“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Matthew 3:2 NKJV
Do not think the repent message is not for you. It is for each and every one of us daily. Repentance is a daily activity. And do not become complacent failing to see the kingdom of heaven IS ACTUALLY at hand. Moreover, let me challenge you, to pick up your sword in one hand and your tools in the other hand and join me in building it!
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Luke, chapter 16 through verse 10 of chapter 17 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). Chapter 16 has many surprises for those who dig into each part and do not rely on old sermons they have heard. Like The Parable of the Unjust Steward – if you aren’t paying attention, you might miss that Jesus was telling his 12 that they need to be a little more shrewd and wise – when Jesus leaves they will need to manage kingdom finances on their own. It almost seems like Jesus is telling them to cheat and I once heard it preached that way! Gasp – but no. The man in the parable had to get wise and shrewd quickly out of necessity and knowledge of his own limitations. And the disciples (and us as well) are expected to manage and handle things. And of course the Pharisees heard Him wrong and so Jesus goes on to teach them in: The Law, the Prophets, and the Kingdom. By extension of that lesson Jesus give as an example the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus. This is a parable and not real people… and I often wonder if he gave the name Lazarus to the poor guy in the parable because he was going to raise Him from the dead. And I have often wondered if this parable is tired more deeply to His friend Lazarus. Questions for God to answer, I suppose.
Here at chapter 17 Jesus’s words seem to begin to get harder. On both His disciples and on the Pharisees. At least in the book of Luke. John definitely has a softer more loving approach.
“Let all that you do be done with love” 1 Corinthians 16:14 NKJV
This verse is on all my business cards of my leather business and I write “made with love” on them all. And every last one IS made in love and every last one is prayed over and every customer is loved.
I say that first to show you some of my heart. Because I do not fear speaking of these hard verses and I am not responsible for how you receive them. I have autism and sometimes I seem more mechanical than loving. Since you cannot hear the tone and flux of my voice and my heart by extension, but even by logic you must call it love – that I would get up and study and pray and write these out every day without any compensation – willingly opening myself up for the spiritual attack so that you can have the word explained. It is love.
So every time I read about offenses, like chapter 17 opens with, I always fear that all the good I do for God’s glory will be brought down by someone’s perception and misunderstanding. I often wonder why God would call me (a bull) into a china shop – because it seems like a formula for offended tea cups. But God can cause people to have their ears open and understand of He can let their ears be closed. I met plenty of people who could translate to me the world to suddenly tell me everything I say is wrong and they do not hear me, even after that have watched other listen to me and not hear.
It is interesting to me that Jesus says offenses must come right before He gets the most firm and speaks more and more in parables – intentionally so some ears will not hear. Because the universal truth, outside of time and space is – people will hear what they want. My job is to say it. If anyone understands or not, it is not on me. If you need more, ask questions or study it yourself, but do not get offended. Can I be wrong about the theologies? YES! Wow, of course I am human – I rely on my God to keep it all in line and sort it all out. And I rely on God for your understanding. This is why I pray daily that you have ears to hear.
Irony, the next passage is exactly this – our duty. All, that I say I do out of love, I also do as my minimal duty to Christ as His servant. It is my duty to obey. It is each of our duties to obey the will of the Father. Is this a great work? Yes. Every act of obedience is a great work – of duty.
I never approve comments that I sense an evil spirit behind, there may be a well-intended person there who will get injured in the spiritual cross fire. But since today we discuss this duty of service, I think I might share about a recent comment that could befall someone.
Someone asked the number of followers, likes and comments or something down those lines so they can measure my damage against the enemy – and there are SO MANY wrongs in this that I will offend in explanation – unless you know my heart. If you know I only use this example because I love ALL of you, and ALL of you deserve to know the measure especially those who pray for me and this and support and encourage me.
It is written: you shall not despise small beginnings. It is written: Man shall not live by followers, likes and comments alone but by every WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of God! It is written: that I should seek God alone and there shall be no other before Him!
Have I not warned you all daily, (maybe I missed that day)? Beware of pride!! Repent and get humble – FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND! Do not come in here asking me to seek the answer of the measure of this by you… no, I seek God for that answer. I seek God for all answers.
You see this question is measured like the temple was measured by the angel in Zechariah – with the wrong tools! The tab in your browser cannot contain this. The internet cannot contain this. This seeps into the heart of men and women all over the world in over 40 countries/nations and seeds are planted and lives draw closer to God and HIS KINGDOME COMES! God is not contained, but He multiples, immeasurably! Immeasurably like the temple in Ezekiel which continued to grow as the poor angel tried to measure and after each measurement it expanded more. Immeasurable like the multiplication of the temple in Revelations. It is not measured or contained in follows, likes, or comments. It is not of the physical world.
Second – I have no concern of the kingdom of the enemy. Not even a thought in my mind. I build for the kingdom of heaven with a sword in my hand like Nehemiah. I declare, repent the kingdom of HEAVEN is at hand – with no regard for any other kingdom. I stand. I show up. The enemy scatters. My Job is not to fool heartedly charge an ALREADY DEFEATED enemy. What measure of damage can there be to attack a defeat foe?! NO I STAND AND BUILD A KINGDOM THAT WILL LAST FOR ALL ETERNITY!
Now, is this a great work? Is this successful? Yes. Let me, humbly, present myself as a testimony. An overcoming testimony as I embrace and am embolden in the victory of the blood of the lamb and having already laid down my life – given fully to Him. If nothing else comes from this blog, ministry and outreach – this is enough to cause joy and rejoicing throughout the kingdom of heaven – This is enough to break out, all of the heavenly, in worship and more love for the Father. This is enough to stir all of creation to glorify the Father through the Son! YES! One life – just one life – one life truly transformed through the blood and grace is immeasurably the greatest build for the Kingdom of Heaven!!!
Didn’t we just read the parable of the lost sheep? The prodigal? Well, here I am and I have come home.
At this point Jezebel, your attacks are only strengthening your enemy. Go away! I am under the wing of my Father and He is moving forward. Step out of His way! I decree as it is written: you shall flee in seven ways!
OK – so, that is how we measure a ministry. Is one life changed? Is the leader in obedience, humbly seeking ONLY the One True and Living God – the Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! These memory verses were selected, last year for this year. As many of you tell me of the great attacks on your lives – the timing is perfect! But of course it is, it is God!
NKJV – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
NAS – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated by you; they will go out against you one way and will flee at your presence seven ways.”
ESV – “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
AMP – “The LORD will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way, but flee before you seven ways.”
NIV – “The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Luke 16-17:10 NKJV
The Parable of the Unjust Steward
16 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was [a]wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’
3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’
5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred [b]measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred [c]measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous [d]mammon, that when [e]you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
The Law, the Prophets, and the Kingdom
14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they [f]derided Him. 15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one [g]tittle of the law to fail.
18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and [h]fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with [i]the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
Jesus Warns of Offenses
17 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no [j]offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should [k]offend one of these little ones. 3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins [l]against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns [m]to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Faith and Duty
5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded [n]him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”
- Luke 16:1 squandering
- Luke 16:6 Gr. batos, same as Heb. bath; 8 or 9 gallons each
- Luke 16:7 Gr. koros, same as Heb. kor; 10 or 12 bushels each
- Luke 16:9 Lit., in Aram., wealth
- Luke 16:9 NU it fails
- Luke 16:14 Lit. turned up their nose at
- Luke 16:17 The smallest stroke in a Heb. letter
- Luke 16:19 lived in luxury
- Luke 16:21 NU what fell
- Luke 17:1 stumbling blocks
- Luke 17:2 cause one of these little ones to stumble
- Luke 17:3 NU omits against you
- Luke 17:4 M omits to you
- Luke 17:9 NU omits the rest of v. 9; M omits him