São Lucas, nasceu em Antioquia da Síria, médico de profissão foi convertido pelo apóstolo São Paulo, do qual se tornou inseparável e fiel companheiro de missão. Colaborador no apostolado, o grande apóstolo dos gentios em diversos lugares externa a alta consideração que tinha por Lucas, como portador de zelo e fidelidade no coração. Ambos fazem várias viagens apostólicas, tornando-se um dos primeiros missionários do mundo greco-romano. Tornou-se excepcional para a vida da Igreja por ter sido dócil ao Espírito Santo, que o capacitou com o carisma da inspiração e da vivência comunitária, resultando no Evangelho segundo Lucas e na primeira história da Igreja, conhecida como Atos dos Apóstolos.No Evangelho segundo Lucas, encontramos o Cristo, amor universal, que se revela a todos e chama Zaqueu, Maria Madalena, garante o Céu para o “bom” ladrão e conta as lindas parábolas do pai misericordioso e do bom samaritano. Nos Atos dos Apóstolos, que poderia também se chamar Atos do Espírito Santo, deparamos com a ascensão do Cristo, que promete o batismo no Espírito Santo, fato que se cumpre no dia de Pentecostes, e é inaugurada a Igreja, que desde então vem evangelizando com coragem, ousadia e amor incansável todos os povos.Uma tradição diz-nos que São Lucas foi pintor e fala-nos duma imagem de Nossa Senhora saída do seu pincel. Santo Agostinho, no séc. IV, diz-nos pela sua parte que não conhecemos o retrato de Maria; e Santo Ambrósio, com sentido espiritual, diz-nos que era figura de bondade. Este é o retrato que nos transmitiu São Lucas da Virgem Maria: o seu retrato moral, a bondade da sua alma. O Evangelho de boa parte das Missas de Maria Santíssima é tomado de São Lucas, porque foi ele quem mais longamente nos contou a sua vida e nos descobriu o seu Coração. Duas vezes esteve preso São Paulo em Roma e nos dois cativeiros teve consigo São Lucas, “médico queridíssimo”. Ajudava-o no seu apostolado, consolava-o nos seus trabalhos e atendia-o e curava-o com solicitude nos seus padecimentos corporais. No segundo cativeiro, do ano 67, pouco antes do martírio, escreve a Timóteo que “Lucas é o único companheiro” na sua prisão. Os outros tinham-no abandonado.
The blessing of God is not to be taken lightly. But in our day, blessings are thrown around so flippantly and indiscriminately that the word blessing has all but lost its meaning. People speak about feeling blessed and having a blessed day or a blessed life when everything is going well and nothing too severe is bothering them in the moment. We hear blessings after sneezes, at the end of voicemail messages, as hashtags in social media posts, and on bumper stickers. In these United States, the statement “God bless America” used to be a prayer of humble dependence, but now it is often treated as an arrogant, presumptuous declaration that God will bless us no matter what we do as a nation. God has blessed, and God does bless, and we pray that God will bless, but we must remember that His blessings are serious things, and we are not to treat them frivolously. God takes His blessing seriously, and so should we. God doesn’t bless people flippantly and He doesn’t bless indiscriminately—He blesses His people according to His steadfast covenant love for us. Not everyone is blessed, and God’s blessing shouldn’t simply be assumed. Only those who are in covenant with God are blessed, and only those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ are blessed, for He met the condition by His perfect life and substitutionary atoning death. Only those united to Christ by faith are blessed. As believers, we are blessed in Christ because Christ took the curse of sin for us and suffered the wrath of God for us. If someone is not in Christ, and never trusts Christ, he will prove that he is condemned already. His apparent blessings will ultimately redound to his condemnation. If we are truly in Christ, we will strive to bear the fruit of Christ. If we believe the gospel, we will strive to walk worthy of the gospel. If we have the Spirit, we will strive to walk in the Spirit. If we love Christ, we will strive to follow and obey Christ. If we love God, we will strive to keep God’s commandments. If we are blessed, we will strive to possess and pursue the characteristics Jesus speaks of in the Beatitudes, and as we demonstrate them in this world, we will be persecuted.
Jesus is the light of the world: He came and shined in the midst of darkness and the darkness comprehended Him not. He came to illuminate the path to righteousness, peace, and joy. He came to show us the way out of our dark and destructive lifestyles. He came as the light of the world. When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NIV)
Not alone (in these 3 ways)
The “Up!” Devo for October 18
This week we’ve been talking about facing trouble and persecution as a follower of Jesus. Most overt persecution happens in other parts of the world. But I’m convinced that it’s going to be more and more common here in North America.
It’s a big deal. And we’re naïve to ignore it. And we’re super-naïve to think it won’t get even worse for our children and grandchildren.
So far we’ve discussed how we should expect to be different, how we should prepare to be persecuted, and how to respond if and when it happens.
Today, an assurance: You are not alone.
First, you have God’s word to guide you. Think of Psalm 119:42: “I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word.” Second, you have God’s Spirit to comfort you. As a Jesus-follower, God has given you this gift. In John’s Gospel, the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter four times.* Third, you have God’s people to encourage you. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 we read, “encourage one another and build each other up…” In Hebrews 10:25 Christians are reminded to meet together for the purpose of mutual encouragement. As a church, this is going to be one of our most important tasks in the years ahead.
Going through something difficult is easier when you know you’re not alone.
You have God’s word to guide you, God’s Spirit to comfort you, and God’s people to encourage you.
You are not alone.
By Matthew Ruttan --“Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday – Friday) and returns on October 21.
--* In John’s Gospel the Holy Spirit is called Comforter four times (Greek: Parakletos). It is a word that is also translated as Advocate, Counselor or Helper. See John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26; 16:7.
--Bible quotes from the NIV.