August 20        Luke 19:45-48             Purpose

This text speaks about the priority and purpose of the local church.

First Baptist has a purpose statement.  Anyone like to try to recite it from memory?

The Purpose of our church is to be the presence of Christ in our community and the World through Worship, Ministry, Evangelism, Fellowship and Discipleship.

We cannot properly and obediently fulfill our PURPOSE if we never seek our Kings instruction, guidance and correction!

We must become a house of prayer, preparation and listening intently.

  • Reality: To fulfill our purpose as a church we must gather as a church
    • The police “10 Codes” are fairly well known
      • 10-2 – Signal Good
      • 10-4 – OK
      • 10-25 – Meet in person (face to face)
    • Hebrews 10:23-25 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  ESV
    • Reality: By this standard, Wednesday Nights SHOULD BE the biggest attendance night of the week!
      • It is not that we do not pray at our other services, we certainly do
      • Wednesday night is the time we set aside for the church family to gather together and join in one accord as we lift up prayer requests and praises to our King.
      • This is a time of seeking God and supporting each other THEN move into Bible Study.

If we truly were about seeking God

If we truly wanted to hear from Him

If we truly believed He hears our prayer

If we believe that He meant it when He told us to not neglect the gathering of ourselves together as His Children  (Hebrews 10:25)

If we believe that there is power in the gathering together of believers   (Acts:2:40 – 47)

  • Priority of prayer
    • The power of a church is not in the foolishness of preaching
    • The power of the church is not in a denomination or the paperwork
    • The full power of the church is not in the people
  • The power of the church resides in the Lord
    • who designed it,
    • called it,
    • empowers it and
    • uses it to build men and women of faith to serve Him through
  • Prayer is our communication “data port” with God
  • Priority of teaching and learning
    • We call this discipleship
    • We call this Spiritual growth
    • We call this spiritual formation
      • Corporately we do this on Sunday Mornings at 10 AM
      • Corporately we do this Sunday Morning at 11 AM
      • Corporately we do this Wednesday Evening at 6:30 PM
      • Corporately we do this at VBS
      • Corporately we do this at Revival Services
      • Individually we should be about this in our homes, at our workplaces and in our community.
    • Priority of focus/paying attention
    • For our praying and learning to be effective there is one more PRIORITY we can learn from this text:
      • The Priority of Listening INTENTLY
    • Church is participatory
    • Be there
    • Be involved
    • Be focused
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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

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

June 18th                      Fathers Day                 God’s Rules

Ephesians 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”  Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”   ESV

  1. Kids, obey your parents
    1. Maybe the way to better parents is to be better kids
      1. I was not always the best kid around
        1. Through God, my parents brought me into this world
        2. They cleaned me, fed me, took care of me
        3. They made sure I went to school, to the doctor, and, as best they could, had more than I needed!
      2. Maybe I should have been more obedient and respectful
        1. It is the RIGHT thing to do
        2. Honor them
  • Respect them
  1. Obey them
    1. Makes your life easier
    2. Gives you longer life
      1. “The put you in this world, they can take you out!”
    3. This is the WILL OF GOD for you
      1. Disobedience is sin
      2. Talking SMACK about your parentals is SIN
  • Rebellion is sin
  1. Dads rules may sometimes seem harsh, weird or unnecessary
    1. But they have purpose
      1. They try to keep you safe
      2. They try to build character
  • They try to build submission and service
  1. The rules are for your own good
    1. But we don’t see that
    2. We want OUR WAY
    3. We rebel against our Dads Will
  2. No matter how much he is trying to help us
    1. And we usually end up in trouble
    2. We get hurt
    3. We make mistakes
      1. Some short term
      2. Some last longer
    4. Funny how the older we get the wiser our parentals become
  3. Reality, being all that reality is, teaches us that we are all like this
    1. We like to learn the hard way for some reason
      1. We touch the hot stove
      2. We suffer the consequences
    2. We hear God’s Rules but do not follow them
      1. We THINK we know better
      2. We rebel against God
  • We touch the hot stove
    1. For no GOOD reason except we want to what we are told not to do
  1. We PURPOSEFULLY do what we are told not to do by our father
  2. We suffer the consequences
    1. Punishment
    2. Problems
    3. Pain
  3. Until we take those problems to God, our HEAVENLY FATHER
    1. He forgives
    2. He restores He heals
  4. 1 John 1:5-10 “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”   ESV
  5. It is funny how the older we get the WISER God becomes to us
    1. PLEASE turn to God while you are young

 

  1. The rest will probably not be included after a Sunday Morning Re-Write
  2. Dad’s have responsibilities as well
    1. The GOOD DAD
      1. Disciplines their children
      2. Teaches their children
        1. Trades
        2. Crafts
        3. Hobbies
        4. FAITH
          1. The church is not primarily responsible for teaching your kids!
            1. YOU ARE
  • DO NOT Provoke your children to anger
    1. Keep YOUR Cool
    2. Understand
    3. Listen
    4. Correct unacceptable behavior
      1. Don’t try to beat it out of them
    5. The GOOD DAD is TOUGH but FAIR
    6. The GOOD DAD LISTENS and LOVES and DOESN’T LEAVE
  1. Dads are absolutely necessary in our families today
    1. BE THERE
    2. Your place is at home
      1. Not in the bars
      2. Not running around till all hours
    3. Sure, enjoy your hobbies
      1. IF possible take your kids and wife!
    4. All of this is a reflection of how we should be with God
      1. Honor Him
      2. Respect Him
      3. Obey Him
    5. Our ABBA is the ULTIMATE GOOD FATHER
      1. Christians are His children
        1. We have that right
      2. Yes, sometimes He disciplines us
        1. To correct our behavior and call us to Himself
      3. Yes, He teaches us
        1. Teaches
        2. Gifts us with skills, talents and abilities
      4. He LOVES us!
        1. Completely and Totally
        2. He is COMMITTED to us
          1. FOREVER
          2. Never will He abandon us
  • He is TOUGH but FAIR
  1. He LISTENS and LOVES and DOESN’T LEAVE
  1. He is the MODEL FATHER we should seek to be

May 28            Kids Need the Lord    Luke 18:15 – 17

Luke 18:15-17 “Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.   Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”   ESV

 Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem passing between Samaria and Galilee.  There are many cities in this area…one of which is Nazareth, His boyhood home.

Many sought Him out for help, healing and hope.

They even brought their children to Him; a MAJOR break from the traditions and laws of the Temple Elite.  Kids make noise in the temple and make a mess and break stuff and ask a LOT of questions (questions the Temple Elite did not want to be bothered with and/or have to answer)

The disciple rebuked the parents, grandparents, others for bringing the little kids to their Rabbi.

“Get those snot nosed brats out of here and back to the playgrounds where they belong!”

Jesus had a different plan and did a little rebuking of His own!

Jesus knew the heart of the little children AND He knew their needs.

KIDS NEED THE LORD

  • Jesus WANTS the little children to come to Him
    •             Freely
    •             Unhindered

Parents/Grandparents/teachers/church family,     we need to examine how we treat the youngest, weakest, powerless among us!

  • Do we help, hinder or hurt their journey to Christ?
    •                         We hold SUPREME power over them
    •                         What we say they do
    •                         What we do they mimic
    •                         Where we go – they go
    •                         What we prioritize they see as important

We need to examine our families, our parenting, our choices, our church, our EVERYTHING and see if there is anything we are doing to HINDER our children from coming to JESUS!

  • Maybe it is our WORDS.
    • Whether in bad language or just telling them they are too
    • young
  • Maybe it is our PRIORITIES
    • We can easily fall into the trap of making everything else a priority OVER God: sports, sleep, movies, vacation, hobbies, etc
      Maybe it is our ACTIONS
    • Whether in bad behavior or by providing no guidance and
    • accountability or simply by not LIVING God in our homes
  • Maybe it is our ATTITUDES
    • If our attitudes are negative so will be our children’s
    • If our attitude about God and church are negative so will be our children’s

We should do EVERYTHING within our power to ENCOURAGE our kids towards God!

KIDS NEED THE LORD

AS we do this, we will see a change in us, we will become like the little children loving and trusting God in a simple heartfelt faith.

It is the “grown Ups” who forget how to love and receive.  We have developed hard hearts and QUESTION EVERYTHING that is offered us.  “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!”

We have been hurt, beaten, abused, trampled, cast aside, overlooked, underappreciated, taken advantage of and used by just about every HUMAN we have ever met.  WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE DISAPPOINTMENTS!

We are afraid to open up and be vulnerable yet again because we fear being hurt or harmed.

It is out of our life experiences – good and bad/ joyful and painful that we lead our children

Children usually do not carry this fear.

  • They are willing to believe that God is exactly who He says He is!
  • They understand that God will never lie to them or let them down
  • They know that God will never leave them or forsake them
  • They understand that God LOVES them and wants the very best for their lives.
    • Kids UNDERSTAND God.
    • KIDS NEED THE LORD
    • YOU need the LORD!

Today we will celebrate the achievement of our children, young and old.  We will encourage them in their motivation and hard work to achieve the goals we celebrate.

Have we encouraged them towards Jesus and Celebrated their journey into His Grace?

The Kingdom of God belongs to those who receive God’s Grace as a little child.

10 years old or 100 years old, the same Grace of Holy God is available for you.

Cast away the hardness and negativity of the world and receive God’s Love as a little child receives Him and LIVE!

Maybe this text is about how we treat the smallest and weakest among us…those with no power and no real say……do we push them back….do we push them down?   Do we push them FORWARD?  Do we somehow reserve “The Best part” for the grown ups?

Do we push them to God?