“Wicked” is a strong, some would say harsh, word. It’s not a word most of us would want applied to us. Yet it’s exactly the word Jesus used to describe a certain kind of servant who for all intents and purposes appeared outwardly loyal and dedicated. In Luke 19:11-27 Jesus tells one of His frequent parables. This particular parable has many rabbit trails down which we could wander, but for now I want to focus specifically on why Jesus singled out this servant with such strong language (v.22).
The parable relates the story of three servants whose master departs to receive a kingdom, promising to return as a king. Before leaving he entrusts ten of his servants with a substantial amount of money and commands them “Carry on business until my return.” There are others in the story also who openly rebel against the man’s rule over…
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This needs to be posted again….just in case some church folks still think it’s OK to welcome tares, aka leaven, into their fellowships so, “They can grow up together”.
The Wheat and the Tares:
How many times have you heard someone in the church say something to this effect, “Let the wheat and the tares grow up together”? I have. It’s become what one might call a man made tradition in the church. Why is that? Well, because when used in that context, what church folk mean, is that we are supposed to allow the tares…in the church…remain there, and then at harvest time, the LORD will do the separating himself.
OK, that may seem very spiritual of these church going Christians, but…is that what Jesus really taught? I’ve gone over this teaching a number of times, and I can’t find one scripture reference that indicates that tares are supposed to be allowed to grow in the church, which is supposed to be the Body of Christ. Why in the world would Jesus want tares in the church when…
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There are people in the body of Christ who are very serious about developing the character of Christ and who live consecrated lives. These individuals have conquered much of the sin issues in their lives and have an anointing that they carry because of their obedience to the Father. Favor follows them and they seem to change the atmosphere everywhere they go. These kinds of people are rare and unfortunately subject to criticisms from fellow believers in Christ. They are usually accused of trying to be superior to others, all because they value holiness and have a sincere reverence of the lord. These individuals live differently than almost everyone around them and people are sometimes naturally convicted of their sin when they interact with them. These individuals exhibit the love of Christ and go out of their way to respect others but again, people respond to these individuals out of…
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We sit comfortably on specially provided green plastic chairs, our bottled water, with our Bibles, close at hand on the small table that serves as a pulpit. The young girls have lovingly covered the old table with a pristine white lace tablecloth…..a prized possession in this small house. Outside the half open door people wander or cycle down the road, sometimes turning to glimpse inside with curiosity. A mosquito is biting at my ankle and the pervasive scent of poverty dominates the air around us.
It is our last meeting in Yangon, Myanmar, before departing for Kuala Lumpur then onto Australia the next morning. After three days of seminar teaching we have come to our host’s house church to share fellowship and worship with those who live and gather here. It has taken over an hour to get here this morning by taxi through chaotic Yangon traffic. It is the…
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Every month, my church does a homeless ministry called “Love in Action.” We take a hot, home-cooked meal to an abandoned farmer’s market in the poor section of our city and serve it to whomever comes. Sometimes, we serve as few as a dozen; other times, as many as 100. I decided to get involved with this ministry several months ago, and in that time I’ve learned some interesting things about homeless people:
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Earlier today, I did some gardening. I love gardening because it lends a certain clarity to my thoughts. As I pulled weeds and rearranged a flower bed, I meditated on the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, in which Jesus illustrates the different ways the gospel is received among hearers:
“A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away” (verses 3-5).
He goes on to talk about the seed that fell among thorns and the seed that fell on good soil. Afterwards, he explains the parable to his disciples:
“When anyone hears the word…
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However, I’m renting a room from a woman who took that sad, lonely path 20+ years ago, and to say that this experience has been unpleasant would be a giant understatement.
I’m in a whole new sort of crisis.
I would have to say that I’m generally spot on when assessing a person I meet. I knew during the interview that this landlord, (we’ll call her Janet), had some deep wounds from her own marriage falling apart decades ago. She spent a great deal of time explaining to me, in detail, the pain she had felt when…
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Yesterday my wife and I went to a gathering of saints at one of their homes. We had known these brothers and sister since about 1970. Over the years since Jesus first knit us together we have all gone different ways and have had many different experiences in churches and life as a whole. It was really good to just come together as God’s family with no one having an agenda in mind. How often in the past I have seen Christians come together not for the best, but for the worst. When we tried to come together and it seemed that somebody (even me) had an agenda to see something happen or to get our point across and it ruined the whole time. Resting in Jesus’ presence in each one of us made all the difference, yesterday, and it was from there that HE was able to speak and…
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