Blessings and Woes (Luke 6:20-26)

Blessings and Woes Luke 6:20-26

Luke 6:20-26

I. The poor and the rich

    A. “Poor in spirit” = contrition and humility (Luke 6:20; Matthew 5:3)
    B. “Rich” trust in wealth and self (Luke 6:24; Matthew 6:19-21; Mark 10:23-25; 1 Timothy 6:9-10; Luke 18:9-14; Revelation 3:17-18)

II. The hungry and the full

    A. “Hunger…for righteousness” (Luke 6:21a; Matthew 5:6)
    B. “The full,” in thinking he knows it all, shows how little he knows

III. The weeping and laughing

    A. Godly sorrow produces repentance (Luke 6:21b; 2 Cor. 7:8-11)
    B. Don’t “laugh it off” (Luke 6:25b; James 4:9; Philippians 4:4; Romans 12:12; 1 Corinthians 13:6; James 1:2)

IV. The persecuted and the praised

    A. Threats from the religious (Luke 6:22-23; Acts 4:18-21; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 3:13-17)
    B. The approval of men (Luke 6:26; 2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Our God, He Is Alive

728b Our God He Is Alive

I. General revelation

    A. “There is, beyond the azure blue, a God concealed from human sight” (Genesis 1:1; Romans 1:20)
    B. “He tinted skies with heav’nly hue and framed the worlds with His great might” (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3)

II. Specific revelation

    A. “There was, a long, long time ago, a God whose voice the prophets heard” (2 Peter 1:16-21)
    B. “He is the God that we should know” (John 17:3; 2 Peter 3:9; John 14:6)
    C. “Who speaks from His inspired word” (Romans 10:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17)

III. The creation of man

    A. “Secure is life from mortal mind; God holds the germ within His hand” (Genesis 2:7; 1:26-28)
    B. “Though men may search they cannot find, for God alone does understand” (Job 38:4-7; Deuteronomy 29:29)

IV. The sacrifice of the Son

    A. “Our God, whose Son upon a tree, a life was willing there to give” (Ephesians 2:14-16)
    B. “That He from sin might set man free, and evermore with Him could live” (Romans 6:16-18; Ephesians 3:10-11; Matthew 25:34)

[Lesson developed from hymn by A. W. Dicus]

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 105/260: Read Hebrews 5

The sympathy or compassion of the high priest based on his own weakness is similar to how we should treat our brothers and sisters in the church today. Paul wrote, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

Not a single one of us is above temptation, nor are we above succumbing to temptation. We must always be on guard. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Christianity is not a cakewalk.

Since all Christians are a part of “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9), let us serve one another, lovingly helping each other get to heaven, realizing that we are all tempted and we do all succumb at times. We must be gracious and forgiving toward our brethren!

Thank God we have the example of Christ, who serves as our compassionate High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-15). He was tempted, and He resisted those temptations. He gives us the example of how to resist in Matthew 4, and shows us throughout the gospel accounts how we can help each other.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Hebrews 2:1. Therefore we must give the most earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.

Pray

Pray for forgiveness from the Father, and for grace toward your fellow man.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 104/260: Read Hebrews 4

The Israelites heard the promise of rest, but their hearing was “not…mixed with faith.” They heard, but they didn’t believe, and since they didn’t believe, they were disobedient.

Belief must precede obedience, and obedience must follow belief. One cannot say, “I believe,” and not act upon that faith according to God’s will. That is not Biblical faith.

The ultimate rest promised to God was not in the land of Canaan, but eternity. This is not simply a relief from the worries and weariness of life, but a rest from the work of doing God’s will in this life.

Otis Gatewood wrote many years ago, “Did you ever try to rest when you were not tired? It is an impossibility. Heaven is described as a place of rest, and we will not enjoy it unless we are tired when we get there. Many are not going to be tired because they never ‘work’ for the Lord.”

The apostle Paul recognized that while he had breath in him, he needed to continue working, continue pressing on, continue reaching forward. “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfect; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

Keep working so you can enjoy the eternal rest promised.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Hebrews 2:1. Therefore we must give the most ________ heed to the things we have ________, lest we drift away.

Pray

Pray for opportunities to work in God’s kingdom.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 103/260: Read Hebrews 3

We are reminded at the outset of the third chapter of Hebrews that this epistle is written to “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling.” This is not a letter intended to persuade non-believers to become Christians, but rather the writer wants his recipients to remember who they are, and whose they are.

The Christians here struggled with the temptation of leaving the gospel and returning to the Old Law. The entire letter is written to spotlight Christ’s superiority over the Old Law, while not denigrating the service that Moses performed.

Moses deserves a great deal of respect for the work he accomplished among the people of God. He was faithful in the execution of the duties God assigned to him. Yet, God had bigger plans for His children, and Jesus is “worthy of more glory than Moses.” Why?

First, because Jesus is the Creator, but Moses is simply created. Second, because Jesus is God, but Moses is simply a man. Third, because Jesus is the Son of God, but Moses is simply a servant of God.

The Old Law served a very specific purpose, but now we live under a better law, given by a better lawgiver, with better promises. We should not seek to return to something lesser that is no longer in effect. Embrace that which is better.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Hebrews 2:1. Therefore we must give the most earnest ________ to the things we have heard, lest we ________ away.

Pray

Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the better covenant that Jesus established when He died on the cross.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 102/260: Read Hebrews 2

Why must we give “the more earnest heed”? In the Spider-Man mythos, Uncle Ben told his nephew Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Could it not also be said that with great knowledge comes great responsibility?

Our Lord said, “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. 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” (Luke 12:47-48).

To what must we give “the more earnest heed”? The writer says “to the things we have heard.” Hearing is often referenced in God’s plan for saving man (Romans 10:17), and yes we must face the decision of obedience when we initially hear the gospel. Yet, it does not stop there! We must continue to hear and grow in the faith throughout life! Consider James 1:22-25 and 2 Peter 3:17-18 on this point.

Finally, it is important to heed what we have heard, “lest we drift away.” Those who turn away from God rarely do so boldly and dramatically and all at once. It is more often a gradual drift, with a little neglect here, a little inattention there.

Don’t let it happen to you! “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Hebrews 2:1. Therefore we must give the most earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.

Pray

Pray for diligence in your studies and your application of God’s Word to your life.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 101/260: Read Hebrews 1

Jesus, the Son of God, is the definitive spokesperson for the will of God. In addition to that, though, He has been “appointed heir of all things.”

Satan promised to give Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory” if Jesus would worship him (Matthew 4:9-10), but Satan’s promises were empty. The temptation was real, but he never could have truly delivered. In contrast, the Father could deliver on that promise.

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:8-10).

While on this earth, Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20).

Joseph Bryant Rotherham wrote in the early twentieth century, “He who had not where to lay his head is now placed in possession of the Universe.”

Throughout the book of Hebrews, the word “better” should ring through the readers’ minds. Jesus is better. His Priesthood is better. His covenant is better. Why would anyone turn their backs on He who is better?

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Hebrews 2:1. Therefore we must give the most earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.

Pray

Pray for stronger faith in the One who was and is better than any other option.

Forgiveness and Healing (Luke 5:17-26)

Luke 5 17 26 The Healing of the Paralytic

Luke 5:17-26

I. The influence of faithful friends (Luke 5:18-19)

    A. They refused to give up (Luke 8:14)
    B. “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

II. The immensity of Jesus’ power (Luke 5:20-25)

    A. The judgment of the scribes and Pharisees (Acts 26:5; Matthew 23; 5:20; Deuteronomy 18:18-22; Mark 14:64)
    B. Jesus demonstrated His power to forgive and heal (John 3:17)

III. The importance of a proper response to Jesus (Luke 5:25-26)

    A. They were amazed (Luke 2:47; 4:36)
    B. They glorified God (Luke 5:25)
    C. They were filled with fear (Luke 5:8)
    D. “We have seen strange things today!”

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 100/260: Read Philippians 4

If someone were to ask your neighbors to describe you in one word, what word would they use? Would gentleness be among those words chosen?

Paul said, “Let your gentleness be known to all men.” How you treat the people around you—not only those with whom you agree, but all men—is extremely important.

The church in Corinth, full of problems, needed to repent. Paul said he was coming to them, and gave them a choice: “What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?” (1 Corinthians 4:21).

Gentleness is a characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). It should be the attitude we exhibit as we seek to restore our erring brethren (Galatians 6:1). It should be an identifying mark of our Christian walk (Ephesians 4:1-3). It is a qualification for the leaders of the church (1 Timothy 3:3).

“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth” (2 Timothy 2:24-25).

A “gentle and quiet spirit…is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:4). Perhaps that is why Christ described Himself as “gentle and lowly in heart” when He offered an invitation to those “who labor and are heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28-29).

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Philippians 2:4. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Pray

Pray for a gentle spirit, and opportunities to show your gentleness to your friends.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 99/260: Read Philippians 3

How important are your accomplishments to you? Did you graduate at the top of your class? Did you get a scholarship to the school of your choice? Do you own your own business? Do you live comfortably with more than enough money set aside for retirement?

All of these things are good, and there is certainly nothing wrong with striving for success in this world…as long as it does not hinder your journey to heaven.

Saul of Tarsus had everything a Jewish male desired when it came to status. He had fulfilled his duties as they related to the Old Law and was a zealous Pharisee, persecuting the church that threatened the Jewish way of life. But when he learned the truth, he was willing to set all of that aside. “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”

In eternity, your grade point average does not matter. God doesn’t care which college gave you a diploma, or how many employees are under your rule. Your bank account means little to the Lord if you’re not using it in His service.

Perhaps the most impactful statement of Paul in this chapter is this: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Don’t let the things of this life pull you away from your ultimate goal: eternity in heaven. Everything we do in this life, including the opportunities we have in this country, must be done with our eternal citizenship in mind.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Philippians 2:4. Let each of you __________ out not only for his own __________, but also for the __________ of others.

Pray

Pray for perspective in keeping first things first.

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12)