Luke 21: 10 – 28
Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.
12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. 14 So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! 16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win your souls. 20 “And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived. 21 Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. Those in Jerusalem must get out, and those out in the country should not return to the city. 22 For those will be days of God’s vengeance, and the prophetic words of the Scriptures will be fulfilled. 23 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. For there will be disaster in the land and great anger against this people. 24 They will be killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of the Gentiles comes to an end. 25 “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth, the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. 26 People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. 28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”
North Korea, road rage, vehicles slamming into people, 1700 murdered in Chicago, cyber attacks everywhere banks, hospitals, every institution coming under attack. Opiod epidemic, a potentially nuclear equipped Iran global warming, cooling or Climate change fearful huh!!!
But if you realize the threat we have to our nation because of the division we do have some things to be concerned about
What happened to…
A few years ago it was anthrax, MRSA, AIDS, menacing hurricanes.
Before that the world was coming to a screeching halt in Y2K thank you Jim Quinn and all of the pundit conservative talk show host and crazy Christian commentators. I am not belittling the threats to our world and nation now just need us to realize there will always be something
How can we be fearless with all of this looming over our heads?
Where is your hope and what are your fears today? This room is filled with people battling all kinds of fears….future, sickness, financial ruin, what will happen to our children, others suffer from rejection of a marriage that has failed, job that has been lost, all of these fears are rooted in one thing…Intimacy
Bare with me as I explain how fearing the end of the world, economic collapse, war and my kids on drugs is rooted in intimacy.
Intimacy – is the deep desire to know someone and be known by them especially God and it alludes most of us because of our fear of rejection.
Henri Nouwen (famous catholic writer) – I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten and rejected…self rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us His beloved that being the beloved transformed the core truth of our existence.
If you see yourself as the beloved everything else about you becomes transformed.
Luke 7: 36 – 50
36Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” 40And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” 41“There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 43Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
Pharisees believed their adherence to the law would justify them to God.
Sinful woman (prostitute) Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’ sister
Recognizing our many sins
Accept forgiveness for our sins 47
- focusing only on sins creates a sense of legalism and failure
- Forgiveness frees us from legalism
- She was forgiven for what she did
- She was weeping tears of joy somewhere along the line she had had an encounter with Jesus “therefore” verse 47 suggest this
– Be thankful for your forgiveness and relationship with Him
- when you recognize that you are truly forgiven you have no weight of sin or burden of guilt
She recognized her great forgiveness don’t forget what He has done for you.
Beware of the Simon the Pharisee (the leper in Matthew and Mark) kind of attitude.
- It is easy to forget where we came from and all that the Lord has done for us (Simon had to have been healed of his leprosy to be able to host such a dinner)
- I am not asking you to rehash every sin, you are forgiven, I am asking you to remember how very much you are loved, the price that was paid and continue to have an attitude of gratitude
- There is a place of security when we remember that we are loved so much that a price was paid for us.
- There is nothing more contagious than being loved and nothing more deadly than a judgmental attitude this attitude by its nature causes rejection.
The woman went there knowing that she could be rejected or could have been stoned or could have been solicited for prostitution but she went anyway because she knows what it is to be loved much.
When we are secure in our love nothing can shake us. Isaiah’s fires and the flood came come our way, we can face death like Daniel in the lion’s den, or Shadrack, Meshach and Abed-nego and the furnace. We can face giants like David, Joshua, and Caleb and not be afraid. We can face all the trauma from Luke 21
Remember Luke 21:18,19 not a hair will be lost… by your standing firm possess your souls.
In other words be cool you know God is in control don’t freak worry or doubt He will take care of you as He has promised.
LET’S READ THE REST
48Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
Coming back to the woman verse 48 Jesus makes this statement “Your sins are forgiven”, she already knew her sins were forgiven, that is why she was weeping at his feet with joy but He made it known to all of those in that room that this woman was his family and one that he loved
She had accepted that love at some point and that gave her the security to face all that she would face in that room that day and for the rest of her life so she came she became fearless because now as Jesus wrapped up this conversation he says to her “your faith has saved you”
What about you today?
Where do your fears or insecurities lie is it a tangible fear about the economy, war, a divorce, kids on drugs, potential job loss or something else
Or is it intangible like basic insecurity, lack of self-confidence or worth, allowing rejection to control your life?
Or are you possibly like those who have forgotten that they too have been forgiven much and rather than loving much they sit in judgment because like Simon they have simply forgotten. When people lift their hands in worship or dance or show any sign of emotion they sit in judgment. When someone is broken and weeps they sit in judgment. They have forgotten to love much.
There is no security in judgment. There is no fearlessness in insecurity or low self worth or worry. Remember that you are loved much He holds your life and the world in his hands.
Simon became more in bondage and the woman left freer. What will you do today?
Do you realize how loved you are today?
Do you realize how much and how often you have been forgiven?
Do you realize when God looks at you He doesn’t see your sin, failures, warts, rejections but instead his beautiful child?
If you really do then you can be secure…you can become fearless!
Here is what Paul said to 1 Timothy 1:12 – 19
12I’m so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry. 13The only credentials I brought to it were invective and witch hunts and arrogance. But I was treated mercifully because I didn’t know what I was doing—didn’t know Who I was doing it against! 14Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus. 15Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One— 16of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off—evidence of his endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever. 17Deep honor and bright glory to the King of All Time—One God, Immortal, Invisible, ever and always. Oh, yes!
18I’m passing this work on to you, my son Timothy. The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle, 19keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in.
Paul recognized his own sin and the great love Christ has for him and passed it on to his disciple Timothy so that he might be fearless.
This is the perfect love that John talks about ridding us of all fear. All means all
What about you, will you become fearless today?