The Deadly Practice of Grading Yourself on a Curve
Many of you remember in school not doing as well as you’d hoped on a particular test or quiz. Occasionally, if the class as a whole did either poorly or not quite up to par, the teacher would add points to bring the overall class avg. up to where it should have been. This is a dreadful practice. Looking back, I liked it while in school but now I see the real issue wasn’t with the exam but with my commitment to study and prepare for the exam. Curving the grades is basically saying, there is nothing wrong with the students; it was the test that was too hard. Usually, it is the students who are not prepared.
Through these kinds of practices, we can grow up expecting the standard to be adjusted to us rather than us conforming to the standard. God’s Law, found in the Old Testament, is the standard. We must be very careful to work with God and conform to His standard rather than adjusting the Laws of God to conform to us. God does not grade on a curve. Continue Reading
Luke 16.1-13 click for audio
Zealous for True Riches
Jesus now turns and addresses His disciples. He presents what many believe is a very difficult parable to understand and there are a couple of parts that tend toward difficulty. However, this is God’s Word and we must seek diligently to understand it. There are two main characters in the story: First is a manager who because of his dishonesty is about to be let go. Second is the master who has heard of the manager’s dishonesty and is about to remove him from his position. Continue Reading
Luke 15.11-32 Audio
The Father’s Love
Today, we are going to look at part three of Jesus’ trilogy of parables teaching the irrefutable fact that God is gracious and ready to receive sinners who come in faith and repentance. The extended truth that flows from God’s acceptance of sinners is that we too must receive and rejoice when sinners repent.
The younger son- the tax collectors and sinners
The Father- God
The Older son- Self-righteous
In this Parable we are shown two forms of eternal death:
First, I want other things more than I want Christ…son number one.
Second, I want to earn my own righteousness…son number two. Continue Reading
Luke 15.1.10 click for audio
Jesus Receives Sinners!
Last week, we read from God’s Word probably one of the most difficult truths from the lips of Jesus…Unless you are ready to forsake all, you cannot be my disciple. Today, we’re about to hear one of the greatest truth in all the Bible…Jesus Receives Sinners!
Have you ever really thought that statement through? Jesus Christ, God incarnate, perfect in every way didn’t come to condemn sinners but to save sinners. He is the only One with the credentials to condemn sinners and yet He chooses to pardon sinners who come to Him in faith and repentance.
We have before us the first two of three parables Jesus tells concerning the issue of receiving sinners. What I want you to see as I read these two this morning is the difference between the attitude of Heaven and the Pharisees. One rejoices exceedingly and the other grumbles.
Jesus first tells the story of a shepherd who has lost one of his sheep and second about a poor woman who had lost one of her dowry coins. Then at the end of each story He pauses with a verse of application and describes for us that while grumbling is going on in His midst, the rejoicing in heaven cannot be contained.
He tells these parables to make the point that Heaven gladly receives sinners and so does Jesus, much unlike the Pharisees who turn them away and view them as unwanted. Continue Reading
Luke 14.25-35 Audio
Giving Up Everything…Except Christ
TT- All Christians must be ready, if need be, to give up everything for the call of Christ.
Today, as we follow Christ toward the cross in the Gospel of Luke we come up against an extremely demanding text. I’ve approached this text today with much prayer and much fearfulness. This is a text of Scripture we must get right. The big problem with understanding this text is that we’ve been conditioned by the world we live in to not think this text is true. We read it and then immediately make some excuse as to why Jesus surly can’t mean what He says.
Most in America, if you asked, are you a Christian would answer, Why, yes I am. Most of the time this answer is based on some social idea that basically everyone is a Christian. Most in this group have no idea what the Gospel even is. At best they’re moral Americans who own Bibles. Continue Reading