Summary: This sermon is about focusing our energies on those things that pleases God.
There are several things I Like about the author of our text, Brother Luke. First, I like the fact that Luke was not one of the original Disciples of Christ, yet the power of the gospel so affect his life that he felt the need to make a change. He did not have the pleasure of walking and talking with Jesus like Matthew, Peter, or James. He was not struck down by a bright light like Paul. Luke was simply a middle class physician, a doctor who heard the gospel, the good news of Jesus, and decided to obey the spirit by documenting the oral traditions he heard about the Son of God. I like the fact, that he like us, heard the good news indirectly through a third party because it encourages me to believe that the same spirit that flowed in Christ, that was breathe into Peter and the others apostles, that same spirit can flow through you and I and cause us to respond in an effective way like Luke. I like the fact the Luke was a gentile and not a Jew because he writes the gospel story in a genre so that everyone who is not a Jew could understand. Thus, his account of Jesus is a universal gospel for all people, black, white, yellow, and red, African, Caribbean, and Indian, male, female, young and old. His gospel emphasizes Jesus’ compassion for all of us-the outcasts, the masses, the sinner, the unclean, the woman with the issue of blood, the adulterous woman, the prostitute, the man blind from birth, the child with two fish and fives barley loaves, the Canaanite mother with a demonized daughter, the roman centurion with a sick servant, or the dying thief. Jesus died for us all. And certainly that’s good news. We often hear that phrase over and over and take it for granted. But it needs to be reilliterated and proclaimed that Jesus died for all, not just for a clique or a social club because that would have been a waste. Cliques die out with their participants. Social clubs quickly go out of style. But he died for us, not just for cross of life membership but for the Sunday night group-those junkies in the basement: yes he died for them. The Girl Scout group; yes, he died for them. And yes Nia. He died for them all. The straight man, the lesbian woman, the crooked drunkard, the lying gossiping old nag, the underhanded backstabbing co-worker, yes Jesus died for all. There may not be room for everyone here at Cross of Life, but thanks be to God, that there’s plenty of room for everyone at the cross of Jesus. Now, that’s good news. You may put me out but Jesus will never let me go. You may not like me but Jesus loves me. In spite of ethnicity and economic status- he loves me. In spite of my gender or cursed generation- he loves me. In spite of my political affiliations and social affluence, Jesus still loves me. Tell someone, Jesus still loves me. ‘Yes, that’s right. I may not find favor in your eyes, but I find favor in God’s sight. I give him pleasure. The bible tells me that God finds pleasure in his servants, his people-Know wonder the angels came proclaiming at his birth, “Glory to God in the highest and one earth peace towards men with whom he is pleased. God is pleased with little old me. (Tell someone, don’t hate because God is pleased with me.)
Well, what it is about this bald-headed, e-bontic talking black preacher, that pleases God? What is it about us, disobedient, hardheaded, stubborn, old us, who refuse to change that pleases God? I want to know. I need to know what is man that God is mindful of him or the son of man that God cares for him. Why did his make us just a little lower than the angels and crown us with glory and honor putting everything in subjection under our feet? Who are we that God should find pleasure in some of us? And I say some of us because we don’t like to talk about the fact that everyone talking about heaven ain’t going there. That’s why Jesus says, “Fear not, little flock” because although thousands came to hear, thousands would be fed, and thousands may be healed; only a few would make it in to the kingdom. Yes, he died for all; but comparing those for whom he died to those who will actually believe- he describes them as a ‘little flock. Therefore my assignment this morning is to give you three indicators to determine if you will spend eternally in heaven or eternally in hell. Are you pleasing God? Does he find pleasure in you?