|* Test All Things by the Word *
Father God we rejoice in your presence
tonight. Thank you for your Word and all your blessings to us. Jesus thank you for coming.
Holy Spirit be our teacher.
devil get out in Jesus Name AMEN
OlePappy - Thank you Father for all those gathered here tonight. Lord open our hearts and minds to the riches of Your Holy Word, This I pray in the name of Jesus. AMEN
We've looked at Jesus life as His birth was prophesied, He was born, grew up in Nazareth and started His ministry. We've seen Him teach and heal, and be rejected in His own home town. This week we are going to discuss the appointment of the 12 apostles, and study one of Jesus' sermons.
Luke 6:12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
Jesus frequently got alone with the Father. This was an especially important time, because he would be choosing the 12 Apostles who would be responsible for the kingdom after Jesus was gone. What does this say to us about the importance of prayer?
When you are trying to make an important decision, what steps do you follow? Is prayer one of them? Is it the first step you take, or your last resort? Now there's nothing wrong with setting goals, reasoning things out, seeking guidance from godly people, and certainly you should seek guidance from the Word. But the first priority should always be communicating with your heavenly Father about the concern.
But, you might say, doesn't "God helps those who help themselves?" To the best of my knowledge, there is no Bible verse that promotes that idea. We are partners in ministry with God, that is, after we've been born again and received our recreated human spirits. But even then, we are unable to "help ourselves" - we do nothing without God's help. This would place our wills - what we think we need to do for ourselves - before God's will for us. No, the Bible doesn't teach "God helps those who help themselves". God helps those who yield to His will.
But, isn't God too busy to care about my petty concerns? I mean, shouldn't I take care of the "little things" and not bug God about them? Do you agree/disagree with the last question?
Well, let's get the Word on it. Shouldn't I take care of the "little things" and not bug God about them? Not according to the Bible. We are to bathe our lives and hearts in prayer, bringing everything to God.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Isn't this a marvelous promise? Don't worry, but bring every need, every concern, every problem, everything that touches your life to God in prayer. And God's unfathomable peace will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
What does God's peace guard you from?
Right CG. Also from Anxiety, worry, fear, doubt, and unbelief. The fact that God is interested in EVERY facet of your life should make you jump with joy - nothing is too small or unimportant to bring to your heavenly Father.
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet ALL your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
This is another confirmation that God is concerned with ALL of our needs, not just the ones we think are "big". How does He meet these needs? According to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus - an inexhaustible supply.
Is your God BIG enough to be concerned about ALL your needs, and mine, and everyone else's? If not, maybe you need to get better aquainted with Him!
Be like a little child. What do children do? Every time they have the slightest problem, who do they go to? Their parents, who kiss the "boo boo", and the child is content once again. Bring all your "boo boo's" to your heavenly Father, who delights in meeting your needs. Hallelujah!
Is any need too small to take care of for YOUR child? Or someone you really love? Isn't God more loving than you? Why would He think any need too small to take care of for YOU, the child of His heart?
It is AWESOME how much God loves us. Right TQ, that's the main point. But also we are to take EVERYTHING to God in prayer. Even the small things are important to God --
Ah, jazz you see why he's doing that now, don't ya? Just tell satan to shut up, God is your daddy and everything that touches your life is important to GOD.
Well start bringing those little bitty things to Him too, and see if you don't get blessed! And there's another principle here - how will we find the faith to trust God in the REALLY big things, if we haven't built up our faith by trusting Him in the little things?
Luke 6:13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelveof them, whom he also designated apostles:
What is a disciple?
Right Mari. A disciple is a learner, one who disciplines and dedicates himself to a teacher with the goal of becoming like the teacher. What is an apostle?
Right leen. An apostle is one sent out with a special commission and with authority. There were 24 apostles mentioned in the New Testament including Jesus, one of which, Junias, was a woman.
So we see that Jesus first called the apostles to be disciples and THEN commissioned them to a higher call. This is typical of how God works. First he calls us into fellowship with him through the Lord Jesus Christ and we become disciplined and dedicated to becoming like Jesus. THEN we are called into our ministry - whatever it may be. There are no "shortcuts to glory" here.
Many people make the mistake of trying to launch themselves into the kingdom in a blaze of glory. They want the "higher" places before they have been trained for them. God ALWAYS disciples us at a lower level before He places us in any position of authority. Otherwise we are not fit to take care of His sheep.
Look at David, who was first a shepherd, and then hunted as a criminal by King Saul, before God allowed him to be king. Moses was raised in the pharaoh's household, but put in his 40 years on the "backside of the desert" before he was ready to lead God's people. Joseph served as a slave and was imprisoned 10 years before he became second in command in Egypt. Jesus Himself spent 30 years as an unknown carpenter in an obscure village before He began His ministry.
So out of His followers, Jesus spent all night in prayer to select just twelve. A night is 12 hours, did He spent an hour in prayer about each one? We aren't told that, but He certainly took His time in seeking God's will about it.
And as TQ mentioned before, it's extremely important to seek God about our decisions, particularly the big ones. Like, what shall I do with my life? Whom shall I marry? Where shall I live? How can you know God's will for you if you don't ask?
Luke 6:14 -17 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Of the twelve chosen, eleven continued on with Jesus to become the pillars of the church along with another chosen after Jesus' ascension, Matthias. Tradition and history tells us that eleven of the final twelve were martyrs for the faith, and that John died in exile on Patmos. So God saw something precious in these twelve men, that He communicated during that night of prayer, something that led Him to trust them to carry out the redemptive plan on earth after Jesus left.
Notice that after spending all night in prayer, Jesus still chose Judas! Jesus loved Judas. He was given a position of honor. He had all the rights and privileges of the other 11. He was even trusted with their purse - he was their treasurer. Yet somehow he missed the grace of God! So we shouldn't be surprised when men God has chosen fall. We should grieve and try to restore them to salvation and grace, but if Judas could betray the Master when he walked and talked with Him everyday, how much more can it happen today?
Many people in the ministry today have their "judases", people who once were part of the ministry, who now have not only left it, but actively oppose the ministry and try to sow discord into that ministry. These people are extremely difficult to love and pray for, and cause a lot of harm to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The saddest part is that while they are nursing offenses and sowing discord, they are not developing godly character in themselves and can ultimately be lost if they do not come to a realization of their disobedience.
The primary characteristic of a judas is an offended spirit. For whatever reason, these people have taken an offense at leadership and have allowed a root of bitterness to spring up within them.
The reason for the offense can be real or imagined - their gifts were not appreciated, they did not like how the leaders did things, they were rebuked for behavior and resented it instead of seeking change - the list goes on and on. The important thing is that the offended person did not forgive and become reconciled to that ministry. The offended person chose instead to become a spiritual "vagabond" - wandering here and there seeking that PERFECT church or ministry where he/she would be appreciated and no controversy exists.
An EXCELLENT book on this topic, that I HIGHLY recommend for EVERYONE to read is "The Bait of Satan" by John Bevere.
Why did Judas become offended at Jesus? We are not told directly, but apparently he did not believe that Jesus was being the Messiah that Judas expected, and he either betrayed Jesus to get rid of Him or to force Him to show His hand.
Luke 6:17 He [Jesus] went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon,
After Jesus designated the twelve as apostles, he went down and began teaching. Usually teachers sat down to teach, but perhaps due to the large size of the crowd, Jesus stood, probably on the top of a plateau. He took the 12 apostles and there were a large crowd of his disciples. We don't know the number of them. At one point Jesus sent out the 72, and 500 watched him ascend into heaven. There was also a great number of people from all over the region.
Luke 6:18-19 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
This crowd came to hear him and be healed. This is the formula for getting healed - hear the Word first, and then receive it. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Notice that some diseases are caused by evil spirits and some are not, but ALL were healed because of the power coming from Jesus. This power is still available to us today through faith in Him.
This passage of scripture is known as Luke's Sermon on the Plain. If it was delivered on a plateau, it was parallel to Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, but it is possible that Jesus taught the same material on more than one occasion. At any rate, what Jesus calls "blessings" most of us would consider curses: to be poor, hungry, persecuted, and insulted. Why did Jesus say these things and how do we put them into practice in our lives? I'm glad you asked that question, because tonight, I want you to be the teacher and tell me the answers!
Luke 6:20 Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Matthew adds in 5:13, "Blessed are the poor IN SPIRIT". What do you think this means? This is the very opposite of what we think, isn't it? We despise those that are lowly and afflicted, and strive not to get into those circumstances ourselves. Why would these sorts of people be given the kingdom of God, and those that are of high estate and satisfied in spirit be left out?
Good point PS, the self-reliant don't THINK they need God. Jen, that's a good point too! Many of the ones Jesus ministered to had been hurt by "religious" leaders and they were poor in spirit because of this!
Spiritual bankruptcy, yes. Broken, so God can heal. Not focused on worldly possessions. Hey y'all are going great! Question for reflection: Do you see yourself as "poor" in spirit? Do you need and want more of God in your life? Are you seeking Him on a regular basis?
OK, now teachers, here is your next verse to explain:Luke 6:21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
Matthew adds in 5:6,"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness". What do you think this means?
Hunger and thirsting is the same as striving for - seeking - wanting more of Him - spiritual nourishment - hungering for Christ - all good answers.
The Pharisees were not hungering after righteousness, they were satisfied that they were fulfilling God's expectations of them. They had full stomachs and the only mourning they were involved in was their rituals that did not come from the heart.
We can get so caught up in our religious rituals and traditions, and become so satisfied that we are fulfilling God's expectations of us, that we lose our hunger and thirst for God's presence, that we make righteousness - or right standing with God - a matter of fulfilling a few commandments, rather than continually seeking God's face. Hungering and thirsting after God, continually seeking HIM, not what He can do for you, is the key here I think.
Good point TQ, the Pharisees believed and taught that being poor was a sign that you had sinned and were out of God's favor. Jesus is saying just the opposite.
Or to put it another way, social and economic standing have nothing to do with your standing in God's kingdom.
OK teachers, are you ready to tackle the next verse?Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
Have you ever been insulted for Jesus' sake? Were you able to leap for joy afterwards? Have you ever been hated or excluded because of your faith?
I remember when I first got saved just wanting to float on flowery beds of ease. My first condemnation for being a Christian came as a big shock!
Now I pretty much get into the leaping part - realizing WHO is sending the persecution. Hey if I weren't irritating the devil, then why would people bother to come against me? And if I'm irritating the devil, I must be fulfilling my call and ministry! So that's something to rejoice about.
And not only that, GREAT is my reward in heaven. I got an account up there that's growing and growing and growing.
Not necessarily JGG... We all have seasons of peace and quiet - nothing wrong with that. But when you make a stand for the Gospel, sooner or later you will meet opposition.
God allows circumstances, people and the devil to test us - primarily to see if our faith is real.
Not in the US, JGG, but EVERY one is persecuted some places, Pakistan for example.
That's true grace! Be sure you're not being persecuted because you are being rude, crude, or unloving!
Luke 6:24 "But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort."So is it a sin to be rich? If you are rich, what can you do to enter God's kingdom?
Or another way of putting it, MUST a Christian be poor? It's a very important question, seeing that America is one of the richest nations on earth, but how Christian are we? I guess what it boils down to - what is your attitude towards money and possessions?
Not so much what you have, but what you do with what you have - and who your God is.
Luke 6:25 Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.Is it a sin to be well fed and happy? Is it a sin to laugh?
Right - the point is here - the well fed, laughing people, enriching themselves WHILE ignoring all those who are poor, needy and hungry, mourning - and pursuing worldly things while ignoring heavenly ones.
Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.
Is it wrong to have friends and have everybody like you? If you are seeking for everyone to like you, and are conforming to their religious ideas to get along, are you a false prophet?
Luke 6:27-28 "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
prodigal son - I think it is a reference to the time of Micah when the false prophets were telling the people what they wanted to hear and not what God was saying. Falling in with the crowd
Are you praying for those that have hurt you and turned against you? Are you showing love to someone who hates you, or are you returning blow for blow, hate for hate? Up until now, Jesus has been speaking of the worldly way of doing things - looking out for yourself, seeing that you are well fed, seeking riches and honor for me. NOW, he begins to show that Christians live by a different philosophy.
Luke 6:29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.
Turned any cheeks lately? Roman soldiers had the right in NT times to strike you if they were unhappy with you. Also they had the right to take your cloak or make you carry a burden for them for a mile without any compensation. What would behaving like this say to a soldier? How do you put this into operation in your every day life?
Luke 6:30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.Give to EVERYONE that asks? But Lord, I wouldn't have anything left! And let someone steal from me without penalty? What kind of nut would do that?
These are some of the hardest verses in the Bible to understand and put into action because they go against our "human nature", don't they?
What kind of nut would do that?The kind of nut that trusts God to take care of him in all things. God gave it to you once, didn't He? Would He not meet your needs again if you trusted Him again? This kind of total dependence on God is something that we Americans don't usually practice.
Did Jesus ever refuse to minister to a need? Did Jesus deliberately ignore those who had needs, or stay away from locales where the needy would be found? Did He exclude sinners and the sick from His social circle?
That's the point sista k! In our natural selves we CAN NOT do any of this! But when we receive Jesus as savior, He recreates us from the inside out, puts His nature in us, and we CAN do what He says.
Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.The point is, we are responsible before God for following Jesus teachings. I could give you my opinion of how to do it, but you need to spend time meditating on these verses yourself and ask God to show you how to apply them in your life.
Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. What does this REALLY mean? How do you put this into practice at home? Do you yell at the kids/your parents/your spouse or roommate? Is that how you want to be treated?
These are all very important questions that you all are asking. The bottom line is, ASK GOD WHAT TO DO.
Father God thank you for your thought provoking Word that has gone out tonight. Guide the thoughts of all who gathered here and bring them closer to you we pray in Jesus Name. As we meditate on this passage, make it real to us, and show us how it applies to our every day lives. Reassure us of your love and protection of us, and give us a desire to be more obedient to your Word. In Jesus Name Amen
OlePappy - Thank You Father for Your Holy Word. Lord give us the wisdom to use the knowledge we gained tonight in our daily lives. I pray this in the name of Jesus. AMEN
Remember, whenever God
gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate
on what you've learned!
Unger, Merrill F. The New Unger's Bible Handbook. Revised by Gary N Larson. Moody Press, Chicago, 1966: 1984.
The Family Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. by Pat Alexander. Chancelor Press, London, 1988.
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