July 2017


Luke 19:11-27                         KINGDOM INVESTING

Parable: a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels.   It is easy to really dive off into the weeds of a parable and get lost.  Parables are not scripture accounts of an event; they are stories to convey or illustrate a spiritual truth.

This is a PARABLE.

Luke 19:11-27             “As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’  And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’  And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’  Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow?  Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’  And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’  And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’  ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”   ESV

NOTE: A Mina is about 50 shekels or approximately a pound of money….in a time money was weighed in a balance.

The POINT:  The Kingdom of God is coming soon! 

The days we currently live in are numbered and counting down daily!  This world and this flesh were NOT designed to be eternal.

The second coming of Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Messiah, is just around the bend.

THE PLAN

God’s plan is for His people to be active in Worship, Ministry, Evangelism, Fellowship and Discipleship.

These 5 are the calling of each and every believer.

God gifts us the Spiritual gifts, talents, abilities, passions, time, funding, resources, location and more to GO and be HIS witnesses, spreading HIS light in a dark and stormy world.

God gives us the resources (Minas) and responsibility to multiply.

The PROBLEM

Christians do NOT act like Jesus is coming soon.

Believers do NOT act like our time to serve God here on the MISSION FIELD is limited and quickly ending.

The PROCRASTINATION

God gives us great treasure!

Health

Finances

Family

Country

We become complacent, happy to “SIT ON OUR LAURELS”

Forgetting that they are not even “OUR” laurels.

We think there is plenty of time

There may be eons of time remaining

There may not be any time remaining

We DO NOT KNOW

WE are to serve, obey and ACT like Christ’s return is imminent!

The PRODUCT

One was very faithful – great reward – well done good servant – BLESSED

One was a little faithful – little reward – but reward – BLESSED

One was Unfaithful – Conviction – What did you do with what I gave you!  Condemned by ow own words and INACTIONS.  BLESSING GIVEN AWAY

Faith Pleases God (Hebrews 11:6)

The PUNISHMENT

Reserved for those who reject the King of kings and Lord of lords.

These are LOST to destruction.  DAMNED

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God’s Way                  July 16, 2017

Luke 19:1-10 “He entered Jericho and was passing through.  And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.  And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature.  So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”  So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”  And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  

Many will remember this scripture by the little song that reminds us “Zacchaeus was a wee, little man,
And a wee, little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
For the Lord he wanted to see”

 We tend to lose sight of the reality that this text is not about Zacchaeus but instead about how God effected Zacchaeus’ life and family.

This scripture is about God and how God reaches us, the hurting people who need Him.

God’s Way, not our way.

  1. God’s Way is to be there
    1. Jesus was “passing through” Jericho
      1. He was not there by accident
      2. God knew there were lost and hurting people there who needed Him immensely
  • God knew Zacchaeus’ need long before Zacchaeus knew his need
  1. God is everywhere
    1. He is exactly where you need Him
    2. He is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18
  • He is near everyone who calls on Him in truth – Psalm 145:18
  1. He is the God who is near – Jeremiah 23.23
  2. He is not far from each of us – Acts 17:27
  1. God’s Way is to know everything about us
    1. He knew who Zacchaeus was
    2. He knew him and his family
    3. He knew his sins and his need for salvation
    4. He knew Zacchaeus was ready for new life
    5. He knew Zacchaeus had to repent
  2. God’s way is to show us His Way.
    1. We need to Know that God’s Way is the BEST way
    2. He knew Zacchaeus was trying to see Him Zacchaeus’ own way
      1. He climbed up a tree
        1. Was not really thinking of a personal relationship
          1. God was
        2. Contrast with the Lady with the issue of blood who crawled on her belly though a crowd to reach Jesus and just touch the hem His robe. God had more for both of them!
        3. He made Zacchaeus come down from the tree he found himself up for all the wrong reasons
          1. Ever found yourself up a tree or out on a limb?
          2. He was about to begin a new personal relationship with Zacchaeus
  • But FIRST Zacchaeus had to come down from the tree…undo the WORKS he had done
  1. What barrier or DISTANCE have you put up to Jesus?
  2. Are you wanting to see who Jesus is but have no real interaction with Him?
  3. Maybe you think it is enough to get “in the same general area” as Jesus but not get to know Him?
  1. Zacchaeus repented – he changed his heart and promised to restore what he had stolen
    1. Even while the ones he would return the money to were grumbling and complaining that Jesus was going to his house
  2. God’s Way is to bring salvation
    1. Jesus came to seek and save the lost
    2. Jesus saves
    3. Even the worst of sinners with the worst reputations
    4. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

July 2, 2017    Jesus in America

Luke 18:31-34 “And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.  For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.  And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”  But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.”

  1. I love our country!
    1. I am one of the less that 7% of Americans alive today who have served in our military
      1. Right now, less that 0.5% of all Americans are on active duty (1.4 Million)
        1. Over 511,000 elected politicians (.16%)
        2. 21, 995,000 government employees (6.8%)
          1. Maybe part of our problem is we have close to twice as many governing as building)
        3. Only 12,329,000 manufacturing employees (3.83%)
        4. 600,000 clergy/religious workers (0.19%)
        5. 150 Million people employed (46.7%)
          1. 110 Million unemployed (34.2%)
          2. 4 million kids, retired, disabled (19%)
        6. 4 Million people
      2. I believe we are blessed with the greatest country in the world…UNIVERSE
      3. I believe there is a reason for this blessing….
    2. Our Country was FOUNDED by a people on their Knees with their eyes of God.
      1. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
    3. Psalms 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!”   ESV
      1. America was founded for God and by God, focused on God’s Word.
    4. Over these past 241 years things have changed greatly
      1. But, unfortunately, the more things change, the more they stay the same……..
    5. Today is really not much different than that time thousands of years ago when it comes to JESUS and HIS PEOPLE
      1. The politicians seem to against Him
      2. The courts seem to be against Him
      3. Many “religious leaders” seem to be against Him
      4. God’s People seem to either be ASHAMED of Him or AFRAID of them!
        1. Afraid of the backlash/persecution they MAY experience if they take a stand for Him
        2. We are more like modern day SIMONs, denying Jesus time after time, than we are PETERs proclaiming His Name and Word…FEEDING HIS SHEEP!
      5. Look at the similarities between TODAY and THIS TEXT
      6. Jesus knew His fate at the hands of the Temple Elite and the Political Leaders of the day
        1. He went anyway
        2. He was delivered to the Gentiles
          1. How often have we Christians given up our rights and allowed Jesus to be tossed out of our public life?
            1. We have delivered Him to their hands for their evil and unrighteous will to be done.
          2. He was mocked, shamefully treated and spit upon
            1. Look at the news and the legal opinions
              1. Crosses and 10 Commandment statues ordered removed
                1. Or knocked down
              2. Speech about Jesus restricted or banned
                1. While speech about false gods, ungodly things not only permitted but encouraged.
              3. Our Lord and Savior is being denied, abused, rejected at every turn and corner
                1. It seems our country today still desires to kill Jesus to this day!
              4. But there are things our lost world NEED to know
                1. Jesus is eternal
                2. Jesus loves them
                  1. He bore the shame, abuse, pain and death on the Cross of Calvary FOR THEM
                3. They may beat Him down and think they have won
                  1. BUT
                  2. Jesus is coming back again!
  • He WILL RISE
    1. Martyrs bear martyrs
  1. Not only do we KNOW that Jesus is alive and soon returning
    1. WE also know that His Church remains
      1. Maybe a shadow of its former power
      2. But we ain’t out yet!
    2. It is up to the church of the living God to RISE UP and stand against the tide of unrighteousness
      1. Just as it has had to do for millennium after millennium
    3. The lost world AND UNFORTUNATELY many believers today do not understand the power of God’s Church
      1. We don’t get it
      2. We do not have to yield
  • We do not have to give up, give in or give out!
  1. Our CALLING is to put JESUS Back in AMERICA
    1. How? Glad you asked!
      1. Prayer
        1. Our greatest weapon
      2. Spiritual Formation
        1. Discipleship and Faith lived beyond learning
  • Obedience to the Word of God
    1. Feet to Faith
  1. We GO!
  1. When we know there will be negative reactions to our professions of faith WE GO!
  2. When we know the courts may rule against us and try to silence our speech WE GO!
  3. When we fear persecution, pain or death WE GO!
  1. It is time we took up the mantle of our Founders, of our early church leaders and of our Biblical Heroes and obey the Word of God
    1. Put Jesus Back in America Again
      1. Trump cannot do this
      2. No politician can do this
  • ONLY GOD can do this
    1. He is calling and commanding His people to PRAY AND GO

 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.”    ESV

 Matthew 28:16-20 “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ESV

Acts 1:6-9 “So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”   And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.”   ESV

Isaiah 6:8-9 “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”  And he said, “Go, and say to this people:…” ESV

When Jesus Stops       Luke 18:35 – 43

This is one of those scriptures that digs deep inside of our human-American weaknesses.  I hurt when I read this and ponder it for what God is speaking to us.

It hurts because it highlights a problem that is far too common in our country and our world today.

It hurts because of the way we pretty much ignore those on societies margins.  The Periphery People.

The poor, the dirty, the disabled…those who are different.

Acknowledging them only as habit or an uncontrolled reflex…. like sneeze or hiccup.  A quick nod of the head and twisted smile as we hurry about our business.

We know they are there…. but we don’t want to know they are there

We are all so busy…and so distracted by our phones, personal drama and our “self-absorbed selves” that we often have no clue what is going on around us.

We have seen the videos of people laying in the street bleeding as hundreds of people walk by oblivious to the person in need.

We have heard the text of the Parable of the Good Samaritan where 3 people you should EXPECT to have compassion walked away from a hurting man only to have the last person in the work you would EXPECT to help stop and render aid.

We have all provided an answer to a question that was not asked because we were not really listening.

Perhaps God get so busy He overlooks us or stops listening?  We are made in His image after all.  Right?

Luke 18:35 – 43   “As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant.37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.”  ESV

NO!   Jesus is not like His FALLEN Creation!

Time after time in the text we find Jesus stopping, or going out of His way, to hear our cries for help!

Our text today is just one of many examples of His compassion and care for us, His wayward children.

  1. UNMET NEEDS

       Blind man begging

Definitely has needs

Begging only income to meet needs

Heard the crowd coming by and asked what was going on

They told him Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, but

He had heard of Jesus before and cried out for Him…. as “Jesus, Son of David” – different than the name he was told.

I bet the blind man was grateFULL to the one who told him about Jesus, Son of David”

He knew his need for Jesus

  1. SOME HELP/MOST HINDER

People tried to shut him up

Just like people try to keep a hurting world from Jesus today

Why?

Who knows how many times they had walked past this poor man and done nothing.

Who knows how many times he had heard their pace quicken as they approached him ….and slowed after they passed.

Who knows how many folks felt a sense of self-righteousness as they tossed a few pennies his way

Maybe they thought he was not worthy.

Maybe they were jealous because they were “In Front”

Maybe they were embarrassed by their inaction

            They COULD have done something but didn’t

They SHOULD have done something but didn’t

They WOULD have done something but didn’t

WHO are we leaving by the ROADSIDE waiting for Jesus to do something?

 We are to be HIS HANDS and HIS FEET and HIS LOVE

 3.    ASK RIGHT …We do not have because we ask wrongly

 What are we missing from God because we are not asking for it or are asking wrongly…… or our asking this so convoluted not even God can figure it out!

James 4:1-10 “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”   ESV

Asking Rightly:

Humility

Resist the Devil

Draw near to God

Repent

Cleans your hands

Purify your hearts

**BROKENESS – knowing your need for and depending on God

The blind man was broken of all pride, all he knew was NEED and he had heard that Jesus, the Son of David, could help

No one else had

The blind man was determined and yelled more and louder.  

How hard do you work to be heard by God?

What are you NOT WILLING to submit to find help and hope

  1. JESUS CARES – ASK HIM

Cry out to Him…He will Hear and He will Listen

Jesus asked what he wanted … not what he needed

He wanted to see

He was very clear and straightforward in his request

No flowery intro

No KJV language

No hesitation

No “if you would/want too/ etc

Let me SEE! CLEAR and FERVENT

Jesus said ok…. then see

            The Spoken Word of God

                        His eyes obeyed God and he began to see

                                    When Jesus Stopped

  1. KNOW WHY YOU RECEIVE

What God gives you is not for you

For His glory

To help you follow Him

To draw others to glorify God

So they may follow Him