Thursday, September 3, 2015
Once Upon a Time – In Real Life The Parables of Jesus The King’s Judgment – (Mt. 12:1-12; Mt 13:24-30; Luke 13:6-9, 16:19-31) ------------------------------------------------------- These days, we Christians are being called judgmental. All we should be saying is that there is a God who says certain thoughts, actions, and behaviors are wrong, and they are a sin against Him. Those actions separate us from a holy God, and the consequence is death. But the story continues – God is love, mercy, and grace, and He made provisions for us. We Christians are not better than non-believers. Our sin might not have the same immediate consequences, but we are all in the same boat. Jesus’ death and resurrection pays for our forgiveness. He is our ONLY hope. We are not being judgmental when we are trying to tell a broken world the truth. Our deepest offense doesn’t compare with the offense that we have been to God. When we are offended, our first thought is not to give our offender more time, but God’s is. He is patient, wanting all to be saved. Matt 13:24-30 is a parable about the wheat and the weeds in a field. In verses 36-43, Jesus explains how it describes the harvest. By the power of God, weeds (unbelievers) can turn to wheat (believers). God wants to give us every opportunity. Jesus will one day return, and then the weeds will be gathered up and thrown into the fire. God is more than fair. He has waited 2000 years for us. God created a perfect world – we humans rebelled against Him and sided with Satan, but our identity is not about what we’ve done. It’s about what He’s done. God provides a way of salvation. He wants us to know and follow Him, and share Him with others. Change is motivated by faith or fear. We need to follow Jesus to be fruitful, not fearful. Luke 13:6-9 is a parable about a fig tree that didn’t bear fruit for 3 years. God expects fruitfulness from us. He is more than patient, and in His grace, has given us more time. We need to receive it, but not abuse it. There is a judgment if we remain unfruitful. The values of this world are very different than ours, from how we handle money to what we do on Sunday morning. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (who was poor), both men died. The Bible says that the rich man was buried, but it says that Lazarus was carried by angels. The rich man could see those in heaven and wants to warn his brothers. Hell is living in eternal agony. To be fruitful, we need to stop doing stupid things, and stop making excuses for doing wrong things. We need to live our lives connected to Jesus. God will create the fruitfulness. Application points: -- Faith is what God wants; believe Him. -- Focus on growing ad serving; fruit will come. We worry too much about producing fruit. Let God do it through us. -- Make no mistake; heaven and hell are real … and eternal. We need to know where we’re going.