Thursday, January 19, 2017

Battle Plan: PLAN

Luke 13:1-9:  A crowd voices concern over the Galileans.  Pilate mixed their blood with sacrifices, Massacres were taking place and the Jews were concerned they would be murdered and the same would happen to them.  They wanted Jesus to make a political statement about Pilate and the Roman Government.  The Jews were looking for deliverance and justice.  Jesus, here, is more concerned about the eternal than the temporal especially with the statement of “repent or you will perish”.  

I (YOU) HAVE “ARRIVED” - Belief and Faith – What we believe drives what we do!!!  It's a “We Could Commit to” and “What we will commit to” kinda world!  Our relationship with God through Jesus begins with Confession and Repentance.  This is a quality of who we are as believers in Christ.  Biblical Community starts with the same – believers share a relationship with God by confession and repentance and we are to practice that with each other.  Grace and Forgiveness lives here!!! – as well as confession and repentance.  This is where the eternal supercedes the physical temporal part of our life.  We are concerned with the here and now.  John the Baptist preached the coming of kingdom and repentance for the forgiveness of sin before Jesus came.  Jesus taught of the kingdom of God, not focusing on any kingdom on earth ushered in by any earthly king.  That's why He responds to the crowd twice saying, "repent or you will will perish."  

CAN I SKIP THIS? Every piece of this biblical knowledge is important.  It’s like the Bible.  You can’t just like the things you want to and throw away the other stuff.  We do the same with our relationship with God.  We skip faith, we skip grace, we skip forgiveness and in most cases, we skip confession and prayer.  What about SIN – we can’t skip DEALING WITH SIN.  Jesus is not placing emphasis on the safety of the individual here as the crowd of Jews are.  I mean, they are worried for their life here.  They are also concerned what was to happen to their bodies after they die – what the Romans would do.  Jesus' mission was not a political one, it was a spiritual one - atoning for sin and to fulfill the promises of God.  Here is where we are so short-sighted.  We want Jesus to be who we want Him to be in our life which leads to no belief, obedience or submission to Him on our part.       
We believe that our ways are better than God’s ways and that the things of this earth will be more satisfying to us than God Himself.   
THE WANDERERS:  The vineyard owner is ready to eat of the fruit from the fig tree.  He has the right to inspect it and reap what has been sown.  The Jews heard the message from John the Baptist about “repent for the kingdom of heaven is near” and know Jesus was there for years preaching and teaching about kingdom living for those who would believe.  

If he planted and cared for this fig tree and see that in year 5, 6, and 7 there is no fruit, there needs to be a decision about what to do with the tree.  Inspection of no fruit cause him to contemplate cutting it down because something new could be planted, cared for and reaping of the fruit will come.  
This is the case with Israel. God had suffered long with them and the nation had grown cold, legalistic, and self-centered . Israel was not bearing the fruit of God's truth.  That's the question we should ask, "if we have believed and repented, are we bearing fruit?"  "Are we furthering the kingdom of God?"  
“Christ is Better” vs Disbelief....Live a better story because Christ is in it.  Cory Pytlarz says:  "The world is a busy place, and it’s full of smart and talented people doing many good things. But as Richard Foster puts it, “The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.”  This deepness arises not out of our doing, but from our being.  And our being arises out of knowing Christ."  Salvation in Christ from belief – confession and repentance as pillars of this belief.  This is an awareness of our ultimate purpose in life, which is to be increasingly formed in the image of Christ.  What's your plan?

No comments: