Hello everybody and welcome in to episode 192 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Luke 11 today and our focus is on Persisting In Prayer and Turning to Jesus. A Plea From a Dying Orphan.   We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in   Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

I want to say that Luke 11 is fantastic, but I realize that sounds quite silly – all of the Bible is great, of course, but there are some things in Luke 11 I am particularly drawn to and find unusually compelling. There is one thing in our chapter today that is almost funny, but really more indicative of Jesus’ very strong stance against the hypocritical religious leaders of His time.

45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things you insult us too.”46 Then he said, “Woe also to you experts in the law! You load people with burdens that are hard to carry, and yet you yourselves don’t touch these burdens with one of your fingers. Luke 11:45-46

Every pastor and church leader should read this passage and Matthew 23 the parallel where Jesus calls out all of the religious leaders…and tremble.

I also would like to point out, as a history major and fan of Abraham Lincoln, that it was not Abraham Lincoln who first used the house divided metaphor. Jesus uses it here in Luke 11:

17 Knowing their thoughts, he told them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and a house divided against itself falls. 

This is an important truth for every church that has ever struggled with division. There are truths worth standing for, and it would be sinful compromise to NOT stand for those truths, but generally speaking, style of music, color and type of carpet, service times, church names, pews vs. chairs, and so many other things that churches and Christians have argued about over the years are not truths worth dividing over. Division brings ruin to the house that is divided – the church that is divided will soon fall. Let’s read our passage, and then focus on our main discussion point today.

Jesus’ teaching on prayer here is so important, and there is a promise of sorts in vs 10 that is not as evident in English as it is in the Greek:

10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened

Those verbs there are participles, implying continuous asking – everyone ASKING (and keeping on asking) will receive. The one seeking (who keeps seeking) will find, etc. I found an amazing letter today, written in 1857 by an orphan named Martha Pinnell to her friend Elizabeth. Martha was under the care of George Mueller, a mighty man of prayer and faith, who opened the first orphanages in England. Martha was converted to Christ under Mueller’s ministry, and was a teenager dying of tuberculosis when she wrote the following letter to her friend Elizabeth: it contains an exhortation to the truth of prayer in Luke 11 and also a plea for her friend to turn to Jesus: 

My dear Elizabeth, As you wished to have a note from me, and to-day is your birth-day, I with pleasure send you one. I have not anything to speak about but the one thing which occupies my mind: the love of God to us poor sinners. This day is the closing one of another year to you, and it is one nearer to eternity: how does it find you? have you, during the past year, given your heart to God? If so, you are, and have been happy; and you are safe now, and for ever, resting entirely on Him for salvation: or is it that you are seeking the Lord? If this be the case, then I would say to you, with true love, continue earnestly to do so; and He will hear, and answer you; for He has said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matth. 7:7, 8 + Luke 11. None that come to Jesus are sent away empty; and again He has said, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37. If you are seeking Jesus, let these precious portions encourage you to go on earnestly to do so; and if you continue, you shall find, even as Jesus has said in those precious texts; for not one of His words shall fail, but all shall come to pass. But on the other hand, if you are still careless about the salvation of your precious soul, you are indeed in a sad, sad condition. I shudder to think of its being so with you: if it is, let me, as a true friend, entreat you to be wise, and seek to be at peace with God through faith in Jesus His beloved Son. Will you not come: oh! DO, before it is too late: “delay is dangerous;” and you will have to regret, not doing so, if you will not. Come now, while it is called to-day—to-morrow may be too late. “Behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now, is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor. 6:2. Oh! be entreated; Jesus is ever willing to hear, and answer prayer. Remember “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish.” John 3:16. How kind of God! Even while we were yet sinners, He gave His precious Son to die for us sinful creatures: we justly deserve to be punished, every one of us; but Jesus has borne the punishment due to us, and all who believe in Him, and rest entirely upon Him for salvation, shall be saved. We cannot save ourselves; no, we are sinful creatures; and there is nothing good in us, but in Jesus is everything that God required; and by the death of Jesus we have purchased for us salvation: and whosoever believes in Him shall be saved: we have simply to believe in Him; and that He has done all this for us. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved:” we must do so, or we cannot be saved. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. Think of this, and earnestly seek, that you may be one of the children of God, through faith in Jesus. I have much to say to you, but my paper is full.
Believe me your true friend and well-wisher,

George Müller, A Narrative of Some of the Lord’s Dealings with George Müller, vol. 3 (London: J. Nisbet & Co., 1874), 256–257.

 What a massive amount of Scripture use and wisdom from a young teenager dying of tuberculosis. I am blown away by this letter, and God’s grace in the life of Martha. 

Bible Memory verses for the month of July: 47I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48

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