Today’s message summary of January 14, 2018 from Pastor Gus Brown:
When you are called to live for Jesus Christ, it is a call to live in a different manner from how you lived in the past. Something changes. Your mind and attitude will change.
After Jesus called the twelve apostles, they were thrown into ministry to watch and see how it takes place. They had to learn how to deal with people. There will be some who will not listen to your words about Jesus Christ, but it is a privilege to share with others as God uses you. Some will hear from what you share.
We will be examining passages from the book of Luke, Chapters 6 through 8, for the next few weeks. We will see how the twelve will learn about ministry. Jesus will be teaching them.
Do you know that the moment you are saved that you are in ministry? The Holy Spirit begins the work in us that changes our words and language.
When does this ministry stop? It doesn’t stop until God calls you home. Ministry did not stop for the apostles until death.
After coming down with them, he stood on a level place with a large crowd of his disciples and a great number of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon. They came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those tormented by unclean spirits were made well. The whole crowd was trying to touch him, because power was coming out from him and healing them all.
The groups of people there were the apostles, the disciples of Jesus, and a multitude of people. The large group of people came from all over. They were from Judea, Jerusalem, Tyre and Sidon. The book of Matthew added that there people from Galilee, Decapolis and beyond Jordan.
The apostles had to learn how to minister to all of these different groups of people. Their world was being transitioned to a place of inclusiveness to different nationalities and ethnicities. The people came with a number of ailments and wanted to be healed.
God empowers each of us who are called into ministry to meet needs if you are willing to do it.
When we minister to others, we are not losing something by giving to those in need. We are, in fact, sharing what we have with the reminder that God provides it for us to share it.
The church today is still learning how to deal with people of different backgrounds. Ministry challenges us to learn to minister to people with different views of life. It helps us to overcome suspicion, uncertainty and mistrust.
Life is opening up for the apostles as they had never seen it. Ministry showed them life from a new and tremendous perspective. The apostles were going into a world that they had never expected.
Peter and John never imagined that they would be going from place to place to share the message of Jesus Christ. When you are walking with the Lord, you will be amazed at where He will take you.
Jesus healed the multitude of people from the different lands (Luke 6:19) and they wanted to touch Him.
Ministry is interesting in that those who you are speaking to will teach you just as they are being taught.
Most of the people that Jesus was dealing with were poor (Luke 6:20). The gospel was preached to them. (Note that poor is not just associated with money. Jesus refers to the poor in spirit.)
When Jesus had finished giving instructions to his twelve disciples, he moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns. Now when John heard in prison what the Christ was doing, he sent a message through his disciples and asked him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news, and blessed is the one who isn’t offended by me.”
The average poor person did not have access to tutors for education, let alone a regular education. Note that Sunday school was started in England in order that the common people could hear the gospel.
In Matthew, the people who hungered for God would receive righteousness. The people desired righteousness, but they did not know yet what that meant or what it would look like. Jesus promised that the people would understand and that they would be satisfied in the future. He also stated that people will hate and reject you because of Him.
Then looking up at his disciples, he said:
Blessed are you who are poor,
because the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
because you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
because you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you, insult you,
and slander your name as evil
because of the Son of Man.
“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy. Take note—your reward is great in heaven, for this is the way their ancestors used to treat the prophets.
Jesus tells the people to rejoice as they have a reward in heaven. The prophets were treated in this same manner, such as Elijah.
1 Kings 19:9-18
He entered a cave there and spent the night.
Suddenly, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Armies, but the Israelites have abandoned your covenant, torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are looking for me to take my life.”
Then he said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.”
At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
“I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Armies,” he replied, “but the Israelites have abandoned your covenant, torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they’re looking for me to take my life.”
Then the Lord said to him, “Go and return by the way you came to the Wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, you are to anoint Hazael as king over Aram. You are to anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Then Jehu will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Jehu. But I will leave seven thousand in Israel—every knee that has not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
Then the officials and all the people told the priests and prophets, “This man doesn’t deserve the death sentence, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God!”
Some of the elders of the land stood up and said to all the assembled people, “Micah the Moreshite prophesied in the days of King Hezekiah of Judah and said to all the people of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies says:
Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become ruins,
and the temple’s mountain will be a high thicket.’
Did King Hezekiah of Judah and all the people of Judah put him to death? Did not the king fear the Lord and plead for the Lord’s favor, and did not the Lord relent concerning the disaster he had pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster on ourselves!”
Another man was also prophesying in the name of the Lord—Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words like all those of Jeremiah. King Jehoiakim, all his warriors, and all the officials heard his words, and the king tried to put him to death. When Uriah heard, he fled in fear and went to Egypt. But King Jehoiakim sent men to Egypt: Elnathan son of Achbor and certain other men with him went to Egypt. They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who executed him with the sword and threw his corpse into the burial place of the common people.
But Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
Jesus then spoke to the people of the woes in Luke 6:
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your comfort.
Woe to you who are now full,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are now laughing,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you
when all people speak well of you,
for this is the way their ancestors
used to treat the false prophets.
It is hard for a rich person to enter into God’s kingdom because they are secure in their wealth.
“I have kept all these,” the young man told him. “What do I still lack?”
“If you want to be perfect,” Jesus said to him, “go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard that, he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
The reversal of life will take place for those who are secure. Those that are well fed will have hunger and weep.
If those speak well of you, note that Jezebel spoke well of her false prophets. When you are pleasing others, be aware that it is God that needs to be pleased. Godly people will recognize your life and offer the appropriate praise.
1 Kings 18:19
Now summon all Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
The prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests rule by their own authority.
My people love it like this.
But what will you do at the end of it?
1 Kings 22:8
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man who can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king shouldn’t say that!” Jehoshaphat replied.
Know the people that you surround yourself with.
Jesus now comes from a completely different place as He speaks in Luke 6:27-36. He speaks of forgiving enemies and showing mercy.
“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. Give to everyone who asks you, and from someone who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High. For he is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
If you are going to minister to a large number of people, you need to be ready and prepared to forgive others. Jesus reminds us that we are to treat others in the same way that we want to be treated.
If you come across someone who was raised in an entirely different place and background from you, there is a possibility that this person only trusts himself and distrusts others. This person, through the power of the Holy Spirit, has to learn about trust.
Jesus tells us to love our enemies and do good to them (Luke 6:27-36). He challenges us, in our salvation, to show others how life can be when we walk with Jesus. God showed each of us kindness and mercy by loving us. We are to do the same and show the love of Christ to others.
Jesus wanted his apostles and disciples to hear His teaching and recognize that this is how they were to minister to others. They were to do just as their Father in heaven would have them to do.