Gospel Truth

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath: Luke 13:10-17

10 One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11 He saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” 13 Then He touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God!

14 But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week for working,” he said to the crowd. “Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.”

15 But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? 16 This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?”

17 This shamed His enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things He did.


Again, we have a story in Luke’s gospel that is not in the other three and it is a wonderful story about a woman who could not look up. This story is filled with refreshing, wonderful truths that inspire and motivate.


  1. Jesus saw her…

    10 One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11 He saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight.

     Sometimes we feel conspicuous and at other times we feel invisible and alone. Regardless to how we feel, Jesus sees us. He not only sees us, He sees our pain, our disappointment, even our shame and failure. This woman was sitting in a congregation much like you tonight and yet amidst this crowd of people, Jesus saw her. When Israel was in bondage in Egypt…God saw their affliction. When Hagar ran away from Sarah, the Angel of the Lord found her in the wilderness and she said, I will call God El Roi, the God who sees. He is a God who sees and He sees your pain today. Whatever you are feeling, He sees it!

  2. Jesus called her…

    12 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!”

    Jesus not only saw her, saw her pain, distress and suffering but HE CALLED HER. It is very important for Jesus to call. There is a group that teaches limited atonement. They say that Jesus died only for the elect, the chosen few. He does not call everyone and He may not call you. Well the scripture makes it clear that He called all the Israelites but some did not hear because they were not listening. Francis Crosby wrote on poem based on Hebrews 4:7…

    1. Jesus is calling the weary to rest—
      and He is calling today,
      Bring Him your burden and you shall be blest;
      He will not turn you away.
    2. Jesus is waiting, oh, come to Him now—
      Waiting today, waiting today,
      Come with your sins, at His feet lowly bow;
      Come, and no longer delay.
    3. Jesus is pleading, oh, listen to His voice:
      Hear Him today, hear Him today,
      They who believe on His name shall rejoice;
      Quickly arise and away. {I guarantee you the reforms don’t sing this hymn, actually, there are that many that they can sing}

  3. Jesus touched her….

    13 Then Jesus touched her and instantly she could stand straight.

It is one thing to see a person is need but to touch them is something else. Our willingness to touch those who are hurting is an indication that we are not afraid to get involved, touching is a show of affection. You don’t touch people who you despise, do you? You don’t, you avoid them as if they had the plague. As a matter of fact, some folks in our society are known as untouchables. They had them is Jesus day. The lepors were untouchable, yet Jesus touched them. He is not afraid of your infirmity. That is great news! Wonderful news!


13 Then He touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God!

This message is filled with Gospel Truth. Sin had messed this woman up, big time. Luke said she was “crippled by an evil spirit.” It is just a way of saying, SIN HAD MESSED HER UP. Sin twisted her, broke her down and that is what sin has done to me. This woman and I have a lot in common. Sin has messed me up. It has mangled and twisted me. I battle the sin that is rooted in my flesh every day and it is a battle that I am weary of fighting. Inside me there is a greedy little fellow and a lustful one at that: my twisted fleshly nature is constantly trying to pull me down but Jesus is fixing me. When He comes, He is going to touch me and straighten me out. I know there are those who pretend to be straight now: the pretend to be fixed but I’m not fixed. Jesus is in the process but He has not completed the project but this story gives me hope. There are many things about myself that I don’t like and there are things that you don’t like. The truth is: I can’t fix myself and you can’t fix me either. Ask my wife how much progress she is making in straightening me out.

I ran into one of these wise guys the other day who ask me, “Have you got those folks at Danville straightened out.” I remember his question because it has been asked before but I don’t remember my answer. What I normally say is “No, I don’t have them straightened out but I can’t straighten myself out.” There are a lot of things I can’t do.

  • I can’t forgive sins, can you?
  • I can’t heal the sick or raise the dead, can you?
  • I can’t make it rain, can you?

Neither can I straighten myself out but Jesus can and that is GOOD NEWS!


15 But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? 16 This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?”

There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving animals and generally speaking, people who mistreat animals have a problem. The Jews who Jesus was addressing were not animal lover in the sense that you are; they were money lovers and they took care of their animals because it would be a huge lost financially for one of them to die. Jesus was simply pointing out that they showed more compassion on animals than they did people.

This is what is so sad about the story, the synagogue leader and the Jewish Religious Leaders as a whole had no compassion on people. They were cold and insensitive when it came to hurting people. They cared much more about Sabbath Observance than they did people. They were not happy for this dear woman. They were angry that Jesus did this miracle on the Sabbath and they directed their anger at the crowd who was rejoicing.

Basically the leader of the Synagogue said, “Go on home. Get out of here, this is not a hospital. You have six other days in which to get healed. Go to Dr. Jesus on one of those other days but don’t come here on the Sabbath and turn this into a healing service.

Can you believe that any human could be so insensitive? I can, I have seen it up close and personal. Some people care more about their assets {livestock in this story} than they do lost or hurting people. They care more about their reputation and pride than they do lost or hurting people. I’ve seen grown men d0 hurtful and harmful things to the fellowship of a church simply because their pride was offended or reputation was damaged.


Jesus not only called them hypocrites, He shamed them by making it obvious to the people that they loved things more than people. Jesus illustration of the animals was vivid and clear and everyone understood what He was saying…

17 This shamed His enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things He did.

There were two responses to Jesus miracle and words:

  1. His enemies got angry [later convicted and ashamed]
  2. The people rejoiced at the wonderful things He did.

This is prophetic: these are the same two responses we will see in judgment. Those that have not believed are going to be convicted and ashamed. Those who have put their trust in Christ are going to be rejoicing, not because of what they have done but what Jesus has done for them.


Ambassadors For Christ

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:20

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.


An ambassador is an envoy, emissary, or representative commissioned to diplomatic service. Ambassadors are persons sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country. It could be a person representing a firm, industry or organization. The United States has hundred’s of ambassadors–one to each country where we have diplomatic ties, several to the UN and then many more to organizations such as NATO.
You and I, as believers in Jesus Christ, have been called to be His royal ambassadors. We represent HIM in this world.
Rome had their provinces divided into two groups: [1] Senatorial–Submissive Subjects and [2] Imperial–rebellious subjects. Obviously, Judea was an imperial providence. This world is an imperial providence. Our rebellion is not against Rome but God.
What are the aspects of a good ambassador?


“We are Christ’s ambassadors.” 

Ambassadors are seldom greater than the one they represent. A good ambassador forgets himself. He has no agenda. In every way, he/she is a reflection of their boss, king, president, etc. This is an awesome responsibility. Before leaving for New Orleans and Seminary, I put a bumper sticker on my car that read…”Honk, if you love Jesus.” It was one of the dumbest things I’ve done because I forgot that it was there. One day while driving in heavy traffic on I-59 in New Orleans, a hippie van with flowers painted on the side, the whole nine yards, passed me in the left lane, he was blowing his horn like a fool and I was upset. My wife calmly said, “It’s your bumper sticker. He is honking because he loves Jesus.” I probably said, “Then why don’t he get his hair cut?” I was thoroughly embarrassed, I had made a fool of myself but because of the bumper sticker, Jesus got bad publicity. When I got back to the apartment, I took the bumper sticker off; not because I was ashamed of Jesus but because I was ashamed of how I had represented Him.

I would be thrilled if I could tell you that this has never happened again but that would be a lie. Time and time again, I have misrepresented Jesus with poor to sorry behavior. We are a reflection on our LORD, good or bad. Some people keep their faith private so that they cannot commit the sin I committed but how can we represent HIM if we never mention HIS name or fail to tell people who we are and we ARE ambassadors of Christ. Denying Him is not a solution. We just have to remember always, that we represent HIM.


Remembering is important but understanding is also important. Bearing His name puts pressure on us but understanding the ministry of reconciliation takes a lot of pressure off. I did not have this understanding in the early days but now I am comforted by the fact that RECONCILIATION is God’s idea, not mine. Christ has done the work, not me. This is a ministry that God has given to me in terms of an assignment but technically, it is HIS ministry and HIS message. No preacher of the gospel is perfect. From time to time we will misstate things. Our knowledge is not complete and our theology is not perfect but we preach the word of God, not our word. It is always a battle to separate our personal opinions from the word of God but we have to understand that He will bless His word, not ours.

As I shared a couple of weeks ago: this fact is a great confidence builder. This is God’s work–Christ secured our forgiveness–He did the work of atonement, we had nothing to do with it. This is His ministry, not ours. He thought of this, not us. I speak what He tells me to speak. I don’t have a message. I can’t imagine the pressure I would feel if I had to conjure up a message. When I go into homes or hospitals, I understand that I am only His representative, or clay servant. I’m not God, I have never had any illusions about being God. I have no power. I cannot heal. I go merely as His representative. I am a reminder that He cares and that He is present in the crisis. I did not understand this in the early days and was easily intimidated by difficult visits. I’m not great in difficult situations now but it helps to know that I represent HIM, I am an Ambassador, a servant sent–not a clone of the One who sent me. You would be surprised at how much this understanding changed my life.


Being a younger sibling in a family of 7, I was called upon many times to deliver messages. When mother or daddy sent me to the field to give my older brothers a message, I never said, “Get to the house guys, right now.” They would have beaten me on the spot. I had no authority over them. I always said, “Mother said or Daddy said, “Get to the house now.” A messenger doesn’t have to have authority, he just needs to get the message right. The authority comes from the one who sent the message.

I do what I do because God called me to do it. He commissioned me to work in the ministry of reconciliation. When my brothers ignored my message from Mother and Daddy, I didn’t take it personally. My job was to deliver the message and get it right. They could do as they pleased. It would be skin off of their back, not mine. Woe unto me if I failed to deliver the message but once the message was delivered, I was free. Whether they obeyed or not, made no difference to me so long as I had done my job which was to get the message to them. I am not advocating that we be indifferent about the response to the message but it is not our responsibility to determine results, only to deliver the message. Many a preacher has becomes discouraged by the lack of response. 

If we are faithful to deliver HIS MESSAGE, their response is not personal. If they are in rebellion against God, they are going to rebel against you because you represent Him. Since they can’t get to HIM, they will take their anger out of you.


To be honest with you; it is a mystery to me that God would entrust the ministry of reconciliation to us in the first place. It’s not like we are reliable. It is an awesome privilege to be a communicator of the gospel. This did not dawn on me until I was in the latter stages of my career. I wish I had understood this truth when I was a young man but I did not. At one time, I thought I was doing God a service by preaching and serving as a pastor but it was He doing me a service and I had so little sense that I didn’t realize the favor.

It is a blessed task but it is also an humble one. My constant failure and short comings remind me of my dependence upon Christ. I used to get up and hit the floor running but age has slowed me down and it was a good thing. Now I focus on being where God wants me when He wants me. I usually do some planning before I go to bed but then I pray again before leaving the house or office. There is a huge blessing in being at the right place at the right time. If God puts a person on my mind, I take that as a clue. He laid a woman on my heart a few days ago and so I changed my plans. I had been visiting her on Saturday and this was on a Tuesday but I didn’t question what I felt was the Holy Spirit guiding and I went that evening. Just a few minutes after we left, the sweet woman took her flight. I was absolutely amazed. If I had waited until Saturday, it would have been to late.

It is an humbling task to represent Jesus. How does a flawed crack pot like me represent the Son of God? Humbly, very humbly. Jesus was gentle, meek and mild. He never used force. He never manipulated anyone. I’m there to share HIS love and HIS message and I need to use HIS method. Anything I do out of character to who He is will be sin.

Jesus condescended to our low estate but He was not condescending. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without shepherd. [Matthew 9:36] My goal is to see others the way Jesus sees me.

Courage For The Conflict

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

Therefore, since God in His mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.


In this passage, Paul shares with us some things that “We don’t do,” as Christian ministers.


AV, “We don’t faint.” NASB, “We don’t lose heart.” GNT, “We don’t become discouraged.” Phillips, “We let nothing daunt us.” Daunt means, we don’t let anything intimidate us so that we are ruled by fear.

I love the Good News Translation of verse 1…God in his mercy has given us this work to do, and so we do not become discouraged. All of the above translations are excellent. When we lose our courage, we tend to faint, become discouraged, drop out of the ranks or even hide in the brush because we are intimidated by the foe.

Paul gives us some reason why we do not become discouraged and give up.

  1. God gave us this ministry-Ministry is a gift, a precious gift, a wonderful gift.
  2. God gave us this ministry because He is merciful–we do not deserve to be His ministers.
  3. God gave us a better ministry than those of the Old Covenant. I have a better ministry than Moses. Moses proclaimed the LAW, I proclaim Jesus and GRACE. 

Don’t pass this off as if it is not directed toward you. I’m not talking to myself alone. Every true believer has a ministry. If you do not know what your ministry is, you need to find out. If you don’t have a clue, begin visiting the Nursing Homes once a week and wait for God to speak. I got a beautiful card today from a woman who lives on the other side of the county. Eleven years ago, I ministered to her daughter who was dying of cancer. My last visit with this young lady was an experience that I cherish. I felt a strange compulsion to walk her across the finish line, I had never done this before. I thought that she and I were alone but her mom and aunt we listening outside the door. I held her hand and exhorted her to finish the race and moments after I left, she took her flight to glory.

It was a special moment. I have never had another experience to compare with this precious memory. Her mom and aunt will never forget that day and one or the other sends me an encouragement card two to three times a year. These two precious sisters: Mary and Dana have the gift of encouragement and they use it for the glory of God.

You have a ministry  [a spiritual gift] and it is your fault if you don’t know what it is. If you don’t have a clue, follow your passion until God speaks clearly. The only reason I can be in Ministry is the mercy and grace of God. He gave me this ministry and I dare not quit.


Look at verse two...We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this. The false teachers were famous for twisting the truth, distorting the truth. They used all forms of subtly and flattery. They were masters of the “Hidden Agenda.”

There is no veil in the New Covenant…nothing hidden in the dark, nothing disguised, but all is simple, plain, open and transparent. Paul said:

  1. We tell the truth and renounce secret and shameful ways. We keep things simple and lay them on the table. No hidden tricks up our sleeves. I talked to a man last Sunday evening about accepting Christ as his savior but I told him the truth…Jesus will save you but you have to be willing to repent of your sins and accept HIM as the LORD [sole authority] of your life.
  2. We don’t distort the word {RSV says “Tamper”}. Literally the Greek word means to adulterate which means to mix lies with the truth.
  3. We don’t try to deceive by masking, veiling the truth. Paul made it clear, that hiding the truth is the method of the god of this world…alias “Prince of the air”“Ruler of the Cosmos.” The devil is a clever con artist. His purpose is to hide the truth or to blind you so you can’t see it. People are hearing about Jesus but they are not seeing His deity, His glory and this is the work of Satan. He wants to blind us so that we do not see the truth about Jesus.


You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

F.F. Bruce says, “The true herald does not draw attention to himself or devise his own proclamation.” Warren Weirsbe says, “It would have been easy for Paul to have built a fan club because weak people thrive on associating themselves with great men.” Tasker says, “First and foremost, the minister is a servant of Jesus Christ and it is the love and loyalty for His Master that compels him to serve others.”

John the Baptist said,  You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

People don’t need to see us, they need to see the light in us.

All my professors in college were moderate to liberal and they questioned every miracle and cast doubt on the atonement. When I got to Seminary, I discovered the same liberal, unbelieving element. One N.T. professor was subtle in doing so, but he was teaching “Identification” instead of “Substitution.” We strive to be like Jesus instead of Jesus resurrecting Himself in us through regeneration and sanctification. The same professor did not believe in hell. I do admit, that no one was more liberal than this man but many doctrines were questioned during my 7 years of higher education. I made up my mind during those days that I would preach the bible and not worry about the things I could not understand or resolve. 

Isaiah 55:10-11 became my watch word: “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth.” They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to,and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

I have been faithful to preach God’s word for 47 years and my goal is to always exalt Jesus and the older I get, the more I understand the truth of this passage, Jesus must be preached. The Gospel must be shared. God has promised to bless it and He will. 

Jesus Visits His Home Town

SCRIPTURE: Luke 4:14-30, NLT

14 Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. 15 He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16 When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. 17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19     and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 21 Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”

22 Everyone spoke well of him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

23 Then he said, “You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’—meaning, ‘Do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum.’ 24 But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.

25 “Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.”

28 When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. 29 Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, 30 but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.


On His way North, Jesus stops at His hometown. It was His habit and custom to attend synagogue on the Sabbath and so Jesus goes to church with the folks He grew up with and they invite him to preach. At first they are amazed and enamored with His wisdom and His gracious words but before He is through speaking, their admiration had turned to indignation. They are so angry that they turn into a mob and they attempt to kill Jesus. Of course, it was not His time to die and their efforts were in vain.

As I studied this very interesting story, the Holy Spirit reveals some things to me that I had not understood before.


As I was reading in the Psalms yesterday morning, I came across affirmation in Psalm 149…For the Lord delights in his people; He crowns the humble with victory.  Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them. Wow! The LORD delights in the humble and He honors the faithful. Check the record: Jesus responded to ‘Humility’ and ‘Faith,’ not pride and unbelief. The people of Nazareth believed that Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary but they did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. I John 4:15 reads, All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them and they live in God. I John 5:10 reads, All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about His Son. The first step of faith is to believe that Jesus is who He said He was, the Son of God. Remember, I said this was the first step, not the only step: the devils believed that Jesus was the Son of God and declared it openly but they never repented. Two things devils can’t do: [1] Submit to Jesus as LORD [2] Worship Him.


Satan tempted Him to do miracles. The Pharisees demanded He do miracles to prove His identity. Herod taunted Him to do miracles for his entertainment and Jesus responded to none of the above. Jesus Christ is LORD. He is not at your command or mine. We can ask in faith but we can never command our LORD. It was Jesus divine nature that energized the miracles: He could do them because He was God. Human faith is not the power of the miracle, faith empowers the prayer, the request but it is Jesus who does the miracle. Jesus does delight in our faith. He responds to faith and the folks of Nazareth had no faith. They were full of unbelief and so Jesus did not do miracles: not because He could not but because He would not. Jesus had the power; the Nazarenes did not have the right attitude.


Jesus said….“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News [gospel] to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Then Jesus said, “This passage is being revealed before your very eyes.” In other words, I AM the Messiah. I am He who will release the captives and set the oppressed free. The Nazarenes, like most Jews were thinking about their debts and their servitude to Rome. They were thinking here and now. Jesus was thinking about greater oppressors like sin and death. Jesus knew that had an enemy that was more detrimental to their future than Rome.

But the spark that set them off was the mention of God favoring gentiles. Elijah went to a widow in Sidon. Jews despised Sidonians almost as much as they did Samaritans. Then to ice the cake, Jesus mentions Elisha healing Naamam a Syrian. The Syrians were Israel’s hated enemies.


Jesus had authority over His life. It was not His day to die. He knew exactly when He would die and where and it was not this day and not in Nazareth. They had every intention of killing Jesus but He had no intention of letting them. He let them have their moment of glory and then he walked right through the mob and no one tried to stop Him. How did he do it? He was God. He had authority in His voice and in His eyes. Remember John’s account of Jesus arrest when Jesus spoke and the entire arresting mob fell to the ground.

Jesus prayed, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.” Christ’s kingdom is coming and there is nothing that this unbelieving Christ hating world can do about it. He is allowing them their moment of glory and they think that have Him at the brink of disaster but they are wrong: He is in absolute control, He always has been and always will be.

My father was living here on earth when Bill “Slick Willy” Clinton was elected president. I took a Nazareth vow before the election and made a commitment not to shave as long as this heathen was in office. I never dreamed that in a few years we would elect someone worse. Clinton may be the most overtly immoral president we had but he is not the worse. Obama and Jimmy Carter are at the bottom. Daddy was in the hospital and I went to see him on a Thursday night. He had a roommate who was black and his pastor was there visiting him. I walk in with my full beard and Daddy feels this need to explain to them why I had the beard. He said, “This is my son, he is a preacher also and he will not shave as long as Clinton is in office. I am giving Daddy the ‘Hush’ sign but he keeps talking. I know that black people are block voters and I was sure that these nice black people had voted for Clinton but Daddy would not hush. The black pastor rises to his feet and I think, this is it; I’m going to die before Daddy and because of his big mouth. So help me, this black pastor is 6’8’’ if he is an inch. He stood a full head over my shoulders and he walked straight at me. My heart began to race and my knees began to knock. He reached out with a massive arm and put me in a headlock. Then he looked me in the eye, “He said, brother, you are not to worry about Bill Clinton, he aint in charge. Jesus my LORD is running things. Bill Clinton is nothing to worry about.” I said, “You are right. This is a truth I knew but somehow I needed it reaffirmed and I am sure that God sent me here tonight so you could remind me of something I already knew but have not been practicing.”


  1. Jesus is LORD over all and He is in control.
  2. God loves the world: He loves Jews and Gentile, male and female, young and old, big or small, short or tall. God loves you unconditionally. You can never deserve His love. He loves you because He choose to love you and there is nothing you can do about it. You can no more stop Him from loving you than you can stop the sun from rising.
  3. Jesus responds to humility and faith. Would you acknowledge your need for HIM today and would you put your trust in HIM.


The Gospel

Colossians 1:1-8, NLT

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy. We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sistersin Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace.We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News. This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf. He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.


Paul has never visited Colosse. The church was planted by Paul’s associate Epaphras. The church is located in the Lycus Valley and is very near Laodicea. Epaphras was a beloved and humble servant of Christ. His name means lovely. He is Paul’s fellow servant and Helpful associate. He founded the Church at Colosse. He was faithful and a giant in prayer. He legacy was that he was a man of prayer: spent a lot of time in secret, wrestled fervently in prayer. When you add it all up he was: [1] Helpful [2] Useful [3] Faithful [4] Prayerful.
After the brief greeting in 1:1-2, Paul said, “We give thanks” and in the following verses of the above text you can see that Paul is thankful for many things but primarily the GOSPEL [Good News]. In this passage, I believe the Gospel is the common link.
  1. If you will look at verses 1-4, you will notice that they emphasis is on Jesus Christ.
  2. Paul was chosen and sent by the will of God to be an apostle for Jesus Christ. [v.1]
  3. The only Gospel Paul knew was that of Jesus Christ
  4. Paul addresses this letter to believers in Jesus Christ [v.2]
  5. Paul give thanks to Jesus Christ and considers Him equal to the Father [v.3]
  6. Paul had heard of their faith in Jesus Christ and love for each other. [v.4]
Quote: Hope is the certainly that in spite of the worlds’s present power, influence and standards, God’s will and purpose will be accomplished and He will  have the final word. ~C.F. Moule
James Russell Lowell…..”The Present Crisis”……Tho the cause of evil prosper…yet tis truth a lone is strong. Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne: Yet the scaffold sways the future and behind the dim unknown, standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.
Hope is a weak word in our culture because we have been pampered by prosperity. We are soft and presumptuous. We know very little about difficulty and hard times. The Israelites in Egypt were the same way until there arose a Pharaoh who did not know Joseph [Christ] and then he made life a living hell for the Israelites and then they began to hope for deliverance. We have a Pharaoh who does not know Joseph [Christ] and he will persecute the church. If we had been persecuted like the Eastern world, we would lay hold of our hope and we would think about heaven.
William Barclay says, “The Christian HOPE is the certainty that it is better to suffer for Christ than to become friends with this world.” This is exactly what Moses did…as detailed in Hebrews 11 “ It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.  He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.”
The Gospel of Truth transforms: a street preacher who had drawn a nice crowd was telling the story of Jesus turning water into wine when a heckler from the crowd began making fun. “Jesus could not change water into wine, where did you come up with this fiction?” The preachers daughter was with him and she went straight to heckler and said, “Jesus can turn water into wine, I know He can. I have seen Him turn wine into food and furniture.” Her daddy was a hopeless drunk until he met Jesus. Jesus transformed this drunk into a good daddy who put food on the table and furniture in the rooms.  This Child knew that Jesus could transform the ordinary life into one of abundant joy.
  • A persons I.Q. determines what studies they pursue
  • A person social status determines the circles they move in
  • A persons wealth determines the opportunities they have
  • A persons natural gifts and abilities determine what they will achieve
  • BUT the gospel is for everyone
The Colossian Heresy was a thing called Gnosticism which comes from the Greek word for knowledge. Gnosticism was very complex and highly sophisticated, it was what they define as “Esoteric” knowledge. Esoteric means for the intellectual few, for the exceptionally bright but not for everyone. You can see that Gnosticism was anti-gospel because the gospel is for everyone, no hidden passwords, no intellectual hoops to jump through. The gospel is so simple that a child can become a Christian.
Gnosticism was an elaborate and intellectual religion that was for the chosen few [frozen few] and it created a religious aristocracy. It’s coming back today but under a new name…I think they call it Reform Theology and it is highly intellectual and for the chosen few. It is not the true gospel.
  1. GRACE is God Riches At Christ Expense.
  2. GRACE is blessedness enjoyed by one who is favored by a superior [like subject before a king]
  3. GRACE is always accompanied by peace but grace comes first always. If you don’t experience Grace, you will not have peace.
  4. GRACE is a spiritual blessing that comes by knowing Christ. Grace and Peace are found only in Jesus.
The Gospel is the good news and it is to be shared. It is never diminished by being given away. The more the gospel is shared, the more powerful it becomes. At first, the church was predominately Jewish but that changed quickly. By the time John wrote his gospel there were 100,000 gentiles to every Jew in the N.T. Church. Yet for the first few years, the gospel was contained in the church in Jerusalem but persecution scattered believers like embers from a fire. All of the Apostles eventually left Jerusalem and became Missionaries. Peter, Phillip and Paul went to Asia and Eastern Europe. Andrew ventured further East to Turkey. Matthew went South to North Africa. Mark went to Egypt where the church he found still exist and has been persecuted by the Muslims in recent months. Thomas went to India, Luke to Greece and Simon the Zealot all the way to Great Britain. As you well know, the church in Jerusalem had a very brief history, in the neighborhood of 40 years. If the church had refused to move beyond Jerusalem, Titus would have destroyed it in 70 A.D. Thank God for Missions and Missionaries!