Sunday Prayer 36

Lord of love,
slow me and keep me
within Your bonds of covenant love.
Although I am prone to wander,
weave the cords of commitment
and gilding of grace into my soul.
From start to finish,
mold me and shape me for You.

Lord of light,
who called me from night’s shades
into the dawn of this new day,
lead me in Your luminous way.
Although the darkness of sin slips in
and evil’s agents cast their shadows,
may Your Word shine a light upon my journey
as my pilgrim path unfolds before my feet.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]

Teaching (discussion questions)

jesus-on-the-move-series-gfx_app-squareHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Teaching,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is part of our series, “Jesus on the Move.” The text for this week are from Luke 6:17-49.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is one of the most important lessons you have ever learned?
  2. We continue the series “Jesus on the Move” by looking at an extended teaching from Jesus. Before you begin this study, ask God to speak to you from His Word. Then, whether you are alone or with a group, read Luke 6:17-49 aloud.
  3. Jesus is teaching on a plain, or plateau, near the hillside where he recently selected His twelve apostles (see Lk 6:12-16). This famous sermon contains some of the most well-known teaching of Jesus. Who is present to hear it, why are they present, and to whom is Jesus really speaking (vss 17-20)?
  4. In vss 20-26, Jesus contrasts what it means to experience or not experience God’s blessing. What do you think it means to be blessed? Write up a one-sentence definition of what it means to be blessed according to the Bible.
  5. These contrasts relate to physical, social, and spiritual conditions. What are the contrasts, what is the future hope, and what would you say is the dividing center point between these lists?
  6. Vss 27-38 focus on the way of love. To whom should we extend love according to Jesus? How does this contrast with other standards or human nature? Why is this important to Jesus?
  7. Jesus finishes this section by addressing the concept of judging others. What sort of judgment is Jesus talking about here? In what way do you think this relates to Jesus’ teaching about loving our enemies?
  8. Who is someone you struggle to love or not judge? Why is this difficult for you? What do you think it looks like to extend Jesus’ love to that person this week?
  9. Jesus’ teaching concludes with three pictures of what life with Christ looks like (vss 39-49). Which of these is most striking to you personally? What is Jesus saying in the teaching? What is He saying to you in particular through it?


Daily Reading Plan

To encourage us together in our growth with God, we are arranging a weekday reading plan through this entire series with the Gospel of Luke. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.

Follow along with the reading plan below, through the Eastbrook app, or on social media.

Jan. 16            Luke 6:17-19; Matthew 5:1-2
Jan. 17            Luke 6:20-26; Matthew 5:3-12
Jan. 18            Luke 6:27-36
Jan. 19            Luke 6:37-42; Matthew 7:1-2
Jan. 20            Luke 6:43-49; Matthew 7:15-23

MLK: ‘I Have a Dream’

dr-martin-luther-king-i-have-a-dream-speechOn this day celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr., I want to remind us of one of the unparalleled moments in his life and work.  While there is much that could be said about Martin Luther King, Jr., as a leader, orator, pastor, and husband, I want to encourage you today to simply read, listen to, or watch (below) the roughly seventeen-minute “I Have a Dream” speech that King gave over fifty years ago. The vision he articulated transcends his individual life and puts into eloquent words the deepest longings of many people then and now. This speech still rings with power, reminding us that, as he said, “Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning.” We have come so far but we still have so far to go.



This weekend at Eastbrook Church I continued our series, “Jesus on the Move,” with a messaged entitled, “Teaching” from Luke 6:17-49. This is Jesus’ famous sermon that has had such a tremendous impact on our world, even credited as one of the most important speeches in all of human history. I focused primarily on Jesus’ words about what it means to be blessed by God and the heart of His message about loving others.

You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

Also, join in with the weekday reading plan for this series here.

The Great Reversal (Luke 6:20-26)


Contrasts of blessing and woe

The Son of Man at the center


The Radical Love of Jesus’ Disciples (Luke 6:27-38)

Radical love for enemies

Radical love with intent

Radical love reflecting God

Radical love free of judgment


3 Pictures of a Disciple’s Life (Luke 6:39-49)

Student and Teacher: the way

Tree and Fruit: the heart

Buildings and Foundations: the center


Sunday Prayer 35

in darkness the day begins,
lingering formless and void
before dawn.
come, Holy Spirit, come.
hover over the face of this day,
drawing divine life forth.
generate good things
from morning gloom
that Your light might shine
abroad in our hearts all day.

speak, Jesus the Word, speak.
show the way into this day
for Your words wield light
upon wild, wandering ways.
name Your works in us
that we might know the way to go,
for Your Name only is salvation.

stand, Father, stand.
Creative King, call forth life
and lead us alive to You.
All-powerful Lord, guide and guar us
as we sing salvation songs
on this pilgrim path.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]