Luke 20

Vs. 2,Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”  It was Passover feast, so the population of Jerusalem increased.  The Pharisee’s and Teachers of the law had a predicament; there were still many who were supporting Jesus.  How could they find a way to arrest Jesus?  So they came trying to test and corner Jesus into saying something blasphemous.  Question: Who did this Jesus think He was?  But Jesus masterfully throws back another question that keeps them quiet (vs. 1-8)  Jesus goes on to share the Parable of the Tenants.  The original audience would have full well known Jesus was referring to the tenants (workers) in the vineyard as themselves (vs. 9-19).  Jesus also teaches us to rightfully respect the nation we live under, but ultimately, God is number one (vs. 20-26).  Then the Sadducees come with a question to stump Jesus (vs. 27-39).  The Sadducees didn’t believe in Resurrection in the first place, but Jesus once again gives an answer that puts them in their place.  Jesus also turns the tables and asks them a question (vs. 41-47).  Question: How can the Messiah be the son of David and be called David’s Lord?  Doesn’t make sense, huh?  Jesus was both…He is God and He was the also the human descendant of David.  This is what we call the incarnation.  Jesus was in the flesh and yet also God, Amen!

Regarding application…What is Your Response?  Vs. 13, “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.”  First of all, Happy New Year!  It’s amazing how 2012 is upon us.  The vineyard owner is God and He sent His one and only Son.  Many tenants rejected him.  Question: What is your response?  Are you respecting Jesus enough to put Him first?  Perhaps we have all heard the adage, “half-obedience is disobedience.”  As this New Year is upon us, let’s keep our eyes focused Heavenward.  We see the slippery slope the vineyard workers had as they continued down the road of sin.  Their continual rejection led to crucifying our Lord.  Start building your house on the foundation of Jesus this New Year!  We can do this dearest brothers & sisters in Christ!  I pray that you would have a blessed week turning to the Lord and living this life wholly in Christ!

Luke 3

Vs. 2,during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.”  Time has gone by quickly and now we are introduced to the ministry of John the Baptist.  It’s interesting to examine John’s ministry because not only did he have authority and power behind his message, he preached a message of repentance.  Question: What is repentance?  A simple answer is the turning away from sin.  This type of message is not very popular in today’s crowds.  John was calling them out for who they were: they were sinners.  It’s awesome to see how Luke gave us insight to realize that John was the fulfillment of prophecy from Isaiah.  And then we end the chapter with Jesus being obedient to baptism and the genealogy of Jesus revealing God’s sovereign ways.  Luke gives us a brief glimpse of Jesus’ baptism, but it really was a very poignant moment for the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and God’s approval of His son.

Regarding application…A Right Response.  Vs. 8, Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.”  Question: What should you do?  How should you respond?  This is exactly the questions that those who came out to hear John’s message in the desert.  It was dark times for God’s people, they were waiting for the Messiah to come.  Ironically, we are in a similar situation, for we are waiting for Jesus to come back too.  Only this would be the second time.  Though we live in dark times, times that are similar to the days of Noah (Luke 17:26)…we have an opportunity to respond the right way.  Serving in ministry has many joys, yet it saddens me deeply to see many respond with hardened hearts.  There is veil of lies that have encircled so many hearts.  Look within your heart and see if there is anything that you can bring and repent for the Lord.

 

Revelation 15

Besides being the shortest chapter in Revelation, this chapter is the preface to the final series of judgments which come on the earth during the Great Tribulation.  Before we mention that in greater detail, we are shown once again the believers who died for Jesus’ name in the tribulation.  They are singing the song of Moses, probably the same song Moses & the Israelites sang upon crossing the  Red Sea .  We saw the sea of glass in chapter 4, but this time fire accompanies it.  The fire indicating God’s wrath.

The 7 Vials (Bowls)

Satan at this time is pouring out terrible wrath upon believers…the Jews especially, but God will have the last word.) covers the last three and one-half years.).  The smoke signifies (vs. 8), signifies God’s judgment.  A note regarding order of the seven seals, trumpets & vials: Theologian, William R. Newell contends that the first six seals will be broken during the first three and one-half years, and that the seventh seal (  While the earthly temple may have been taken over by the beast, the Heavenly temple cannot be touched (vs.5).  Seven angels come out ready to bring wrath…7 being the number for completion (  A world that has rejected the Son of God, must now bear the judgment of sin.

Regarding application…Our Response.  “The cause of Christ can be painful and costly. It is about sacrifice. But the sacrifice is motivated by love, not fear. and the love is what sets us free.” Jeanette Thomason.  Just look again at the saints from the beginning of this passage.  Their response…as well as our response is to glorify & worship our Lord of Lords.  Vs. 3, “...Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.  Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.”  It is not our place to challenge or wonder if God is just…we must believe His ways are right…His ways are just…His ways are marvelous.  Our human intellect sometimes wants to think it is higher than God’s.  It saddens me to see people who once knew the greatness of God, turn to the world & it’s logic and now they scorn our God & challenge His ways.  May the Love & Wrath of God draw us closer, not further from Him!  Turn to the Lord today & Worship His Holy Name!  Know that we can Trust everything that God will do…no matter how hard it is to understand.