Don’t Be A Worry Wart—Luke 12:22-34

INTRODUCTION

 

All of us struggle with worry—some of us even worry about being worried! 

Milton Berle had some wise words to say about worry:

 

Life is very simple. The first thing to remember about life is—don’t worry about it. Really, there are only two things to worry about; either you’re successful or you’re not successful. If you’re successful, there’s nothing to worry about. 

 

If you’re not successful, there are only two things to worry about. Your health is good or you are sick; if your health is good, there’s nothing to worry about. 

 

If your health is bad, there are only two things to worry about: either you’re going to live or you’re not going to live. If you live there’s nothing to worry about, and if you don’t live, you have only two things to worry about. Either you’re going to heaven or you’re not going to heaven. 

 

If you are going to heaven, there’s nothing to worry about, and if you go to the other place, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with all your old friends, you won’t have time to worry. (Roy B. Zuck, The Speaker’s Quote Book: Over 4,500 Illustrations and Quotations for All Occasions [Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1997], 422)

 

Okay, maybe Milton Berle’s words aren’t all that wise. Fortunately, we can turn to Jesus as a totally wise teacher. And Jesus has a lot to teach us about worry. First, we see that…

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Love The Church Like Christ Loves The Church—Ephesians 5:25-27

INTRODUCTION

 

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:25–27)

 

1) CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH…

 

The main application of this passage, of course, is that husbands are to love our wives. But how? The same as Christ also loved the church. Well, how did Christ love the church? He loved her with a sacrificial love that led to her sanctification. Our focus in this part of the lesson will be on this special love that Christ has for His church. Christ loves the church…

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Covetousness Is Foolishness—Luke 12:13-21

INTRODUCTION

 

13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:13–21)

 

I read about five sisters who grew up in a small town. Their father was a successful banker despite the Great Depression. Four of the sisters married and stayed close to home. The other went to college, got married, and taught school on the West Coast. 

 

When the father died, she and her husband came home. When she came into the house, she noticed that many of the things in the house had been tagged by the other sisters with their names. She and her husband was appalled by the sight. 

 

Later, when the siblings were having a tense and awkward meal together, her husband stood behind her mother’s chair and said, “Everyone seems to be tagging what they want, so we’ll also tag what we want.” With those words, he placed his hands on their mother’s shoulders. (R. Kent Hughes, Luke: That You May Know the Truth, Preaching the Word [Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998], 44–45.)

 

It’s stunning how easily we covet things, isn’t it? Covetousness can even override our feelings of grief! If it is able to work itself into our hearts the day after a parent dies, then what chance do we have in keeping it out of our hearts as we walk through our lives as Christians?

 

Our passage looks at a similar situation, where a parent has died and the children are more concerned about the inheritance. Jesus drives to the root of the problem and offers reasons to fight against allowing covetousness any foothold in our lives.

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Relying On Your Friend, The Holy Spirit—Luke 12:10-12

INTRODUCTION

 

8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. 10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luke 12:8–12)

 

1) ARE YOU A FRIEND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? (12:10)

 

Are you a friend of the Holy Spirit? Luke 12:10 describes the person who is as far from being a friend of the Holy Spirit as possible. 

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Our Propitiation—Romans 3:25a

INTRODUCTION

 

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:23–25)

 

1) WHAT IS A PROPITIATION?

 

Romans 3:25a Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood…

 

1.1) The Meaning of Propitiation

 

“To be a propitiation” (hilastērion). Propitiation is an old and difficult word, but it is also an important Biblical word. What does propitiation mean? It is an offering that appeases someone’s wrath. A husband bringing flowers to his angry wife is bringing a propitiation. Alva J. McClain says that a propitiation is… “a reason for not executing punishment which is deserved.”1 

 

Do you remember how Jacob and Esau had a falling out and Jacob ran away from his brother for two decades? When Jacob came back home, he was really worried that Esau would kill him for stealing his birthright. So he sent ahead a present consisting of animals. Listen to what he said:

 

…I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me. (Genesis 32:20)

 

The word “appease” is, in the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Greek word for propitiation. Jacob was hoping that the present of animals would be a propitiation that would appease Esau’s anger.

 

Propitiation assumes that there is someone who is justly angry and needs to be appeased. It’s not politically correct to think of God as being angry or wrathful, even among Christians. But it is what we find in the Bible. For instance,

 

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (Romans 1:18)

 

God hates sin and ungodliness and unrighteousness. He is angry with it. What could possibly placate the wrath of God against sin? Keep that in mind as we look at…

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