Humbly Under Authority – 7-11-22

And the Lord said, “To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying: ‘We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not weep.’Luke 7:31-32 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

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.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“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

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. 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 our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Luke chapter 7 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”

Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.

When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well [a]who had been sick.

Jesus Raises the Son of the Widow of Nain

11 Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. 12 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.

16 Then fear [b]came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.” 17 And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.

John the Baptist Sends Messengers to Jesus

18 Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. 19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to [c]Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or [d]do we look for another?”

20 When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” 21 And that very hour He cured many of [e]infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.

22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 And blessed is he who is not [f]offended because of Me.”

24 When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is he of whom it is written:

‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’

28 For I say to you, among those born of women there is [g]not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

29 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors [h]justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and [i]lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.

31 [j]And the Lord said, “To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying:

‘We played the flute for you,
And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
And you did not weep.’

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a [k]winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 But wisdom is justified by all her children.”

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”

40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

So he said, “Teacher, say it.”

41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”

And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Footnotes

  1. Luke 7:10 NU omits who had been sick
  2. Luke 7:16 seized them all
  3. Luke 7:19 NU the Lord
  4. Luke 7:19 should we expect
  5. Luke 7:21 illnesses
  6. Luke 7:23 caused to stumble
  7. Luke 7:28 NU none greater than John;
  8. Luke 7:29 declared the righteousness of
  9. Luke 7:30 the experts in the law
  10. Luke 7:31 NU, M omit And the Lord said
  11. Luke 7:34 An excessive drinker

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Romans 6:1-2 –

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

I hope you had a blessed weekend. I had a rough weekend. I am finding the distractions are great and pull hard, lately. And as I speak with others they feel the same way. And temptations, dreams of old ways, and the past is also encroaching on everyone I speak with.  I had a dream I was smoking! I haven’t done that in years, but there it was in the dream.
Something no one is saying – but many of us are feeling defeated. I totally lost my cool in a temptation situation which I have easily overcome in the past – and in my mind, even after repenting, I have been struggling to forgive myself. I should not have lost it. Beating myself up so the enemy does not have to.
As the days become more evil and as the Lord moves his justice through the church, it makes sense that we are shaken – and those of us who stand fast will be vindicated. With all this shaking I can see why God says the humble will inherit the earth. Because they got low, lowered their center of gravity and were able to be steadfast.
Me, I stumbled and was humbled. Embarrassing. But I know I need to stay humble. Pray for me, I will need it. Tonight is the family gathering (for my uncle’s passing) and there is enough drama and bad behavior in that group of family members – I will need to keep my cool and be steadfast in God to get through it.

I will not minimize my struggle or weakness – we all have these moments and the struggle. When we are weak, He is strong and can be glorified. I do not want you all thinking I am perfect – we can learn together. I just want to point up to God and let Him tell His story through us any way He wants.

But humility and meekness, and even my weakness in flesh, does not mean I cannot stand boldly and confidently in the authority of Christ. You see, if I am in my place, I am unstoppable for the Kingdom. God created order, authority, and rank and file. These are not just military metaphors used by Jesus, Paul and the rest. You will know it is not only truth, but also a deep spiritual principle, by the fact that the extreme liberals globally are talking about taking down the patriarchy. Now, yes, there has been abuse in the ranks of their power over the years. And yes, many people abuse authority. BUT it is the system of how God transfers His power and anointing. If it is out of line, it will not work. Even if the line is corrupted, there is a better chance for the move of God than a system that is destroyed.
I am all for knocking the Old Boys Club off their self-made pedestals – But the political, cancel culture movement of overthrowing the patriarchy is no longer about the Old Boys Club. They want to destroy the structure of authority in our world. It is the enemy’s plan to weaken God’s people.
Even in fictions utopian societies – like the Marxist socialist hope to create, like Star Trek, have an authority system, surprisingly military, and surprisingly Biblical.  
Being under authority – or under this system – give power and builds faith.

Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”

Man was motivated to help this centurion because of what the centurion had done for them. But that was NOT what motivated Jesus to heal the servant.

Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.
When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.”

Jesus was motivated to heal the servant because of the centurion’s faith. You see the centurion was at wits end and someone said Jesus was a healer. And he took the time to reason it out. There were other so-called healers. I do not know if the centurion tried them first of not. But the results of his reasoning was that Jesus had some sort of authority and that only comes from being under a higher authority. There is discipline and order in Jesus’s life. Because he began reasoning – God revealed Jesus, and the power of Jesus to the centurion. And we all know only God can reveal such things and that revelations comes from faith and being hungry and seeking it, seeking God. That is what motivates Jesus! You have a need, get humble under authority.

Jesus raised the son of the widow of Nain, next in our reading. All I will say is this happened on the other side of the mountain of where Elijah raised the son of the widow. There is a parallel for a reason and these people did not miss it.

I am also going to breeze past the section on John the Baptist – But I will say, I do not believe John doubted who Jesus was. I believe John was affirming it and letting His disciples see it, and be prepared for John’s death. John was pointing to Jesus. And Jesus then explains to the people who John was – the one in the wilderness preparing the way for the Lord.

The reason is – we need to talk more about authority. More importantly, those in leadership. I have been saying for 2 year judgement is coming. SO get yourself right, so you are not publicly judged. Ask God to reveal to you in private so publicly you are NOT humiliated.
And the Christian community has seen a great number of leader fall in scandal and humiliation recently. But this isn’t a game and the stakes are raised. Don’t believe me?
Boris Johnson resigned. Naftali Bennett stepped down. Shinzo Abe was just shot and killed. Gotabaya Rajapaksa flees his home as protester break in. And the list goes on.
World leader after world leader, in power or formally in power but still having influence. God is removing them from the scene. God is permitting this. If the people are good or bad – it doesn’t matter. God removed Trump.
You see – God does NOT care who thinks they are leading or who has declared power and authority. There is a rank and file, and God is not mocked. He is ONLY concerned with the hearts of the people. We read the Old Testament and saw that God permitted bad, oppressive, leadership to rule the people in order to get the people to turn to God. Then God cleaned up the mess.

It is like the story of the lady who anointed Jesus with the expensive oil. The people all saw with their eyes something different and in all cases – they missed that God was doing something great in that room and that lady was experiencing something – grace was transforming her heart. AND that is what God is concerned with. The heart.

In Luke’s version:

36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, 
“Simon, I have something to say to you.”

So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 
“There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, 
“You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Then He said to the woman, 
“Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

In other Gospel accounts, Judas was worried about the expense, because the oil could have been sold and the money given to the poor. And Jesus pointed out how she anointed Him for His death.
But the fact that we are studying Luke’s version where forgiveness and humility are the key points, seems timely as we watch the shape of our global leadership and authority change – and the fight between the one world system and the multi-nation system. (The one world system being prophesied as ushering in the reign of The Antichrist.)

Obviously all we can do is pray for our leaders, even if they are evil – pray for them. And let God handle who is in charge. Yes, vote if we have opportunity. But I am saying that things are shaking and we must first get ourselves prepared, then get those around us prepared.
The woman with the oil, came and cried… and cried… and cried… Oh sister, I get it – I am a crier. Don’t ask me to publicly speak or preach. I used to. But not anymore. I cry. Weep. Ugly cry. I weep over the lost, tears of joy for the grace that has transformed me flow like rivers from my eyes. Both – sorrow and joy.
Like this precious woman – who poured out NOT ONLY her most expensive possession, she also poured out her soul in tear like a river and wiped them with her hair. Where was her covering? Why did she use her hair? Oh this woman, was not even under authority, under her covering… and in this moment through this act, she got under the authority and covering of Jesus.

Women customarily had a flask or box of some fancy scented oil. It would have been given to them as a child for their wedding. Where she would bath and then open that oil for the first time and be anointed in the sweet smell. The fact that she poured it on Jesus says she was not married. She was also pouring out her hope of ever being married. She truly seems like a woman without any authority over her. She literally surrendered all.
Got set up the authority structure. She came back under it that night. Woman are precious and need a cover to protect them. But it also empowers them. Make sure we are humbly under authority in these days – Cause God cares about the condition of our hearts.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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