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Jesus gives us some remarkable promises concerning His kingdom. In Luke 18:29-30, He promises to give us untold numbers of new family members if we suffer the loss of our own. In fact, Jesus’ own family Israel rejected Him, and He gained for God and us a whole world of new, fellow family members.
In this sermon, Mr. Ford preaches on Jesus’ promise to gain for us a family in Him through His gracious death and glorious resurrection. Luke 18:28-34
Luke 18:28-34 (NKJV)
Then Peter said, “See, we have left all[a] and followed You.”
So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.
For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.
We all need Jesus Christ in our lives, but what priority should we give Him? In Luke chapter 18 Jesus makes it clear that we must prioritize His interests above our own. In fact, enjoying the riches of His kingdom means to place Jesus’ concerns at the head of our every earthly desire. This week Mr. Ford will continue his sermon series in Luke 18 on being real with God, with a focus upon Jesus’ teaching about the sad account of a wealthy young ruler. Luke 18:18-27
Luke 18:18-27 (NKJV)
Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one [is] good but One, [that is], God.
“You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.
And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!
“For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”
But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Jesus taught His disciples that God loves for little children to come to Him. And, frankly, they need His loving touch as much as any of us. Somewhat amazingly, Jesus added that we all must relate to our Lord with a simple childlike trust.
Jesus has a lot to teach us about openness and honesty toward God in prayer. In Luke chapter 18, He uses two parables to show us, first, the unabashed confidence we can have in the Lord when we approach Him with our requests, and second, to be honest about our standing before His throne of grace.
This sermon is the second of two sermons on Jesus’ two parables regarding the demeanor and attitude saints are to have when approaching our merciful and loving God. Luke 18:1-14
In Luke chapter 18, Jesus uses a provocative parable to illustrate the value of diligent and persistent prayer. But, He doesn’t stop there. He follows with another parable that illustrates our proper heart’s attitude in which to pray. In his sermon, Mr. Ford continues in the book of Luke with a sermon on Jesus’ parables regarding the demeanor and attitude saints are to have when approaching a perfectly just and merciful God.
One of the great themes of the Gospels is the coming of God’s kingdom, with Jesus describing it in many marvelous ways. In Luke 17:20 our Lord was asked by the Pharisees when His Kingdom would come. In a protracted discourse, Jesus gave some remarkable insights into the nature of His kingdom, beginning with the fact that it exists primarily within the hearts of believers. Jesus went on to warn of many false representations of God’s kingdom, but He added an all-powerful description of the truly glorious and terrible manifestation of His ultimate coming.
Mr. Ford preaches on Jesus’ awe-inspiring description of the biblical kingdom of Christ – a wonderful kingdom that is both with us now and yet powerfully still on its way. Luke 17:20-37
Mr. Ford’s sermon explores some practical applications of a meaningful relationship with our Savior. This involves expressing gratitude to God in everything from our personal prayer life to how we treat others. Luke 17:11-19
In Luke 17, Jesus continues to teach us what it means to be a Christian. In the first part of this chapter, we learn that being an ordinary servant of Christ requires us to do some extraordinary things – things such as being diligently faithful toward Him and being profoundly forgiving of others. It also means being occasionally corrective of others and always confrontational toward sin. Luke 17:1-10, Matthew 18:1-11
In Luke 16, Jesus has much to teach us about our use of earthly things. In His parable of the ‘Unjust Steward’, He teaches us to be prudent and wise in the use of our assets. In His parable of ‘Lazarus and a Rich Man’, He shows us the eternal consequences in how we conduct ourselves with those assets. In both of these parables, however, Jesus ends by showing us that we need a more correct attitude about our use of things. We need Him. Luke 16:14-31
One of the most endearing stories told by Jesus was of a young man who abandoned his family and lived a profligate life, yet who then returned home in repentance. It is a story of a father’s undying love for a lost son, but moreover it is a picture of God’s lavish joy in redeeming sinners through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ masterful story also shows us that we please our heavenly Father neither through chasing illicit desires nor by any sense of moral smugness.
Mr. Ford’s sermon will be the second in our Luke 15 series on the heavenly joy that accompanies our being truly found in Christ Jesus. Luke 15:11-32
Jesus often illustrated the greatest spiritual truths with simple, figurative language. His parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin in Luke chapter 15 illustrate the great value that Jesus places upon His redemption of each individual sinner. In the image of a lost sheep, we see the great diligence through which our Savior recovers every elect soul. In the image of a lost coin, we see the heavenly prize there is in His finding us.
Mr. Ford’s sermon will address the heavenly diligence and joy that accompany our salvation in Christ. Luke 15:1-10
Christian Discipleship – Part II
Christian discipleship means following our Lord Jesus to such an extent that we prioritize Him far above everything else in our lives. In Luke 14:25-35, Jesus spoke of our level of commitment in terms of the foresight needed to build a great tower and the calculations needed to engage in a royal battle. Jesus further explained that we are to forsake everything for Him, and indeed, we are to savor the earth with our salty fortitude. Luke 14:25-35
25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,
26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
27 “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
28 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has [enough] to finish [it]–
29 “lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see [it] begin to mock him,
30 “saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
31 “Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
32 “Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.
33 “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
34 “Salt [is] good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?
35 “It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, [but] men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”