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23 September - 1 Chronicles 6; Ezekiel 19; Luke 16


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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:07 PM

First Portion

1 Chronicles 6


6:1 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 6:2 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel. 6:3 The children of Amram: Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 6:4 Eleazar became the father of Phinehas, Phinehas became the father of Abishua, 6:5 and Abishua became the father of Bukki, and Bukki became the father of Uzzi, 6:6 and Uzzi became the father of Zerahiah, and Zerahiah became the father of Meraioth, 6:7 Meraioth became the father of Amariah, and Amariah became the father of Ahitub, 6:8 and Ahitub became the father of Zadok, and Zadok became the father of Ahimaaz, 6:9 and Ahimaaz became the father of Azariah, and Azariah became the father of Johanan, 6:10 and Johanan became the father of Azariah, (he it is who executed the priest’s office in the house that Solomon built in Jerusalem), 6:11 and Azariah became the father of Amariah, and Amariah became the father of Ahitub, 6:12 and Ahitub became the father of Zadok, and Zadok became the father of Shallum, 6:13 and Shallum became the father of Hilkiah, and Hilkiah became the father of Azariah, 6:14 and Azariah became the father of Seraiah, and Seraiah became the father of Jehozadak; 6:15 Jehozadak went into captivity, when Yahweh carried away Judah and Jerusalem by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. 6:16 The sons of Levi: Gershom, Kohath, and Merari. 6:17 These are the names of the sons of Gershom: Libni and Shimei. 6:18 The sons of Kohath were Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel. 6:19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their fathers’ houses. 6:20 Of Gershom: Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son, 6:21 Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son, Jeatherai his son. 6:22 The sons of Kohath: Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son, 6:23 Elkanah his son, and Ebiasaph his son, and Assir his son, 6:24 Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul his son. 6:25 The sons of Elkanah: Amasai, and Ahimoth. 6:26 As for Elkanah, the sons of Elkanah: Zophai his son, and Nahath his son, 6:27 Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son. 6:28 The sons of Samuel: the firstborn Joel, and the second Abijah. 6:29 The sons of Merari: Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzzah his son, 6:30 Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, Asaiah his son. 6:31 These are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of Yahweh, after that the ark had rest. 6:32 They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting, until Solomon had built the house of Yahweh in Jerusalem: and they waited on their office according to their order. 6:33 These are those who waited, and their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman the singer, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, 6:34 the son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah, 6:35 the son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai, 6:36 the son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah, 6:37 the son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, 6:38 the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, the son of Israel. 6:39 His brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, even Asaph the son of Berechiah, the son of Shimea, 6:40 the son of Michael, the son of Baaseiah, the son of Malchijah, 6:41 the son of Ethni, the son of Zerah, the son of Adaiah, 6:42 the son of Ethan, the son of Zimmah, the son of Shimei, 6:43 the son of Jahath, the son of Gershom, the son of Levi. 6:44 On the left hand their brothers the sons of Merari: Ethan the son of Kishi, the son of Abdi, the son of Malluch, 6:45 the son of Hashabiah, the son of Amaziah, the son of Hilkiah, 6:46 the son of Amzi, the son of Bani, the son of Shemer, 6:47 the son of Mahli, the son of Mushi, the son of Merari, the son of Levi. 6:48 Their brothers the Levites were appointed for all the service of the tabernacle of the house of God. 6:49 But Aaron and his sons offered on the altar of burnt offering, and on the altar of incense, for all the work of the most holy place, and to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded. 6:50 These are the sons of Aaron: Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son, 6:51 Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son, 6:52 Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son, 6:53 Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son. 6:54 Now these are their dwelling places according to their encampments in their borders: to the sons of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites (for theirs was the first lot), 6:55 to them they gave Hebron in the land of Judah, and its suburbs around it; 6:56 but the fields of the city, and its villages, they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 6:57 To the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of refuge, Hebron; Libnah also with its suburbs, and Jattir, and Eshtemoa with its suburbs, 6:58 and Hilen with its suburbs, Debir with its suburbs, 6:59 and Ashan with its suburbs, and Beth Shemesh with its suburbs; 6:60 and out of the tribe of Benjamin, Geba with its suburbs, and Allemeth with its suburbs, and Anathoth with its suburbs. All their cities throughout their families were thirteen cities. 6:61 To the rest of the sons of Kohath were given by lot, out of the family of the tribe, out of the half-tribe, the half of Manasseh, ten cities. 6:62 To the sons of Gershom, according to their families, out of the tribe of Issachar, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities. 6:63 To the sons of Merari were given by lot, according to their families, out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities. 6:64 The children of Israel gave to the Levites the cities with their suburbs. 6:65 They gave by lot out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, and out of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities which are mentioned by name. 6:66 Some of the families of the sons of Kohath had cities of their borders out of the tribe of Ephraim. 6:67 They gave to them the cities of refuge, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim with its suburbs; Gezer also with its suburbs, 6:68 and Jokmeam with its suburbs, and Beth Horon with its suburbs, 6:69 and Aijalon with its suburbs, and Gath Rimmon with its suburbs; 6:70 and out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Aner with its suburbs, and Bileam with its suburbs, for the rest of the family of the sons of Kohath. 6:71 To the sons of Gershom were given, out of the family of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with its suburbs, and Ashtaroth with its suburbs; 6:72 and out of the tribe of Issachar, Kedesh with its suburbs, Daberath with its suburbs, 6:73 and Ramoth with its suburbs, and Anem with its suburbs; 6:74 and out of the tribe of Asher, Mashal with its suburbs, and Abdon with its suburbs, 6:75 and Hukok with its suburbs, and Rehob with its suburbs; 6:76 and out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with its suburbs, and Hammon with its suburbs, and Kiriathaim with its suburbs. 6:77 To the rest of the Levites, the sons of Merari, were given, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmono with its suburbs, Tabor with its suburbs; 6:78 and beyond the Jordan at Jericho, on the east side of the Jordan, were given them, out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer in the wilderness with its suburbs, and Jahzah with its suburbs, 6:79 and Kedemoth with its suburbs, and Mephaath with its suburbs; 6:80 and out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with its suburbs, and Mahanaim with its suburbs, 6:81 and Heshbon with its suburbs, and Jazer with its suburbs.

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:07 PM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 19


19:1 Moreover, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 19:2 and say, What was your mother? A lioness: she couched among lions, in the midst of the young lions she nourished her cubs. 19:3 She brought up one of her cubs: he became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. 19:4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit; and they brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt. 19:5 Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her cubs, and made him a young lion. 19:6 He went up and down among the lions; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. 19:7 He knew their palaces, and laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and its fullness, because of the noise of his roaring. 19:8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces; and they spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. 19:9 They put him in a cage with hooks, and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into strongholds, that his voice should no more be heard on the mountains of Israel. 19:10 Your mother was like a vine, in your blood, planted by the waters: it was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. 19:11 It had strong rods for the scepters of those who bore rule, and their stature was exalted among the thick boughs, and they were seen in their height with the multitude of their branches. 19:12 But it was plucked up in fury, it was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up its fruit: its strong rods were broken off and withered; the fire consumed them. 19:13 Now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land. 19:14 Fire is gone out of the rods of its branches, it has devoured its fruit, so that there is in it no strong rod to be a scepter to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:09 PM

Third Portion

Luke 16


16:1 He also said to his disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 16:2 He called him, and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’

16:3 “The manager said within himself, ‘What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don’t have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg. 16:4 I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.’ 16:5 Calling each one of his lord’s debtors to him, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe to my lord?’ 16:6 He said, ‘A hundred batos of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 16:7 Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred cors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

16:8 “His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light. 16:9 I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents. 16:10 He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 16:11 If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 16:12 If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and mammon.”

16:14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him. 16:15 He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 16:17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tiny stroke of a pen in the law to fall. 16:18 Everyone who divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery. He who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.

16:19 “Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. 16:20 A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, full of sores, 16:21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 16:22 It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. 16:23 In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. 16:24 He cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.’

16:25 “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish. 16:26 Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’

16:27 “He said, ‘I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house; 16:28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won’t also come into this place of torment.’

16:29 “But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’

16:30 “He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’”

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 10:54 AM

23 September 2008

1 Chronicles 6
Ezekiel 19
Luke 16

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 02:25 AM

23 September 2009

1 Chronicles 6
Ezekiel 19
Luke 16

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:45 AM

23 September 2010

1 Chronicles 6
Ezekiel 19
Luke 16

SERVING – WHICH GOD

In the end, our purpose in life comes down to one of two things. Jesus sums it all up in today’s reading in Luke. “No servant can serve two masters … he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” He ends by bluntly saying, “You cannot serve God and money” [Luke 16:13] But how do you serve money?

You serve, that is we apply our minds, by making our priorities that which we have decided is going to give us the best reward; that which is going to be the most satisfying, enjoyable. Often the decision is made subconsciously.

Those who serve God, see how misleading are the rewards of serving money. If our minds are concentrating on making money, it easily becomes a fatal distraction from making one’s life really useful and worthwhile.

People who decide to serve God have a “bigger mind”, i.e. a bigger vision of thought; they think about much more than temporary passing pleasures, especially when those pleasures are fleshly and self-centred to own the best of everything and take fabulous holidays.

That famous chapter of Hebrews 11 selects the example of Moses, surrounded by wealth as the adopted grandson of Pharaoh, “choosing to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt” [Hebrews 11:25-26]

What do we consider to be of greater wealth today? Less and less would make Christ their choice. Some, foolishly, try to have it both ways. If we are “lukewarm” - as with Laodicea, let us remember the message of Jesus! Read Revelation 3:15-16.
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Posted 23 September 2011 - 03:34 AM

23 September 2011

1 Chronicles 6
Ezekiel 19
Luke 16

"YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MONEY"

Today’s chapter of Luke [Luke 16] contains two highly interesting parables which challenge our understanding. As with all Christ’s parables, in seeking to correctly understand them, it is helpful to start at the end! Read the “punch line” to be sure of the right perspective of the message it aims to convey. If we work backwards we more easily comprehend the lesson this story teaches; well this is certainly the case in today’s 2 parables.

“There was a rich man who had a manager” [Luke 16:1]. The rich man is God. Those whom God had put in charge of the spiritual well being of his people had failed in their responsibility. Their minds had concentrated on their wealth and resultant prestige. When the church came dramatically into existence and grew rapidly, their position as the old order religious leaders was redundant. They had been dishonest spiritual stewards for God: they had given top priority to their own prestige and material possessions. The parable is cynical about their success in this; from a spiritual perspective they were sons of darkness.

They did their best to preserve what they had; they “sold” their “conscience” to their Roman masters, being “wise” in the ways of the world. They were “shrewd in dealing with their own generation” [Luke 16:8] and they are cynically commended for this. It is impossible to belong to both “light” and “darkness” – only in the light are the “true riches” to be found.

Luke 16:13 is the powerful final lesson of the parable. No one “can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Those who make money their “master” and seek self preservation through serving it – came to a dramatic end in AD70 as Jerusalem was destroyed: their “eternal dwellings” was in their tombs. In contrast, “the one who is faithful in very little, is also faithful in much”. To them the “rich man” will entrust the “true riches” [Luke 16:11]. Making money the purpose of your existence is always uncertain and totally so in the “last days” [James 5:1-3]. Let us make sure we are faithful in “the true riches.”
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Posted 23 September 2012 - 05:17 AM

23 September 2012

1 Chronicles 6
Ezekiel 19
Luke 16

“YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND … ”

In the end, our purpose in life comes down to one of two things. Jesus sums it all up in today’s reading in Luke. “No servant can serve two masters … he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” He ends by bluntly saying, “You cannot serve God and money” [Luke 16:13] What is it to “serve” money?

This is not the most common Greek word for ‘serve’, in Acts, Luke only uses the word in Acts 20:19 when he quoted Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders (and Luke was with him at the time), he told them, “You yourselves know how I lived …. serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials … I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable …” This was serving indeed!

In writing to the Romans about issues over the law of Moses Paul says, “but now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so now we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.” [Romans 7:6] But the commitment involved in serving is parallel; it is the same! Most interesting is the fact that the one place where John used the Greek word in his gospel (John 8:33) it is translated as “enslaved”!

Those Jesus sees as serving money he sees as being enslaved to it. It is the ‘be all’ and ‘end all’ of their thinking. Today, it is a matter of the things money can ‘buy,’ the pleasure and pride of owning the best of everything, of taking fabulous holidays, etc., with a token gesture toward others to ease their conscience, even fitting in a visit to church.

Those who serve God, see how temporary and misleading are the rewards of serving money. People who decide to serve God have a “bigger mind”, i.e. a bigger vision of thought. That famous chapter of Hebrews 11 selects the example of Moses when, surrounded by wealth as the adopted grandson of Pharaoh, “choosing to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt” [Hebrews 11:25-26]

What do we consider to be of greater wealth today? Less and less would make Christ their choice. Some, foolishly, try to have it both ways. If we are “lukewarm” - as with Laodicea, let us remember the message of Jesus to them - read Revelation 3:15-16.
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Posted 23 September 2013 - 04:51 AM

23 September 2013

1 Chronicles 6
Ezekiel 19
Luke 16

“YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND …”

In the end, our purpose in life comes down to one of two things. Jesus sums it all up in today’s reading in Luke. “No servant can serve two masters … he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” He ends by bluntly saying, “You cannot serve God and money” [Luke 16:13] What is it to “serve” money?

This is not the most common Greek word for ‘serve’, in Acts, Luke only uses the word in Acts 20:19 when he quoted Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders (and Luke was with him at the time), he told them, “You yourselves know how I lived …. serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials … I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable …” This was serving indeed!

In writing to the Romans about issues over the law of Moses Paul says, “but now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so now we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.” [Romans 7:6] But the commitment involved in serving is parallel; it is the same! Most interesting is the fact that the one place where John used the Greek word in his gospel [John 8:33] it is translated as “enslaved”!

Those Jesus sees as serving money he sees as being enslaved to it. It is the ‘be all’ and ‘end all’ of their thinking. Today, it is a matter of the things money can ‘buy,’ the pleasure and pride of owning the best of everything, of taking fabulous holidays, etc., with a token gesture toward others to ease their conscience, even fitting in a visit to church.

Those who serve God, see how temporary and misleading are the rewards of serving money. People who decide to serve God have a “bigger mind”, i.e. a bigger vision of thought. That famous chapter of Hebrews 11 selects the example of Moses when, surrounded by wealth as the adopted grandson of Pharaoh, “choosing to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt” [Hebrews 11:25-26]

What do we consider to be of greater wealth today? Less and less would make Christ their choice. Some, foolishly, try to have it both ways. If we are “lukewarm” - as with Laodicea, let us remember the message of Jesus to them - read Revelation 3:15-16.
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Posted 23 September 2014 - 11:47 AM

23 September 2014
 
1 Chronicles 6
Ezekiel 19
Luke 16  
 
“BUT GOD KNOWS YOUR HEARTS”
            
Luke has left on record for us two intriguing parables, probably those which are most difficult to grasp as to their meaning of all the parables of Jesus.  Let’s start though with recalling yesterday’s chapter 15 where we see that as the “tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him ... the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." [Luke 15:1-2]  Jesus then tells 5 parables, the last two we read today.  There is a common thread -  the need to be genuine in seeking to serve God and God's willingness to forgive when people are genuinely repentant.
            
Today we have a parable about a "dishonest manager" [Luke 16:1-13] and, as with all parables, its climax makes its’ application clear. The religious leaders are totally focussed in looking after their own interests, they are "faithful" to themselves.  As a result they are dishonest managers of God's vineyard, corrupt spiritual leaders serving their own interests before serving God's.   Jesus ridicules their self-interest, their "eternal dwellings" will be their grave - and archaeologists have discovered the elaborate tomb of the high priest's family, made as a miniature replica of the Temple.     
            
We understand that the High Priest had "five brothers" [Luke 16:28].  Jesus, in the parable of the 'rich man and Lazarus' ridicules their Greek influenced belief in the afterlife, this final parable is being told against the Sadducees, with its' closing 'punch line' that “if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Father Abraham says, ”If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead." [Luke 16:30-31]  How true this proves to be.
            
We are not like those religious leaders are we, or is it possible that Jesus would say to you or to me, "you are those who justify yourselves before men" [Luke 16:15]?  We live in a world that abounds with self-justification!  It is before God, in prayer, that we should seek to justify our actions - and ask forgiveness where-ever it is necessary.  The Master's next words are, "but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”  May we, in true humility, in a spiritual sense, be “exalted … in the sight of God” because he knows our hearts.  Whether this truly the case will be evident when the kingdom is here.  
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Posted 23 September 2015 - 07:28 AM

23 September 2015
 
1 Chronicles 6
Ezekiel 19
Luke 16  
 
“BUT GOD KNOWS YOUR HEARTS”  
           
Our chapter in Ezekiel [Ezekiel 19] is called a “lamentation for the princes of Israel” – it is a ‘parable’ describing the utter failure of these “princes” to perform their role – until, in the end “there remains … no sceptre for ruling” [Ezekiel 19:14].  We can apply that parable to the failure of Christianity today – and for many years past.
            
Luke 16 provides us with two remarkable parables, both are distinct and different from our Lord’s other parables.  Let’s look carefully at the one about a dishonest manager who is called to account and loses his position; it is clear it applies to the religious leaders that opposed Jesus.
            
Luke 16:11-13 provide the ‘heart’ of the lesson!  We need to identify these in each of Christ’s parables.  They are what we might call 'the punch line' which illustrate the lesson his listeners (and readers) should learn - and take to heart.
            
The managers’ dishonesty earns him the condemnation – and a spiritual application - "If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."
            
For us – the lesson is clear!  How well are we serving our Master, our Lord in heaven?  What dominates our thinking – and is the major thought behind our planning?  Do we really desire - in our hearts - more than this mortal life offers?  Yes!! Then how do we show this in our lives?
        
Luke 16:14 tells us how the Pharisees "ridiculed him" when they listened to this teaching: but they "were lovers of money" [Luke 16:14]  The same could be said of the world all around us.  
            
Jesus responds, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God." [Luke 16:15]  They did not take this comment to heart!  How much do we do?  ‘The sight’ of God enables him to 'see' and ‘hear’ all.   We reflect on the remarkable power of modern inventions, especially 'mobiles' that are "exalted among men" – but these are awesome evidence of the 'powers' God built into creation.  Let us use these powers as wisely as possible, knowing – in our hearts – that "God knows (y)our hearts."    
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Posted 23 September 2016 - 01:19 PM

23 September 2016
 
1 Chronicles 6
Ezekiel 19
Luke 16  
 
“BUT GOD KNOWS YOURS HEARTS”
 
Today, in Luke 16, we have what are probably the two parables of Jesus that are the most challenging to understand. They were not given to believers – but to unbelievers. We note their reaction! “The Pharisees, who … heard all these things … ridiculed him. And he said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.’” [Luke 16:14-15]
 
We cannot stress enough the point of Jesus that, “God knows (y)our hearts” - but, we note what Paul told believers at Corinth in his 1st letter [1 Corinthians 4] “do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” [1 Corinthians 4:5]
 
How much to the point are the words Peter wrote, he said, before “the Lord comes”, although genuine believers will, “if necessary you have been grieved by various trials” – this will be - “so that the tested genuineness of your faith­more precious than gold that perishes … may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 1:6-7]
 
Because “God knows (y)our hearts” this will happen – how wonderful – how awesome!
 
Returning to Luke 16; first 13 verses contain a parable Jesus gives about a dishonest manager – this is a way of describing those who take the ‘broad’ way instead of God’s way. Jesus makes the profound but simple point, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."
 
Those who try to – are blind to the fact that “God knows (y)our hearts”
 
The huge challenge for us in these last days is well described by Paul in the 15th chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul asked, “Why are we in danger every hour?” and warns the believers, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’" Let us be fully awake to the extensive dangers around us today – being awake, because we fully realize that “God knows (y)our hearts”
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- DC


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Posted 24 September 2017 - 03:55 AM

23 September 2017
 
1 Chronicles 6
Ezekiel 19
Luke 16  
 
"YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND …" 
 
Today we read the most challenging of the parables of Jesus – yet its' primary meaning is unmistakable. Jesus uttered it in relation to our purpose in life – how it comes down to one of two things. Jesus sums it all up in today's reading in Luke. No servant can serve two masters … he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  He ends by bluntly saying, "You cannot serve God and money" [Luke 16:13]. What is it to 'serve' money?
 
This is not the most common Greek word for 'serve', in writing Acts Luke only uses the word in Acts 20:19 when he quoted Paul's words to the Ephesian elders (and Luke was with him at the time), he told them, "You yourselves know how I lived serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials … I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable …" This was serving indeed!  
 
In writing to the Romans about issues over the law of Moses Paul says, "but now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so now we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit" [Romans 7:6]. But the commitment involved in this kind of serving is parallel; it is the same!  It is most interesting to note that the one place where John used this Greek word in his gospel [John 8:33] it is translated as 'enslaved'!
 
Those Jesus sees as serving money he sees as being enslaved to it. It is the 'be all' and 'end all' of their thinking. Today, it is a matter of the things money can 'buy,' the pleasure and pride of owning the best of everything, of taking fabulous holidays, etc., with a token gesture toward others to ease their conscience, even fitting in a visit to church.
 
Those who serve God, see how temporary and misleading is the expectation of rewards of serving money.  People who decide to serve God have a 'bigger mind,' i.e. a bigger vision of thought. That famous chapter of Hebrews 11 selects the example of Moses when, surrounded by wealth as the adopted grandson of Pharaoh, he chose to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt" [Hebrews 11:25-26]. 
 
What do we consider to be of greater wealth today? Less and less would make Christ their choice. Some, foolishly, try to have it both ways. If we are 'lukewarm' - as did those at Laodicea, let us remember the message of Jesus to them - read Revelation 3:15-16.
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- DC





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