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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Mar. 7, 2008

  • 2008 Mar 07
  • COMMENTS
 

Responsibilities of Believers

We can learn what Jesus said were our responsibilities as believers in Luke 21:29–38. How does Jesus apply this sermon? He gives all believers of all times two commands that we need to heed today--first He said “Know!” and then He said “Watch!” (Luke 21:34–36) Both admonitions apply to believers in every age. “Watch!” does not mean to spend your life looking for signs. It means, “Be awake! Be alert! Don’t get caught unprepared!” This is a warning for us today.

Watch comes from two words. The first is the Greek form called an alpha privative a which means “not”. The second word we get hypnotize from in English, in Greek it is hupneo. So when they are put together it is a-hupneo. It means to avoid allowing the world around you to lull you to sleep. It is a present active imperative. Jesus says, “I command you to always avoid getting hypnotized by the world”.

Mark 13:33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.

Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

Pray is one of seven different words used for prayer and it means “to earnestly” seek the hand of the Lord in a time of need. Note how Luke uses this word in his two books (15 of the 22 usages are in Luke and Acts). The Greek dictionary defines deomi as “to want, desire, long for, ask, beg, pray, make supplications”. Here are Luke’s usages:

Luke 5:12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!”

Luke 8:38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying,

Luke 9:38-40 Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. 40 So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”

Luke 10:2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Life is so difficult at times, and it becomes easy for us to “get weighted down” v. 34, with the cares of this life and the temptations of the world and the flesh.

All of the magnificent buildings of Solomon, including the Temple are gone. All of the wonderful buildings of Herod are rubble. The Pyramids are crumbling, the Tower of Pisa is leaning . . . nothing on earth ever lasts.

Jesus came to His disciples with an offer of something they could become a part of that never ends.

What are you intensely asking (begging) God to be doing through your life that will last forever?

Christ said here is something anyone in my family can do! Here is what you do that I love, and I make your investments in these areas last forever. Jesus said:

  • I collect all of your prayers - PRAY ! Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. (KJV)
  • I multiply sacrificial gifts - GIVE ! Mark 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. (KJV) do rest
  • I count souls you lead to me - WIN ! Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.      Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. 1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. (KJV) 1 st Thes 2.19
  • I remember humble service - SERVE ! Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. (KJV) do rest
  • I love missionaries that do outreach - GO ! Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. (KJV)

To obey Jesus we must “watch and pray”. That is how we can resist the temptations that lure us. Then we will be ready when our Lord returns.

33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

 

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.

I will—Honor Jesus with my choices I make in this life .  

1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

 

35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

I will—Watch for Jesus all my life! And I will—Learn to Pray far more.

What are some final lessons? Things are temporary—build for eternity.

Years ago someone put a poem on the wall of the McAuley Rescue Mission in New York City that captured the disjuncture between profession and practice:

Angels from their realms on high
Look down on us with wondering eye,
That where we are but passing guests,
We build such strong and solid nests;
But where we hope to dwell for aye [ever],
We scarce take heed one stone to lay. 4

Life is fragile—live for your true home.

Would you like to own all 31 messages in this series plus a 275 page study guide? Order your copy of the "What's Next for Planet Earth?" MP3 CD today!

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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