Summary: PENTECOST 11 (A) - The Lord God Almighty who is also our gracious God and loving, heavenly Father gives good gifts with compassion and always more than enough.
OUR GRACIOUS GOD GIVES GOOD GIFTS (Outline)
August 8, 2010 -
Pentecost 11 -
INTRO: Everyone likes to get gifts. It rarely makes any difference at all if the gifts are big or small, ex-pensive or simple. Gifts come from people who care for us. Family and friends honor us with gifts that we often do not expect. Gifts are given out of love for those whom are loved. Our heavenly Father is no different except for the fact that He is perfect. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (JAMES 1:17). Our gracious God makes promises and keeps his promises. Our gracious God gives gifts: gifts we do not deserve, cannot earn, or buy. The good gifts of God are great gifts because they provide all that we need.
OUR GRACIOUS GOD GIVES GOOD GIFTS:
I. with compassion, II. more than enough.
I. OUR GRACIOUS GOD GIVES GOOD GIFTS WITH COMPASSION
A. Verse 13a. Jesus was told the news about the death of his cousin, John the Baptist.
1. John the Baptist was the way preparer for Jesus. Herod beheaded John (verses 6-12).
2. Jesus wanted time alone with his disciples. They needed to learn of the wisdom of God.
B. Verse 13b. The crowds believed because of Jesus’ parables (seed, sower, weeds, wheat, pearl, net).
1. The crowds also wanted to learn more. Jesus and his disciples would not be alone.
2. Verse 14. Though physically exhausted Jesus still takes time for the people. Compassion.
C. Verse 15. The disciples are very practical. They know the people will soon be hungry. “Send away.”
1. The disciples also tried to send away people bringing children to Jesus.
2. Jesus reminded them that a child-like faith was needed to enter God’s kingdom.
3. When Jesus set out to be crucified the disciples tried to stop. They thought like men, not God.
D. All too often we are not very different from the disciples. Our thinking is very practical and just maybe not as spiritual as it ought to be. We live in a time when every option for every decision can be programmed and calculated. Rational reasoning rules rather than faith filled confidence. A disturbing fad (at least to me) is the “What would Jesus do?” bracelets. Really!?! It is very difficult if not impossible (personally speaking) for me to think that I would really know what Jesus would do. Can we really, ever actually say that we know the mind of God? Such thinking seems to be very arrogant. "’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’" (ISAIAH 55:8,9). On the cross Jesus died for the sins of the world. This is foolishness to unbelievers.
E. With divine compassion our gracious God gives good gifts. One gift of God to believers is the fact that our Father reminds us constantly of his mercy, love, and forgiveness. Day in and day out, year after year, and generation upon generation the Lord God Almighty has not once forsaken his children. In his great love our gracious God reminds each one of us of his divine compassion. "And the LORD said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion’" (EXODUS 33:19). The Lord God Almighty reminded Moses of his compassion for his people. Each day God’s great goodness passes in front of us in order for us to rediscover his great mercy.
F. One key in our Christian life is not being so arrogant as to think we can always know what Jesus would do. But the key in experiencing God’s compassion is to know WHAT Jesus DID! Jesus lived on this earth. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and the sins of the world. Jesus rose again to give us forgiveness of sins and eternal life. What great comfort this is for us in this wicked world of sin and suffering. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God" (2 COR. 1:3,4). Jesus saves us that we may comfort others.
OUR GRACIOUS GOD GIVES GOOD GIFTS freely with divine compassion, love, and mercy.
II. OUR GRACIOUS GOD GIVES GOOD GIFTS THAT ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH