Dec 2010

7701 - The Coming Kingdom

Luke 17:20-37 contains statements made by Jesus about the Kingdom of God.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, `Here it is,' or `There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Men will tell you, `There he is!' or `Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.

But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

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7700 - Thank You

In our lesson for today we find Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. This is his last trip to Jerusalem. He’s on his way to Passover. In Jerusalem he will soon be crucified.

Today we will look at Luke 17: verses 11-19:

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"

When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him; and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"

Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

In these last few months Jesus has chosen to minister outside of Jerusalem. He has ministered to many crowds in the area of Perea, east of the Jordan.
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7699 - Obedience is Normal

Human pride is an attribute warned against in Scripture, but the flesh is prideful indeed. Listen to Luke 17:7-10, then we will talk more.

"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, `Come along now and sit down to eat'? Would he not rather say, `Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?

So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, `We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'"

In the culture surrounding Jesus many had servants who lived on the master’s place. They not only worked the fields and tended the herds, but they had duties in the house as well. These duties all blended into the job description.
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7698 - Faith

As Jesus was teaching his apostles one day, they expressed their desire for Jesus to increase their faith.

Listen to Luke 17:5-6 and then we will discuss this.

“The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.”

The apostles had progressed in their relationship with Jesus to the point where they understood that faith was an attribute needed by every follower of Jesus.

They had just heard from Jesus that they were to forgive any offending brother who came and repented.

They knew that forgiveness is a matter from the heart and not just the lips. The heart must be set straight. There must be no left over bitterness or resentment.
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7697 - Don't Cause SIn

In our study through the book of Luke we are now in the later months of the life of Jesus. Because of the intense plotting by the Jewish leaders to put Jesus to death he has withdrawn from Jerusalem to the region of Perea, which is east of the Jordan. In that region crowds have come to hear him teach and to experience his healing touch.

In Luke 17: verses 1-4, Jesus is teaching about sin. Listen:

“Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourself. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, `I repent,' forgive him."

Jesus is straightforward with his disciples as he tells them that temptations to sin are bound to come. That has been the pattern since the sin of Adam in the garden of Eden. There, the devil tempted Adam and Eve, and they yielded to sin. Since that time the devil has continued his destructive mission to steal and kill and destroy. He wants to steal from believers those grace gifts which are bestowed upon every Christian. The most common theft from God’s children is to rob us of the peace which Jesus has given us. The devil does that by lying to us about God’s promises and our own weakness. He brings fear and he distracts us from the truth that we are totally dependent upon Christ for strength, guidance and resources as we live day by day. If we continue to listen to the devil then he destroys our witness, killing the fruit which the Holy Spirit desires to bear through us.

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7696 - Rich Man and Lazarus

Only in Luke 16 do we find the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. We learn much about life after death in this passage. It reads:

Luke 16:19-31 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

"But Abraham replied, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

"He answered, `Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

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7695 - Pharisees

May God shine the light of His Word upon our path today.

In Luke 16 Jesus is talking to his disciples; however, some Pharisees were listening to the conversation.

Jesus had been teaching that no one can serve both God and money.

Listen to Luke 16: verses 14-18:
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourself in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight. "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law. "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

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7694 - Stewardship

Join us for a study in God’s Word today.

In Luke 16, let’s look at some words by Jesus about stewardship.

First, I will read Luke 16:1-13 then we can discuss it:

Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, `What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.'

"The manager said to himself, `What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg-- I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.'

"So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, `How much do you owe my master?' "`Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,' he replied. "The manager told him, `Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.' "Then he asked the second, `And how much do you owe?' "`A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied. "He told him, `Take your bill and make it eight hundred.'

"The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?

"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
In this story, which Jesus relates to the disciples the chief financial officer of a rich man was fired. He was told to close out the books and prepare to depart.

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7693 - Self Righteous

We’re told God’s Word is sweeter than honey and drippings from the honeycomb. Together let’s taste a portion of His Word today.

In Luke 15, as the Lord Jesus was teaching, he came to the climax of the parable about the lost son. This son which was dead in relationship to his father had returned. In humility he had repented of his sin and failure. But even as he spoke the father was pouring out acts of love upon him. There was reconciliation. A celebration followed this joyful reunion.

Then Jesus continues with the parable by telling about the eldest son who had remained on the homeplace which now belonged to him.

Let me read Luke 15:25-32 and then we’ll talk more:
"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. `Your brother has come,' he replied, `and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'

"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, `Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

"`My son,' the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"

This passage about the older brother symbolizes the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. They had the same attitude toward the sinners who surrounded Jesus as the attitude of the older son toward his young brother.

The older son who had been working in the fields heard the sounds of festivity when approaching the house. There were sounds of music and dancing.

After getting a report about what was taking place this older son became angry. There was no joy, no compassion over the return of the younger son.
In the same way the Jewish leaders were angry with the message which Jesus was proclaiming throughout the land. They were offended that Jesus had extended the message of repentance and new life to people who were not Jewish. Pagans and Gentiles were being prepared for entry to the Kingdom. To the Jews this was unthinkable. Just to touch a Gentile rendered them unclean. How could they accept their entry into the family of God?

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7692 - Richard Quintela - Karate Ministry


7691 - Lost Son

Its such a joy to have you join us today as we consider the parable of the lost son, found in Luke 15.

Listen as I read Luke 15 verses 11-24.

Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, `Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.

"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

"When he came to his senses, he said, `How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'

So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

"The son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ' "But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

Although an inheritance is not usually received until the death of the parent, in this parable the younger son impulsively asks the father for his portion while the Father is healthy and productive.

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7690 - Lost Coin

In Luke 15 Jesus tells the crowds of people who swarm around him three parables about items which are lost to their owners.

The first is about a lost sheep. Only one out of 100, but it was worthy to be sought out, rescued and brought home. We previously looked at that parable.

Today we look at the second parable. One of ten silver coins was lost.

We’ll discuss the third parable in our next Bible study together.

Listen as I read Luke 15 verses 8-10.
"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, `Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

In the parable about the lost sheep Jesus spoke about a subject familiar to most men in the crowd. Keeping sheep was a common practice and the men would have been familiar with the smells, sounds and challenges of a flock of sheep.

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7689 - Richard Quintela - Softening a Hard Heart


7688 - Lost Sheep

The crowds around Jesus usually had two sub-groups.

The first sub-group was made up of the poor, the sick, the crippled, people along with the blind and lame, the leper and many known to be living impure lives. These were the people eager to hear of the hope Jesus offered, and perhaps experience his healing touch.

The second sub-group was made up of Pharisees and teachers of the law. These were the “in crowd.” They were in charge of Jewish affairs, both religious and governmental. They made great effort to outwardly show a good life; but inside they were scheming and greedy. They had hardened their hearts against Jesus and his message.

The second group scorned the first group and avoided touching or associating with them because that would make them unclean. They thought of the people in the first group as sinners.

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