More Luke 12–Being Prepared for His Return

Now Jesus begins to make it real.  Jesus was preparing the disciples for the transition.  The Lord knew His time was limited and He needed His guys to live and be ready.  Up to that point, they followed Jesus and stood in the background while He did amazing things.  Now, He was preparing them to take the lead and work on His behalf to build the church.  He knew He was going to die.  The Lord also knew He would rise and ascend to be with the Father. 

So, Jesus needed His guys to be ready for that day so that they could, in fact, change the world.  Jesus also wanted them to understand that they needed to prepare for His return.  They would neither know the date nor the hour of the Lord’s return, but they needed to live as if it were immanent.  So, Jesus said it straight out–“Be ready as if you were preparing for the return of the master from a long journey.  Be ready as if you were going to stop an invasion.  Be ready as if tomorrow would be the most important day ever. Be ready!!!

Such is the call for us today.  We are to live as if Jesus return was imminent.  Truth be known, it is.  We see the signs and know that the Lord may not tarry much longer.  We need to live lives of commitment and faith, because, even if we should die before he returns–He will return.  In that moment, like any good servant, we must be prepared to give an account of our lives and action.  What Jesus was teaching His chosen ones was to live for what is real and eternal.  We cannot say, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die!”  The world lives that way, and it has led to chaos. 

Live a life worthy of the Gospel.  Live as if Jesus will be back tomorrow.  If you will, you will enjoy peace and you will be prepared when that day finally comes.

God Bless You


35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Luke 12 Part 3–Do not Sweat the Small Stuff (It’s all Small Stuff)

Jesus knew it was time to focus His chosen on the important things in life.  So many of us have hearts that long to be like Christ. Unfortunately, we are distracted by the things and worries of this world.  Especially when one has others that depend upon them–families, employees, parishioners, patients, students all draw upon our energy and wisdom to make their daily journey.  Jesus pulled the apostles aside and reminded them that God knows their concerns and has prepared to address them.  Luke 12:31 matches Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and God will give you everything you need!”  

Sometimes we are simply distracted from this universal truth.  We seek all the things of the world–money, power, security, favor, love, and peace.  Sadly, the world will never give any of those things.  Oh, it will promise them all but, in the end, like the flowers in the field it will wilt and die.

  God, on the other hand, grants the fruit of the spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.  Ask what you will, but that is what makes our lives complete.  That is why Jesus said time and again–Seek God, He will give you the stuff you need to live and what is more He will give you the peace to be full and complete on the journey. 

Paul sums it up quite nicely in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving bring your requests to God.  Then the peace of God that passes all human comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!”

God Bless You


Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

2 Corinthians 12:9–Thanks Jeff JonesBut he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Numbers 23-24–It’s Not About Location

As God’s chosen, today, we too live under His provision, preparation and protection. It often feels as though the world has the upper hand; but, truth be known, nothing happens without God’s permission.

The Moabite king was convinced that he could curse Israel.  So, he summoned a local mystic–Balaam, to come and do the job.  Balaam asked God if he could take the job, and God said no. The King’s men came back and got Balaam to come–Balaam told them he would not do it, they urged him to come anyway.  God said fine, go, but only say what I tell you to say.  So, for the next several days, Balak, King of Moab, ushered the mystic from place to place. In each place, alters would be built, sacrifices made, and then–Balaam would bless Israel.

The King became furious–but, the prophet  would simply respond, I can only say what God has told me to say–and again the prophet would bless Israel. In the end, the King knew he had been stupid, his nation, and the allies of his nation were put on notice–Israel is and will be blessed by God–do not expect to defeat them.  In addition, your peoples will be destroyed, Have a nice day.

The bottom line is that the natural man does not understand the things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14+ says it well, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 

People think that they control their destinies. They simply do not.  There is a God who created and controls everything. The world simply thinks that because God allows evil to exist; that He must not be in control. SO Wrong! God has a plan and He will execute it to the letter. Israel was marching through the desert–awaiting the day they could enter the Promised Land. While they waited, they still were being prepared by God, provided for by God and were living under God’s protection.

As God’s chosen, today, we too live under His provision, preparation and protection.  It often feels as though the world has the upper hand; but, truth be known, nothing happens without God’s permission. That is why the promises of Roman 8:18, 28 and 34 are so significant. No matter how difficult our struggles–they cannot compare to the blessings that lie ahead. Further, all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Finally, there is nothing in this world that can separate us from our God. Israel saw that daily. Paul wrote about it as a testimony to an amazing journey; and, we can live it–if we will simply trust and follow God!

God Bless You

Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him and he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
    the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,
    who sees a vision from the Almighty,[a]
    who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

“How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
    your dwelling places, Israel!

“Like valleys they spread out,
    like gardens beside a river,
like aloes planted by the Lord,
    like cedars beside the waters.
Water will flow from their buckets;
    their seed will have abundant water.

“Their king will be greater than Agag;
    their kingdom will be exalted.

“God brought them out of Egypt;
    they have the strength of a wild ox.
They devour hostile nations
    and break their bones in pieces;
    with their arrows they pierce them.
Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
    like a lioness—who dares to rouse them?

“May those who bless you be blessed
    and those who curse you be cursed!”

Jesus Begins–Mark 1 part 2

God’s plan for Jesus was very deliberate.  For thirty years, Jesus grew up, worked and operated as a normal guy.  But at 30, it was time to complete his mission.  He was baptized, filled with the spirit, commissioned by the father and sent into battle.  His first 40 days were completed in the desert.  There he fasted, prayed and went to war with the enemy.  The battle was brutal but God won. Jesus was attended by angels and then he was off to change the world.

God’s plan in our lives is equally deliberate.  We are called, and as we follow him we are prepared for battle.  Like Jesus, we need to prepare for the battle and seek his help as we fight it. Then we must also be ready to minister wherever we go.  Jesus modeled that, lived it and in Matthew 28 called us to do it.  “As you are going, make disciples—baptizing them in the name of the father, son and spirit. Teaching them what I have taught you and remember I am with you always—even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

God Bless You

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[g] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Matthew 4 part 1–The Battle Begins

Jesus did not take lightly the task before him. He was led by the spirit into the wilderness where he fasted for 40 days. What an enormous burden—as a human, stripped of his power and Godly authority, Jesus now faced the enemy for a full on battle. There is so much to grab. First- Jesus fasted for 40 days—what a commitment and sacrifice. But it was also a time of clarity– Jesus did not underestimate the enemy, instead he prepared.
Next, The actual battle was not significantly different than ours. Satan tempted Jesus with the lust of flesh—turn the stone to bread; the lust of the eyes—I will give you all this if you will simply bow down; and the pride of life—Jump, God won’t allow anything happen to YOU, you are the chosen one. We, like the Lord, have the tools to walk away, prayer, scripture and the knowledge that the enemy will never provide anything that God has not already prepared for us. We simply need to be patient and submit to his leadership.
Finally, Jesus had the word so engrained in his thought, that battling was easy—Jesus had answered the questions well prior to Satan’s test. We have to know and commit to the right direction well prior to being tempted. We do this through his word and prayer. We build accountability and fellowship in our lives so we need not face the battle alone. Then we cling to the promise of his provision and protection and simply employ the word as a weapon and a shield in our lives—The battle is clearly not an easy one. It requires preparation, recognition and fortification. Help me Lord to employ those in my life.
God Bless You
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him

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