Truth and Consequences – 7-18-22

But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” Luke 12:31 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 12 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Beware of Hypocrisy

12 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the [a]leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.

Jesus Teaches the Fear of God

“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

“Are not five sparrows sold for two [b]copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Confess Christ Before Men

“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

10 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.

11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of [c]covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Do Not Worry

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why [d]are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not [e]arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek [f]the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant

35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would [g]have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?

42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food [h]in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

Christ Brings Division

49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Discern the Time

54 Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. 55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. 56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?

Make Peace with Your Adversary

57 “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? 58 When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”

Footnotes

  1. Luke 12:1 yeast
  2. Luke 12:6 Gr. assarion, a coin worth about 1⁄16 of a denarius
  3. Luke 12:15 NU all covetousness
  4. Luke 12:26 do you worry
  5. Luke 12:27 clothed
  6. Luke 12:31 NU His kingdom, and these things
  7. Luke 12:39 NU not have allowed
  8. Luke 12:42 at the right time

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:

In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”

Jumping right in cause today is rich and yummy!
We all know who the modern day “Pharisees”, hypocrites, are. They are symbolic of leaders, in both church and government. (Not to be confused with the false prophets who are harder to see, but they do fall under this same warning.) They can also be self-proclaimed leaders (or insert other title). AND they can be regular people in the body of Christ who have been deceived by their own pride – yep, people like you and me. And since the application when looking at others is obvious, and we can pray for the fulfillment of these verses to move forward the kingdom of God unobstructed, I thought I would point out the personalized application. Because it comes up a lot. You and I should be careful NOT to become these hypocrites. We do not want to be exposed for a sin we refused to surrender. That would be embarrassing and humiliating and could possibly hurt our friends and love ones.
Jesus describes it as leaven – or yeast. It is as small as dust and difficult to see it spread. But a gentle breeze while making bread and adding it could mean there is yeast all over your kitchen – and next thing you know your pie crust is rising when it should not be.
If it spreads without us realizing it, then we are susceptible to falling into it. So daily, let us pray and ask God what we should repent from (turn away from and not do again). We should ask God what areas we may have opened ourselves up to the enemy and to help us close it off. We need to make sure we do not become a Pharisee, by remaining humble enough to understand that we can screw up and become one.

“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!”

Don’t fear man or ask man what to repent of. We each must work out our relationship with God by ourselves with Him, with fear and trembling. He is a good God – God enough to expose us and embarrass us, if it means getting you back to where you need to be in Him.

The modern global application is huge. We see leaders resigning left and right with rumor of scandals on the tales of each. We see pastors resigning and ministry leaders resigning. We also see all of the above getting full blown exposed and getting fired. And we see them also dying. Although not everyone who has died was unrepentant and harboring evil – but some were. Let’s remember the woe Jesus spoke upon our generation and the knowledge that the judgment of the Lord is upon us. Shaking us.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Yesterday, in a Christian group I am in online, was scared and worried new believer, as she had just learned about The Great Tribulation.  She asked some very good questions. I saw many very difficult answers and I paused and thought of all the martyrs and those who suffered for Christ’s sake. I thought of all the difficult things that are coming and at what point is the global tribulation worse than ever. And although I want to believe in a pre-trib rapture it is not in the Bible or guaranteed. It is possible to live into and through the tribulation since the Bible does not give a day or hour of the rapture.  None of which is comforting, I know. Humans usually do anything to avoid pain. I did not add to the conversation since there were pastors in the group handling it, and I am not a leader in the group.
So, this morning I read this and here is our comfort – we are more valuable than sparrows. And some may say it is of little comfort, because 5 sparrows cost 2 cents. Humans cost a lot more – look at the cost of birth, the cost of adoption, the cost of the foster care system, and the cost of raising my own son with sports and extracurricular activities and private college and such.
And as I sit here in his will, fighting the good fight of faith – He is providing for my every need because I am more valuable than a sparrow, yet He let Paul go without, and be put in jail, and even killed. And is not His own son, more valuable than me – and God let His own son die! I am not even remotely worthy of being compared.
But any suffering for goodness and for the kingdom’s sake is reward and glorifies God! It shows that we are so much more loved than the sparrows.
On a silly note – I was joking with a sister in the Lord saying that I lost all of my hair when sick with covid, because God lost count and had to start the count all over again! Lol (By the way it is all about an inch long and a few pieces are a little longer. It is growing back! Glory to God!)

“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
10 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.”

Confessing Jesus is part of the standard A, B, C’s of salvation – C being Confession. I’ll be honest, I came back to God and I was telling everyone at the grocery store, at work, and everywhere I was. But, posting it on social media became a huge block for me. It took a while to overcome that block. Then the next thing you know I am getting blocked by the social media platform. Oh my! Then God told me to do this blog and THIS was my outlet for sharing Him and not social media. This blog has its own social media and accounts.  And now that I have a business, this plan makes sense because it prevents my personal and business account from getting blocked. But this blog’s account has been ‘jailed’ a few times. 
My point is, I know how hard it is to confess Jesus on the internet, on social media. It was harder than telling people in person. At least in person you can see if they are rejecting and you can stop and regain common ground.
This is serious, because the enemy knows this verse and if he can make you deny Jesus, and you do not repent, then Jesus will deny you. Now, there is the unforgiveable sin – the sin against the Holy Spirit, where there is no forgiveness.
I have heard many speculate about what exactly it is to blaspheme the Spirit, but one pastor explained it in the best and unforgettable way. He said: Don’t worry about it. If your heart is ALWAYS set on God, you’re doing your best to rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance and assistance, and you love Jesus with all your heart – you will never commit the unforgivable sin. So focus on doing that.

11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

And as much as you prepare to write a blog or preach a sermon or teach a lesson or speak a testimony, no matter how much you prepare, in the moment of doing it the Holy Spirit often takes over and does His thing.

13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 But He said to him, 
“Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

How does: ‘don’t be a hypocrite’, ‘fear God cause He is almighty’, ‘And He values you greatly and will provide for you’, so ‘confess Him – get into a relationship’, and He’ll ‘give you the words to say’ lead to the parable of the Rich Fool?
Well, looking at the overreaching flow of the chapter, and back to God providing for the sparrow and giving us words and speaking to God and Angels about us – it makes since to remind us he will not just bless us, but give us abundance. We are blessed to be a blessing.
But the chapter is also filled with the juxtaposition of consequences.  Hypocrisy leads to exposure. Fear of man leads to hell. Fear leads to lack of self-value. Denial leads to hell. If you worry and stick to your own plan – you’ll miss the right words to say. And if you lack generosity and hoard your blessings God will require your life, so you cannot enjoy them either!
Listen, Jesus is not playing around. And we cannot play around. I often remind people that we are no longer living in the 1980’s were grace actually did abound… and how much of it we senselessly used with games and refusing to surrender all.

And while we are on the subject of money and things – it is a great time to point out that Jesus and the apostles spoke about love, money, possessions and hell the most. So pay attention when there are lessons on those things. They are important to the kingdom: ‘love’ because it is the key, ‘money and possession’ because generosity unlocks love or stinginess becomes a stumbling block, and ‘hell’ because it is real and Jesus came to warn you and tell you that you do not have to spend eternity there.

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Ouch! Let me tell you – I have spent a LOT of time in this passage this past year (and the parallel ones in the other gospels). Every time I think I have it down, I am being taught it in a new way. For example – it is not a big faith thing to believe for dog food, God has provided dogfood for the last 18 months. But my disabled cousin’s father passed away and he suddenly had no caregiver and no home and I stress out and try to interject myself into the situation to try to fix it.
God literally sent a pastor’s wife to literally tell me “This is not yours. You need to step away and let God.”
Oof! Then I hit my knees in prayer and called in all my prayer warriors. Then a Baptist friend of mine told me I wasn’t praying, I was worrying. Stop worrying to God. Oof! It’s been a week of lessons for me here.
I am definitely learning to rely completely on God and I am learning not to fear or worry. But these are big things God is doing. It is not easy. I am a mess! But don’t we all learn by getting knocked around and falling on our faces sometimes. I am getting better at it.

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Do not fear. Well, my disabled cousin has been placed in a facility that specializes in his problem and it is an hour from his family! That was quick and miraculous!
I gave it to God like an offering, to my soul like an alms. Then I turned around and gave away some food and I prepare my offering for Sunday and I do what I can – because when the mortgage comes due, I have made an account in heaven and I can ask for a withdrawal to pay the mortgage this month.  And next month when the car insurance comes due and I need all the government fees for the car as well – and all of this on top of my usual bills, I will have some money in my heavenly bank I can ask for. Not literally – it is a metaphor. The same metaphor Jesus uses here.

Then Jesus begins to sum this whole thing up – these lessons are like the Kingdom of Heaven and the good servants… but don’t be the evil ones:

35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?
42 And the Lord said, 
“Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”

This whole chapter seems so well written for such a time as this. And I have already surpassed my average word count and I try not to go on so long. But it is a deep and meaty chapter.

While we should work towards unity – Jesus brings division. It is true that some spirits just cannot find unity with you when you are in the Spirit of Christ. He warns us. We can just love the person and let God work out the details.

49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

And discerning the times is LITERALY our daily cry! We need to share the gospel – we need to yell repent and get humble the kingdom of God is at hand! We are in that time! Do you discern it?

54 Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. 55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. 56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?”

It is also time to make peace with your adversary – and again Jesus speaks of money. But it could also mean emotional debts or other types of debts and adversaries.

57 “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? 58 When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”

Lord help us and maybe tomorrow, I’ll use fewer words to make a point. Be blessed.

***

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!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: