Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Give Me Your Heart Luke 13:1-13 3/07/10
Meditation: Luke 13:1-13
The context of today's meditation is understood in light of what is written in chapter 12 of Luke's Gospel. Here is what Jesus has taught in chapter 12. Let us first look at what He taught in that chapter.

12:1-3 Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. "Being and doing things in secret will eventually come out in the open."

12:4-7 True fearlessness. "Do not fear man who is able only to kill the body, but fear God who is able to kill the soul and to cast it into hell. He will take care of us in the most extreme difficult situations, for if He takes care of the sparrows, how much more will he take care of us.

12:8-12 Confessing Christ: "When opportunities to confess the name of Christ are given to us, we should take advantage of them. We should not fear when we are brought for into the public arena or before men, for the Holy Ghost will give us the words to speak at that time.

12:13-21: "Warning against covetousness, excessive hoarding of riches" Because the rich man hoarded his riches instead of being a good steward over them, they became a liability.

12:22-59 Of Christ's imminient coming and of our preparation for his return.

Our text begins with these words.

KJV Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
There was an understanding that there was a direct connection between the greatness of a transgression and the severity of the punishment. There is the implication that a sudden death in the midst of so sacred doing must be a special proof of the wrath of God upon those who were killed. Jesus says, not so. but all need to repent or perish.


4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Again it is brought forth that because the tower fell on them in Siloam, they were worse sinners than the others in Jerusalem, and therefore the wrath of God was upon them. Again, Jesus says, not so, but all need to repent or perish.

Tsunami in India, Hurricane in Louisiana, The falling of the Twin Towers, The Earthquake in Haiti, can be compared to these events which are described here in our text. Three of these disasters could be called acts of God while one would be an act of man. In our text one was the act of Pilate, while the other was "an act of God."

It is interesting that when disasters such as these, occur, that they are referred to as acts of God. And even though the unbelieving heart resists reminders of God, when disasters strike, unbelief asks: "Where is God in all this?" When these calamities occur, God is blamed, but when there is good weather for bumper crops, who gets the credit?

In general, those who do not believe say that since there is evil there is no God.

1. There is evil in the world
2. If God was real, He would do something about it.
3. Nothing has been done.
4. There is no God.

Those who believe: God is present and there is evil in the world.

1. There is evil in the world.
2. There is evil, so there must be good, God is that goodness.
3. If there is good and evil, there must be a moral law by which good and evil are judged.
4. If there is a moral law, there must be a Law Giver.
5. God is the Law Giver.

God allows death but has the power to restore life. Man has the ability to take a life, but he does not have the power/ability to restore life. Why is it that God is called immoral for the deaths in a plane crash, but the law guarantees a woman the right to choose to kill her baby in the womb, saying that that is her moral right?

ESV Deuteronomy 32:39 "'See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

Jesus, beginning already in chapter 12 is speaking to the people of that day of the necessity of being ready for the return of the Lord, and after the people attach the severity of God's wrath to the greatness of the sin, He uses the situation to teach that this is not so, but tells them of the necessity of their personal repentance.

The teachings were for those present and had a historical implication for the people of that day, but these teachings also have teaching and counsel for us today

The last two articles have focused on what God has done in Christ. Two Sundays ago (John 12:20-41)the message focused on the answer to the Greeks/Gentiles request to "see Jesus." In response to that question, Jesus spoke of His death and how through His death many would be made alive. He also spoke of how the prince of this world (Satan) was judged at the cross, with He Himself, the innocent one, taking the judgment/punishment for the sins of the whole world.

Last Sunday the message (Luke 13:31-35) focused on a different aspect of our salvation, with the emphasis being placed on the love/committment that motivated His coming to earth, His anquish at the rejection of this gift of love and of the warning to those who reject Him as their Saviour.

Today we are going to look at the things of salvation, not from God's eyes or from the heart of Jesus, but we will look at it from our place of response or we could say, responsibility. What will be our response to that which He has done for us in His Son? For that is our worship, our response to what God has done for us. Will we receive and respond to His saving acts of love for us and worship Him?

We understand that which God has done for us from the writings of Apostle Paul:

2 Cor 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

We note that there are two reconciliations in these verses, God reconciling (or reconnecting) us to Himself through the cross, in so doing, taking our sins away from us and laying them on His Son; Then in verse 20 it is written: "Be ye reconciled to God." There is a taking away of sin as well as a giving of righteouness unto us. God has taken away our sin by acting on our behalf, and has given us the gift of righteousness which we have received by faith.

Romans 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Point 1. God does not punish "greater" sins with greater punishment.

KJV Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. (They were in the temple making their sacrifices and were killed by Pilate in that place)
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

To those who spoke to Jesus about the deaths of the Galileans and of those in Jerusalem, they were considered greater sinners than others and they got what they had coming. But Jesus asked the question Himself in order to challenge their thinking, (In doing so, did He allow time for them to think through the answer?) which He then answered with a simple, but emphatic, “no.” Then He immediately changed the focus from the judgment of others to the judgment of themselves. The tragedy which befell those Galileans should not be viewed as an opportunity to judge those who died at the hand of Pilate to be greater sinners than others, instead, it should be perceived as a warning to all sinners, namely themselves, of a judgment which awaits them if they do not repent.

Point 2. Every person must come to a place of repentance to be saved for heaven.

3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.


What is repentance? What does it mean?

Old Testament
Meaning: 1) to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted

New Testament
Meaning: 1) a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done

John the Baptist preached repentance
KJV Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Jesus preached repentance
KJV Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
KJV Matthew 9:12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
KJV Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus left us the commission to preach repentance
KJV Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Paul preached repentance
ESV Acts 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.
KJV Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Point 3. God is long suffering toward us as sinners in his calling of us to repentance and faith, but there is a day of reckoning coming.

Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

The point is that the absence of judgment here and now cannot be construed as a sign of one’s righteousness. Rather, if judgment does not strike immediately, it is a sign of God’s mercy, not his approval

KJV 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Perspective of the people in verse one:
God hastened the death of those who died, in judgment of their (greater than normal) sins.

God's Perspective:
The parable of the farmer and the fruitless fig tree speaks rather of the patience and longsuffering of God with respect to the stubborn rebellion and sin of Israel. The visitation left the Jewish nation and went to the Gentiles, to the whole world.

This extended time, this delay in judgment, was for the purpose of allowing God’s people further opportunity to repent. In our humanness, we may use grace as opportunity to not be watchful, and to live in non repentance, but that is not what God's perspective is. We may think that God is not coming soon. that there is a lot of time for ourselves to repent and to believe the gospel. Jesus addressed that type of thinking in the previous chapter, when He said, Luke 12:45 But if that servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, (That servant lived with an unrepentant heart)

Today the Lord asks us for our heart...He calls upon us to repent, to change our mind. Is there change needed in our heart today?

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Father above—
No gift so precious to Him as our love;
Softly He whispers wherever thou art,
“Gratefully trust Me and give Me thy heart.”

Refrain:
“Give Me thy heart, give me thy heart”—
Hear the soft whisper, wherever thou art;
From this dark world He would draw thee apart,
Speaking so tenderly, “Give Me thy heart.”

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Savior of men,
Calling in mercy again and again;
“Trust in Me only, I’ll never depart—
Have I not died for thee? Give Me thy heart.”

Refrain:
“Give Me thy heart, give me thy heart”—
Hear the soft whisper, wherever thou art;
From this dark world He would draw thee apart,
Speaking so tenderly, “Give Me thy heart.”

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Spirit divine;
“All that thou hast to My keeping resign;
Grace more abounding is Mine to impart—
Make full surrender and give Me thy heart.”

Refrain:
“Give Me thy heart, give me thy heart”—
Hear the soft whisper, wherever thou art;
From this dark world He would draw thee apart,
Speaking so tenderly, “Give Me thy heart.”


May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 07 Mar 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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