Four-tify Your Faithfulness
In Luke 6:20-49 we have a recording of a sermon which Jesus preached. For those who seek to renew and/or fortify their faithfulness to Christ, I believe this sermon is of excellent benefit. It lays down many of the first principles of what it means to follow Christ. It also is presented in a way that is easy to break down and remember. Get your Bible, and follow the fours.
1. FOUR BLESSEDS (Luke 6:20-23) – 1.Poor 2.Hungry 3.Weep 4.Insulted – FOR the sake of Christ. God is watching over you and your reward is great in heaven. You may suffer now, but you are blessed in Christ Jesus as you follow Him faithfully. (Heb. 4:9-11)
2. FOUR WOES (Luke 6:24-26) – 1.Rich 2.Well-fed 3.Laugh 4.Praised – Let it be a warning that abundance does not mean you have the favor of God. In fact, if you are living for these four things mentioned, seeking them rather than the kingdom of Christ, then you will perish in want. (12:20)
3. FOUR ACTIONS (Luke 6:27-28) – 1.Love your enemies 2.Do good to those who hate you 3.Bless those who curse you 4.Pray for those who mistreat you. Not sure there is a more concise way to describe the life of Christ. He was the greatest manifestation of this teaching. As His disciples, we are to see that, understand it, and live it. (I Pt 2:20-24)
4. FOUR REACTIONS (Luke 6:29-30) – 1.Whoever hits your cheek, offer the other also 2.Whoever takes your coat, withhold not your shirt. 3.Whoever asks of you respond 4.Whoever takes away from you do not demand it back. While these may not be our intuitive reactions, it does describe the heart and attitude we are to have as Christians. We must train ourselves to react in such a way that brings honor to Christ, rather than vengeance for ourselves. (Ro. 12:21)
5. FOUR MORE (Luke 6:31-35) – 1.Treat others as you want to be treated 2.Love more than how the world loves. 3.Do good more than how the world does good. 4.Lend more than how the world lends. And when I say more I mean better. There is a way that sinners treat others, love, do good, and lend, but there is a way to do it in Christ that is more… it is better… it is the way Christ did it.
6. FOUR GIVE (Luke 6:36-38) – With the standard of being merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful we are told to 1.Do not judge 2.Do not condemn 3.Pardon 4.Give. I believe a latter text (6:41-42) clarifies what is meant here. When God judges, He is a perfect being judging the imperfections of us. When we judge, we are the imperfect judging the imperfect. Where is our place? (Ro. 14:4, 10, 13)
7. FOUR FOLD (Luke 6:38) – 1.Good Measure 2.Pressed down 3.Shaken together 4.Running over. I believe this speaks to the fourfold measure of grace we receive as we give to others (Matt. 6:14-15) One of the hardest things for us to do as human beings sometimes is to be merciful, forgiving, and gracious. Let us never forget God’s love, and show it to others. (I John 4:19-21)
8. FOUR STORIES (Luke 6:39-49) – 1.Parable of the Blind– You follow where your teacher takes you, so be mindful to follow Christ. 2.Log in your eye and speck in your brothers - An illustration regarding hypocrisy in judgment. 3.Parable of Fruit Trees – A tree is known by its fruit, and men are known by their deeds. Make certain your heart is pure and right so that your deeds will produce likewise. 4.Parable of the House – Those who hear Jesus AND act are those who build their house of faith on a strong foundation. Those who hear the words of Jesus but do NOT act on them, have built their house without a foundation… a house that will have a mighty fall. (Luke 9:35)
The most potent words of this sermon for me are the ones I will end with here as Jesus rhetorically asks, “And why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (6:46). A great question indeed. This sermon of Jesus serves as instruction to four-tify our faithfulness to our Lord, and ensure that our faith is built upon the foundation of solid rock – the words of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. (James 1:22)
By David Osteen via Texas city Grace Gazzette April, 10, 2011 Volume 6 Article 12
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