Monthly Archives: January 2019

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Title: Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

Text: Romans 8.1

Introduction: View video.

Let me share with you the flow of my message this morning.

  • 1st, I want to talk with you about Cityfest East Texas and the opportunities we have at Calvary to be participants in this Crusade.
  • 2nd, I want to review the book of Romans up to our text: Romans 8.1. That means, I simply review chapters 1-7 – in order that we might gain some context for Paul’s great statement found in 8.1.
  • 3rd, I want to spend the remainder of my time looking at this one verse, Romans 8.1.

In the coming months, Calvary will be asked to work with other churches around the city. The goal is to partner with other churches to have a visual, positive presence in our city. There will so much to volunteer for – that is, so much work around the city. I like the idea. I really do. But, if the gospel isn’t shared, then I don’t like the idea.

Now, of course, the idea behind Cityfest is to do just that – create a positive perspective of the Church in the eyes of the lost. Then, in October, when Andrew Palau comes to Tyler, invite those folks to hear the gospel. But I hope you and I won’t wait to share. I think sharing Christ is a responsibility all the way through!

Ill.: Bud Surles was a good friend of mine when I lived in Worland, Wyoming. He was pastor of Zion Lutheran – an independent church in that town. Bud was reformed and very conservative in his theology. But, he was also very evangelistic. He had a strong opinion about how those two go hand in hand. Well, every year, our ministerial alliance used to provide Thanksgiving baskets for the poor. Many of our churches in the city would gather forces, take up collections and gather in all the goods to fill these baskets. Then, on Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, our members who show up in force, taking these baskets of food to the poor – ensuring they would have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with their families. Great ministry idea, right?

Well, one year, as we were meeting to discuss the details of what would be taking place for the Thanksgiving baskets, Bud volunteered his church to place in the basket video copies of the Jesus Film. Let me just say the liberal force was highly offended! He was shut down. Bud asked if his church could put in pamphlets on the plan of Salvation. Again, he was rejected. Finally, he said, look, we all have Bibles in our churches. Surely, we can agree to put Bibles in the baskets. Nope! I remember in frustration Bud said to the Alliance members: So what is your purpose here – to fatten them up to send them to hell?!?

I think of Bud at times like these. Bud has gone to be with the Lord. He passed away this last year. But his dogma concerning social work and evangelism has stayed with me. As a young pastor, I watched his enthusiasm for the needs of poor people matched by his desire to share Jesus with them.

So, why am I starting my sermon with this bit of information? Because: This year is a very important year in the life of Calvary Baptist Church. This year is a very important year in the life of the churches in Tyler. Cooperating with other churches in ministry is important, but not to the detriment of sharing Christ. Some people believe that being good in front of others is all you need. There are some churches that will be perfectly content with doing good work. But the truth is that none of us can be good enough to save ourselves. How can we ever hope to be good enough to save others?

Some years ago, a popular saying was being thrown around. It would preach well, and so many used it. The quote is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, but there is no evidence he ever said such a thing. Preach the Gospel, and when necessary, use words. But there is a fallacy to this clever quip. If you read the Bible closely, you’ll see that the command is actually to preach the Gospel and to proclaim the Gospel. That isn’t to say your life should match your words. That is true. But actions alone are insufficient.

The Gospel is communicated through words.

Again, why am I bringing this up? (Because) it feels good to serve. You and I can gain a sense of accomplishment by simply helping the down and out. You can go to an area of town that is dirty and clean it up. Then, you can feel good about yourself and rest on the fact that you ‘served’. People see you in your service and smile. They make nice comments about your work. That all feels really nice. But there are two problems with that:

  1. Some of you would rather commit to 1000 hours of community service rather than spend 5 minutes sharing the Gospel with a lost person.
  2. No one gets to heaven because you’re nice or helpful.

People get to heaven because someone shares with them this incredibly good news that Christ has come into the world to save sinners; that God is holy. We are sinful and separated from him because of our sin. But, the Good news of Jesus Christ is that by repenting of our sins and placing our faith in Christ, we can be brought into a right relationship with God. People have to be told that. They don’t just see it.

Transition: We pick up in our text today in Romans Chapter 8.1. And, up to this point, Paul has been driving home the Gospel message.

Basically, this is what Paul has been saying from the beginning of his letter to the Romans, up and through Chapter 7. Let me show you what I mean. Here is a crude outline of Romans:

  • Sin                         Romans 1-2
  • Salvation              Romans 3-5
  • Sanctification      Romans 6-8
  • Sovereignty          Romans 9-11
  • Service                  Romans 12-16

So you see from this outline that we’re in the last part of the 3rd section: Sanctification. Because it has been a while since we’ve gone through this, let me take a moment to highlight the Gospel presentation in these first 7 chapters:

  • Theme: The Power of the Gospel to bring Salvation (1.16).
  • God is Holy, perfectly righteous (1.17)
  • Man is sinful, perfectly unrighteous (1.18)
  • God is just in his wrath toward us, sinners (3.8-10) We begin to see the hope of the Gospel as presented down in 3.21:
    • God’s Character of Righteousness (21-22)
    • Offense of Sin (23)
    • Sufficiency of Christ (24-25)
    • Personal Response (26) – again, he is just in his wrath toward us, and he is the justifier of the one who places their faith in Christ. This incredible story demands, commands a personal response from us. And that is really what chapter 4 is all about: justification through faith – the same faith that Abraham had.
  • Man is justified through faith in Christ. This argument reaches its climax on justification in 5.1: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And chapter 5 is that beautiful chapter on the God love and the Trinity: The Father pours his love into our hearts via the Holy Spirit (5.5) and demonstrates his love by giving his son, Jesus to die for our sins (5.8). To be justified is a declaration of God. It happens all at once. 2ndly,
  • Man is being sanctified through the continued life lived in faith in Christ. Sanctification is different than justification, in that, sanctification is a process. Justification is immediate. It is a simple declaration by God. Not guilty. Sanctification is different. Sanctification is a process we go through. God is sanctifying us in our present state. 6.19: 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. So, the idea is that you keep on presenting yourselves as slaves to righteousness, over and over again in the process. That process is sanctification. And it is a hard process. Daily, we die to the flesh and present ourselves to God.

Paul concludes chapter 7 with this war that rages throughout this process: rd 7.21-24; the answer is in 25: Jesus! Then, we come to 8.1: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Hallelujah! What a promise! Let’s look at a couple of points in this verse:

Therefore

exp.: The NASB puts this word first in the sentence. This is the word that points us forward, from whence we just came. All of what he’s said to this point has been to say: therefore. Furthermore, to understand this sentence, you must understand what was said before. That is the main reason I reviewed for us the 1st 7 chapters.

Now

exp.: Now, something has changed. It was once this way but now, it is presently no longer that way. The state and the condition of the believer are changed. There is a point in time on the timeline continuum that things have changed.

ill.: Consider that. Each of us who’ve given our lives to Christ have done so in such a way that we can identify that point. Maybe you don’t remember the date, but you probably remember the experience. Just like when I committed my life to Lisa. It wasn’t necessarily at our wedding – the truth is that I had already made that decision – that’s why the wedding took place. And, those who were there can give testimony to my commitment. And, hopefully, I’ve lived that out to the point that all of you can attest to this commitment.

app.: Now, having committed our lives to Christ, we’ve signified that, not just with baptism, but with a life lived in faithfulness. But, it all goes back to that moment. And because of that moment, we can say: Now! We no longer stand condemned!

t.s.: I think that is the emphasis Paul places in this sentence. Let me ‘splain!

“No” is the word that takes precedence in this sentence.

exp.: No is the first word in this sentence in the Gk. No condemnation! As the gospel is presented and accepted, the believer no longer stands condemned. Have you ever thought that through?

Consider this: every person is condemned to begin with. Consider John 3.16-18: 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. You see God’s purpose in sending his son in v 17 – his purpose wasn’t to condemn the world. It wasn’t? No! His purpose was to save the world. And the world could only be saved through him. Why is that? Because v 18 tells us that we’re all condemned already. We’re born that way. We’re conceived and born in sin. As sinners, we stand condemned. And, whoever does not believe in Jesus, according to v 18, is condemned already. But, as Romans 8.1 tells us, that anyone who does believe, for those who are ‘in’ Christ Jesus, there is now no condemnation.

So, condemnation is the state of every human being, that is, until… until something happens to that person. When that person believes, that is, when that person puts their faith and trust in Christ… boom, at that moment, there is now, NO condemnation!

t.s.: in closing, let’s look at this last phrase…

For those who are in Christ Jesus

exp.: There are a couple of thoughts that come to mind concerning these people – those in Christ.

  1. In: Paul is not a ‘Universalist’. It amazes me that there are some who are still confused about the blood of Jesus. While it is true that Jesus died for the sins of the world, it is also true that the whole world will not be saved. The blood of Christ shed on the Cross of Calvary is more than effective and more than sufficient to remove every sin of every sinner who ever lived or who will ever live. But, while that is true, there are many who will still choose to pay the penalty for their own sin. They will reject the love of God as displayed through Christ on the Cross and they will die in their sins.
  2. Christ Jesus: Paul is not a Universalist and Paul is an Exclusionist. Paul is declaring that Christ is the only way to God. …for those who are in Christ Jesus declares that Christ is the only way to experience this ‘no condemnation’. Some would say that’s pretty narrow. I’d agree. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Jesus himself said: I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me. Outside of Christ, there is no hope. Period. Only in Christ Jesus can anyone hope to experience no condemnation before God.

t.s.: and that brings us back to the beginning…

Conclusion: with the thought of the social work that we’re invited to participate in this year, let us not forget the Gospel. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t participate. In fact, I’m advocating for us to join in the festivities this year. I’m encouraging you to say yes to the many projects the city needs to have done. I hope you’ll be a good witness and that you’ll work hard at whatever we are asked to do. I hope you’ll wear a shirt that identifies you as a member of Calvary. I hope you’ll paint, clean, carry, cook, cut, measure, vacuum, wipe, serve or whatever you do with all the gusto you can muster. But, take your words with you. Say: This is my story, this is my song! When given the opportunity tell them:

  1. God is perfectly holy
  2. And man is sinful and there is absolutely nothing we can do to ever repair this fractured relationship. As a matter of fact, the Bible says that because we’ve rebelled against God, our due punishment is death. But God didn’t leave us in this fallen state.
  3. So God acted on our behalf. He sent his one and only son to live a perfect and sinless life and then to pay the penalty in our stead. He died our deserved death on the Cross of Calvary and was buried in a borrowed tomb where his dead body lay for three days. But, on the 3rd day, he was raised to life, conquering death.
  4. And by taking God at his Word, you can have the assurance and confidence that your sins are forgiven. Just acknowledge the points I’ve just made. God is holy. You are not. Your sins separate you from God. But, by asking Jesus to be your savior, your sins are covered by his blood – washed white as snow.

Application: I hope you’ll share that message with those you encounter. But.

  1. Maybe you’ve never made that commitment.
  2. Maybe you’re feeling a call to be a preacher of this Good News.
  3. Maybe God is moving in you to bring your membership her to Calvary.
  4. Let God have his way this morning.
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Filed under Romans, Romans 8, Scripture, Sermon, The Gospel

The Boy, Jesus

**An Audio recording of this message is available in the right sidebar of this page or at www.soundcloud.com

Title: The Boy,  Jesus

Text: Luke 2.40-52

Introduction: The basic events as outlined in the Gospels are stories related by eyewitnesses. And, the writers, themselves were often times those same witnesses (i.e, first-hand reports). They observed first hand, Jesus in action. But stories of his childhood must come from other sources. That is why these stories of his childhood are very limited. Maybe that is why Luke begins this Gospel Account as he does in 1.1-4:

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Luke states clearly that he wants to document his research so that there might be a certainty of the things being taught. I’m glad he did this extra work – going the extra mile, in order that we might know this story. This is the only story we have of his childhood.

**note: there are pseudopigraphic writings containing other-worldly type stories of the childhood of Jesus, but there is none we consider authoritative. Only this one…

I think Luke’s genius in his organization, thought and flow becomes apparent as we look closer at the text. I want you to remember the declaration of the Angel to Mary: 1st, She would bear a Son and his name would be called Jesus. In Lk 2.21, we read that is just what happened: they named him Jesus. 2nd, Her son would be Holy. We see that take place in Lk 2.22-23; 3rd, her son, Jesus, would be the Son of God (1.35). That hasn’t happened yet. As we’ve walked through Luke 1 and 2, we’ve not seen such a declaration, yet. We will see that in our passage today.

Notice how Luke brackets this story with certain phrasing: rd 2.40 and 2.52; growth, strength, wisdom, favor;

Luke is employing his journalist gift by creating a bridge between his birth and the start of his earthly ministry. To do this, he sets up his outline of three marks or traits of Jesus as given by the Angel, Gabriel. This third mark (i.e.,: being called the Son of God), is the purpose in this story and the link between these two separate parts to the book (his birth and the start of his earthly ministry).

So, just how will Luke do this? Let’s read the story together and I’ll then take you through his process, step by step. Read Luke 2.40-52; pray

This story reads like a narrative. Each narrative consists of:

  1. Setting
  2. Conflict or Crisis
  3. Climax
  4. Resolution
  5. Stasis (D. Helm: A New Setting; Simeon Trust Workshops)

See Graph: this is a picture of how a narrative might flow.

Let’s look at each one of these in our story:

  1. Setting (40-42): these people are Jewish and they are faithful to this religious observance.
  2. Conflict (43-45): every narrative has a crisis event where conflict occurs. This story finds the conflict or the crisis when Jesus (as a child) remains in Jerusalem and his mom and dad loose track of him. A search ensues. A return to the city is warranted. The search continues. It is on the 3rd day he is found.
  3. Climax (46-49): the story reaches its climax when Jesus is found and his mom confronts him for this action that has created such worry for them. And in his response, Jesus asks them two questions to demonstrate his childlike naïveté. Luke tells us that his parents don’t get it – they don’t understand his response.
  4. Resolution (50): The story’s resolution isn’t really much of a resolution. It finds its resolution and
  5. Stasis (51-2): The New Setting – Jesus lives out his childhood perfectly in the obedience and submission of the Messiah to his parents. He gets older, wiser, and stronger and is well respected among the people as he finds their favor. Most of all, he has his Father’s favor. Mary has a keen awareness of the fact that something is going on here. She doesn’t totally get it, but she gets that something is afoot.

But is that what Luke wants for his readers? Is his desire to just tell you a story and move on? Did he just think to himself that he had a journalistic problem here and was looking for filler? Or, are their lessons here for us? Is their theology that will help us understand the Messiah? More Questions:

  1. What is the significance of the Passover?
  2. What is the significance to the age of 12?
  3. How can a Mom and Dad not know where their child is?
  4. Was this Jesus so brilliant and smart that he actually became the teacher to these Doctors of Religion (think Seminary Professors)?

As we begin working our way through the text, I find it interesting that vs. 40 and 52 could serve as an outline to the story as well: he grew (v 42; 12 years old), he became strong (v 46; he was three days on his own), God’s grace or God’s favor was upon him (v. 49; about my Father’s business/things).

I hope to answers these questions as I make my way through this passage this morning using our stages of the narrative. Let’s begin with the 1st stage…

The Setting (40-42)

exp.: we continue with our rd in v 41; A reminder of their faithfulness; It appears that they made the trek to Jerusalem each year for the Passover. The OT Law required faithful Jews to make the trek to Jerusalem three times a year to present themselves to the Lord. Exodus 23.14-17: 17 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God. We see it also in Deut. 16.16: 16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you. Cf.: Deut. 31.11; this is just one of the three times each year they would make that Journey (or at the very least, that Joseph made). Rd v 42;

app.: what you and I would probably miss is that this particular event is an important time of preparation for a Jewish boy. Sometime over the course of the next year, Jesus would turn 13 and would experience his Bar Mitzvah (Son of the Commandment). He would become a man. This Passover experience was an important part of that Bar Mitzvah experience. There were activities, lessons, experiences he would need on this particular year over the others. The identification of this particular year and this particular season is important in his life as a Jewish boy, who is becoming a man.

t.s.: The setting is a specific time frame, but there is more here than just identifying that it is about 7-8AD. It is a very special time in the life of a Jewish Boy. He’s becoming a man. Now that the setting has been set, the story continues into a time of conflict and crisis.

The Conflict or Crisis (43-45)

exp.: rd v 43-45; So his parents pack up and leave to head back to Nazareth, but Jesus remains in Jerusalem. It would be easy for him to be overlooked because Jesus has just experienced something special and wonderful. He’s in this ‘in-between’ stage of not really being a child anymore and not really being a man. In a traveling caravan like this one, filled with ‘relatives and acquaintances’ the men would travel together and the women and children would travel together. Joseph must have assumed that his son felt more comfortable with his mom and the other children and not yet ready for the rough and tumble world of manhood. Mary must have thought that Jesus felt himself to be ready to travel with the men. But, there must be even more here.

ill.: Have you ever known a child like this, who was found to be self-reliant and self-supportive? A child who needed very little oversight? At the age of 12, Jesus is just such a kid. He is so trusted, that his parents aren’t even that concerned with the fact that he is not in Joseph or Mary’s presence. He can be trusted. If he isn’t with me, then he is where he believes he is supposed to be.

This should be speaking volumes to us at this moment. Jesus is a good kid. He is so good, and so trusted that his parents aren’t even checking up on him. See the end of v 43: His parents did not know it…

exp.: at the end of the day, as the caravan makes camp, they come to realize that Jesus isn’t with them. A search ensues amongst relatives and friends, but to no avail. There is only one logical explanation: Jesus must still be back in Jerusalem.

ill.: Did you by chance catch this week’s biggest story? 13-year-old Jayme Closs escaped from her captor’s home and found a woman walking her dog. The woman called 911 and knocked on a door to a house where they were. Jayme was kidnapped last October by a man who killed both of her parents. The police said that she simply vanished. There was no trail to even begin trying to track her whereabouts.

app.: You and I sit here this morning and think that story is probably our biggest nightmare: one of our children missing – and unaccounted for… And this is where we find these parents: miles from Jerusalem and no idea where their little boy is. All of the sudden, he goes from this perception of “becoming a man” to “he’s their little boy”…

exp.: pick up in v 46; after three days, they found him in the Temple! The 1st day, they weren’t too worried, they figured and expected the best of their son – and it wasn’t until later that evening at their stop that they make this discovery. I’m sure it was a long night, waiting for daylight so that they could return to the city. Did they have to make arrangements for their other children, animals, possessions? They traveled all that 2nd day. That day must have been the worst. But on the 3rd day, and yes, I think there is a hint of the story of the tomb here; But on that 3rd day, they found him in the Temple.

t.s.: and this is where the story reaches its climax…

The Climax (46-49)

exp.: They found him; rd v 46; three participles describing the actions of Jesus: sitting, listening, and inquiring. Two responses I’m supposing comes from a parent at this moment. An overwhelming sense of relief that there he is alive and well. And 2ndly, an overwhelming attempt to hide their incredible anger and disappointment for putting them through this anguish. Mary says as much in v48: Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress. This word in the Gk, translated in great distress, is a medical term which means internal distress and anguish. I’m grateful for the work of William Kirk Hobart in his scholarly book, The Medical Language of St. Luke. The work to produce this book is mindboggling, in that, Hobart did this work in 1882, without the help of computers. According to Hobart, Luke applies this word to three separate stories in four places:

  • Here (2.48), to describe the internal anguish of parents who have lost and cannot find their missing child;
  • Luke 16.24f; to describe the anguish of hell in the Story of the rich man, Lazarus, who is cast into hell. And, interestingly enough, in
  • Acts 20.38, where the elders say goodbye to Paul, knowing that they will never see him again. Their goodbye is filled with the deepest of sorrow because they know their friend is going to his death.

A couple of notes, I think are interesting here: Teachers usually sat in the midst of their students. Where do they find Jesus? Lit. Gk: sitting in the midst/middle of the teachers (professors). So, he appears to be in the position of teacher. But the text doesn’t say that. 2ndly, he is answering their questions and asking them questions that display to them an incredible aptitude for the things of God. Look at the response of these professors; rd v 47;

But, this is what I find so amazing about this story – and it is the response of the boy Jesus to his mother. Rd v 49: And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house.” Gk. Lit.: Did you not know that about the things of my Father, must be me. In other words, I must be about my Father’s things (i.e., his business).

app.: Jesus is totally caught off guard at their anguish. Didn’t they know that he would be right where he was, doing just what he was doing?

I have to pause and say that I missed this in our children. Lisa, she was keenly aware of our children and their child-like state. She understood their little minds. She saw when they acted like Children, that they weren’t being rebellious – they were just being children. Being. That is the word that Jesus uses here.

t.s.: Which leads us to the Resolution.

The Resolution (50)

exp.: in Biblical narrative, I find that the resolution of the story is often quite short, as we find it here. One verse. Rd v 50; If you’ve been a believer for many years, then you know this is common with those who follow Jesus. Often times, as he speaks to them about spiritual things, they just don’t get it. These things were hidden from them and they didn’t fully understand them. And, even with all that has taken place with them, even since before Jesus was born, they’re still trapped in the earthly mindset of human beings.

Consider their responsibility as parents. They might look bad to the others they were traveling with, to the others who have their other children.

Jesus asked them in v 49 – why were you searching for me? Did you not know…. Surely you knew. Jesus is shocked that they don’t grasp what it is that he is doing – and what he came to do. And v 50 clarifies that they don’t! But he does! Even at the age of 12, he knew that he was to be about his Father’s business.

Parents, has your child ever embarrassed you? I think Mary and Joseph are embarrassed, humiliated. But Jesus doesn’t think they should be. They should have known what he would be doing and where he would be. At least, HE thought they should have known. He doesn’t get why they don’t understand. He sees things through the eyes of a 12-year-old – a boy who is turning into a man – but he isn’t quite there yet. He has a childlike naivety that is essential to our faith. It is that ability to trust.

They don’t understand. Mary said… your father and I…, Jesus said my Father’s things.

But, with the Resolution comes a New Setting – Stasis.

Stasis: A New Setting (51-52)

exp.: rd v 51; Jesus goes home with them to Nazareth and lives out his life in obedience and submission to them. Sometime over the next few years, Joseph will die. We won’t know about any of that, because the next part of the story will pick up when Jesus begins his earthly ministry. Until that time, Jesus will take the leadership role in his family. He will serve as a carpenter. He’ll build houses, furniture, plows, and yokes. And all of that will come in handy as he teaches, relying on his experiences to share.

Conclusion: So, what would I like you to take home with you this morning?

Application:

  1. As we consider the Passover and the experience of a 12-year-old boy, I think it is important to remember that God is God over everything in our lives – even the timing of the events that take place. He is neither too slow in moving, nor too fast in resolving matters. His timing is perfect. Time must have been of great concern for mom and dad. But, even in their fear, in their anguish, and yes, even in the timing of it all – God is God.

I’m worried that phrasing may sound too trite. I don’t mean to downplay anyone’s anguish. But, be honest. Is any of this out of God’s control? Do you believe he is in control?

  1. It is also a great reminder for us to consider that each story in Scripture, even though it might only seem to be a simple story, is so much more than just a moral to be discovered. God was at work in the lives of those people, accomplishing his purpose and his glory. Every act and action is vital.
    1. So, don’t think of your life as small and inconsequential. Don’t think that any small part of your life as something too small in the grand scheme of God’s plan. You just might have no idea of what God is on the verge of doing or accomplishing in you or around you. Whether you are the Mary or the Joseph or the Teachers or someone in the crowd – God is in your midst. He’s up to something. And yes, I do believe that. God is up to something and that something is bringing glory to himself through you and the events of your life.
    2. So, let me ask, in all you do, are you about your Father’s things?
  2. I’m keenly aware of this friction between the two storylines of Jesus and his faithfulness to be about his Father’s business and the anguish and distress of these two parents who’ve lost their son and have no idea where he is or what he is going through. But if I might, I’d like you to pull away from the close-up view in the Temple – and away from these parents who are moving back toward Jerusalem as fast as they can, praying as they go. Pull back to the place where God sits and get a ‘God’s eye view” of things. He is there in their anguish. He is there in the mother’s tears and the father’s quiet pleading in prayer for his son’s safety. God is not absent in it all.

As you sit here this morning enduring whatever life has thrown at you, I want to ask you to consider that God is in the midst of your struggle. He knows the outcome. He knows the details. He knows… So put your trust in him.

I’d like to invite you to do that. At Calvary, we sit in silence and reflect upon the day’s activity. We reflect upon God’s activity in our lives. In a moment, we’ll be dismissed to a time of fellowship. We’d love to visit with you about it all.

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Filed under Luke, Messiah, Scripture, Sermon