Looks like my Grandson is opinionated like Papa… Just Saying !
Like I said in an earlier post we are going to review the story of the prodigal son for just a couple of days… Now for me my understanding has changed forever… The meaning is now clear, the audience is so important in this parable. Who was Christ talking to? Luke 15:1, 2 It’s clear that it just wasn’t the tax collectors and sinners… But also the Pharisees, mostly the Pharisees, the religious legalistic hypocrites… They are righteous in their own eyes, full of pretenses and they wanted Jesus dead. That was so important to understand… Context was key here. They said Jesus did the things He did because He was from the devil. But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” Matthew 12:24 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.” Matthew 9:34 They are pictured in Isaiah 65:5 “Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me, For I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day. Have you ever gotten something in your nostrils that was foreign, that didn’t belong there… you just want it gone. They are like irritating bugs to God and He will oppose them.
They couldn’t stand to be around these sinners. Remember Luke 18:9-14 The Pharisee and tax collector Luke 18:11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. They said “For I am holier than you!“ … God’s going to cut them down… He opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble look at verse 14 Luke 18:14 “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” The tax collector was justified ( SAVED) he was humble and full of repentance with an awe and fear of a holy God… reminds me of Isaiah 66:1, 2 Thus says the Lord, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. This brings us to the younger son… Who was lost, depraved and wretched. But that’s for tomorrow… As we continue to take a look back at the parable of the lost son.
The overwhelming thought that ran through my head yesterday as I left the church…. was that despite ourselves, myself, despite our weaknesses… God can use us. As multiple writers have said ” Only God can use a crooked stick to draw a straight line” I am so thankful that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto Salvation. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. I’m so thankful that it is God where this salvation comes from… I think we forgot a very important verse in Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord.” We can not in ourselves engineer it, provoke it, or cause it to happen without the power of God. All we can do is proclaim it… The unadulterated, inerrant word of God. Then he does the rest Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. I think there are times we want to do what we want to do… so we mess with it a little, change it up. That my friends is wrong. Look at Mark 1:15 Jesus is starting His ministry in Galilee and the first words out of His mouth is REPENT and believe. Peter preaches his first sermon and says Acts 2:38 REPENT. Paul throughout Acts says REPENT Acts 17:30, 26:20. You see folks the word of God is powerful, living and active Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Just teach and preach it… Let the amazing powerful living word do it’s job… Then let us all yell this in praise to a God who is by nature a Savior “Salvation is from the Lord” Psalm 27:9 Psalm 62:1-2,7 Psalm 85:4,7,9. I pray we can echo the words of the half brothers of Jesus ” James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ James 1:1… Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ Jude 1:1 We are slaves to Christ… to Him be the glory. Romans 11:36
And that’s what I learned in church yesterday.
The next couple of post will be an overview of the parable The Prodigal Son from our Sunday school class… For now I will leave you with this sermon by John MacArthur preaching The Prodigal Son Luke 15:11-32
Here is the Kyrie from Beethoven’s Mass in C major. Unlike Bach or Mozart, Beethoven chose to set the mass in a major key, which I think is a good idea. It is interesting to hear how this differs from the Bach I posted last week. Same text, completely different music. What do you think?
“Jesus is Lord and I am His slave”
Being a slave of Christ may be the best way to define a Christian. We are, as believers, slaves of Christ. You would never suspect that, however, from the language of Christianity. In contemporary Christianity the language is anything but slave language. It is about freedom. It is about liberation. It is about health, wealth, prosperity, finding your own fulfillment, fulfilling your own dream, finding your own purpose. We often hear that God loves you unconditionally and wants you to be all you want to be. He wants to fulfill every ambition, every desire, every hope, every dream. In fact, there are books being written about dreams as if they are gifts from God which God then having given them is bound to fulfill. Personal fulfillment, personal liberation, personal satisfaction, all bound up in an old term in evangelical Christianity, a personal relationship. How many times have we heard that the gospel offers people a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? What exactly does that mean? Satan has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and it’s not a very good one. Every living being has a personal relationship with the living God of one kind or another, leading to one end or another. But what exactly is our relationship to God? What is our relationship to Christ? How are we best to understand it? John MacArthur… Read the rest Here
SLAVE by John MacArthur… coming this January.
The Glory of God is the health of the universe; the essential soundness of things requires that He be honored among created intelligences. Where God is honored fully is heaven, and it is heaven for that reason; where He is honored not at all is hell, and for that cause it is hell. Among men we see a mixture of honor and dishonor. Basically this is the cause back of earth’s tragic, confused history. God has not finished with His saints till He has brought them to a place where they honor Him on earth as He is honored in heaven. God gives away His full purpose in redeeming man when He says, “Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified” Isaiah 49:3. If we can convince God that we are sold out to His high honor, the problem of unanswered prayer is solved. God will withhold nothing from that man who is determined to live to His glory alone. The sinful instinct to arrogate to ourselves some amount at least of praise is deep-seated and hard to destroy. But there is hope for us nevertheless. At the cross human pride withers like the cursed fig tree, from the root up. There will be a period of agonized struggle when life-loving old Adam is led out to die; but if the Christian will have the courage to go through with it, the whole quality of his life will be changed from that moment on. God has said, “them that honour me I will honour” 1 Samuel 2:30. He can honor us only when He knows His glory is safe in our hands. A.W.Tozer The Necessity of Honoring God
Like I said Yesterday… I was going to do What I Learned In Church Yesterday in two post, Because I missed last weeks. Today’s post is for this past Sunday, so here it goes. We are close to ending I think a very fruitful study in the Parable of the lost son. We’re at the older son’s response to the Fathers lavish love for the lost son Luke15:25-26, 27-28. Remember now this older son is the Pharisee… the audience Jesus is telling this story to Luke 15:1-3. I can just imagine the Pharisees fuming at this story and at the Fathers lavish love for this repentant sinner… Jesus said the older son became angry. The Pharisee is self-righteous person, a religious legalistic phony… He is righteous in his own eyes, He is full of pretenses… His only desire is to look holier and spiritual than thou. Look what God’s word says to the person with the attitude of the self-righteous person who wants to be holier than thou… who is full of pretenses “Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me, For I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day. Isaiah 65:5 Matthew Henry said this “Christ denounced many woes against the pride and hypocrisy of the Jews. The proof against them is plain. And let us watch against pride and self-preference, remembering that every sin, and the most secret thoughts of man’s heart, are known and will be judged by God.”
Where’s the rejoicing for his younger brother that he has this wonderful amazing grace poured out on him? The older brother knows not what grace is… He works for his righteousness and salvation. Jesus said his work in the field is the world Matthew 13:38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one. As one writer puts it ” This elder brother, the Scribe and Pharisee, the religious legalist, is in the world, walking after the course of the world, after the lusts of his own flesh, and ruled by Satan, the god of the world; and was taken up with the things of the world Ephesians 2:2, 3.” But look!… the Father wants him to come in Luke 15:28 “But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.; As Yogi Berra was heard saying “It ain’t over ’till it’s over”… It’s not over for the sinner, until God says so… so come, repent and believe Mark 1:15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” You see the Gospel is exclusive, hand-picked by God. Ephesians 1:3-4 It’s not over for those who do not believe… Not until they appear before God in judgment. But the work by Christ is done, once and for all Hebrews 10:10. I came across this.
“Nothing, either great or small; Nothing, sinner, no; Jesus did it, did it all, Long, long ago! When He, from His lofty throne, Stooped to do and die, Everything was fully done; Hearken to His cry -‘It is finished!’ Yes indeed, Finished every jot. Sinner, this is all you need. Tell me, Is it not? Weary, working, plodding one, Why toil you so? Cease your doing, all was done, Long, long ago! Till to Jesus’ work you cling By a simple faith, Doing is a deadly thing. Doing ends in death! Cast your deadly ‘doing’ down, Down at Jesus’ feet. Stand in Him, in Him alone, Gloriously complete!” James Procter
And that’s what I learned in church Sunday