There were so many parts of this reading that I could have selected for my initial journal entry that it was difficult to choose which verses to use. I have a feeling it will be that way every day. The point is for you to pick whatever verse(s) you want to focus on for your journal. Feel free to comment about my entry or add something from yours in the comments.
Reading: Luke 1.1-80
Scripture: "I decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1.3-4)
Observations: This Gospel of Luke, as the other Gospels, was written so that the story of Jesus would be remembered, and so that Theophilus and all who read it would be assured of the things they had been told. The news of Jesus spread like wildfire throughout the Aramaic and Greek-speaking world, from the Jewish subculture to the larger Hellenistic culture. At the outset of the Gospel, it is good to remember that the original writer and readers were real people who faced real-life issues in their day which were not completely unlike the issues we face today. The story of Jesus made all the difference to them as they faced those challenges.
Application: People struggle to believe. If these who were only a generation removed from Jesus needed to read the story in order to be strengthened in their faith, how much more do I need to stay “in the story?” When I remove myself from the story I am removing the impact it can make in my life, and I am weaker because of it. Also, I must remember that others need to hear the story in order to believe, and the best way for the story to be passed on is from one person to another.
Prayer: Jesus, as I read your story, the story that made all the difference to those who heard it so long ago, may it make all the difference in my life too. Help me to listen and learn so that I may face the challenges of today and tell the "good news" to others in a way that is true to your will and ways.