The Christmas season is demanding. We can learn from Jesus' example. In Luke 6, we see His secret to tireless service. He cultivated His relationship with God.

Open your Bible and read Luke 6

During the Christmas season, most of us can relate to Jesus’ ministry schedule to some degree. There are expectations to meet, people to feed, loved ones to serve and tolerate, children to disciple, gifts to give, places to go… 

We get tired, just like Jesus did. 

In today’s reading, we begin to recognize a pattern in the life of Jesus. There’s a clue about how He was able to give and serve and teach and love so many so well. 

Let’s look back at Luke 4:1-2. 

“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry (Luke 4:1-2, ESV).”

First, notice that Jesus was hungry. Remember that, while Jesus is God, He was also a man, human just like you and me. He faced the same challenges and temptations we do. 

Knowing this changes everything. 

God is all-powerful. He can do anything, so we feel it’s impossible to measure up to the standard He exemplifies. But when Jesus came to Earth as a man, He “took on flesh” and became human. So it makes sense to aspire to His example.

So, what can we learn from Him today?

In this passage, we see that Jesus spent an extended period of time cultivating spiritual disciplines. He took 40 days out of His regular schedule to fast. Fasting is a time of intensified focus on the Lord. 

Now let’s look back at Luke 5:16.

But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray (Luke 5:16, ESV).

This verse comes after a statement about the growth of Jesus’ ministry. He was surrounded by more people all the time, teaching them and healing them. He was a busy man, doing what God had called Him to do.

But even though there were many people who needed Him, Jesus took time out to be alone with God. He intentionally removed Himself from the hustle and bustle to pray. 

Back in today’s passage in Luke 6, we see a pattern developing as we read verse 12. 

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God (Luke 6:12, ESV).”

After more teaching, discipleship, and ministry, Jesus withdrew again to spend a whole night in prayer – communion with God. 

Jesus’ ministry was a result of His intimacy with God, and that intimacy required nurturing, which required time, intentionality, energy, and discipline. 

Friend, if Jesus – the Son of God, a perfect man with a divine nature – found it necessary to cultivate spiritual disciplines, to be intentional with His prayer time, and to carve out space for solitude, how much more necessary is it for us – imperfect, sinful human beings – to do the same?

Spiritual discipline isn’t about legalistic rule-following or requirements to achieve favour with God. 

Not. At. All! 

No; it is the means by which we nurture a thriving relationship with God. And that relationship is what fuels our ministry, our ability to minister God’s love to others and to “walk in the calling to which we’ve been called (Ephesians 4:1). 

If you want to faithfully minister God’s love to the people you encounter this Christmas season without running on empty, commit to following Jesus’ example. Open your calendar right now and block off some time to spend alone with God. Be intentional about it and make it a priority. If Jesus needed it, so do you.

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I love the Lord because he hears my voice
and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath!
– Psalm 116:1-2 (NLT)