Pastor Stephen Dedman

He Who Humbles Himself

He Who Humbles Himself

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
‭‭Luke‬ ‭14:11‬

A Lesson of Humility

In Luke 14:1-6 Jesus was invited to a prestigious dinner with the religious leaders. He was the honored guest but only for evil intentions. There was also another man invited that day who had dropsy (known as edema). The lawyers and Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus into breaking a law on the Sabbath but their plan backfired. Jesus asked them if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath but they remained silent. Jesus then healed the man and sent him away. The lawyers and Pharisees were speechless.

The miracle of healing should have been enough to demonstrate that Jesus was God but Jesus wanted to teach them a valuable lesson concerning the Kingdom of God. He used His position of honor to honor God.  The Pharisees used their position of honor to elevate themselves.  Every person who was honored would then honor someone else, as this was their custom.  It was all about being recognized.

Jesus used this opportunity to share another parable. He said, “Instead of placing yourself at the end of the table where the most distinguished guest should sit, move further down the table.  In doing so you will save yourself from shame when the host comes to you and asks you to move because that seat was reserved.  Sit further away and let the host move you to the position of honor.  Then you will be honored by all.”

God does not look lightly upon prideful people. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Every Christian needs to learn the important principle of humility.  Let’s learn from the Master and use our God given positions to praise Him and not ourselves.

Prayer

Ask the Lord to make you more aware of your sin and position yourself at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.

 

Pray And Don’t Lose Heart

Pray And Don’t Lose Heart

And he (Jesus) told them (disciples) a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
‭‭Luke‬ ‭18:1

 

Fighting For A Good Cause

Please take a moment and read Luke 18:1-8.  Right before Jesus tells the twelve disciples a parable (an earthly story with a heavenly meaning) he says the words “keep praying and don’t lose heart”.  The reason he said these words was to encourage them to stay motivated.  In the previous chapter (Luke 17:20-37) Jesus was speaking about his coming death, the end times and the coming of the Kingdom and it was bothering them.  He knew it was troubling them.

Jesus tells a story that everyone could relate to.  He tells of an unrighteous judge who did not fear God or man and would not help bring justice to a poor widowed woman.  She was helpless and hopeless but she didn’t give up fighting for a good cause.  Finally, out of distress, he grants her what she wanted.  The reason he helped her was not because he wanted to do something good, it was selfishness because he was tired of being bothered by her everyday.  He wanted to get rid of her and by granting her legal help she would leave him alone.  Her persistence paid off.

Jesus told this story so Christians understand the urgency of persistent prayer and to never lose hope.  He meant there would be times when you just want to give up and give in, but don’t!  The Lord says keep praying, keep hoping and stay encouraged.  He wanted them to realize they were fighting for a good cause.

Let this message saturate your life today.  You are not fighting a losing battle.  Jesus is victorious!  Satan is going to be chained-up, lock-up, and cast-out. When Satan tries to discourage you, just remind him of that.

Prayer

Praise Jesus for His victory over sin.  There is power in prayer.  Those who keep praying never lose hope.  Those who lose hope are the ones who stop praying.

What Sort Of Man Is This

What Sort of Man Is This

And the men (disciples) marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭8:27

A Marvelous Man

Jesus calmed the wind and waves and the disciples were in complete astonishment.  They had just witnessed a miracle. They went from fearful to fascination in matter of seconds.  The disciples thought they were going to drown but instead they saw God in action.  It’s like the fans in the stands that are praying for a miracle and then their favorite team suddenly wins in the last seconds and they are stuck in disbelief.  Why are we in disbelief when God does something so amazing?  Especially when we are praying for it.

This same event is paralleled in Mark 4:35-41.  The disciples woke Jesus and said, “do you not care that we are perishing?”  I wonder how many times we think in our minds that God does not care about what we are facing?  Believe me, He cares!  He cares about the big stuff and he cares about the small stuff.  How awful it is for a child of God to think He doesn’t care for His own.

The disciples realized at that very moment that they were in the presence of God.  God was in the boat.  Now they know Jesus is God.  This truth was revealed to them and they knew they were following the true Messiah.  How awesome to know that the One who has power over nature is living inside our life and will do supernatural wonders that will make us marvel.  If you believe in God’s love and power you can weather any storm that comes your way.

Read Psalm 107:23-31 and be marveled.

Prayer

Pray Psalm 107:30 and “thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!