8 Apr 2012
April 8, 2012
Feasting With The Living King
Luke 5: 33 - 39
The religious leaders complained that Jesus' disciples were feasting instead of fasting. "John the Baptist's disciples always fast and pray," they declared, "and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. Why are yours always feasting?"
Jesus asked, "Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Someday he will be taken away from them, and then they will fast."
Then Jesus gave them this illustration: "No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and uses it to patch an old garment. For then the new garment would be torn, and the patch wouldn't even match the old garment. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. The new wine would burst the old skins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be put into new wineskins. But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the fresh and the new. 'The old is better,' they say."
You might think that todays message has nothing to do about Easter......Happy Easter by the way. But in reality, it has everything to do with it. Bear with me.
The first paragraph can be compared to the difference between those churches who practice worship vs praise. They all know Jesus. Some choose to worship him with quiet prayer....spending time on their knees honoring him with devotional love in worshipful silent prayer or gentle songs. Others choose to 'twist and shout' with hands held high in praise filled prayers and songs showing devotional love. Some may even lie prostrate with arms outstretched in a form of praying that shows full vulnerability and absolute devotion. All are acceptable forms of prayer and are scriptural. Those who quietly approach the altar of the Most High were likely to fast....both were traditional in the Jewish form of worship. Those who approach the altar of the Most High in praise filled song now traditionally feast. But they, also, understand the important moments in life where fasting is required to be an empty vessel by which God can fully enter and nothing is in the way of prayer being heard. Today, as you enter into or learn about various church traditions you will find differences and similarities.
In paragraph two, Jesus enlightened the religious leaders about the difference between the old form of worship and the new form....a new life with him. He asks "Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Someday he will be taken away from them and then they will fast." He addresses the fact that we should bind ourselves to him in celebration of love and life with him for eternity. And he points to the time when he would be taken away from the disciples in death, and for those who walk away from him or whom he chooses to cast away, as a time to fast in mourning of having lost a loved one.
But we don't have to fast in mourning of having lost him, if we have accepted him as Lord and Savior! And we can rest assured he is the King because of what we celebrate today....his resurrection from death to eternal life!
Today isn't just about an empty tomb. Today is also about the fact that Jesus left earth [died], survived hell [was buried], returned to earth as spirit, transfigured by his visit to hell [rise again], showed the disciples his crucifiction scars, and then ate with them. "Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day." Luke 24:46. Today is about the resurrection from death to life for Jesus Christ. Will it be about you, too? Will you choose to feast with the Living King? This is how you do it....choose Jesus as your Lord and Savior...Messiah. Celebrate with the new believers.
Let's look at Jesus' illustration, "No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and uses it to patch an old garment. For then the new garment would be torn, and the new patch wouldn't even match the old garment." This means you can't take only part of him, and you can't keep living and doing things the way you have. You can't SAY you have Jesus and not truly receive him into your heart and your life. Your outside would not match your inside and visa versa. Further reading tells us Jesus said, "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. The new wine would burst the old skins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be put into new wineskins." Here is that clarified: You must be made anew - be cleansed - like at birth, baptised, to receive Jesus.....only then will you be truly new in Christ. Born again. The old wineskins alludes to the Jewish people who hear the Word, but won't receive the Word. If they did accept the Word, they would burst anew with joy, the Word would be revealed through them (the joy couldn't be contained), and their integrity as Jewish leaders would be ruined. To accept Jesus, they must be cleansed, washed anew, baptised and receive Jesus. They must declare their newfound belief, to be a leader in the Christian 'movement', have a new life, and live in the new life.
In verse 39, he clarifies. potentially mocks, the Jewish way when he says, "But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the fresh and the new. 'The old is better,' they say." Here he is merely stating his observation that typically, and now we know historically, that the Jews are not ready to receive him as the Messiah, the King of the Jews, oddly enough.
But you can receive him! You can make today count in your life....and his. Do not let his life and death have been in vain. Today can be a celebration of a new life for you. You can celebrate his life and resurrection with all others who know him as Messiah, King....of the Jews and the Gentiles, Christians, for those who receive him. If you have not chosen Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I pray you will do so today, right now. If you have, I pray you will be renewed, recleansed...made new again. That you will arise from any ashes you have made of your life to a new life, a renewed life with him. I pray you will feast daily with the LIVING King as you worship and love him holding him near and dear. Jesus Christ IS risen today! Will you arise to be with him? Arise in your heart with him now to insure you will arise with him one day.
May you all have a Happy and Blessed Easter!
Let Us Pray
God, thank you for giving me your son, Jesus. And Jesus, thank you for living and dying for me. Some days I feel so unworthy, as I struggle to survive this thing called life. Other days I am enraptured with your love....it is the days I keep my focus on you and what you have done for me in living and dying. Thank you, God, that you received Jesus into heaven...your resurrected son. In doing so, I was assured of forgiveness of sin and offered the opportunity to receive eternal life if I but believe....and prove to you that I do love you, with my thanksgiving, as I show you my gratitude. I know it is not enough to just say I know you, that I accepted you. I have to live my life in such a way as to prove it to you, and in doing so, show others by how I live that I have you in my heart, so they can get to know you, too, and accept you into their lives. And that's what it is supposed to be all about....that we become one family in your name. But today it is about remembering what you, Jesus, did for me and others. And thanking you....celebrating you and your love for me....and mine for you....in my heart. I can also do this in how I love others and help them along the way of life which leads to you. Help me, Lord, to be who and what I need to be for you and others. Let my life be an honor to you and bring glory to you. Thank you for loving me so much as to die and live again for me....and those I love.....even those I don't love, but you do. May the world become as eternally grateful as I am right now. For those who haven't followed you, and have fought you, and don't know you as I do, please forgive them. Please find a place in your eternal home for them, so they can get to know you. And in knowing you, receive you in love. Thank you. I love you. You are risen indeed.....Alleluia! Amen.
Lord,LordJesJeJeJJjEJJJ JJThe LORD is king! Let the nations tremble! T***
Let us hear from Paul as he prays:
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT
Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'.
Definition of a Christian: Anyone who believes in God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. Regardless of church name or religious affiliation.
It is not how we worship, but that we worship....the Trinity!
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Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this:
I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Our Current Cause
It is time to reach into the community and the world around you to see wherein lies the greatest need. As you choose to focus on these areas, do so with a servant's heart. Whether the need is for children, adults, or animals, or any cause in between that will help those in need, ask God how you can best serve his needs, what path you must take, and how long you should persevere. Sometimes we are to be in the lives of others merely as stepping stones. Sometimes we are to touch those lives forever. Whatever journey you are called to take, whatever team you will be a member, know this: God is with you always...even til the end of time. He loves you, is grateful for you, and will help you along life's way, especially if you are helping others along theirs, persevering with a servant's heart.
Please accept my sincerest thanks....and God's....and may God richly bless you!
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One last thing....
Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving
'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'
"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."
Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11: 25-30
And the people said,
I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God. Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
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