In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus tell the parable of the persistent widow. She is a poor, powerless widow up against a corrupt, powerful judge and she is seeking justice. While the Bible is clear on its teaching that those in power and leadership roles are to work justly and stand up for the week and the poor, this is not Jesus’ point in this parable. There are three things Jesus wants us to get from this parable 1) pray and don’t give up; 2) keep the faith; 3) Justice in a corrupt world can only come from God.
Pray and don’t give up. How many times to we pray and pray and pray for something and then give up? Do you ever think about when you get to heaven and ask God, “Why didn’t you answer this prayer?” and His reply will be “You were only one prayer away, but you gave up.” This parable of a nagging, persistent widow is a reminder to us to not give up. Chapter 18 opens with an explanation of why Jesus is telling this parable. Verse 1 says: “He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul wrote, “Pray without ceasing.” In Isaiah 43:19, God says through the prophet, “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Jesus uses an odd representation in this parable. The poor, widowed woman represent those listening to Jesus tell the story (or reading it from the Bible) – in other words, she represents us. The person to whom she is nagging and insisting on justice is a corrupt judge, which Jesus is using to represent God. This doesn’t mean that Jesus was saying God is corrupt. The point he was making is that if the nagging woman’s persistence paid off with a corrupt judge who is limited by the power he hold on earth within his office, then how much more will it pay off with a just God with eternally infinite power? Why should we not give up? Because you may be just one prayer away from an answered prayer. Keep praying. Don’t give up.
Keep the Faith. Jesus knew that living for Him in a fallen, corrupt world would not be easy and through this parable he wanted to encourage us to keep our faith, even when the odds are stacked up against us. By using a juxtaposition of a corrupt judge with a just God implies that even in the midst of a corrupt, fallen, broken world, God’s will will be done. Perhaps the judge had no plans to give the woman justice, but God is a God who defends the widows (Psalm 68:5) and so even though the judge has no concern for her need and no plans to do the right thing, he will give in simply to get the woman to stop nagging him and in the end he will do the right thing because God wills it. We can find similar teaching in the Bible in verses such as John 19:11, Romans 13:1, and 1 Peter 2:13 where it is clear that those in government positions are placed there by God and they do what He will, whether they acknowledge it or not. We can keep the faith, even in a corrupt, broken world that justice will be done because ultimately, God is in control. Yet we also have a responsibility as citizens to pray for our government leaders – and to not give up praying.
Justice in a corrupt world can only come from God. There is an old commercial from many years ago that was used for eating healthy and as we moved into the computer age, it manifested itself again. The point of the commercial was “garbage in, garbage out.” In a world full of corruption, why do we expect any outcome except corruption? Corrupt people do corrupt things. The only way that justice occurs in a corrupt world is through the hand and work of God. This is why we must not give up praying and why we must keep the faith. Just as God can bring miraculous healing to those with COVID19, so He can bring miraculous justice in the world as the saint pray without ceasing. In the parable, Jesus does not ever say that God intervened but he does imply as he closes out the parable that God is an unseen actor in the story. In verses 7-8 he says: “Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”
God, thank you that you hear our prayers. Help us to be persistent and to keep the faith. Help us to trust in You as You are working behind the scenes in ways we never know to bring about your perfect plan.
#dontgiveup #keepthefaith #praywithoutceasing #WCM
The prayer guide is available for free download to individuals and churches and may be reproduced in any quantity both printed and electronically through websites, email, social media, apps, or any other method.
Today, pray for Washington DC:
#Chronovirus #fastandpray #judgement #repentance #revivalin2020 #WCM
Don’t forget to learn this week’s memory verse:
Memorize and hide in your heart one memory verse each week in 2020. If you didn’t start the challenge at the beginning of the year, just jump in now and be sure to sign up to get our weekly Memory verse in your email so you don’t miss a week.
In 2020 our emphasis is on revival for America with three key words: revive, renew, and redeem. You will begin to see the elements of our website and posts reflect this emphasis. We hope you’ll join us in praying for God to pour out the Holy Spirit with a mighty rushing wind of revival for our nation and around the world.
Our key verse for revival is 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. For the past few weeks, we have been focusing on repentance. This week, we look at the spiritual transformation that takes place when we surrender our heart to God.
This week’s memory verse:
“Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.”
#nofear #COVID19 #coronavirus #heldbyGod #donotfear #WCM
The Unstoppable Series: Because nothing is too hard for God and we can do all things through Christ – there is nothing that can stop us when God is on our side.
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By Julia M. Bruce / WestBow Press
There’s no doubt that marriage is hard work. Yet it can also be one of the most fulfilling relationships you can experience, outside of your relationship with God. However, many marriages leave God outside of the relationship. Godly marriages do not happen without cultivating it, investing in it, and putting God first in your individual lives and in your marriage.
This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
• Scripture to memorize and meditate on
• Conversation Starters
• Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages
• Romance Builders
• Relationship Builders
• Personal reflections
• Date ideas
• Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples