Luke 4:14-30

Luke 4:14-30

Let people know that there is good news for them. We are no longer lost or bound by sin, but there is One that came to free us from that. If we are lost and bound by sin, it is because we choose that bondage, not that there isn't a way for us to be free from it.Sometimes we fall into the trap of taking God’s Word and using it to justify our position: who we are, what we want to do. God’s Word was not given to us to justify us. God’s Word was given to us so that we would know God in a greater way, that we could draw close to Him, that we could understand His heart, that we could be motivated to serve Him through His Word. And so often, what I find in life, especially as Christians, we’ll fight with those that we disagree with, we’ll use God’s Word to argue our point, we’ll use God’s Word to hack to pieces (if we have to) our opponent. We make our point using God’s Word…

So often, I believe, that we take His Word, and we abuse it, and we misuse it, and we take it out of context and do the very thing that Jesus said we should not do. And we use God’s Word the way Satan used God’s Word to challenge and corrupt rather than point to a loving, caring, forgiving God, and we end up putting God to the test. But we’re also told, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” That from time to time God’s enemy and those that serve that enemy will challenge us. We’re not told to argue with them or fight with them. We’re told to resist, and we can resist best by bringing glory to Who God is, bringing glory to the name of Jesus, bringing honor to the salvation that’s been given to us, and point out the love that God has for us. And guess what? When you make that stand, when you let people know there is a God in heaven Who loves them, when you stand firm knowing that there is a God in heaven Who loves you, that there is a Savior Who went out of His way to make sure that you had salvation offered to you — when you come to the point of realizing that this God Who created you loves you so much that He was willing to sacrifice everything for you — you don’t have to fight any more. You don’t have to argue any more. Resisting is simply standing firm and saying, “I know that Jesus loves me, and I don’t have to worry. I know that God created me, and my life is in His hands, so I don’t have to worry.”

I am God’s child. I am God’s servant. God does not serve me. God is not there for me to throw up the token prayer on occasion; make my request for all the nicest things in life that I want and expect Him to give them to me. But for many people, that’s what Christianity is. They come to know the Lord because they think somehow life is going to be easy. Jesus never promises us an easy life. In fact, He promises us the opposite. He says, “In this life you will” — not you might — “You will have tribulation.” But He doesn’t stop there. He says, “Be of good cheer for I have overcome the world…”

There are times that we’re challenged, and there are times that we’re tempted, and there are times that we are tried to our very core, but like I’ve just said, we, like Jesus, are children of God and we, like Jesus, have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are filled with the Holy Spirit, unlike the Old Testament saints who had the Holy Spirit come upon them from time to time. We, too, can walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, and rather than looking at our trials and our tests as being something disastrous, look at it as something that God is using to exercise us… The only way your spirit is going to become strong is when you face the trials and the tests of this world. I notice that people who have it too easy, especially Christians who have it too easy, they never grow beyond the superficial, and then when the trials do come, they’re the first to panic, they’re the first to flee, and they’re the first to doubt God and accuse Him of not taking care of them, rather than saying, “God, You are my Father. You are my strength. This is just another one of those challenges that come… Lord, thank You for this challenge…”

Let people know that there is good news for them. We are no longer lost [or] bound by sin, but there is One that came to free us from that. If we are lost and bound by sin, it is because we choose that bondage, not that there isn’t a way for us to be free from it…

You know what? It is not the vessel that’s the problem. It’s the message that the vessel is bringing that’s the problem. If I’m not preaching the Word of God, then I’m a false prophet. If I am not rightly dividing and handling the Word of God — I don’t care what my educational background is, if I’m handling it right, then it’s right. If I’m not handling it right, then I’m false… But it is not about me handling God’s Word. It is not about you handling God’s Word. It is about the Holy Spirit handling you with His Word. Are you willing to let Him handle you with His Word?…

We, too often, expect God and demand of God, and we establish an idea of life that God has never asked us to have, and then, when God seems to be blessing everybody else, we get angry about it…

We don’t have to fear our enemies. We don’t have to fear the reprisals of our enemies. We don’t have to fear what the world threatens us with. If we are truly walking in the power of God’s Spirit, God will protect us. God will display His power in us. And if He allows us to be challenged by life, if He allows us to be taken by surprise by life…we are strengthened by it then, not destroyed by it… Sometimes that’s what we need to do, is just simply go on our way and trust God to take the words that we’ve left and use them how He will. If you’re teaching the truth,…if you pick up God’s Word and you use it appropriately, then God is the One that gets the glory, and He’s the one that’s going to use His Word, even though He may use you as the vessel to deliver the message, and then you just simply leave it and let God have His way. No matter what anger may be there, no matter what challenge may be there, God will protect you or God will strengthen you to face whatever it is that He has for you to face.

Dave Elkins

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Luke 4:1-13