Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19980715.htm
LUKE: GOSPEL OF CERTIFYING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Part XLV: The Credibility Of Christianity Seen In Its Leader's Conquest Of Covetousness
Lesson: Christianity is a VALID faith of God because its HEAD, Jesus Christ operated ABOVE the lure of covetousness for possessions by looking to God, not mortal sources, for security and hope.
- If a system of faith is to be seen as valid, unlike many charlatans who have bent their rules to acquire or hold onto wealth, we should expect the true faith's Head to live above covetousness.
- Jesus tipped His hand on His view of covetousness in Luke 12, giving us effective applications as well:
- The Credibility Of Christianity Seen In Its Leader's Conquest Of Covetousness, Lk. 12:13-34.
- Luke's Gospel was written for Theophilus to see the credibility of the Christian faith, Luke 1:3-4.
- A way in which Christianity can be validated is the way it's Head, Jesus conquered covetousness, 12:13-34:
- When a man came to Jesus requesting that He urge a brother to divide an inheritance with him, Jesus reacted negatively against the man's covetousness, Luke 12:13-15 .
- To illustrate how one's life does not consist of the possessions' one has, Jesus then gave a parable of a rich man who foolishly made it his life's goal to earn many possessions so as to live in ease, 12:16-21:
- Jesus mentioned how a rich man once made it his goal in life to gain as many possessions as possible so he could live the good, easy life, Lk. 12:16-19.
- However, God decided the man was to die soon, so the man was foolishly left entering eternity with no eternal riches, and losing all his earthly poss essions and his life's meaning in death, Luke 12:20-21.
- After revealing the futility of building one's life on material possessions to have an easy life on earth, Jesus revealed the victory over covetousness God had in store for His followers, Luke 12:22-34:
- Jesus noted God does not want His people to be preoccupied with meeting material needs, 12:22-23.
- To motivate them to this end, Jesus supplied six encouragements: (a) The first reason not to worry about a livelihood is given in the illustration of the ravens: though they do not sow or reap or have storehouses, God feeds them, Luke 12:24a. These birds are messy nest builders who, like crows live mainly on the unpredictable accidents of events around them. They are not efficient businessmen. Thus, God will feed His own without leaning on their business expertise in the process just like He has to feed the slipshod raven, Luke 12:24b. (Z.P.E.B., vol. Five, p. 40-41) (b) Secondly, it is futile to worry about a livelihood as men are helpless to affect the ir health, so why should they worry about excelling in business in the first place so that they can feed the body? (25f ) (c) Third, it is futile for us to worry about a livelihood as God is able and willing to provide adequately for us as Jesus illustrated with the lilies of the field: though they do not work or spin to make clothing, God clothes these transient flowers with more glory than the financially wise Solomon wore, 12:27. Well, if God looks after this passing field flower with such care, certainly He will be able and willing to care well for His precious people's needs, Lk. 12:28. (d) Fourth, it is errant for us to worry about a livelihood as this worry is a worldly goal of the lost, and we should live above their hapless viewpoints, Lk. 12:30a. (e) Fifth, it is futile for us to worry about a livelihood as God knows that His people have livelihood needs, making their worry about it futile, 12:30b. God wants us to focus on His kingdom and all of these livelihood issues will be added unto us by our caring, able Provider, God, Luke 12:31. (f) Sixth, it is illogical for us to worry about meeting our livelihood needs in view of the fact that God intends to give His people the Messianic kingdom's material bounties anyway, Luke 12:32. The life to come will supply all we need, so why push so hard for temporal things now?
- Thus, God's people should live without livelihood worry and use what possessions they have for best promoting His coming kingdom's interests. That will build up eternal rewards, Luke 12:33-34.
Application: God urges His people to ESCAPE the sin of covetousness by (1) shifting their confidence in getting an adequate livelihood away from their OWN futile efforts to look to HIM as the REAL and truly ONLY Effective Provider. (2) In so doing, live for the future kingdom's lasting blessings by using this life's futile transient possessions to promote His eternal interests with lasting eternal reward.