O.T. Lesson Psalm 118:19 – 29
N.T. Lesson Phil:2:6-11 [The Message]
According to Peter Drucker in his book “Post-capitalist Society”, most of the money today is in investments for pensions, rather than in the hands of a few major players who play with their own money. The people who handle the money are brokers and accountants people who are ‘hired’ to do the job (like Nieson the Brit who broke a British bank with his speculating in Malasia).
But can you imagine a ‘Bill Gates’ or a ‘Jimmy Pattisson’ buying a tract of land in the Okanagan and having it set up as a vineyard complete with a distillery and a tourist set-up for a ‘Cottage Winery”- fenced to be deer and elk proof and with a sophisticated security system? He has someone subcontract the operation, and he sends a note to collect the current dues for this years’ crop. Three months later the accountant says the amount is overdue. A collection agency is finally sent in the agent is found unconscious and spends 2 months in hospital recovering. Another is found dead…..
Jesus used the story in the opening verses of Chapter 12 of Mark’s gospel to tell the story of God’s dealing with the Jewish nation in allegorical form. It was retelling the story from Isaiah 5 and the Jewish religious leaders recognised it- and were they ‘ticked’! Jesus went on to add part of Psa 118 as describing Himself and the role He would play as the “stone rejected by the builders who has become the capstone”.
Our society is not much different. We have a history of doing our own thing of manipulating people around us to get advantages of them. God gave us a world to use, look after and enjoy, but we have some who are ‘high polluters’ of industry ‘multi-nationals’ who are accountable, seemingly, to no one. And so we have water, ground and air pollution poisoning the environment around us.
Usually every year someone reviews the stats of those who have gross incomes of over $100,000 who pay no net income tax; that’s enough to make an ordinary man’s blood boil. Or like the rumour our hospital would be closed and after the meetings and scare mongering and name calling they tell us it never was a serious consideration in the first place, and we feel ‘taken’.
Or religious leaders who try to take us down the garden path with their own ‘ego-inspired’ schemes of greed and power, and take money from people on fixed incomes….
“Consider Jesus…” He provided the standard over and above anyone else. His earthly Person housed the Creator of the Universe, Almighty God. Yet he served sacrificially and compassionately, a world who couldn’t have cared less. He was so annoying that the religious leaders in concert with the Roman sympathizers (Herodians) finally had him silenced. And when Satan had danced on his tomb thinking he had won Jesus burst through triumphantly and was set up in Victory of sin, death, and the grave on a throne at the ‘right hand of the Father” (see Phil 2:9-11)
In the light of all of these things, how should we then behave?
- As people set free from the bondage of sin free to live new lives. [see Romans 6:17,18,22,23,4,11-14]
“Thank God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obey the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness… Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. You know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
So count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires . Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”
- Not preoccupied with Satan and his brood. James 4:7 says to simply “resist the devil and he will flee from you“. He is a defeated foe in the face of the blood of Christ he turns and runs.
- We need to apply Christ’s victory to every part of your lives. “Put on the whole armour of God and live!” “Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them; God’s Word is an indispensable weapon… prayer is essential…” Eph 6:10-20 MSG
“So let’s do it full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do, but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” [Heb 10:19-25 MSG.]
Not only do we have to ‘get with the program’ individually but we need to also help each other.. “Keep each others spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out” [Eph 6:18 MSG]
©1999 D H Friesen