God has a wonderful plan for our lives. He crosses our lives with many different people and when we honor each other God can do great things through us. It is my prayer that God will do great things and touch many lives as we serve him together.
Many men will drink the rain/And turn to thank the clouds/Many men will hear You speak/But they will never turn around
I will not forget You are my God, my King/And with a thankful heart I bring my offering/And my sacrifice is not what You can give/But what I alone can give to you
A grateful heart I give/A thankful prayer I pray/A wild dance I dance before you
A loud song I sing/A huge bell I ring/A life of praise I live before You
Many men will pour their gold/And serve a thing that shines/Many men will read your words/But they will never change their minds
a. John 3:19-21
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
b. 2 Corinthians 4:6
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
c. Matthew 4:16
The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”
d. Ephesians 5:8-11
Walk in Light; For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
II. Jews and Gentiles
a. Wind and Wave Obey Jesus
Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “ Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
b. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.
a. John 12:35-36
Then Jesus said to them, “ A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
b. Matthew 5:14-16
“ You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
c. Luke 1:79
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
d. John 12:46
I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.
e. In Islam, To seek knowledge is a sacred duty, it is obligatory on every Muslim, male and female. The first word revealed of the Qur’an was -Iqra’- Which can be translated into RECITE!, READ!, LEARN! Seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! BE educated!
In Luke 15, Jesus shares three parables: the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son. Through these stories, we begin to see how God feels about those outside the family of believers. We see God’s love for that which is Lost.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. 17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ 20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. 25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ 28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ 31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”
Jesus had a reason for telling these three parables. There are three distinct themes found in them. Let’s take a look at those themes now.
I. Theme One: Something of Value Ends Up Missing
A. The sheep, the coin, and the son were all missing. And these things mattered a lot to the person who lost them.
B. Lost people matter a lot to the Father!
II. Theme Two: That Which was Missing is so Important that it Warrants an all Out Search!
A. The shepherd searched until he found the one lost lamb. The woman searched diligently through her home, until she found her lost coin. And the Son as he was returning home and was still a great way off, his father saw him. That father was watching for his son. He searched the road, looking forward to the day when the lost would be found.
B. Our Heavenly Father loves the Lost so much that it warranted a search. He sent His son Jesus to come and share the gospel, die, and become the way of salvation for all those who are Lost. And then he sent the Holy Spirit to continue to draw people back to the fold.
III. Theme Three: When that Which was Missing is Found, There is a Great Celebration
A. In each of the parables, when that which was missing was finally found, their was great rejoicing and a celebration was held.
B. When the Lost return to Christ, there is a cosmic celebration of all the hosts in Heaven rejoicing and celebrating over the one who was once Lost and now has been found.
C. The value of the One coming to faith is cause for celebration.
Freedom In Christ
Galatians 5:1 – “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
To avoid interference from Lieutenant-Governor Dunmore and his Royal Marines, the Second Virginia Convention met March 20, 1775 inland at Richmond–in what is now called St. John’s Church–instead of the Capitol in Williamsburg. Delegate Patrick Henry presented resolutions to raise a militia, and to put Virginia in a posture of defense. Henry’s opponents urged caution and patience until the crown replied to Congress’ latest petition for reconciliation.
On the 23rd, Henry presented a proposal to organize a volunteer company of cavalry or infantry in every Virginia county. By custom, Henry addressed himself to the Convention’s president, Peyton Randolph of Williamsburg. Henry’s words were not transcribed, but no one who heard them forgot their eloquence, or Henry’s closing words: “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
1397. δουλεια douleia; gen. douleias, fem. noun from douleuo (G1398), to be a slave, to serve. Servitude, dependence, the state of a doulos or slave. That state of man in which he is prevented from freely possessing and enjoying his life, a state opposed to liberty. In the NT, used only figuratively as a slavish spirit, in contrast to the spirit of sonship (Rom. 8:15); of the condition of those who are subject to death (Rom. 8:21); of those under the Mosaic Law (Gal. 4:24; 5:1); of those subject to the fear of death (Heb. 2:15)
“But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody”
– “Gotta Serve Somebody” by Bob Dylan
I. A slave of Christ
a. And Pharaoh nationalized the grain harvest, and placed the grain in great store-houses that he had built. So the people brought their money to Pharaoh, like a great tax increase, and gave it all to him willingly in return for grain. And this went on until their money ran out, and they were hungry again.
So when they went to Pharaoh after that, they brought their livestock – their cattle, their horses, their sheep, and their donkey – to barter for grain, and verse 17 says that only took them through the end of that year. But the famine wasn’t over, was it? So the next year, they people came before Pharaoh and admitted they had nothing left, except their land and their own lives. “There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our land. Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to government, and then sold themselves into slavery to him, in return for grain.
What can we learn from this?
b. The slave of Christ is truly free. We have been set free from sin by the Son of God who said, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Now the Christian can truly say, along with Paul, “..through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). We now know the truth and that truth has set us free (Romans 8:32). Paradoxically, through our bondage to Christ, we have also become sons and heirs of the Most High God (Galatians 4:1-7). As heirs, we are partakers of that inheritance—eternal life—which God confers on all His children. This is a privilege beyond any earthly treasure we could ever inherit, while those in bondage to sin inherit only spiritual death and an eternity in hell.
c. That turning to the government instead of to God to be our provider in hard times only leads to slavery? Yes… That the only reason government wants to be our provider is to also become our master?
Yes. But look how that passage ends, brothers and sisters! Thus, Israel settled in the land of Egypt , in the land of Goshen . And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly.” God provided for His people, just as He always has! They didn’t end up giving all their possessions to government, no, it says they gained possessions! But I also tell you a great truth today, and an ominous one.
We see the same thing happening today – the government today wants to “share the wealth” once again, to take it from us and re-distribute it back to us. It wants to take control of healthcare, just as it has taken control of education, and ration it back to us, and when government rations it, then government decides who gets it, and how much, and what kind. And if we go along with it, and do it willingly, then we will wind up no differently than the people of Egypt did four thousand years ago – as slaves to the government, and as slaves to our leaders.
II. Free from Bondage
a. Why, then, do so many Christians live as though they are still in bondage? For one thing, we often rebel against our Master, refusing to obey Him and clinging to our old lives. We hold on to the sins that once bound us to Satan as our master. Because our new nature still lives in the old fleshly nature, we are still drawn to sin. Paul tells the Ephesians to “put off” the old self with its deceit and corruption and “put on” the new self with its righteousness. Put off lying and put on truthfulness. Put off stealing and put on usefulness and work. Put off bitterness, rage and anger and put on kindness, compassion and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:22-32). We have been set free from the bondage of sin, but we often put the chains back on because part of us loves the old.
III. Crucified with Christ
a. Furthermore, often we don’t realize that we have been crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20) and that we have been reborn as completely new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Christian life is one of death to self and rising to “walk in the newness of life” (Romans 6:4), and that new life is characterized by thoughts about Him who saved us, not thoughts about the dead flesh that has been crucified with Christ. When we are continually thinking about ourselves and indulging the flesh in sins we have been freed from, we are essentially carrying around a corpse, full of rottenness and death. The only way to bury it fully is by the power of the Spirit within us who is the only source of strength. We strengthen the new nature by continually feeding on the Word of God, and through prayer we obtain the power we need to escape the desire to return to the old life of sin. Then we will realize that our new status as slaves to Christ is the only true freedom and we will call upon His power to “not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (Romans 6:12).
“God is drawing people to His Spirit, to His Word, and to each other…we believe that the local church has a charge to disciple them.” -Pastor David Ferranti
Leaders for Christ exists to bring ministers from all around the world together to be trained, strengthened, and encouraged. As ministers are strengthened and encouraged, they are able to reach their community and nation with the good news of Jesus Christ.