Saturday, July 2, 2016

Proper 9

Proper 9
3 July 2016
Luke 10:1–20
Luke 10: 16
Get a move on!

Our Lord desires all people to be saved. And come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4). But how are people to believe in Jesus Christ? If they have not heard of Him? If they have not had the Gospel proclaimed to them? (Romans 10:14) Jesus sent out 72 men to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus. Likewise, the Church’s witness is met by different responses.

Some people are eager to hear of the forgiveness of sins performed by Christ’s death on the cross. Others reject it. Some refuse the forgiveness Christ offers. But what a glorious day it shall be for those who are in Christ. Who gratefully receive His gift of salvation.

Almighty God, You have built Your Church on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. Continue to send Your messengers to preserve Your people in true peace that, by the preaching of Your Word, Your Church may be kept free from all harm and danger; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." - Luke 10:16

Who are you? As a follower of Jesus Christ. You are His ambassadors – a representative of the Savior. Who speaks and acts in the place of Christ. You are Christ’s surrogates! Some may ask, “So, what’s the hurry?” There must be concern. For there are people missing from the Father’s table. Yet, there are some who have become indifferent showing little concern for those outside. “There is a church on almost every corner! I can see three steeples from my back yard! If they want to go to church – pick one!” Or, some think one religion is as good as the next. We might see our neighbors live as good a life as most church members. This is not the feeling of Jesus about winning people for the Kingdom.

Throughout our text – Jesus emphasizes the urgency of going out and witnessing through visitation. Yes, visitation, which is essential today. Because people will not come to the church. The church must therefore meet people where they are. Today we examine the urgency of winning people for Christ.

1. The condition of this world – v.3 “Lambs in the midst of wolves.”
A. This is how the Savior viewed the people of His day. The Savior saw people who were lost. Without purpose. Lonely. And fearful.

B. Does this not describe the people of our day? This weekend we celebrate America’s independence. We live in the most affluent countries of the world. And yet. This affluence has not helped to cure the hurt of so many. Globalization might be good for countries. It might be good for corporations. But not always for the persons within those countries and corporations. Why have so many lost their way? They are Lambs in the midst of wolves. And, most especially, they are missing from the Father’s table.

2. The time is ripe – v.2 “the harvest is plentiful.”

A. Another wheat harvest is upon us. When I put the initial notes together for this discussion spring had was just beginning to break. Fields were beginning to green up. How will the growing season go? Soon we shall know. So far so good. Zucchini, beans, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes - are all starting to flower and flourish in the garden.  Garlic and Swiss chard is in abundance.  

B. But in a far more significant way. There is a harvest of souls waiting. Peter was called to be a fisher of men. In your life, in your interaction with family, co-workers, neighbors and friends the Savior gives you opportunity to be a witness for Him. Who will go to them? If not you – who?

3. Avoid delays – v.3 “salute no one on the road.”

A. There was a singleness of purpose in the Savior’s words. There should be no delays. No interruptions. No distractions. There was a harvest ready. It was time to go now! It was time to move.

B. Now is the day of salvation. Now is the time to make use of every opportunity the Lord gives us to share His message of salvation. We go now. Because there might be another opportunity. There might not be a tomorrow. Avoid delays. Avoid distractions. With a singleness of purpose. Share the good news. Gossip the gospel.

4. The imminence of the Kingdom – v.9 “The Kingdom of God has come to you.

A. Although they did not know it. For they could not recognize Him. The Lord of life was in their midst. God had come to visit His people. The people need to hear the message of salvation.

B. Today the Savior calls us to share this same message, “The Kingdom of God has come to you.” Make use of every opportunity the Lord gives you to share His story with all you meet.

These words. Spoken by men. Seem so ordinary. So common. But if that word has its basis in God’s written Word, Holy Scripture, it is God’s effective way of bringing His kingdom near. God continues to bring his kingdom near through people and the words they speak. May the Lord use you as you speak His Word to your neighbors, family and friends.

Words – 947
Passive Sentences – 2%
Reading ease –81.1%
Reading level -4.0

[1] Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use

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