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Oct 30, 2022

Ready Living

Ready Living

Passage: Luke 12:35-47

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Wisdom Of The Master

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: church, worship, faith, jesus, sunday, god, sermon, bible, living, christ, luke, gospel, hope, holy spirit, believe, purpose, jesus christ, the bible, lord, walk, one way, bible study, living hope, luke 12, overcome, ready, steward, lost people, gospel of luke, live music, life lessons, the gospel of luke, livestream, burnt hickory baptist church, burnt hickory worship, life advice, ready to live, sermons 2022

We can only live wisely in the present through clear thinking about the future. This principle guides us through continuing our study through the book of Luke in our sermon series called Wisdom From The Master. This week we dive into Luke chapter 12 as we learn from Jesus what it means to be ready for his return. We need to keep our lamp burning and live as a faithful and active steward as we wait and watch. We also see what it means to not be faithful in stewarding what God has given us. Pastor Matt gives us 3 practical tools for ready living: to be aware of your calling, to be confident in Jesus’ return, and to be faithful to your charge. Learn about how you can be ready living and be found a faithful steward as Jesus has commanded us. As always, if you’ve got questions, we’d love to answer them and take time to pray with you. Take the next step in your faith journey today by reaching out – burnthickory.com/next.

One of my favorite movies growing up as a child of the eighties was Back to the Future. Back to the Future. Marty McFly. Doc the DeLorean. 1.21 gigawatts. And the thought that one day what would it be like to be able to travel ahead and behind in time. Now, those of you that are youngsters, you don't know anything about this. But in our day, you had to wait on this to come on TBS. You had to wait. But the good news was it came on about every other weekend. So, you were okay in finding this movie. Another thing I love about this movie is the fact that the sequels were as good as the first one, and that rarely happens. My favorite sequel in the Back to the Future storyline is where Marty goes into the future to save his future son. I don't know if you remember this like I do, but I remember it incredibly vividly. Marty decides that he needs to go and jump in the DeLorean, go to the future to save his son. He gets there and he figures out that his arch nemesis of his whole life, Biff. Biff was incredibly successful in the future, and he doesn't understand why. Well, after some digging and after some finding out what the truth was, he finds out that at some point in the DeLorean history, he had Biff had stolen the DeLorean, taken it to the future Body Sports Almanac and World Almanac of Events and brought it back to the past with him. And for years, he had been betting on the right horse. You know what I'm saying? Right. He had been winning every sports bet. He had been investing in every Apple stock, Microsoft stock and Home Depot. And he had putting everything he can into all of this stuff that he knew was going to be successful. Now, look, I'm not saying that would be the best plan, but I am saying hallelujah. It worked for him, right? It worked. One of the things I loved about Back to the Future was the fact that, yeah, it was a great sci fi movie. It was a great kind of action thriller. But also, when you saw the movie, you realized that if you could fast-forward your life, how much it would change every decision that you make. Biff taught me this theological principle right here. Biff taught me that if I knew the outcome, if I knew what was going to happen, if I knew exactly what I would look like, then it would probably change my decisions now. Just imagine me for a second. What if you could fast forward your life? Think about the advantages you would have.

Or let me say it like this. What if you knew exactly what exactly was going to happen? Would you not live towards that goal? Well, here's the thing. In today's text out of the Book of Luke in our series on Wisdom from The Master. That's exactly the point that Jesus makes. Jesus makes the point today that things in the present look entirely different if you see them with a future perspective. And he says it like this If you could see as God sees, we would always do as God says. Why? Because God can see the future. You know this to be true, right? That that it affects things. I was thinking the other day about watching an incredibly suspenseful movie, maybe. So, if you're into horror movies, it's not really my jam, but. But like a really suspenseful movie. Do you remember the first time you watched that movie, how exhausted you were after that movie? Right. Why? Because you're on your edge of your seat the whole time. But have you ever watched a movie and thought, man, this person needs to see this movie? And then you go back, and you watch that incredibly suspenseful movie for the second time. And how disappointed are you the second time? Right? Why? Because you know what's going to happen. Thought about the documentary Free Solo. Anybody see the documentary Free Solo? About the crazy guy that climbed El Capitan, 3000-foot sheer rock face with no rocks. I mean, with no rocks. There's a lot of rocks. With no ropes, with no safety harnesses at all.

I can just remember during the first time I saw this movie; I hadn't done any reading. I was like, This cat's going to die. I mean, he is going to die on the movie and I'm going to see it. It was almost like; I just need to hit pause and go look it up to see if he died or not to. So, I could really watch the rest of the movie. That's the point Jesus makes in this whole thing. If you could see the future, it would change how you live in the present. Luke, Luke. Chapter 12. We're going to hang out today. If you want to go out and find that. And Jesus is going to press the fast forward button a little bit today for the disciples and he's going to look at the disciples and he's going to look at me and you and say, Man, you need to think about your life from the vantage point of the future. In fact, as you're finding Luke Chapter 12, I want you to write this principle down and we're going to kind of back our way into through the whole morning. And here's the overarching principle. Here it is. It is only by thinking clearly about the future that you will live wisely in the present. It is only by thinking clearly about the future that you will live wisely in the present, which some of you will go Amen. College days, right? You wish you would have looked at that. But what Jesus is saying this is that the future of what is going to happen to us should shape everything about us. And this is logical because this is why Jesus talked about the future so much. Did you know that the second coming of Jesus is the most taught doctrine in the whole Bible? The second coming of Jesus.

In fact, of the 260 chapters in the Bible, there are 318 references to the second coming of Jesus. Let me put that in perspective just a little bit. For every one prophecy that tells us about the first coming of Jesus, that's the one we're about to celebrate the whole season around Christmas, right? For every one of those prophecies, there are eight prophecies talking about the second coming of Jesus. It's a big deal. In fact, it's such a big deal. When you read the New Testament writers, you see real quickly that the second coming of Jesus is a motivation for almost every single moral command that they give us. Why? Because they knew that if they could motivate us to know what is coming, motivating us to see exactly what Jesus is going to do for us, then it would affect all of our lives right now. In other words, to gain strength to obey the commands of God. One of the best tools that we have in the arsenal is just to know what Christ is going to do for us. Now I fully realize when I start talking about the second coming of Christ, I fully realize that some of you have a little bit of a PTSD about it, have a little bit of a tic still there, right? Why? Because you grew up in churches that this was the only topic that they talked about. You grew up in a church that it was always about the rapture. It was always about the judgment. It was always about revelation. You grew up in a church that maybe had the big board on the back and the national leaders on it. It was describing exactly what was going to happen and when it was going to happen, and it was always about the end. I read a story about a little kid that grew up in one of these churches that grew up with this incredible sense of anxiety, because that's all his church talked about. And he just was never sure if he was good enough or if he was going to make it. One day he was in church with his mom and his dad sitting between him, and the kid falls asleep in church on the pew. After the church service was over. The kid was sleeping so good that his parents just decided to leave him there. When they left, they were going down to the fellowship hall to have a meal together. His dad took off his sports coat and folded it up beside him. His mom took off her sweater. They left all their stuff around him and the whole church went downstairs to the fellowship hall and this poor kid wakes up when no one else is in the sanctuary with his parents’ stuff around him and thought, I missed it, I missed it. But that's how some of you grew up. Was just real anxious and not knowing what's there? And I realize there I mean, there are some churches that just go overboard. But let me say this. I think there are many other churches that fall in the other direction. And that is the fact that we just don't talk about the second coming enough.

Actually, I feel like there's a whole generation right now. Listen to me. That has zero expectation that Christ will return. I think I think that's the culture that we're living in, I think is where we're moving into. But Jesus is about to tell us we need a healthy knowledge and a healthy anticipation that one day he's going to return. And catch this, believers, it could be today. Christ could. Do you ever think about that? Do you ever think about that? I don't know what's always at night for the evangelists, but do you know that Christ could come back right now? Jesus and Luke, chapter 12 looks at his disciples and says, Listen, y'all better prepare, prepare. But then he tells us how.

So, here's what I'm gonna do this morning. I want to give you four challenges of how we can prepare from the text. And then I want to get really practical, and I want to pull out three. Just practical “what can I do right now in 2022 To prepare for the coming of Christ?” Here's the first challenge that Jesus gives them, and we're going to read it in the text after I give it to you. Number one is this Here's the first challenge or first image that just wants to be seared in our minds. Number one, be dressed for service. Be dressed for service. Here's what this says. In other words, you cannot constantly live your lives in your comfy, relaxed clothes. You know what I'm talking about, right? You don't you don't have those. You don't go home from church today, shucking off the church clothes, getting into the comfy clothes, those clothes that send the message to everybody around you like I ain't going nowhere else today clothes. That's what he's saying. He's saying right here, you've got to be dressed and ready for service. Look at verse 35. I'm not making it up. Look at it. He says it. Be dressed and ready for service. Be dressed and ready for service. The English translation here is fine, but the Greek actually sears it into my mind a little better. The literal Greek translation reads to keep your loins girded. Now that'll stick right there, right? Keep your loins girded. Here's what that means. In those days, the men wore these massive robes. Right? They were stylish. They were comfortable, even breezy, I might add. But the problem was that they could not function in them. They couldn't run in them. They couldn't fight in them. They couldn't work in them. None of that could happen. So, when they needed to do these tasks, what they would do is they would take the robe, they would pull it up onto the top in a couple of different layers, and they would take a belt and put it around it to tighten things up down there. You kept from going with this so that they could be ready for service. So, Jesus is telling us, let that be a metaphor of how you live your life, that you should live your lives not in a constant state of just relax, let it happen, let it be. But we have got to be dressed and ready for service.

Let me ask you this. Do you live in a posture of leisure, or do you live in a posture like at any moment you could serve the king? That's what he's saying. Here's maybe think of maybe think of the game. I got lots of games today. It made me think of the game musical chairs. Raise your hand if you have. Anyone remember the game musical chairs? Okay. Only people over 40. Here's what this means. All right. Here, let me introduce you to something, young folks. Musical chairs would be this game where you'd have, like, 30 people. But you'd put the chairs facing outwards in a circle, but you'd only put 29 of them in the thing. Here's what would happen in this. You when the music started, you started walking around the chairs, right? You kind of danced a little bit, but your eyes were always on that chair because you were going to get the chair. Why? Because one person was going to lose in musical chairs, and they wouldn't have somewhere to sit. So, you'd listen to the music. You'd make your way past that chair. You set your eyes on the next chair, you'd make your way to that. And when the music stopped, what did you do? For those of you that know, you know, right? I mean, you would beat Grandma out of the way to get into that chair, right? You didn't. There were more metal chairs broken in churches across America because of this than anything else. Right. You would do everything you can to sit down in that chair because you didn't want to lose out. Now, what if you were just kind of meandering around in your own world, looking at the stars, not knowing what's going on? You were going to lose? That's what this means right here by being dressed and ready for service to start paying attention. Why? Because we don't know when Christ is going to return. We don't know. So, you're living ready? Number one, say dress for service. Keep reading. It's going to give us the next challenge. Verse 35, he says. Be dressed and ready for service and keep your lamps burning like servants waiting for their master to return. Now, obviously, this whole thing is a picture of when Christ returns.

I feel like I shouldn't have to say that, but I'm just going to say it right. Waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks, they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds themselves watching when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will dress himself to serve well, have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. Verse 38. It would be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. That's probably why we always say, What if Christ came back tonight? Probably because right there? Right? Here's number two. Number one is be dressed for service. But number two, what did he tell us? To keep your lamp burning. Keep your lamp burning. Now in those days, I realize there's some context here. In those days when I master or when a landowner went to a wedding, none of the servants knew when he would return. That's the point in this whole story you're going to keep hearing that we don't know when Christ is coming. Nobody knows when he would return. They wouldn’t, they didn't know how long he was going to be gone. Why? Because you never knew how long the wedding was going to last. It wasn't like, Hey, the wedding's at 3:00 on Saturday and I will be home by 430. No, that's not how it was. You would go to a wedding. You didn't know how long it took for people to get there. So sometimes you'd be there for one day. Sometimes you’d be there for five days. It wasn't like there was a cell phone, so you could call ahead back home to the master’s to say, Hey, get the house ready, I'm coming back. Remember that day in high school when your parents say they were coming back on Thursday, and they came back on Wednesday?

That's exactly what he's saying in this. The message to them and to us is that our role is to keep our house ready. Think of your house as your body. Think of your house as your soul. Think of your house as who you are. Keep the lights on. Keep it burning. Why? Because if the master returns and the servants have trashed the house, that's trouble. But equally, if the master returns and it's cold, it's dark, and they were just being lazy. That's equally trouble. It’s what he's saying in the text, so Jesus tells them, Keep your lamps burning, keep yourself ready for my return. Keep going. I want to show you the third challenge on top of those. Verse 39. But understand this if the owner of the house had known what hour the thief was coming, I love this mental image. He would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready because the son of man will come in an hour when you do not expect him. So be dressed. Keep your lamps burning. Number three watch for Jesus' return. Watch for Jesus’ Return is the mental image. Here is the watch. Now again, the point is we don't know when Christ is going to come.

Anybody that ever tells you, Oh, I know he's going to come, they're a liar. They don't know. We don't know. It's the point. The story says, as a general rule, you don't know when a thief is going to come to your house. Why? Because if you did, he would not come to your house, right? Amen. We live in the south. It would not go well for that thief, right? Also, you go all home alone on him, right? There's your third movie reference for the day. Right? You would get the house ready if you knew a thief was coming. You see the goal of a thief is to surprise you and to come when you didn't know it was coming. Well, obviously, Christ goal is not to surprise us, but the point of the story is, is we just don't know when he's coming. Christ is not a thief. The point is, is that he's coming and that here it is, that should alter our lives. That should change the trajectory of who we are and set us on another path. Why? Because we don't want to be caught off guard. We don't want the house to be dark. We don't want to us not to be in anticipation of Christ coming. Keep moving in the text. Because Peter asked an incredible question.

You can always count on Peter. Here it is. Verse 41. Peter asked Lord, are you telling this parable to us or to everyone else? Man, that's a church question right there, is it not? I mean, tell me you're sat in your chair at some point going this isn’t for me. This has got to be for them. You know, that's exactly what Peter's asking right here, right? Peter's like, Hey, Jesus, is this for the outsiders among us? The big group? Remember last night we talked about there's thousands around or Peter's going, is this for us disciples? And this is an important question. Why? Because Luke constantly points out this theme in Jesus's life that Jesus makes this distinction between those who really are believers in Jesus and those who are just on the periphery, those that may be hanging around Jesus. That's the point. He makes this point all the time. So here Jesus is clearly saying that it is great to call yourself a Christian, but the reality is those who are not prepared, those who are not ready, those who are not looking towards the return of Christ, chances are they're going to be swept away from the in the judgment because they were not believers to begin with. They just called themselves something. That's what he's saying in the text. So, the moral the story is just calling yourself a Christian doesn't make you ready. It doesn't. Just saying something happened when you were six years old doesn't make you ready. Jesus is giving this as a warning, but notice in the text Jesus, he doesn't directly answer the question. He gives the guys another story. So, he's saying to him, Yes, Peter, this applies to you. It applies to everybody because not everybody is a follower of Jesus. There's a lot of people in the crowd, a lot of people who needed to hear this keep going for the next challenge. The fourth image is after this.

Look at this next story Jesus gives. The Lord answered, Who then is the faithful and wise manager whom the Master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly, I tell you, he will put him in charge of all of his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, My master is taking a long time coming, and he begins to beat the other servants of both men and women and to eat, drink and get drunk. Verse 46. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and an hour, he is not aware of. He will cut him into pieces and assign him to a place with the unbelievers, the servant. Man, this is heavy. The servant who knows the master as will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants, will be beaten with many blows. The first image that Jesus gives us is that we are to live as an active steward. That we’re to live as active stewards. Now I'll keep this on the screen, so I want you to see the progression. Here we are dressed and ready for service. That means we're anticipating something is going to happen. We are keeping our lamps burning. What does that mean? That means the house is ready. Our affairs are in order. Our life is pointing in a direction. God is being honored with everything I do. What am I doing? So therefore, I'm watching for the master to return in anticipation that I am ready. And last of all, I'm living out everything I do in my life as an active steward. The text describes the servants that forgot the master was returning. Right. That's what it’s describing out here.

So, what did they do? They began to live as they wanted to live. With what? With the master’s stuff, I might add. What did they do? I don't make it up as in the text. They mistreated the other servants. They ate all the food. They got drunk on the master's wine and they did not work. They did nothing for the kingdom. So, when the master return, when Jesus returns, what is he going to say? He's going to say, I entrusted you with so much. I gave you so much. In fact, the word master in verse 42, you may want to circle it. That word master right there is the Greek word Oikonomos. And it literally means steward. It means property manager or manager of assets. You see, this is not someone who ultimately owns the assets, but it's someone who manages it for somebody else. Look, that's our calling in life, is it not? As a believer in Jesus, I laid down my life for Jesus. And now my role in this life is to manage myself and God's assets for the betterment of His kingdom. When you're a steward, you have access to the master stuff, but for the ultimate purpose of the master, that's the goal. That's the reality of the story. So, look at these mental pictures. We’re dressed. Our lamp is burning. We're watching, we're stewarding. But if we don't do these things, verse 47 says, When the master returns, he will he will cut us to pieces and assign us to the place of the unbelievers.

Let me tell you what that means, because that kind of gets a little confusing. That means this. That means when Jesus returns, if those things are a part of our lives, the reality is that we're just receiving the judgment promised for an unbeliever. Why? Because that's what we are. We're an unbeliever. Why? Because if you are a believer, your life is pointed in a direction. Not perfectly. Don't hear me say that, but your life is pointed in a direction to where these things are, part of who you are, and we’re watching for the return of Jesus. So, what is Jesus saying? Jesus is saying live ready. Live like I'm coming. But what does that practically look like? Because man all week as I'm reading these like keep my lamps burning, be dressed. What is what does that practically say? My role as the communicator is to help you see this scripture in its original time and then bring it into what does this look like in my life to live it out. This is what I want to do with a couple of minutes I got left. I want to give you three ways that are just practical living towards the coming of Jesus. Here's what I want to do. Number one is this. I’m going to bring it into 2022. Number one, if you want to live like Jesus is coming back, be aware of your calling. Be aware of what you were asked to do. Look at verse 37, it says It would be good for those servants who masters find them watching when he comes. The word watching there is the word not just to stay awake, but to actively be involved with the affair of the Masters. That's what the word means there. So, let me ask you, just I mean, as practical as I can get for a minute, what is the task of a believer that is watching for the return of Christ? That's the question that we got to logically ask. The task is this it's the great commission. It's the great commission. And in as simple terms as I can put it, it's the Great Commission. Matthew 28:18 go into all the nations, make disciples of them, right? That's the great commission. That is the calling for every believer. And it's the calling for every church, and that is to live out the great commission. It’s to be awake, to be moving towards that.

I get people all the time that ask me this question, Matt, why are we so concerned with reaching the nations for Jesus? Well, because Jesus was. Because that's our command. I did some reading this week and I want to give you some homework, too. I want you to jot down the word, the word Joshua project somewhere in your notes. And I want you to hear a couple of these quotes. Do you know there are 7413 unreached people groups on this planet? 7413 unreached people, groups of over 10,000 people. Do you know what that means? Let me give you the numbers of that. That means there are 2.3 or 2.23 million people that are classified as unreached people groups on this planet. 3 million. Did you know that? 1.7 million of those have never even heard the word Jesus, never heard it. Now this blows our mind, right? That's why we live in the South. You see Jesus on billboards here. But these people, they have no access to the gospel. 1.7 million. That is so many people. One of the articles I read this week said this You could line them up beside each other, shoulder to shoulder, and put them in rows, and they would circle the globe five times. That's 1.7 million people. And what are we doing to be awake to the calling of Christ? Are we living our calling? Are we praying? Are we giving? Are we going? Why? Because blessed is he who knows their mission. I read one pastor say it like this. When it comes to the Great Commission, there are only three options that is to go, that is to send, or that is to be disobedient. That’s the options. That's the calling that he has called us to be aware of. But on top of just speaking the name of Jesus, it's showing the name of Jesus under the banner of the Great Commission, where we see that I want you to see in verse 42 where Jesus talks about us as believers meeting the needs of people. Luke 12:42 It says, The Lord answered, watch this compare and contrast he gives. Watch how he gives a faithful and wise versus the unfaithful. Listen to what he says in verse 42, the Lord answered, Who then is the faithful and wise manager whom the Master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? Think we can pull from this that God is literally telling us that part of our role is to meet the needs of others so they see who Christ is and they can fall in love with him.

But look at the unfaithful served in verse 45. But suppose the servant says to himself, My master's taking too long in coming. Then he begins to beat his other servants, both men, women and children. And they, or both men and women. And to eat, drink and get drunk. The unfaithful servant, the contrast here is that all that God has given him, he only used for what? To serve himself. You see, in the contrast here, he got one here that is looking at their lives as a missional approach to point others to the master. But you got one under here that all they're concerned with is meeting their needs. So, what it's saying that God sees it as us being his people, his stewards, his flock, that is now here to take care of other peoples.

I mean, you know, the master came back into town at this point, and was like, man, what are you doing? I gave you all this stuff, but I got news for you people. That's what he tells us, too. You do realize that God has given you every talent that you have. He's given you every opportunity that you have. He's given you every gift that you have. I mean, it is one thing to walk through the door of an opportunity, but it is a whole other thing to create an opportunity. God is the only one that created the opportunities for your life. Let me just say that. God is giving you the air to breathe. He's giving you the walk that you have. He's giving you the talents. He's given you the health. And it all comes from God. And God is looking at us saying, Quit being unfaithful. I gave you that to Steward for me because I'm coming back. Number one, be aware of your calling. Number two, be confident of his return. Be confident of his return. Now, listen to this one, because this is incredible. The servants who got in trouble in this parable were either catch this, they were either unsure of the master's return.

That's where some of us live our lives. You’re like I don’t know if I buy all that. They were unsure of the master's return, or they forgot about it. Or catch this, here's the only third option. They just didn't care. They just didn't care. And they were flippant about it. Here's the thing. When you're sure that Jesus is coming back, you look at everything differently. It changes your perspective. Why? Because if you could see as God sees, you would do as God says, you know what that means? That means you start looking at everything in this world differently. You start looking at sacrifice differently. Why? Because you realize it's really not a sacrifice at all because of what Christ has done for you. And eternity is forever. You start looking at things like getting even differently. Why? Because it's not our role to get even. Christ clearly is the master that will return and settle the debt. You start looking at things like commitment differently to Christ. Why? Because of his commitment to us and you start looking at things like pleasure differently. You say Matt, what do you mean by that?

You start looking at it through the lens of everything is temporary that's here. That's how you start looking at it. Listen, little side note for a minute, but you know, the Bible tells us that when Christ returns, that's what we're talking about today, that when Christ returns, you know, the Bible tells us that one of the things he is going to do is he's going to bring about a new heaven and a new earth. Scholars tell us that word renewed when he says he's going to renew the Earth. That literally means he is going to re-Genesis this place. Here's what that means for us. That means that anything you missed on this earth now Christ is going to make better then. That's what it means. Do you know that Christ is going to make a better version of all good things on this earth? He's going to make a better version of all common graces on this Earth. And look, we have those graces now, but I just want you to realize that we will then have them with him. So as a follower of Jesus, listen to me real close. I don't know what you're chasing after, but here's the deal. If you're not going to make it to Tahiti, that's okay. God is going to make a better one for you one day and you're going to sit by Jesus and experience it then. I don't know if you ever made it to the Rockies or not, but he's going to make a better one for you then. He's going to do that. So, if chasing pleasure is what's drawing you away from being active and serving and knowing that the master is going to return, you are going to get to celebrate that in a non-sinful place. You do know he's going to take the curse away from this world and everything you experience at his pleasure now is going to be extreme pleasure then. Think about that ribeye you're eating right now. It is going to be nothing compared to what... I don't know about that one. The blood thing. But you know where I'm going with that, right? That's what he's telling us. If pleasures drawing us away, know that the king is coming. He's not coming as a baby. He's coming as a king. And Jesus is going to break the power of sin completely set us free, move us into eternity with him, totally redeemed. Rest assured, church, this is going to happen. This is going to happen. And that's why he looks at these guys, these servants and he’s like, you don't get it, don't get it. All you had to do was steward it temporarily. So, what we do is a way that makes sense, that Christ is going to come back. And let's live in a way that tells everybody around us, You may think I'm crazy, but I'm not because my God is coming back.

Number one, be aware of your calling. Number two, be confident as to his return. Number three, be faithful in your charge. Be faithful in your charge. Most sobering part of this whole parable is where Jesus describes the fate of those who neglect the master’s return. Verse 46. What does he say? They will be given severe punishment and assigned to the place of the unfaithful. That’s what he says. But I need you to see something here. These people that Jesus is referring to are not overly over-the-top evil people. They're just people that fail to live actively. They fail to live ready for the master's return, or they were asleep at the task, or they didn't live the task of a servant of the master. That's what he said in this whole thing, which tells me there’s more than one way to be evil. That man, this hit me hard this week. I'm just gonna let you into my heart a little bit. You know, there's one way to be evil where we just overtly break the Ten Commandments, where we sin and where we just live in sin. That is one way to be defined as evil by Christ. But there's a second way to be evil that he's describing in this text, and that is just not to live your charge. That's what he's talking about right here. Right. Not to invest in the kingdom.

So, I'm just going to ask you, are you faithfully living your charge? Are you faithfully giving your career to him? Are you faithfully giving your friend group to him? Are you faithfully giving your treasures to him? Are you saying Jesus, it is all for you? And I know you're coming back and I'm living my life as a steward of the things that you have given me. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Because that's what the text is saying. Why? Because blessed are those who are awake and faithful to the charge when Christ returns. Now, I know all of this is super heavy and all of this kind of leaves us a little bit beat up. But I want to show you that Jesus doesn't just punch you in the mouth and walk away, right? He punches you in the mouth and he puts his arm around you and says, Come on, let's talk for a minute. Here's what Jesus does. Jesus doesn't just give you this as a task. He rolls back around it, and he gives you the motivation of how and why we should live this way. And I want you to catch this because, man, I missed this for a long time. Look back on me for verse 37 for a minute. Look at the motivation of why we live towards eternity.

It would be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly, I tell you. Write the word Jesus in your Bible next to he, because that's the He that is describing here. Watch. Jesus will dress himself to serve. Jesus will have them reclined at his table and Jesus will come, wait on them. You say Matt, I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if I can live there. I don't know if I can sacrifice. Well, look, here's the deal. I know that is hard but look at what it's saying. Did you see this? The master is going to come. He's going to get dressed and he's going to wait on them. What kind of master does that? Jesus does. And Jesus will. Why? Because that's the gospel. That's the gospel in the story. So, what looks like this gloom and doom story, that Jesus is giving. Jesus is saying, listen, just live like that. I'm coming back and I'm going to serve you. I'm coming back. I'm going to redeem you. I'm coming back. I'm going to dress you. I'm going to give you, my life. Man, it's about the extravagant gift of grace that he's given us. You do realize your salvation is not about how you serve him. It's about what he's done for you. Why? Because our Jesus, our master, that returned didn't just serve us, but he served us at the cost of his life. Philippians 2:6. Who being in the very nature of God, Jesus did not consider equality with God to be something to be used for His own advantage. Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant. being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man. Look at what he did. He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Listen, that's the gospel. You're reading the gospel in this. And look at the extravagance again, the extravagance in verse 44.

Truly, I tell you, Jesus will put Him the one who's ready, the one who's watching, the one who’s doing. Jesus will put him in charge of all his possessions. You know, anytime the word truly pops up from Jesus, it just means that you don't understand this. You don't fully get this, and you're not going to believe this. But I'm going to tell you anyway, that's what he's saying right here. He's going to put us in charge of all things. I'm going to be honest with you, I don't even know fully what that means other than the fact that when Christ returns for those who know him and are serving him will be co-heirs with him in eternity, feasting at his table, enjoying all that he's given us, being with him in eternity. And here's what I know that reason for me to live my life for him. You see, so many people see this parable is a threat. And yes, is a threat. Why? Because verse 46, we deserve to be cut to pieces. We deserve to be cast into the place of the unbelievers. That's the gospel, right? It's the gospel. We're all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. But what is Christ done for us? Christ has been cut and assigned to that place. Isaiah 53:5. He was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds, I'm healed.

And I hope you're seeing the gospel here. I hope you're seeing this coming full circle. Church Listen, we don't need to fear the second coming of Christ. Why? Because Christ has set us free. Because Christ took the punishment for us. first time he came to serve and to say the second time he will come to redeem. To which I say, come, Lord Jesus. You want to know why it's worth living? That right there. Come, Lord Jesus.

Let's pray, Lord God, I know that. I know there's a sense of looking at the second coming with some heaviness. But God, I want us to look at it with some anticipation, because there's a promise given to the faithful who are living, who are ready, and who are active. That means eternity is on the line. And thank you, Lord Jesus, for taking the wounds for us to give us life. I want to ask you today just some, just some questions, just to walk your mind through this text. Number one, do you need to submit your life to Jesus today to become his? You know, the first step in knowing Jesus is not working for Jesus, it's knowing Jesus, it's becoming his. You can't be ready for the resurrection. You can't be ready for the return of Jesus. If you don't know Jesus. Do you need to give your heart to him today? Is there something inside of you that is drawing you to finally just say, Yes, Lord, I'm yours. Come into my life, forgive me my sins, and become my Lord. I want to follow you. That's you today. Listen, that's your heart, your posture, and your confession today. Welcome to the Kingdom of God.

Here's what I want. Here's what I want to ask you to do. In just a second, I'm going to step over here to the next steps banner to left, your right. I'm going to ask you to move today, to stand up for the king, to just say, yes, Jesus. And we’d love to pray with you. We’d love to walk with you through this decision. If you're online, you can reach out to the next steps text and just say, here I am. But here's also what I know. For some of us who have lived the lifestyle of a servant who has either forgotten or ignored that Christ is coming back, here's my question to you. What's it going to take? Would you ask Jesus to show you today? Lord, during the time of invitation. Today, I pray that you move in our hearts. We would see this as a time that you're searing things into our souls and God, that you're saving people. God give us boldness to make decisions, to become faithful servants. It’s in your name.

Amen.

Let's stand and sing together.

Follow Along with the Message


 

Ready Living

October 30, 2022

PRINCIPLE: It is only by thinking clearly about the you will live wisely in the present.


Four Challenges to Prepare for Jesus’ Return

1. Be for service.

Luke 12:35
Be dressed ready for service…
Luke 12:35–38
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.

2. Keep your lamp .

Luke 12:39–40
39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

3. Watch for Jesus’ .

Luke 12:41
Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”
Luke 12:42–47
42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.

4. Live as a faithful and steward.


TOOLS FOR PRACTICAL READY LIVING

1. Be of your calling.

Luke 12:37
It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.
Luke 12:42
The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?
Luke 12:45
But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk.

2. Be of his return.

3. Be to your charge.

Luke 12:37
It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.
Philippians 2:6-8
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 
Luke 12:44
Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Additional Notes

 

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