Being Kind to the Unthankful

Luke 6:27-35

The Lord is teaching and says, “love your enemies, do good to them which hate, bless them that curse you and pray for them which despitefully use you (vs. 27-28). Then he goes on to say “if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them” (vs. 32). Wow, now that’s a smack in the face! Over and over he says “sinners also” (vs. 32, 33, and 34), like as if he’s saying, don’t think you’re good because you can repay a favor, lost people do that much. Vs. 35 goes on to say, “BUT love your enemies, and do good, and lend… and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil”. So the Lord says to love others, pray for them, do good to them, lend to them, and bless them and then He closes it out by saying, this is the way you act like your Father because he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. I can help and be kind to someone who deserves it, respects me, shows gratitude, and is in need… but if they are an ingrate than just forget it. Wrong attitude! My Father is good to me and everyone else even when we don’t deserve it and are not thankful… and that’s how I should be to others.

He calls his Disciples

Luke 6:12-16

When a missionary goes to the field or a man in ministry begins working in ministry, he prays (or at least he should pray) that God would give him people that would help in the ministry, people that would be workers, leaders and servants alongside him in God’s work. We can’t compare ourself to our Lord in every sense, but I do think there is a excellent key we can learn when our Savior calls His disciples. The essential lesson we are taught is not actually in the calling of His disciples rather in the night before He calls them, He prays. We don’t know what He prays, but we do know He prays. We are in need of people to help us in ministry; people with ability we don’t have, people to help carry the load, people to lead ministries, people to make up the congregations and people to support. All of this can happen, but I believe we must take the first step of praying to the One who can make it happen.

Luke 6

6:20-49 — Christ preaches. This sermon of Mount message is full of amazing and strong truths. Here are a few that really hit me:

Vs. 32 — Don’t just love those that love you, the “sinners also love those that love them”.

Vs. 33 — Don’t just do good to them that do good to you, “sinners also do even the same”.

Vs. 34 — Don’t just give or lend to them that lend to you, “sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as mutes again”.

Vs. 37 — Don’t judge or you will be judged

Vs. 37 — Forgive if you want to be forgiven

Vs. 42 — “Cast out First”. Before looking at anyone’s problems, before judging anyone else’s situation, I should check out my own life. When I look at my own life, I will most likely not be so quick to judge or try and correct anyone else.

This entire passage, or at least these points that were for me, show me that the natural man behaves much different than how the spiritual man should behave. God’s children should be different.

Today's All-Star mission churches

all-star
by Tom Telford
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church, the glory of God is the ultimate
goal of the church.
Missions is pen-ultimate; worship is ultimate.
Isaiah 12:4; Ecclesiastes 3:11
III John 6 – there’s a big difference between a church that has missionaries in a
church that sends missionaries. These missionaries should be grown and
identified by the church.
I often tell young people that if they are called to stay in America, then they need
to ask themselves where in the world they need to go to find more worshipers
for God’s glory.
Philippians 4:10–19 and I Corinthians 8:1–15 – Genuine missionary care.
Ways to help missionaries: communication. Hospitality. Prayer. Small groups.
Short-term teams. Special field visits. Pastors visits. Accountability. Retreats –
tuneup spiritually. Individual lies care – make Missionary feel loved and
remembered.
A quarterly report – update from missionaries. Four categories: personal spiritual
information. Interpersonal and family information. Ministry information. Praise
and prayer request.
Some must in church for missions: it’s a must that you share everything. It’s a
must that you take care of your own. It’s a must that the church to do missions
education – teens missions conference in children’s missions conference – three
missions conference at the same time. It’s a must that the church family show
hospitality to missionaries. It’s an absolute must that the pastor be the key. It’s a
must that missionaries report. It’s a must that all missionaries have access to
the pastor and spend planned time with him when they are home. It’s a must
that the missionaries art listened to. The must that missionaries be properly
prepared in the personal life. It’s a must that missionaries be sent out in teams.
Ideas for mobilizing kids for missions: start a missions library for kids. Use the
missions P word – (purpose, Power, people, people moving, passport to the
world, preparation, possessions, projects, partnership, proclamation). Launch
missions prayer for kids. Start a monthly mention missions emphasis in Sunday
school, children’s church, or midweek boys and girls program.
I remember speaking one afternoon to a large gathering of retired and senior
missionaries. I asked them to tell us that what age they felt the call of God to
become a missionary. The typical age was eight years old!
What kind of an impact would happen around the world if everyone of our
thousands of churches would send out just one missionary from their
congregation.
The pastor is the leader and promoter. Every member is asked to consider
short-term missions trip opportunities. The churches annual international
missions festival energizes leadership. Church member ownership is
encouraged.
Mobilization of the American church is the most strategic thing we can do
admissions. – Ralph Winter
Send us people with initiative, who can carry themselves and others too; such
as need to be carried hamper the work and weaken those who should be
spending their strength for the heathen. Weaklings should be nursed at home! If
any have jealousy, pride, or talebearing traits lurking about them, do not send
them, nor any who are prone to criticize. Send only Pauls and Timothys; men
who are full of zeal, holiness and power. All others are hindrances. If you send
us ten such men the work will be done. Quantity is nothing; quality is what
matters.– by C.T. Studd written from the Congo.
Criteria for an all star missions Church:
1. The church must have an outward focus and strategy.
2. At least 30% of the churches budget must go to missions.
3. The church must have enough ongoing training program for missionary
candidates.
4. Missions education must be integrated into all the program of the church.
5. The church must send its own people.
6. The church must be concerned about and pray for the lost.
7. The church must have a pastor who leads them in vision and outreach.
8. The church must be interested in helping other churches in missions.
9. The church must have a strong evangelism program and it’s community.
Missions is a matter of life and death for the local church. – Dr. Robert Torrey
If we spent less time recruiting and more time training, there would be less
failure on the field. There is a high-cost in not sending the right people.

Levi Unashamedly Followed Christ

Luke 5:27-32

Levi the tax collector is sitting at his job when Jesus walks by and tells him to “follow me” (vs. 27). Levi’s reaction was to leave all, get up and follow him (vs. 28). Levi then makes a feast at his house, inviting others and let’s Jesus talk to everyone (On a side note, what a great way to let all of your family and friends hear the Gospel, by inviting them for a meal and letting someone come share the Gospel during that time). The Pharisees begin to murmur saying that Jesus is eating with sinners, but Jesus reminds them that the perfect don’t need anything, it’s the sick who need the physician (vs. 31) and His reason for coming was not to call the righteous but the sinners to repentance (vs. 32). What a statement, what a truth!. But taking a moment to focus on Levi, Matthew, is worth doing. Matthew leaves his money and lifestyle for a better investment, following Christ. He then invites Christ to his house, a place where friends are and a place of privacy where one lives and relaxes. Even many Christians don’t want to open their personal life up to letting Christ come in, but a dedicated follower like Levi not only opens his private life up to the Lord but also wants all his family and friends to know about it. Now that unashamedly following Christ.

Get Away and Pray

Luke 5:16

In the previous verse, the Lord’s fame was spreading and great multitudes were coming to hear and be healed by Him. But in vs. 16, “he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed”. There’s nothing in the wilderness, just dirt, bugs, silence and God. We are so busy in our lives that we don’t have time to stop, but if Jesus had time to stop when His fame was spreading and people were coming to find Him, we surely have no excuse. We make time for what is important. Maybe, no, definitely, we need to take time and get away (in a closet, in a closed car, on a walk, in a room or anywhere we can be alone) and take some time to talk to and hear from God. Is it time to get away and pray?

 

When God says Launch Out

Luke 5:1-11

Peter had fished all night and now the Lord tells him to “launch out… and let down your nets” (vs. 5). Peter was a fisherman, he knew how this worked, he knows more about fishing than a carpenter’s son… but this was no ordinary carpenter’s son who was speaking to Peter. Peter responds by saying, “we have toiled all night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net” (vs. 5). Peter’s experience was just trumped by Peter’s love and obedience to his Lord. And of course the expected happens when obedience to Jesus is exercised. In vs. 6-7 we see that they caught so many fish their nets about broke and even with calling another ship over to help them, they still both almost sank. Here’s a few thoughts from this passage:

  1. Sometimes God asks us to launch out even when we’ve toiled all night — doesn’t make sense, why would God ask something that has already been tested… but His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways not our ways. We are to trust in the Lord and lean not to our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). We are to obey even when it doesn’t make complete sense in our own way of thinking.
  2. God can fill our nets more than we can — money helps, contacts are great, knowledge is priceless, timing is everything… but God can break all of the rules and give more results than all the above mentioned. I want to read and learn more, I want to have friends who can help me out, I want to get the money to facilitate plans and dreams and I want to be wise in how I do everything… but if God is in something, He can give me more success than I could ever get on my own. I can do more on accident with God on my side than I could ever do on my best day in my own strength. The key of filling nets is not the knowledge of how to fish, but the knowledge of who made and controls the fish.
  3. Time to fall down and worship — Peter should have been helping drag the fish in, gather and clean them. Peter should have been so thrilled that he screamed out to all the other fisherman of what a good catch they had. But he didn’t do this. Peter’s response to God’s miraculous working was to fall down at Jesus’ feet. That is the best place to be at, the feet of Jesus. I am so guilty that when something goes right, I let it go to my head, I try to rethink how I did it so I can repeat the same process, I want others to know the steps to take in order to see the same results… when I should simply fall down and praise my Lord. It is God who gives and takes away. It is God who blesses, gives strength, wisdom, adds to or takes away. It is God who created all, moves things around gives the blessing. And when I see God’s gracious hand, may I fall down and worship Him.