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Archive for October, 2012

Luke 13:3 (1-9) “but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

They all perished, in that incident, assuming that they were doing good. The purpose of the sacrifice, if you remember, was not just the promise of sin being one day wiped away. It was to remind the person of the need to turn away from a life of sin and that they could only find help to do that in God alone.

The word Jesus used was the word repent, 13:3. To repent involves a number of steps. First you must recognize that you’re life is in need of a change, that is that you have been going in the wrong direction. Then you need to turn away from the direction. And, finally you need to recognize the right way and take steps in that direction. If you just turn away and don’t take the right steps you will fall back to where you were in the first place.

This is what Jesus illustrated in verses 12:57-59. Yet in verses 13:6-9 He illustrates the second chance we have all been given which is only found in accepting Jesus sacrifice on the cross on our behalf. Understand, you need to see yourself as that fruitless fig tree.

Alertness involves being fully aware of the consequences of present actions, words, attitudes, and thoughts.

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October 30.12 ethot

Luke 12:56 (49-59) “ but why do you not analyze this present time?

Numerous studies have been done on the different cultures that have come and gone through the ages and they all seem to have a pattern that they and we tend to ignore.

Whether it is Babylonian, Roman or Aztec in each culture we see them rise to incredible heights as a people. Each one had unbelievable technical advances in building and agriculture. Each also had a close adherence to a strict moral standard of behavior.

Unfortunately in each case we see that when they were at their height they began to loosen their moral standards, especially sexually, and the culture began to decline until it fell apart or was subdued by another culture.

Interesting that we don’t hear any of this in the news today. Is it because we have failed to analyze correctly where we are right now? Right now is when we need to return to God and reestablish His moral standards if we wish to save our American culture. If not we are already on the path of eventual doom.

Alertness is not just to danger. It involves paying attention to opportunities God presents for real change, right now.

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Luke 12:51 (41–59, Matthew 10) “Do you suppose I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division;

Remember that at Jesus birth the angels told the shepherds that there would be peace on earth with this birth? If you read their words carefully they said there would peace on earth with those with whom He is pleased, 2:14.

God will only be pleased with those who receive His Son… Jesus; with all others there will be no peace. This is what Jesus is talking about when He said there would only be division after His work on the cross is done, 12:49–50. Homes will be divided because some will apply Jesus blood to their lives and others will refuse, 12:51–53.

We need to understand and remember that accepting Jesus means receiving a guaranteed peace between God and ourselves (Romans 5:1), yet no guarantee of peace between our fellow man and ourselves. We are not here to bring peace between men, but between God and men. Only after there is peace between God and men can there be any hope of general peace on earth.

Diligence involves focusing on the job the Holy Spirit has given us and getting it done.

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Luke 12:40 (35–48) “You too, be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.

I heard another prediction, on the radio, of our Lords return to be within the next ten years or so. If Jesus Himself says that His return will be when we least expect it then any prediction is what we expect… and He won’t come.

What we should be expecting is that He WILL return and we SHOULD be ready. What does ready mean, 12:35? Jesus says we should be dressed (Paul says we should put on the armor, Ephesians 6:13–20) and our lamp lit (alert for every opportunity share the Gospel or serve your brother in their need).

If the Lord comes and finds me dressed for battle and in the war against my own flesh and blood, there will be no need to punish me, 12:48. If when He comes He finds me going beyond what I can do to serve my brother, He will sit me down and serve me, 12:37.

It’s just like at my office when the boss returns from a business trip, she expects a report on what has happened in her absence. I need to have that report ready in case she returns before expected. How ready are you?

Diligence involves focusing on the job the Holy Spirit has given us and getting it done.

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Luke 12:31 (13–34, Matthew 6:25–33) “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

The problem with the man looking for help getting his fair share of a family inheritance was that he had postponed his search for God’s kingdom until after. Once he was comfortable with providing for his future then he could think about spiritual matter. The story Jesus then gives illustrates this point, 12:16–21.

By the way, this story has nothing to do with tithing.

Jesus here is encouraging us to get and maintain our priorities right at all times. Most of us aren’t expecting an inheritance from any of our parents. But the minute it happens all the concerns of how much it is, where it is and who gets what suddenly become our number one priority. With that money we can now pay bills and do some thing we could never have hoped for.

There is nothing wrong with taking care of these matters as long as they don’t get in the way of our ministry here and now, 1 Peter 2:9–10. We mustn’t forget that we are here on a mission and it is our number one priority. If an inheritance will only serve to keep me from that mission I should give it away as quickly as possible, 12:33–34.

Diligence involves applying the right amount of energy and concentration to the mission God has called us to do.

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Luke 12:8 (1–11, Matthew 10:26–33) “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels God;

Jesus defines what He means by the leaven of the Pharisees with the word hypocrisy, in verse 12:1. Hypocrisy is saying or doing what you don’t really mean so that others will think something of you that is not really true. That is another way of saying that a hypocrite is a liar.

Since we noted in chapter 11 that everyone knew the Pharisees were hypocrites… who did they think they were fooling; whom do I think I’m fooling? It is possible that some of them may have been fooling themselves, but not likely. Ritualism is not faith and it saves no one.

See, if your confession before men is that you’re a believer and they don’t believe you why should God? When you accept Jesus as your one and only Savior your life begins the process of changing from within. A hypocrite doesn’t want to make those changes but they want the recognition, the attention that results from real change. They don’t want to pay the cost of true change.

Sincerity is demonstrating, by word and action, Who we really trust.

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Luke 11:42 (37–54) “But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

The word Pharisee means separated one, a person separated out of all others for a special task. This idea had gone to their heads and they assumed it gave them special privileges between them and God.

They thought that the laws of God didn’t apply to them in the same way as to others who were obviously inferior to them. You didn’t have to dig to far to know how the Pharisees were everybody knew it. Unfortunately they were offended at Jesus words instead of looking at themselves and asking if it was true.

As believers we too have been separated out to be of use to our Lord and Savior. When you are attacked in such an extreme way your first thought should be to ask if it might be true. Even if they are wrong there is something wrong and you should do what you can to make it right. Your right response could lead to the salvation of one more soul.

Humility involves understanding how easy it is to deceive ourselves into thinking that there are things we do and don’t deserve.

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