Luke: Hard Lessons to Consider

Read: Luke 12:49-13:9

Spanning the artificial chapter boundaries, this morning we consider three hard lessons. Jesus loves people, no doubt, but He is not about to hold back when teaching subjects that are challenging. One of the key lessons I take here is this: grow up, learn to read yourself, you have enough information to make a decision so decide. Even though we waver, Christ will be patient, but not forever.

Division Instead of Peace

Jesus is fully aware that His presence will force people to make a choice that will divide families. This is clearly seen in predominantly Muslim countries where those who become Christ followers are severely rejected by their Muslim families. The warning then is true today:

Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. Luke 12:51

The sad reality is that we’ve watered down what it means to be a Christian in this country that the decision to follow Christ is shrugged off, no big deal. Statistics show us that Christians look like non-Christians across many categories.

Our home group studied unChristian a few years ago. While the content is a decade old, I doubt much has significantly changed. Consider this excerpt:

…most of the lifestyle activities of born-again Christians were statistically equivalent to those of non–born-agains. When asked to identify their activities over the last thirty days, born-again believers were just as likely to bet or gamble, to visit a pornographic website, to take something that did not belong to them, to consult a medium or psychic, to physically fight or abuse someone, to have consumed enough alcohol to be considered legally drunk, to have used an illegal, nonprescription drug, to have said something to someone that was not true, to have gotten back at someone for something he or she did, and to have said mean things behind another person’s back. No difference.*

I bolded “No difference” above to make the point that this should not be the case. We should look vastly different. Agree?

Interpreting the Times

How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? Luke 12:56-57

In the midst of the Information Age, we have a preponderance of evidence to support the call to Christ. How is it this can be missed? We will be held accountable. Our salvation secured is not a badge of honor. If we value salvation, we simply must be better witnesses to the lost. It’s not a popular position, not politically correct, but we must fit in and stand out at the same time. Trust that the Spirit will make this possible. Ask for vision. Have faith when challenged.

Repent or Perish

It’s interesting to hear Jesus speak about current events during His time on Earth. Here the people refer to bloodshed by Pilate and Jesus adds a reference to 18 who died in a disaster in Siloam. Both tragic events are used as examples of why we should decide now, not wait. Twice in the same short story Jesus exhorts:

But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Luke 13:3,5

Our loving Savior, the Great and Mighty is ever patient and kind. I’m grateful to know He gives us second and third chances:

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” Luke 3:8-9

Lord, help us to remember that the sand does eventually slip through the hourglass, that there is a point when our chances run out. May we be the voice in this present age, in this hour of darkness, that speaks to those who would otherwise perish. To God be the Glory. Amen.

 


*Kinnaman, David. unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity…and Why It Matters (p. 47). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. See the article “American Lifestyles Mix Compassion and Self-Oriented Behavior” (February 5, 2007) at www.barna.org.

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

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