What Does Total Commitment Look Like?

Matthew 16:21-28

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.  Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”  But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.  Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Jesus’ Death Called For His Total Commitment

  • It was necessary

Matthew 26:51-54 – And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.  But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

  • He had to suffer

1 Peter 3:18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.

Hebrews 4:14-16 – Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • He had to be killed

John 3:14 – And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.

Hebrews 9:22 – And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

  • He had to be raised

Romans 6:3-5 – Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

Romans 6:9-11 – knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord

Natural Man Rebels at the Cross

  • Some think love is the path of life
  • Some think comfort, pleasure is the path of life
  • Some think victory, triumph, power is the path of life

Jesus’ Death Reveals Man’s True Nature

  • Adversary to God
  • Man’s thoughts/tastes are different

Romans 8:5-7 – For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

Jesus’ Death Calls For Man’s Total Commitment

  • A person must choose to follow Christ – a voluntary, deliberate choice
  • A person must deny self – disown, disregard, restrain, forsake
  • A person must take up his cross – die to self completely
  • A person must follow Jesus – an active seeking to be in union with Christ

Jesus’ Death Gives Four Reasons For Total Commitment

  • Losing your life saves your life

Matthew 16:26 – For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

John 20:21 -He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

  • Your soul is worth more than the whole world

Luke 9:25 – For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

Luke 21:34 – But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.

  • A day of judgment is coming

Matthew 7:23 – And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Luke 12:9 – But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

Matthew 25:31-46 – When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’  “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’  “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’  “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

  • A promise of eternal life is given

Peter’s Great Confession

Matthew 16:13-20

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”  So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.

  • Not the Confession of the World

Important Question No. 1 – “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

  • False Confessions

Mt. 14:1-2 – At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesusand said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.

Matthew 16: 14 – So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets

  • Peter’s Confession

Important Question No. 2 – “Who do you say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

  • True Confession
  • the Christ – the Messiah, the Anointed One
  • the Son of God – one with the Father
  • the Son of the Living God – source of all life
  • Confession is the Church’s Foundation
  • The Church belongs to Christ
  • Christ is the one who builds the Church
  • Christ will protect His Church
  • Responsibility of the Church
  • Sharing the Confession
  • Understanding death/resurrection of Jesus Christ –

1 Cor. 15:1-4 – Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures

  • Need to be empowered by Holy Spirit

Acts 1:8 – But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Don’t Worry About the Storm

Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.  And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.  But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.  Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”  And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”  And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

This story is also told in Mark 6:45-51 and John 6:16-21

Jesus “made” His disciples get into the boat – this indicates it was at His direction that they left in the boat.

There are other Bible stories that tell about the safety of being in a boat.

  • Noah and the ark
  • Baby Moses in the basket set in the River Nile
  • Paul and those with him in a great storm

When you are alone in a boat in the middle of a storm.

  • There are no multitudes to impress
  • It appears that Jesus is not with you
  • Fear and doubt can quickly arise

Question:  Why did Jesus not stop the storm earlier?  Could it be that in the storm our faith is made stronger as we learn to totally put our trust in Him? It was as Jesus calmed the storm that the disciples realized who he really was. Many times it is in the storms of life that we learn more about the power and the love of Jesus.

As I think back over my life and the storms I have weathered – death of a grandson and a son; heart attack; brain bleed and my wife’s battle with cancer – I see how God was with us and how He kept us. I have truly learned the true meaning of this verse in Proverbs.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Fundamentals for Ministry

Matthew 14:14-21

And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”  But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”  And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”  He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.  Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Fundamental No. 1 – Seeing the Need & Having Compassion

Christ’s example:

  • Sensitivity to the need
  • Compassion for the need

Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many

Disciple’s example

  • Aware of the need
  • Resources inadequate for the need

Fundamental No. 2 – Being Willing to Minister

Christ’s command

Matt. 16:24-25 – Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Luke 12:33 – Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.

Galatians 6:9-10 -And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Disciples response – “We have little to give”

Fundamental No. 3 – Looking to Christ for the Resources

Disciple’s Example – they brought what they had to Christ.

Prov. 3:9 – Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase.

Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

1 Corinthians 16:2 – On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

2 Corinthians 9:6-9 – But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:  “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.”

Christ’s Example

  • He took what was available
  • He thanked God for what was available
  • He used what was available
  • He trusted God to do the rest

 Disciple’s Part

  • To share what they had
  • To be wise with what they had

Watch Your Mouth!

Matthew 12:33-37

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Our speech is compared to fruit, good and bad.  Jesus clearly said that our speech comes from what is in our heart.  What we hold dear will be manifested in our speech.  Words that are good and wholesome will come from a good man while the evil man’s language will be full of evil. 

Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Wow!  What we say will either hurt or help, hinder or enhance, build up or tear down. Before we speak, we need to ask our self exactly what our words will do to those who hear them.

James 3:2-12 – For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a word of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

Matthew 15:17-19 – Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies.

Psalm 141:3-4 – Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.  Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Psalm 139:1-4 – O Lord, You have searched me and known me.  You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

With all these warnings from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, it is clear our words have great power to do good or to harm. It should also be clear that we are responsible for what we say.

How’s your fruit?

A House Divided

Matthew 12:22-30; 43-45

Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.

When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.

The man brought to Jesus.  Family or friends cared enough to bring him.  How desperately some people need family and friends who care enough to help them. Jesus had compassion on the most evil, on a man thought to be so evil that he was “possessed with a devil.”

Jesus has power “to deliver and heal” immediately.  The one necessity is coming or being brought to Him.

Jesus’ purpose on earth was to conquer Satan and break his power over men.  In some cases Satan’s power was imagined; in other cases it was real.

Men without Christ are “dumb and blind” to the things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14 – But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Unbelief

Questioning His Messiahship.  Why are some minds and hearts open and others closed to Christ?  Too often the difference has to do with peer acceptance, reputation, pride, wealth, possessions, fame, power, livelihood, position.

1 John 2:15-16 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

Obstinate unbelief is serious.  In every generation there are those who cling to their unbelief despite witness after witness.  The evidence of the Lord’s presence is there, yet they still persist in unbelief.  They attribute any change in natural events to a fluke in nature or to an unexplainable and yet unknown or undiscovered cause.  They will attribute the unexplained to anything just to keep from having to confess Christ and to surrender themselves to Him.

Divided Allegiance

Division = Separation and Sin.  The first argument is that a divided allegiance destroys.  This is a universal truth.  Division leads to separation and ruin.  A divided kingdom, city or house cannot stand.  It fights and destroys itself.  Satan is not going to empower anyone to deliver people from evil–not time after time as Jesus was doing.  Satan would destroy his kingdom and rule over lives.  Jesus was arguing that it was an absolute impossibility that He had come from anywhere other than from God Himself. 

Denial of His Lordship is inconsistent and illogical.  Jesus was saying that to deny Him was inconsistent and illogical.  The good works of other men were acknowledged, yet His good works were denied and attributed to evil.  His works were the greatest works ever performed for men, and they far outnumbered the works of any man (John 21:25).  How could His power and His works be of evil and the works of others be of good?  His works were bound to be of God. 

John 21:25 – And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

Christ’s works are signs of His Messiahship.  There is only one logical and consistent conclusion:  His works are of the Spirit of God.  His claim is true.  He is the Messiah.  His works are a sign that God’s Spirit rests upon Him and that God’s kingdom has come to man. 

John 5:36 – But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.

John 10:37-38 – If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.

John 14:10-11 – Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

John 15:24 – If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.

Christ Destroys Satan.  This passage states that property can be taken.  Satan is the strong man; Christ is the invader who enters Satan’s house to free those imprisoned by Satan.  He is entering the “evil house” or domain (territory) of Satan and taking his (human) goods.  He is turning men “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sin” (Acts 26:18).  God “delivers us from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13).

Satan – a strong man

Satan bound in the wilderness.  Satan was bound during Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness.  For the first time in history, Satan confronted Someone whom he could not lead away from God.  After the wilderness experience Satan was set back.  His power shaken.  The man Christ Jesus had withstood the heaviest barrage of temptation ever launched. 

1 John 3:8 – He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Satan bound by Christ’s sinless life.  Satan was bound even more as he confronted Jesus throughout His life with temptation after temptation.  Jesus stood fast, resisted and overcame the temptations, conquering and binding Satan more and more each time.

John 8:46 – Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

Hebrews 4:15 – For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 7:26 – For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;

Satan bound in the garden dramatically after Jesus’ Garden of Gethsemane experience.  Jesus was tempted to take another route other than the cross, yet He obeyed God perfectly.

Hebrews 12:3-4 – For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

Satan bound when Christ went to the cross.  Satan was bound in a completed sense at the cross.  Christ had secured perfect righteousness.  He had never sinned (2 Corinthians 5:1).  Therefore He was the Ideal Man, the Perfect Man.  As the Ideal Man His righteousness and death could stand for and embrace all men who would place their lives into His keeping.  Satan’s house of evil and sin was broken, completely broken.

John 14:30 – I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.

2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Satan will be bound forever at the end of time.  Both the earth and the heavens shall be made a new and established forever in perfection—established without Satan and his “evil house” carrying on their evil work.  (2 Peter 3:3-18).

2 Thessalonians 2:8 – And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

Revelation 20:10 – The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

No Neutral Ground.  A person is either with Christ or against Christ.  This could be a picture of a shepherd or a farmer.  Each is involved in gathering–the one gathering sheep and the other gathering the harvest.  Each also can become guilty of scattering–the one scattering the sheep and the other scattering the harvest.

Working in the Kingdom

Standing with Him – A person stands with Him, believing and trusting Him, or else a person stands against Him in unbelief and distrust.

Mark 9:40 – For he who is not against us is on our side.

Luke 11:23 – He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

Working for Him.  A person works with Him in gathering, or else works against him by scattering others.

No neutrality.  Neutrality is impossible.  There are only two sides:  with Christ or against Christ.

Luke 16:13 – No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Refraining from evil is not enough

Deuteronomy 30:15, 19 – See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.  I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.

Evil Spirits Return When the House Has a New Tenant

Evil spirit wanders.  The evil spirit that was in man and has been put aside seeks rest, but finds none.  Man’s evil spirit, when it is subdued or cast aside, becomes restless.  It goes about in restless wanderings, yet it finds no rest.

Man’s desires.  A man always experiences the craving of the evil to return.  The evil spirit says, “I will return.”  Note the words “Into my house.”  His house was the place that was so comfortable, that made him feel so secure and so at east.  The evil spirit is saying, “I will return to that which always looked so good and tasted so good and made me feel so good.”

The Solution

Fill your life with Christ.  Note that Jesus applies the truth of this parable not only to individuals, but to whole generations and societies as well.  The answer to the evil and ills of society is not reformation.

The answer is not the changing of the outside and external. The answer is not making new resolution. The answer is not cleaning up your act. The answer is not getting new friends. The answer is not changing jobs. The answer is the transformation of one’s heart. It is the filling of the human heart with Christ Himself.

Galatians 4:8-10 – But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years.

2 Peter 2:20-21 – For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Matthew 24:12; 2 Timothy 3:13; Revelation 2:4

Evil can be conqueredIt can be expelled, it can be pushed back, it can be cast out of our lives; but it cannot be destroyed or eliminated–not in this life.  Evil, although it can be put out of a life and turned from, will always attack.  What is needed is a supernatural power to turn from evil.  That power is in Jesus Christ. 

Jesus Christ must dwell in you.  When evil is put out of a life, something must be put in its place.  What?  Jesus Christ.  The love of Christ and His mission of redemption is to fill a man’s heart and life.  Take all the acts of love and caring–a man cannot touch even the surface during a lifetime.  The world is so weighed down with prejudice, war, wickedness, selfishness, pride and power; and so many people are so needful.  A man must cast the evil out of his life and replace it with Christ.  When a man gives his life to Christ, he is swamped with so much to do that he does not have time to think evil or do evil.

Compassion of the Messiah

Matthew 9:35-38

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

Jesus’ Mission was to Minister.

  • His method – He went to the people

Luke 19:10 – for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Matthew 28:19-20 – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  Amen.

John 20:21 – So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

  • His area of ministry – Wherever the people were

Matthew 22:9 – Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.

Acts 1:8 – But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

  • His effort – He preached, taught and healed.
  • Preaching – proclaiming the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ

1 Cor. 1:17-21 – For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:  “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

  • Teaching – explaining, establishing those who are saved in the Word of God

2 Tim. 2:2 – And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

  • Healing – meeting the physical, mental and emotional needs of those who are hurting

James 5:13-16 – Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

  • His message – Jesus Christ died and rose again that all who believe in him might be saved

Luke 24:46-48 – Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.

  • Jesus’ Mission was to Show Compassion.
  • He saw the crowds fainting.
  • Responsibilities of daily life weighed them down.
  • Man’s religion weighed them down.
  • Sin weighed them down.
  • He saw the crowds scattered.
  • Turning to legalism (their own Law)
  • Turning to philosophy (Stoics, Epicureans, etc.)
  • Turning to false religion (Roman/Greek gods)
  • Turning to no religion (atheism)
  • He saw the crowds with no leader.
  • Jesus’ Mission was to Share his vision.
  • Vision of a great harvest

John 4:35-36 – Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.

Galatians 6:9 – And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

  • Harvest is ready
  • Harvest is great
  • Harvest needs to be reaped now – each generation has a harvest.  If they do not reap it, it will be lost.

Matthew 9:36 – But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

  • Vision of a great need for laborers

Matthew 9:37 – Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few

Romans 10:14-15 – How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:  “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

  • Vision of a great need for prayer

Matthew 9:38 – Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

Ephesians 6:18-20 – praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

  • Vision of a great force of laborers

Acts 1:8 – But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 – And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

  • The harvest is God’s.  He has chosen to use you and me to reap the harvest.  It can be done if:
  1. There is enough concern within our generation for the lost.
  2. There is enough prayer for laborers.
  3. There is enough commitment to obey his voice and go.
  4. There is enough dedication to live for him day by day.
  5. There is enough faith to believe him and his Word.
  6. There is enough conviction to stand strong and firm through all.

The Wise and the Foolish Builder – Which Are You?

Matthew 7:24-27

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.

  • A wise builder – Hears the instructions and obeys them. He builds a house
  • We all have a house (a life) to build.  We cannot get away from that fact.  We are building our lives. We can hear and obey the instructions, or we can hear and disobey. 
  • The words of Jesus (his instructions) are the materials which determine the structure of our house.  The security of our house (our life) depends upon our response to His words. 

John 15:6-7 – If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

  • He chooses the right foundation. 
  • Jesus is the only foundation that lasts.

1 Corinthians 3:11 — For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ…

Ephesians 2:20 – having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.

1 Peter 2:4-5 – Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

  • Building on the rock takes time and effort.

2 Timothy 2:15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Peter 1:5-11 – But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

2 Peter 1:10 – Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • He faces a storm.
  • No one is exempt from problems.

John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

  • Many sources of problems
  • Just because we are in the world

Matthew 5:45 – that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

  • Attacks of Satan

1 Peter 5:8-9 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

  • Our own failings

James 1:13-15 – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death

  • His foundation holds.

2 Timothy 2:19 – Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity

2 Timothy 4:18 – And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 4:19 – And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:31-39 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:  “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 32:7 – You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

  • A foolish builder – Hears the instructions and disregards them.
  • He builds a house. 
  • He hears the instructions. 
  • He chooses to disregard them and do his own thing.
  • He is in a most dangerous position. 

Prov. 28:26 – He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

Romans 6:21 – What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Jeremiah 17:5 – Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.

  • He chooses the wrong foundation. 

1 Cor. 3:11 – For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

  • Foundation of material possessions

James 4:13-14 – Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

Luke 18:24-25 – And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

Luke 12:15-21 – And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’  “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

  • Foundation of pleasure of the flesh

Mark 7:20-23 – And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.

Galatians 5:19-21 – Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

  • Foundation of fame and recognition

Matthew 6:1-2 – “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward

  • Foundation of religion and self-religious

Matthew 7:22-23 – Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Ephesians 2:8-9 – But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:4-6 – But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,  whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

Galatians 2:16 – knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

  • He faces a storm.
  • His foundations falls. 

Luke 12:9 – But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God

Hebrews 10:29-31 – Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God

Luke 13:5 – I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Matthew 22:13 – Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24:51 – and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

John 15:6 – If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

Which are you? Wise or foolish?

What Shall I Do/

Matthew 6:19-34

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.  Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

What do you see that entices you?  Is it more powerful than God’s presence? A choice must be made. God must be first. This life is not important

Luke 12:16-21 – Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’  “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

  • Putting yourself ahead of God
  • Putting things, possessions, desires in first place
  • For true joy and happiness in this life
    • You must die daily
      • To yourself
      • To ambition
      • To desires
    • You must take up your cross
      • Carry your cross (not someone else’s cross)
      • Carry the concerns of the cross (compassion, love, self-sacrifice)
      • Carry the restrictions of the cross (some things you will not be able to do)
    • You must take up your cross daily
      • Regardless of other’s wishes
      • Regardless of the time that it takes
      • 24/7 –  365 days a year D A I L Y
    • You must take up your cross daily and follow him
      • Where He leads
      • Doing what He desires
      • Saying what He wants you to say
      • Loving everyone He puts in your path

Two Riches, Two Hearts, Two Masters

Matthew 6:19-24

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Two Riches – A Comparison

Earthly riches

  • Do not lay up earthly riches. 

1 Timothy 6:6-8 – Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

  • Earthly riches are corruptible (and they corrupt).

1 Timothy 6:9-10 – But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows

  • Earthly riches are insecure. 

1 Timothy 6:7 – For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

Psalm 49:16-17 – Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dies he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him.

Luke 12:15-21 – And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”  Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’  So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Heavenly riches

  • Lay up heavenly riches. 

Matthew 6:19-20 – Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Matthew 19:21 – Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

  • Heavenly riches are incorruptible.

1 Peter 1:3-5 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

  • Heavenly riches are secure. 

Col. 1:3-5 – We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,

Two Hearts – A Caution

A good heart

  • Focuses and sees the truth.

Matthew 5:8 – Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

John 8:12 – Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.

1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 1:18

  • Focuses on heaven. 

Philippians 3:20-21 – For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Colossians 3:1-2 – If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

A bad heart

  • Cannot focus nor see the truth. 

John 1:5 – And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 3:19 – And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 4:18

  • Focuses on earth. 

Romans 8: 5 – For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

Philippians 3:18-19 – For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

1 John 2:15-16 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world

Two Masters – a Decision

  • Hates or Loves
  • Cleaves or despises

Two Choices

  • Serve God or not serve God
  • Be saved or be lost\
  • Heaven or hell