Loving Is Choosing—Luke 6:27-36, #024

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Levi Durfey 

  

INTRODUCTION

 

Ernest Gordon was a prisoner of war for three years during World War II. He was in one of the most infamous Japanese camps—the work camp on the River Kwai. He describes his lowest point:

 

I was headed for the Death House. I was so ill that I didn’t much care. But I was hardly prepared for what I found there. 

 

The Death House had been built at one of the lowest points of the camp. The monsoon was on, and, as a result, the floor of the hut was a sea of mud. And there were the smells: tropical ulcers eating into flesh and bone; latrines overflowed; unwashed men, untended men, sick men, humanity gone sour, humanity rotting.…This was the lowest level of life. (Ryken, 267–268)

 

During his imprisonment, Gordon, with the help of some Christians, became a Christian himself. They read the Bible together. He says,

 

We had learned from the gospels that Jesus had his enemies just as we had ours. But there was this difference: he loved his enemies. He prayed for them. Even as the nails were being hammered through his hands and feet, he cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We hated our enemies. We could see how wonderful it was that Jesus forgave in this way. Yet for us to do the same seemed beyond our attainment. (Ryken, 267–268)

 

In Luke 6:27-36, Jesus lays down a definition of love—radical love that goes beyond what most people would ever want to think about. 

 

As a result, Christians tend to either ignore this passage or soften it somehow. The minute someone says, “love your enemies,” someone else is right there to list the exceptions. This isn’t something to joke about either—don’t say, “I do love my enemies, I love them to death.” 

 

Certainly, there are cases where we should stand against evil. But I don’t want us to miss what Jesus is saying here about radical love, so don’t worry about finding the exceptions. 

 

Listen to Jesus…this is Jesus speaking here. Be the person who hears him. Don’t you want to be like him? Don’t you want to obey him? Then take the time to listen to the Savior.

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What We Don’t Need To Be Happy—Luke 6:17-26

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Levi Durfey 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

How do you know if God is blessing you? Is it because you have a good and healthy family, plenty of food to eat, a good job, good friends, and you are well-liked in the community? 

 

We tend to look at material possessions, financial success, and popularity as measures of blessing. It’s how we normally “count our blessings.” In this passage, however, Jesus shows us that our system of measuring blessings is not always accurate.

Here Jesus tells us that being poor, hungry, sad, and hated is blessed.

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A Band Of Misfit Apostles—Luke 6:12-16, #022

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Levi Durfey 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Some of the best stories in the world are about misfits. Robin Hood and his Band of Merry Men. Hogan’s Heroes. Toy Story. The Dirty Dozen. Kelly’s Heroes. The Magnificent Seven. The 1985 Chicago Bears.

 

In these “band of misfits,” there’s a diverse range of talent and personalities. Someone’s usually a big guy—the muscle. Another is a funny man. Then there’s a smart person, someone young, someone old, and so forth.  There’s nothing like seeing a band of misfits join together to accomplish something that no one of them could even come close to doing. What’s more, is that, when they are together—they aren’t misfits, they’re a team.

 

What binds them together is the hero. The hero is usually not a misfit (at least not on the level as the rest). Take Robin Hood, for example. He’s excellent at planning missions, shooting a bow, and wooing Maid Marian. Without him, the Band of Merry Men are simply Merry Men—maybe. Maybe they are just Men. 

 

Not all stories of Bands of Misfits are fictional. Many are true stories of ordinary and misfit men coming together to follow a real hero. We find such a story in Luke 6, as Jesus calls together the Twelve Apostles.

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You Need A Rest!— Luke 6:1-11, #021

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Levi Durfey 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

I was in the store the other day when this song came on over the speakers:

 

I’m in a hurry to get things done

Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun

All I really gotta do is live and die

But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why. (Alabama)

 

Alabama’s song picks up on something that is very prevalent in our culture: we’re always in a hurry and have no time to rest.

 

Christians, who should know better, often aren’t any help. We tend to ignore God’s instructions in scripture regarding rest (called a Sabbath), because we think that it’s been done away with in the New Testament. 

 

A careless Bible reader might even look a passage like Luke 6:1-11 and declare that Jesus abolished the Sabbath. But we’ll see that actually he was reclaiming the Sabbath from the burden of legalism.

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