Summary: Pentecost 12(C) - Be alert for Jesus’ return without any fear and by always being prepared.
BE ALERT FOR JESUS’ RETURN
August 27, 2006 - PENTECOST 12 - Luke 12:32-40
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Fellow Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
We are a nation that is watchful. Consider the events of one day last week. During one day 7 different flights were re-routed because people were watching. Some saw what they thought might be dangerous. Because so many are watching so much these flights were interrupted. There was no terrorism and still, people are watchful. In our day and age we can watch news, sports, weather any day of the week any hour of the day. There is a lot out there to watch. At times watching so much in this world can numb us from watching for what is truly important.
Today, the Lord reminds us to always be watchful, not just watching what is on TV or what might threaten our lives here on earth. We are to be watchful for that which is important--the coming of Jesus as he returns. We are to be alert for Jesus’ return. There are many that watch the things and events of this world and become so wrapped up in those things of this world. We also take note of the things in history, take note of the fact that the times are pointing closer to Jesus’ return. Paul writes in Thessalonians: "You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled" (1 Thessalonians 5:5,6). We are breathing, living and walking in the very light of the world, Christ our Savior. Because of that, we look at these words from Luke with the theme:
BE ALERT FOR JESUS’ RETURN:
I. Without any fear
II. Always prepared.
I. WITHOUT ANY FEAR
Again, a reminder in Luke, chapters 11 and 12 are almost all red-lettered. These chapters contain the words of encouragement and warning from Jesus himself. In the verses right before our text, Jesus had told the disciples not to worry. He told the disciples that Solomon in all his glory was still not dressed as beautiful as the flowers of the field. In verse 31 right before our text begins he says: "But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well." We see Jesus directing the disciples’ attention to looking to God’s kingdom. (That has also been our emphasis the last few weeks.)
Listen to his words of encouragement: "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." As these words of our text begin in verse 32, we see God’s pure grace here. Jesus says, "Your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." God had given to his disciples the kingdom and has given to all believers his kingdom. God’s kingdom, not an earthly one, is eternal life. Jesus says, "Do not fear little flock." The disciples weren’t in great numbers. There were only a few. Jesus encourages them, "don’t fear. God’s gift to you is eternity." They didn’t choose him, but he chose them. This is God’s grace. What an encouragement for these disciples.
Jesus continues and tells the disciples how they should show no fear. He says: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor." The disciples had done that, didn’t they? Matthew, a tax collector, gave up a very lucrative business to follow Jesus. He showed that he had no fear, showed that he put his trust in God. John, Peter, Simon, their brothers, the sons of Zebedee, gave up their occupation as fishermen. They didn’t just leave nets behind, but had boats. They had a fishing industry, and they followed Jesus without any fear.
Why? Jesus explains: "Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." They had done that. A purse that didn’t wear out, a heavenly purse, was their inheritance in heaven. No thief could come and take it away. No moth would destroy it. That is where they had placed their confidence already. Jesus encourages to continue to do that. The disciples are going to face troubles and trials and persecution. In fact most of the original apostles were put to death because of their faith. What was their assurance? Were they to be frightened of the future? Were they to be terrorized by what might happen or could happen? No, Jesus uses those familiar words: "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." The treasure now for the apostles was in heaven. Truly, the treasure for the present for them was in Jesus.