Temptations Twist

Luke 17:1-4 “And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.  Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” ESV

  • Temptation is not sin…..temptation will occur
  • Temptations to sin: Scandal, snare/trap, occasion to fall
    • Maybe illustrate with large mouse trap and cheese
      • What could the cheese illustrate/stand for?
        • Anything that tempts us
          • Pride
          • Alcohol and/or drugs
          • Lust – adultery
          • Sexual immorality
          • Gossip
          • Jealousy
          • Anger
          • Rivalries
          • Dissensions
          • Other FLESH FUELED issues

 These temptations WILL COME

    • Do not think you are somehow above them
    • There is a price to be paid for giving into them
    • The trap will snap
    • Temptation is not sin
      • Giving INTO temptations trap is our problem
      • What baits your trap?
      • What are you likely to give into quickly?
    • Jesus was tempted BUIT NEVER SINNED
    • Adam and Eve were similarly tempted but fell into the trap

Matthew 4:4 – 11 “4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,  but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”  Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”  11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”  ESV

Hebrews 4:`4 – 16 “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • ESPECIALLY if you cause another one to stumble
    • Little Ones: least, little, less, small in size, quantity, number or dignity
      • Not just talking about kids
  • Pay attention to YOURSELVES!
    • Watch what you are doing
    • Keep an eye on your hands
    • PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY TO GOD
    • DO NOT BE A TEMPTER!
  • Pay attention to others
    • Hold them accountable to God’s Word as well
      • The caution is to GOD’S WORD
      • Not yours
      • Not your interpretation that fits your needs
    • Forgive the truly repentant
      • Forgiveness is not acceptance of the bad behavior
    • Temptations Twist
      • The Grace of God
        • Even though we did not deserve His Love…
          • We were rebellious
          • We were mean
          • We were caught by evil
          • Sinners, each and every one
        • ….at Calvary Jesus stepped into our trap and took our destruction away
          • Jesus suffered, was ridiculed and debased
          • Jesus shed His Blood for our sins
          • Jesus died in our place
        • We can be set free….redeemed by the shed blood of the Lamb of God

Love Wins                             10-23-2016

Luke 13:10-17 “Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.  And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.  When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”   And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”  Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites!  Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?  And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.”   ESV

  1. Jesus was in church serving on the day set aside for worship
    1. The Sabbath Day
    2. The Lords Day
      1. Where are you on the Lords Day?
    3. There was hurting people present
      1. One was a woman who was disabled
        1. Bent over FOR 18 YEARS!
        2. Can you imagine?
        3. Could not stand straight
          1. Persistent pain is one thing BUT THIS?
  1. Jesus saw the hurt
    1. Jesus called her to Himself
    2. Through Word and Deed Jesus healed to hurting woman
      1. She glorified God
        1. When you are set free from pain and hurt from God you should be glorifying Him
    3. The Temple Elite were LIVID
      1. They became indignant because Jesus healed a broken person in church on Sunday
        1. It brought them and their leaders MUCH GRIEF that this woman was healed
      2. Why did He do this on the Sabbath? Why not Tuesday?
        1. COME BACK ANOTHER DAY!
        2. I kinda doubt this poor woman would have found any help from these RELIGIOUS SNOBS on any day!
      3. Jesus called out their hypocrisy
        1. An actor under an assumed character
          1. They were PRETENDING to be God’s Servants
          2. They really only served themselves
        2. He knew they themselves worked on the Sabbath
          1. They worked their livestock, for example
        3. If they cared for their donkeys on the Sabbath how much more should they care for God’s children?
      4. Great shame came upon the hypocritical Temple Elite
        1. God shamed them
        2. God shamed the haters
      5. The people rejoiced
        1. God HEALED the believers
        2. Jesus did great miracles that day in Church
      6. What does this mean for us today?
        1. We can get to “CAUGHT UP” in the “program” of church or the “OPERATIONAL NEEDS” of presenting a service.
          1. Is the grass cut, pews clean and the AC working?
          2. Do we LOOK and SMELL right?
  • Have we completed enough RELIGIOUS RITUAL to make US HAPPY (not worried about TRUE WORSHIP and PLEASING GOD)
  1. We get so CAUGHT UP in the PROCESS we FORGET THE PURPOSE!
  1. We act more like we are on a CRUISE SHIP than in a SPIRITUAL HOSPITAL
    1. We are HERE TO SERVE – NOT TO BE SERVED!
    2. Church should be a place for healing and hope
    3. Church should be a place that the broken are accepted, the lonely are hugged, the angry are soothed and ALL are brought to Jesus Christ
      1. Not told to come back another day
    4. Many times we need to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let Jesus do His healing, restorative work in our lives.
      1. No questioning
      2. No wondering why
      3. No complaining because church is encroaching on the 12 Noon football game
    5. LOVE WINS Even on Sunday!

You cannot ALMOST be saved but you can be DECEIVED

Luke 11:24 – 26   “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’  And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.  Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

We are a people who are good at starting things and making promises to start things but we really don’t follow through well.

We don’t finish well…or at all.

We have unfinished projects around the house…next month…2017

We plan and prepare but PROCRASTINATE

How many New Year’s Resolutions have you kept?

We do the same thing spiritually as well.

We come to an emotional moment with God and make promises.

“God if you deliver me from this I will……..”

We work hard changing our life, removing the bad chunks as we can.

We clean our life up.

But.

There is that word again.  We often want to live a Christian life….BUT:

But, we really don’t want to change

But, our friends will think we are weird

But, we do not follow through.

  • We plan and prepare to go pray every day…BUT
  • We plan to read our Bible for 1 hour every day….BUT
  • We prepare to be more faithful and obedient…BUT
  • But.
  • We think we have done enough.  So we stop.
  • We stop short of actual faith
  • We stop short of actual commitment
  • We stop short of a moment of conversion
  • We stop short of NEW LIFE.

WE, WE, WE, WE

Then WE learn a hard lesson.

What WE can FIX satan can easily BREAK

First, we revert back into some old patterns

Then, we gather new bad habits

    Habits made worse since we THINK we are OK with God now

But, in the end, we are in worse condition than when we started

  • Maybe we keep coming to church but feel empty.
  • Maybe we keep coming so we can FEEL faithful to…something
  • Maybe we grow dry and drift off as on a slight wind
  •             No LIVING WATER
  • Maybe we just give up and look elsewhere.

 

  • Not because God somehow failed…
  • Not because GOD is not able to save…
  • Not because God does not want to save…

But because we stopped short of allowing Him to save us.

We never receive NEW LIFE – we never accept HIM

Many, many people only THINK they are saved.

But they only straightened up for a while but soon found their lives more frustrating and messed up than before.

  • Some think they can save themselves.
  • Some think they can buy their salvation through much giving
  • Some think they can earn their salvation through much serving
  • Some think they deserve their salvation because of who they are
  • Some think they will receive salvation because God is love.
  • Some think they will get their salvation because of their family ties
  • Some just sit and HOPE they will be saved

Empty hulls waiting for something to fill them.

     God desires to fill your life

     Satan will use every opportunity to gain your empty soul

            ONE WILL FILL YOUR HEART AND LIFE

Christ or Satan?        YOUR CHOICE

Neither the church, your family’s heritage in the church nor how much you give or serve the church can save you.

You can ONLY be saved by GRACE alone through FAITH alone in JESUS CHRIST alone.

Everything else leaves you EMPTY.

Everything else leaves you VULNERABLE.

Everything else leaves you LOST.

Everything else leaves you HELL BOUND

There is a reason the musicians sing of a “Highway to Hell”  but only  “Stairway to Heaven”            They are speaking of the traffic each one is carrying to their final eternity.

God had Matthew write the concept for both these songs:

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”   ESV

Matthew 7:21 – 23  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Let God change you then fill all of the chasms of your heart and mind with Him!

Saying IS NOT ENOUGH – There must be the Will and ACTION of BEING a Christian actually OBEYING the Will of God!

  • FOLLOW THROUGH to TRUE FAITH!
  • Follow through with Baptism and Discipleship
  • Follow through with service and obedience

Spiritual Formation and Growth is NECESSARY for the Christian. 

Bible Study and Devotion is NECESSARY for the Christian.

OBEDIENCE is NECESSARY for a Christian

            (“IF you love Me, obey my Commands”- Jesus, John 14:15)

2 Corinthians 5:16 – 21  “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 

Is your NEW CREATION visible and active? Has GOD changed you?

Luke 7:1 – 10              The text is about Jesus healing the servant

“What’s So Amazing About Grace?”

Much like the 4 men and the paralytic, the centurion was a conduit for the servants healing

  1. The servant- in need of healing grace
    1. Sick and Dying
    2. Valuable/Important
    3. Cared for by his superior
    4. Not much more known
  2. The Centurion
    1. Roman – GENTILE
    2. High ranking – had money/influence/power
      1. Had soldiers serving under him
    3. Not Caesar – Top Rank – BUT POLITICAL
      1. Served under authority
    4. Well to do/resourceful
      1. Built the Jews a Synagogue
    5. Had a good relationship for the Jewish Nation
      1. “he loves our nation”
    6. Cared for his servants
      1. Compassionate
    7. Heard about Jesus and knew his need for Jesus
      1. Sent Jewish elders for Him
        1. An act of humility and/or desperation
        2. Had to be tough since the Jews of the day liked NEITHER ROMANS or JESUS!
      2. We do not how long he had known about Jesus
        1. But sounds recent
        2. ALL To help his servant
  1. He showed a strong faith at first, evidence by the sending for Jesus and the proclamation of Christ; but…..
    1. But it was a NEW wavering/weak faith
      1. Why did he send his friends to tell Jesus not to come into his home?
      2. He spoke of his position as a centurion
        1. Perhaps he feared loss of rank or privilege?
          1. Do we do this today at work?
        2. Perhaps he feared losing the friendship with the Jews?
          1. Do we allow this fear to keep us from allowing Jesus full access?
        3. “”Lord, Don’t trouble Yourself,….”
          1. Are we afraid of “troubling God” with our issues?
  • “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof”
    1. Are we afraid that our sins/lifestyle/issues/problems are too great
    2. Do we FEAR the REJECTION of Jesus?
    3. The TRUTH is that none of us are WORTHY!
    4. WE are made worthy by GRACE alone through FAITH alone in CHRIST alone
  1. Did not think he was worthy to go to Jesus on his own
    1. “I did not presume to come to you”
      1. How many times do we reject Jesus because we think we are not worthy
      2. How many times do we seek the prayers of others while not praying ourselves because we think we are not worthy
      3. How many times do we think Jesus is TOO GREAT or To BIG for us to approach?
    2. JESUS LOVES YOU AND GAVE HIS LIFE FOR YOU
      1. He wants you to trust Him and go to Him
      2. You need NO INTERCESSOR other than JESUS
    3. Maybe WE ARE NOT TO DIFFERENT from this Centurion
      1. “But say the Word, and let my Servant be healed”
        1. Just do it Jesus
        2. Don’t come here
      2. The centurion should be glad I’m not Jesus
        1. I wasted all this time traveling to you and now you say, “don’t bother, just do it!”
        2. That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works”
        3. I may have still healed the servant but the centurion just got leprosy!
      3. Jesus
        1. Saw his faith
          1. Even though it was very small
            1. Maybe even a MICROSCOPIC faith
          2. Even when he was weak and afraid
        2. Of Course Jesus could heal the servant from anywhere
        3. But Jesus wants a CLOSE personal relationship
          1. Jesus was willing to GO to the centurion
          2. Jesus was willing to GO to the dying servant
        4. GRACE = Jesus blessing us with what we DO NOT deserve
          1. Christ shows us His grace here
          2. A little faith went a long way
        5. I am reminded that faith the size of a MUSTARD SEED can move mountains
        6. The Centurions Faith reached out to the Grace of God who healed his beloved servant
          1. The servant was healed by GRACE ALONE through FAITH alone in CHRIST alone.
        7. If this Roman Centurion was able to muster the faith to call on Jesus with little instruction or knowledge HOW MUCH GREATER should our faith be!
          1. We have the entire Bible
            1. God’s True and Correct Word
          2. We have the Church, Sunday School, VBS, Revivals, internet, and long winded preachers
  • We have 2,000+ years of church teaching
  1. We have the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” to guide us
  1. So, what’s so AMAZING about Grace?
    1. I think it is because it has so very LITTLE to do with us
    2. I think it is because it has SO MUCH to do with God
      1. We are WEAK
      2. He is STRONG
  • We have FAILED
  1. He brings VICTORY
  2. We are ashamed and try to separate ourselves from His RIGHTOUSNESS
  3. He will NEVER LEAVE His Children
  1. The centurions wavering faith was little, but enough.
    1. He may have had a MICROSCOPIC FAITH
      1. But Jesus has SPECIAL EYES!
      2. God knows and sees!
      3. God does not need Grandiose GESTURES
      4. God requires FAITH
      5. FAITH PLEASES GOD
        1. even if it is small
      6. Yet we, like this centurion, have a weak and undeveloped faith.
        1. A faith that God can use, YES
        2. But a faith that could move mountains if developed just a little
  • A faith God could use to CHANGE THE WORLD if further developed
  1. Isn’t it good to hear that God’s grace is greater than our weak or wavering faith?
  1. What is so AMAZING about GRACE? GOD!
    1. GRACE that brought Jesus to us AND the CROSS
    2. GRACE that speaks to us HERE AND NOW
    3. Have you heard about Jesus? Call for HIM!