Text: Luke 12:35-48
Summary: Fear God (or surrender) and do the will of God and you will be saved. What is the will of God? The will of God is to seek His kingdom and to keep our lamps burning so that we can eagerly wait for Jesus. Waiting for Jesus presumes you are meeting Him regularly and He’s not a stranger to you.
35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Father, as all of us read these verses, we pray for wisdom and understanding and revelation from above. We want to get introduced and reintroduced to our God the Father. We want to get introduced and reintroduced to God the Son and God the Spirit. We pray that you would teach us today how to not fear anything and to do your will in order to be saved. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen
The title for today is fear God and do His will and you will be saved. The subtitle could be weeding out the hypocrites in God’s Church.
1 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
What we should know from the outset is that Jesus is talking to His true disciples and He is pointing out the false religious people, the hypocrites. Hypocrites simply mean actors. They are just playing the part of a religious person who seems like they love God and they love people. They are hypocrites, they do not care at all. They are the kind of people that if you knew what they spoke in secret, you’d be so horrified. If you knew the kinds of plans that they were imagining in the privacy of their bedroom, you’d be shocked. These are hypocrites that Jesus is clearly saying, do not be like this. Instead, I’m going to teach you how to be the true disciple of Jesus Christ.
One thing that hypocrites will do is that they will try to kill and, maybe in the end, they will be successful in killing the true disciple of Jesus Christ. The attacks that we read about in Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation says that these attacks are coming from religious people. Of course, they’re partnering with Rome in the first century, and in the final century, they will be partnering with political powers. You need to understand that the plan of persecuting, attacking and killing Christians is coming from organized religion. These Pharisees are the prototype.
The spiritual attacks come from hypocritical, religious people. And so for me, the most wicked people on the face of the earth are religious people. Of course, we have atheists and we have people who’ve done horrible things. They didn’t believe in God at all. But the most wicked people come from organized religion.
4 I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.
If your life is being threatened, you might fear that person who is trying to kill you. But what’s the worst thing that someone can do? We might think the worst thing is losing a job. We might think the worst thing is somebody slandering us and giving us a bad reputation. We might think the worst thing is somebody beating us and stoning us or doing all kinds of things. But the absolute worst thing a person can do to us is killing us.
And even if the worst thing that a hypocrite, a religious person, somebody who hates Jesus, is to try to kill you, even in that worst case scenario, Jesus says do not fear. He says, instead of fearing man, learn to fear God. When Jesus says to fear God, you have to understand what Jesus is saying, because it almost seems like there are two persons here described as God. One is a God with a big stick. One is a God that we’re afraid of messing up before. One is a God that can cast you into hell. How much more scary can someone be than to be that kind of judge who will send me to hell? I don’t want to mess up before this kind of a God.
If you read the text that I read earlier about the servants being cut in pieces, getting a severe beating, or a light beating, some people think this is how God treats His Church, the true disciples of Jesus Christ. I know a church that actually preaches this set of verses, and they say, heaven will be like this. That you will be beaten in heaven. And I’m thinking, how did they get that interpretation from these verses? It is impossible unless you do not know who God the Father is.
If you do not know God the Father personally, then you might misinterpret these verses and think, God, yes, He’s the one who sends me to hell. If I barely make it to heaven, He’s going to beat me. For 1000 years, I’m going to be in a timeout room, and He’s going to be whipping me on the back. Maybe I’ll merit entry into heaven after serving purgatory, or whatever they believe. Some people actually preach this because they think God is harsh.
I want to reintroduce God the Father to you. I don’t know if you had a good father or a bad father. I want to say, God, our heavenly Father is infinitely better, even if you have the best earthly father that you can imagine, God the Father is infinitely better. He’s the kind of Father that if you read Luke 12, He knows the number of hair on your head.
And I did a little Google search. Did you know that a human has about 100,000 hair follicles? That doesn’t mean you have 100,000 hairs because hair falls out all the time. Jesus doesn’t say God the Father knows the number of hair follicles that He created you with, although He does know. In a course of a week, it is amazing how much hair you will find on the ground. I know it’s not my hair because it’s long. If it’s long hair, it could be Jackie. It could be Timothy. It could be Jeremiah right now. Probably not Elijah.
But it is amazing how many hairs fall off. And for God to say He knows the number of hairs on your head, that means He knows you intimately. That means, if you have 99,954 because you lost a bunch that week, God knows. For Elijah, actually, he fell when he was two years old and has a scar on his head. I think I killed some hair follicles because I sent him off to school, not knowing how serious the injury was so now he doesn’t have 100,000 follicles!
But God knows exactly how many hairs are on your head. That means He keeps paying attention to you to that level of detail. Not in order to whip you, not to punish you but to love you. And for many years, I had a misconception of who my Heavenly Father was. I thought, I need to serve and I better not mess up. I better be faithful because if I slip, there could be waiting for me 1000 years of punishment. That is such a distorted view of God and it came from earthly examples that were not right. And these earthly examples, once they lodged into our psyche, we assume God is like this. If you have that wrong view of God, I want you to read Luke 12. Ask God to reveal Himself to you afresh.
He feeds the birds of the air. It’s not accidental that a mother bird is flying and she happens to find a worm or an insect and brings it to the little hatchlings in the nest. It is not an accident. According to Scripture, God is leading that bird because it’s part of creation. That means, even the plight of that bird is being led by God to the food and bringing that food to the hatchling. And God is hand feeding the hatchling. If God is doing this in creation, how much more valuable are we?
Do you think God will let one of His children starve? And so this gets into now our fears. Because yes, there’s a fear of death at the hands of religious people, hypocrites who hate Jesus, they’re part of organized religion, they don’t know God. They think God is harsh so they are harsh, and they just can’t stand you bringing up Jesus again and again. So at the end, they’re going to kill us.
That’s one type of ultimate kind of fear, the fear of death. But there are many kinds of fears. There’s the fear as a father, am I going to be able to provide for my family? There’s a fear of people in general, is there going to be enough money in a bank account? There is a fear of when I retire, will I be comfortable? Will I be living on Social Security barely scraping by and dying lonely, with nobody around me? Is my life going to amount to anything? These are the kinds of fears that we have, and Jesus is inviting us that we can overcome all of these fears.
And there’s only one way to overcome all of these pervasive fears that bombard us day in and day out. It is to fear God. Not in a way that you’re afraid of not getting into heaven. Jesus says the Father wants to give us the kingdom, it’s here in Luke 12. The Father wants to give us the kingdom. He’s not making it hard. He’s made it so easy. And so, therefore, fear Him.
For a nonbeliever, yes, you should fear God. In some sense, yes, even a believer should fear God because He is the only judge. Our Father is the only judge. He determines heaven or hell. But we are not fearing God the same way that nonbelievers, hypocrites, religious people should fear God. How should a Christian fear God who is our heavenly Father who knows the number of hair on our head, who is not going to let us starve, who is going to give us everything that we need and clothing on our back? If He is this type of heavenly Father, what does it mean to fear Him? I think simply it means you surrender before Him. You surrender before Him.
The first prayer, and maybe the opening portion of every single prayer is, Father, I come to you and I surrender. Please start your day this way. Please start each prayer this way. Say, Father in heaven, I surrender to you. This is how you express a proper fear of Him. And the next prayer you want to pray is, Lord, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I want to be a kingdom citizen. I want to live as if I’m in heaven now, I want to do everything according to your will because in heaven, guess what? Everybody follows the will of God. There is no outlier. There is no rebel. Everybody in heaven gladly follows the will of God, and we need to learn how to do this here. And so we surrender to our heavenly Father. Father, I surrender to you.
The second prayer is, I want to do your will today. Order my day, Father. I want to only do what is part of your will. Things that are outside of your will, I don’t want to waste time. Lord, I want to do your will. This is an act of surrender. You want to begin your prayer this way. And when you fear God and you surrender before Him this way, you will find that you have no other fears.
If you do not fear God, if you do not surrender before God, guess what? You will fear many things. You will fear many people. Their opinions of you will matter so much. You’ll have many fears, and it’s like you’re bowing down before all of these fears. You’re surrendering before all of the fears. You’re surrendering before all these people, like what your parents think of you, what your boss thinks of you, it matters so much. You’re surrendering before these people, you’re bowing before these people. And no wonder the fears are endless because you might overcome one fear, but tomorrow, there’s another fear.
Jesus is giving us a recipe, how do we overcome fears? You surrender before Almighty God. You say, I want to do your will. Your will be done. Not my will, your will be done. And Luke 12 shows many things and gives many pictures on why we have such difficulty surrendering our will. Because we have such a strong will. We have so many agendas. We have so many plans. We don’t trust that God will provide, we think it’s on me. We put so many burdens on ourselves, we don’t take God at His Word. We think, no, that mother sparrow found that worm and brought it to her hatchling. So I, too, must go out and fend for myself, fight for myself, earn a living, and put it on the table, that’s my duty. That’s my responsibility. We don’t believe God when He says in His Word that, ultimately, everything comes from the Father.
And so if you realize that you have a strong will and you have many plans, read Luke 12. Jesus gives a parable of a rich fool. He has so many plans. He just wants to take life easy, eat, drink, and be merry. He’s so rich, he’s building bigger and bigger barns. Don’t we live this way? We have so many plans, so many agendas. We want to build bigger and bigger because our kingdom is here on earth. We’re living for the earthly kingdom. And we can extend our life, we think we can enjoy retirement. And Jesus says, what a fool. You don’t know at this very night, your life, your soul could be demanded of you.
So if you realize that you do not fear God but instead you fear many things, the next prayer you want to pray is, Father, forgive me. I am so strong-willed, I have so many agendas, I have so many plans, I’m so greedy. It’s not enough to have food on the table. It’s not enough to have clothing on my back. I want to be big. I want to be famous. I want to have a huge bank account and do whatever I want. I want to serve my god, which is money. I want to be impressive. I want people to speak of me and there to be a note of respect.
People who live for this earth have many strong-willed purposes and plans, and we need to repent of it. Say, Father, forgive me. The reason I can’t do your will, the reason I don’t even come to you and ask you what your will is, the reason I don’t even surrender is that I want to do life my way and I want you to bless my choices. We need to repent. So, Father, I surrender before you. Next, you say, I want to do your will. Father, forgive me for being so strong-willed and doing only what I want to do.
Once we get to that place of repenting of our strong will and laying down all of our plans and all of our greed, repenting of everything that comes to mind, the next thing we want to do is ask the Lord, what is your will? What is your will, Lord? Luke 12 tells us so clearly what God’s will is. Did you know there is something that falls under the category in the second tier and the third tier as the will of God? But even if you do second tier and third tier activities that fall under the umbrella of the will of God, did you know if you don’t do the primary will of God, that there is no guarantee for salvation?
21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
And then He lists three activities of things that are the second-tier and third-tier activities of the will of God, things like casting out demons in Jesus Name, doing mighty works in His name, prophesying in His name, these three activities fall in the second tier and third tier, but Jesus says, these people did not do my will. And it is not enough to just say, I believe. It is not enough to have a doctrinal agreement of what faith in Christ is.
You actually have to do the will of God in order to be saved. And it’s not what you think. We think doing the will of God is ministry. We think it is prophesying, casting out demons, doing mighty works. Jesus says, even those who did these things, they did not do the will of God and, therefore, I don’t know them and they’re not saved. So you have to go back to Luke 12. What does it mean to do the will of God?
29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
The first will of God is to seek His kingdom. Once you surrender to Him, once you tell the Father, I want to do your will, and then you repented of all the ways you were greedy and you’re strong-willed and you did your own will. Next, you want to say, Father, what is your will? I want to do it. I don’t want to get sidetracked with a second-tier will. That will come. I don’t want to be sidetracked with the third tier will. That, too, will come. I want to know primarily, what is the will of God that each day I must do? And if I do this one or two or three things, then I will be saved.
It says, don’t seek after food, clothing, what to drink. The nations of the world and religious people seek after these things. Instead, seek His kingdom. There is a phrase which is quoted in God’s church, and I don’t know why, that you are so heavenly minded, you’re no earthly good. It’s like you have your head in the clouds. You’re always thinking about spiritual life and you’re always thinking about heaven. You’re always thinking about the next life, and you’re useless in this life. That could not be further from the truth.
If you are heavenly minded, if you’re seeking a heavenly kingdom, not fixated on this earthly kingdom, you will do so much earthly good in this life. You’ll be so helpful to so many people if you’re pursuing a heavenly kingdom and putting your energies there. It’s not like you’re pursuing that and then you’re forgetting about everything here. No, you’re pursuing the heavenly kingdom. And because you pursue it, when situations arise, when people come to you, you will give them the right answers. You’re such an earthly benefit to people in the body of Christ if you pursue His kingdom, the heavenly kingdom.
That is one way to describe the will of God. Another one is in v.35.
35 Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.
The second will of God is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit makes us alert spiritually. And because we are alert spiritually, we eagerly wait for Jesus. As soon as He knocks on the door, on the second watch, or the third watch, we right away open the door. We’re like the five virgins who are awake. And Jesus says, this is my will. The Father says, this is my will for all disciples of Jesus Christ. You eagerly wait for Jesus to knock.
This is one thing that if you are a hypocrite, you will never teach on this and even if you teach it, you will never live it. You might actually give to the poor. You might actually minister to people. You might actually care on occasion for people who come into your sphere of influence, but this one you can not fake. If you’re not meeting Jesus on a regular basis, you will never eagerly wait for Him. If Jesus is a stranger to you, you only met Him 20 years ago at salvation, then He will not be someone familiar enough that you will eagerly wait for Him.
I want to reintroduce God the Father. He is not harsh. He is not going to punish you for all eternity. Those passages about being cut into pieces, severe beating, light beating, this is not anything about the kingdom of heaven. This is hell. That is describing hell. The various levels of suffering in hell, those who receive more in this life, the punishment will be greater. And if you are the kind of servant who mistreats and beat on people in the body of Christ, you think God doesn’t see it? Do you think that God doesn’t see you bullying and harassing His church, His flock, His children? You don’t think God is going to have a huge punishment, which is described here as cutting to pieces? This is someone who is in hell.
45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful.
This religious person, this hypocrite mistreated God’s Church. Jesus comes back. He’s very angry. He sends this person with the unfaithful in hell. This person will suffer greatly. It’s not this person alone. Let’s keep reading on in v.47.
47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Some people who have a harsh view of God, who think there is a beating room in heaven, a timeout room where you will be beaten for 1000 years in some purgatory-like state, they have a view that if you know the Master’s will and you didn’t do it, that you’re going to receive a severe beating in heaven, they say. But this cannot be further from the truth. This is a beating in hell. It’s not as severe as a person who was cut to pieces because this person didn’t mistreat God’s church, but they didn’t do the will of God. They knew it, they were lazy about it and just didn’t do it.
Remember, only those who do the will of God will enter the kingdom. These people did not do the will. They knew it, they didn’t do it. Where do people who do not do the will of God end up? Are they in heaven in a beating room, or are they in hell because they did not do the will of God? These people did not do the will of God. This is not as severe as being cut in pieces but this is a severe beating. They knew better. They should have known. They didn’t do the will of God.
The first person mistreated the children of God. There is the severest beating, which means they’re cut in pieces in hell for eternity. It’s perpetually being cut in pieces, it is the worst suffering imaginable for religious people and hypocrites who mistreat the people of God. The second servant knew the will of God, he didn’t do it. Where do people who don’t do the will of God end up? They end up in hell. It’s not as severe as being cut in pieces but that person is being beaten severely infinitely. It’s a lighter punishment than being cut in pieces but it is a severe beating. And it happens on a vicious cycle for eternity.
The last person did what deserved a beating. The second servant knew, but this person didn’t know. He could plead ignorance and say, my church never taught me what is the will of God. The last person didn’t know the will of God, they were in a bad church. No one taught them the will of God. Still, they didn’t do it. Where do people who don’t do the will of God end up? They end up in hell. It’s a light beating. They are suffering the least, but they’re still suffering in hell. And the hardest verse to understand is v.48.
48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Did you notice the grammar shift to ‘they’? This confused me all week. Jackie and I were just discussing. Finally, the Lord came through. The first part of that verse is for believers, everyone to whom is given much, you are accountable for what you’ve been given. I think God in this place has given us so much revelation. So much revelation. It’s all from God. He has been so gracious to dispense generously because we asked for wisdom from above.
And because we have this revelation from God, wisdom from above, you are accountable for it. You can’t tell God, I didn’t know. No, you knew. If you don’t do it, you’re refusing to do it, you’re just being disobedient. Whatever God tells us and it is revealed to us, we are accountable for it. God will require more as He reveals more, we are accountable.
This principle of accountability works the other way as well. Did you know that people who are in bad churches, people who are part of churches led by hypocrites, people who are given false teaching, when these people are deceived and they end up in hell, they trusted that pastor. They trusted that minister. Do you know what they’re going to be doing in hell? They will be demanding from that false teacher all the more. It is not God who does it, the first part is God who gives, and we’re accountable before God.
The second part says ‘they entrusted much.’’ Who are they? They are the people in your congregation, hypocrite. False teacher, you will be accountable for them. They will demand an explanation for how they ended up in hell along with you. So we are accountable for what the Lord reveals to us.
So, what is the will of God? It is to seek His kingdom. The second will of God is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, which equals lamps that are burning, lamps that are trimmed. There’s oil, that’s the Holy Spirit, it’s in your lamp, it’s burning bright. And the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not primarily for signs and wonders and casting out demons and prophesying, and all the spiritual gifts. The primary role of the Holy Spirit is to point, as a spotlight shines in a direction, the Holy Spirit shines a light to Jesus.
And if you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, you will be eagerly waiting for Jesus Christ. This one you can not fake. You must meet Jesus every single day. You must meet Him every single day. The more you meet Him, the more you will eagerly wait for Him. The more you meet Him, the more you will ask for the Spirit, so that in the second watch, in the third watch, you will not get drowsy.
Things are going from bad to worse in society and in human history. We are reaching the end of the age. And I think we are in the third watch. If you stay up until midnight, no big deal. I can stay up until midnight, no problem. If it’s the second watch, now we’re going to 2 am or 3 am, I can still do it. But in the third watch, 4 am, 5 am, 6 am, that one I think I would struggle to stay awake. Physically, that is how our body works. Spiritually it is the same thing.
We are in the third watch. Things are going from bad to worse. Whenever we turn on the news, things in our country are not good. Things around the world are unstable. And so when things go from bad to worse, and our gaze gets fixated on this earth instead of the heavenly kingdom and instead of on Jesus Christ, we no longer ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Instead, we are filled with fears, worries, anxieties, all kinds of unclean spirits, and we fall asleep spiritually. Jesus knocks on the door, we don’t even hear Him.
Jesus is saying, how blessed are you if you live in the final end of the age, in the third watch and you are among the few who are awake. In order to be awake, ask for the Holy Spirit. Each day ask for it so that you can see Jesus that day. When you open up Scripture, ask for the Holy Spirit first, so that when you open up Scripture, you will see everything is about Jesus. Jesus, where are you on this page? That’s how you meet Jesus.
When Jesus gives revelation and at the end of a week, like we’re looking at Luke 12 all week as a family, finally at the end there’s revelation. Oh, I understand now, God doesn’t beat His disciples. Oh, I understand this verse about ‘they entrusting much.’ Things that didn’t make sense, revelation comes, Jesus speaks to you. In this way, you hear His voice. So we’ve been reintroduced to God the Father, God the Spirit, and God the Son.
Peter asks Jesus in v.41, Lord, are you telling this parable for us, or for all about the lamps burning? Obviously, this one is for disciples. Nobody has the Holy Spirit, nobody cares about Jesus knocking and being ready for Jesus knocking unless you are disciples of Jesus. So Peter asks, are you speaking that parable for us, or for all? Jesus doesn’t answer, but He gives another parable. And so now we have to understand who Jesus is speaking to in this one.
42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
We read earlier about the beatings, cutting to pieces, severe beating, and light beating. These are the religious people. These are people who do not have the Holy Spirit. These are people who do not care about when Jesus is returning. The first portion is for the disciple of Jesus Christ. And I would say this is second-tier. This is not the first-tier. The first-tier is to seek the kingdom. The first-tier is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The first-tier eagerly wake up and eagerly wait for the coming of Jesus Christ. This is first-tier, doing the will of God.
This one that I’m about to say is a second-tier will of God. And you notice, it is nothing spectacular. We think spectacular is Jonah preaching to Nineveh and everyone in that town coming to faith including the king. We think that this is what the will of God should look like, something spectacular.
Can you be faithful over your household? Can you just bring out food at the proper time? Nothing spectacular. It is actually very mundane. Can you care for people I’ve already entrusted to you? The ministry and the will of God is not out there. Yes, God can tell us to do something to the ends of the earth. But first, He says, can you be the kind of person that the people nearest to you, the people supposed to be dearest to you, that you would care for? That means, children, honor your parents. That means, husbands, serve your wives.
That means parents, raise up your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. It starts with the home, the household. For a pastor, whoever God brings, don’t be greedy for more. Be faithful to the people God brings. You know, I would be so burdened not in a healthy kind of way. If I was a megachurch pastor, because preachers and teachers are held to a stricter judgment, it is possible God can entrust 10,000 people to a single pastor, but to me, that would be so burdensome.
But many people think that way. I want that bigger, more spectacular ministry. They don’t know what they’re asking for. They don’t know God is going to hold them accountable for their household, their physical household, their immediate household, their spiritual household if you are a minister because He is talking about faithful and wise managers, not the hypocrites, not the false teachers. He’s talking about true ministers of the gospel, which includes a physical household, and maybe a broader spiritual household in a church context.
It’d be so burdensome on judgment day for me to answer for 10,000 people who God brought into my life. So here, God is saying nothing spectacular. Just be faithful. Who I’ve given is who I’ve given. Are you praying for these people? Are you serving these people? Are you instructing these people? Are you disciplining these people? Do you care for these people? If you don’t care for 10, will you care for 10,000? No. If you don’t care for one, you can’t even care for anybody.
You start with one. First, yourself and God, and then the one, if you’re married is your spouse, you got to get that right first. Husbands, get that right first. Don’t worry about anything else. Get that right first. And then, fathers to children. You’ve got to get that right next. Then the church, we care for everybody in the church. We’re accountable for one another in the church, God has entrusted us to each other in the church. God is just looking at how you care for people God brings and entrusts to you. Because in the end, if you end up in hell. everybody who trusted you will demand an explanation. How did I end up here? From God’s word, I can guarantee, if you do God’s will, as I described in Luke 12, I can guarantee salvation for you.
What is God’s will? Seek His kingdom. Don’t worry about the earthly kingdom. All the cares, fears, anxiety, it’s all earthly kingdom stuff, don’t worry about it. The Father has your back. You have to believe this. The Father, He’s so caring for you. You have to believe who the Father is, the character He has. He doesn’t have a stick. He’s not going to beat you in heaven. If you do the will of God, the Father you will meet is the Father described in Luke 15, open-arms Father. Not a father with a stick behind his back.
The will of God tier-one is to seek His kingdom. Tier-one, ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Tier-one, after you are spiritually awakened, eagerly wait for the coming of Jesus. And then tier-two, this is not salvation. This one I think for the believer has to do with our rewards. Be faithful to the people He has already given to you. Pray for them. Serve them, love them. Don’t be greedy for more. I’m speaking this to myself. Don’t be greedy for more. Be faithful, care for, pray for, serve the people God has already entrusted to you. In your family, that is your primary ministry.
Don’t be greedy for bigger and better and spectacular. God may give that tier-three assignment. Tier-two is to care for those in your household. If you do tier-one well, you will be good to the people in your household. If you do not get tier-one down, chances are, you’ll be nagging your spouse, exasperating your children, harsh to your church members, judgmental to people. So that will be a clue that you’ve got to go back to tier-one. If tier-two, you’re struggling with people God has entrusted to you, you’re lacking patience, you don’t have long-suffering, you get upset easily, then go back to tier-one. And tier-two will start to get resolved, it will start to be ordered properly. It’s beautiful in God’s sight. You will realize, I’m starting to get the hang of tier-one. Okay, let’s pray.
This is an important message so I want to lead us in a short prayer. And why don’t you pray after me?
Father, I surrender before you.
I want to do your will and not my will.
Forgive me for being so strong-willed.
Forgive me for being so filled with all of my plans and agendas. I repent, Lord.
Forgive me, Lord. Teach me how to do your will, Father.
I want to seek your kingdom.
I want to ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit.
I want to be spiritually awakened and alert for Jesus’s return.
I want to be faithful, loving, and caring for my household.
Thank you, Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen
Father, we come before you as children of God and we surrender. Every day, every prayer, we want to start with surrender. Not my will, your will be done. Forgive us, Lord. We have so many plans, so many agendas, we are so strong-willed. We’re filled with so many fears, so many anxieties. Forgive us, Lord, we don’t fear you enough. Because if we feared you properly and surrendered before you, we would have no fears in life. That is a promise of your Word. All of our fears, all of our burdens, we lay it at your feet, Lord Jesus.
We ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit so that there will be sufficient oil in our lamps. And our lamps will be burning bright, so that in the third watch as we are in the third watch, we will be spiritually awakened and alert. So that the moment Jesus knocks on the door, we’re the first ones out of bed. First ones to run to the door to open it to be embraced by you, Lord Jesus. We know when we get to heaven, Father, you don’t have a big stick behind your back. But you will have open arms.
You’re not a father like we’ve seen in this earthly life. We’re not like hypocritical, spiritually poor examples that we’ve seen in your church. We know the fate of the hypocrites, they will be cut to pieces, there is severe beating, light beating, different levels of suffering in hell. But for the true disciple of Jesus Christ, there’s only love, embrace, and rewards. Love, embrace, and rewards that are waiting for us. Even if we barely get in because we had the right foundation but our house was made with flimsy materials and was burned up, still we’re in heaven. Maybe the reward is smaller and we suffered some loss of reward.
But Lord, we’ve made it. And even if we are a doorkeeper in the house of God, we’ll be so glad. We’ll be praising you for all eternity. We don’t have to wonder, do I have the kingdom today? Tomorrow, I might lose it. No, it doesn’t work that way. You want to give us the kingdom more than we want to enter the kingdom. That is your heart. This is not a trick question. You didn’t make it so hard. It’s so easy. Just follow Jesus, seek His kingdom, and wait for Jesus to return.
We pray in the partaking of the Lord’s Supper, you would meet us, Lord. You would increase our appetite to meet you, that you would increase our hunger to want to meet you. I pray that you would fill us with the Holy Spirit so that we can see you, experience you, and hear a gentle word from you. We pray that there will be no spirit of condemnation in this place. Only the spirit of acceptance, the spirit of love of your embrace. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen