Audio from Sunday Night’s Sermon:
Ready To Receive the Kingdom – Luke 12:32-40
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” ~Luke 12:32
This is an amazing statement of God’s intentions. Notice the gentleness … the regard that God has for His people. This verse reminds me of Hebrews 13:20-21.
This statement comes between two stories with bad endings. Before it is the story of a farmer, a Rich Fool who believed his possessions were the ultimate goal of life. After this section is a story about a servant who mistreated his fellow servants because he didn’t think the Master was going to return. And in the middle of those Jesus instructed his followers to ‘fear not, little flock’ and to be ready! What things characterize the lives of those ready to receive the Kingdom?
Their Treasure is in Heaven (33-34). Many are focused on treasures on earth. Where is your treasure? Your possessions? Jesus says to sell them and give to the poor. I think this is more about attitude than what you own. But we cannot use that thought to make an excuse for not sharing our possessions. Is your treasure your recreation … On the golf course? In front of the TV watching the Saints? Your Money … Where are you putting your money? What testimony does your checkbook bear about your real treasures? Your Time… is it spent doing good things for God or does the church get very little?
Jesus taught we should regard treasures from an eternal perspective (33). Jesus does not say sell “all” your possessions or demand poverty on all his followers. He points them to the true source of real wealth so that they can be free for the wealth that God can give. We need to be free from “stuff” in order to know the inner gift of peace which is spiritually based. Possessions are gifts from God to be used for the purposes of God — including sharing what we have with those who have not.
The truth is: where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (also Matt. 6:21).
Their Eye is on the Horizon (35-40).
Be Dressed and Ready. We are properly dressed for heaven’s wedding celebration when we put on Christ. His are the only robes allowed into the feast! This can be a challenge. (2 Peter 3:3-4; 2 Peter 3:8-10).
Keep your lamps burning. We keep our lamps burning by maintaining a ‘ready’ status. What kinds of things keep us ‘ready’ for Jesus’ return? A life of prayer, Scripture study, serving others, and keeping our focus on Him.
It is good to be ready (37-38) When the master comes and he finds his servants watching, the master would dress himself and start to wait on his servants. This is just not the way things work. It would be the servants who would have to wait on the master.
Their Expectations Are On Alert (39-40). What would it be like to know when Jesus is going to return? We would certainly keep that in mind. We live between the lightning and the thunder. The countdown has begun for the Second Coming. We do not know when He will return (40) We do not know the time of our death. We do not know which will come first … Judgment Day or our passing from this life. The time will come when we get the message saying that the time has come for us to die or for Jesus to return. We are called to be ready for this time by having faith and hope in Christ.
We are not to be afraid while we expectantly await the return of Christ. We are awaiting a gift – the Kingdom of God. The faithful servant does not have to make any special preparation when the master comes. He is always ready. He does not need to know the time of his master’s arrival. He is ready, anyway. That is how Jesus is encouraging us to live our lives.
“Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” ~Hebrews 11:16
This is the day we to which Christians are looking forward.
Thanks for reading