Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on Oct. 28, 2K8.

1 – Acts 3:22-23 (ESV) 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’

RAF: Peter introduces a most important, dynamic reality at this point: Man’s sin problem is not one which can dealt with by virtue of the Law, it must be dealt with in respect to obeying the Gospel – in listening “to the prophet.” To not hear Jesus, is to be destroyed from the people. Everyone must reckon with Him. He is God, and all judgment has been committed into His hands by the Father (John 5:22). And Jesus Himself will reinforce this entire concept most powerfully in His parable of Matt. 5:25: “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.” Every man must “settle matters” with Christ. He alone can grant forgiveness of sins. He alone is the savior God has given to us. In His death alone is there any hope for salvation. Christ Jesus Himself is the critical matter. You cannot reject Him in any way and be saved. All other things are set aside, and what we do with Christ is the deciding factor.

2 – Acts 4:1-2 (ESV) And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

RAF: We do well to remember that the resurrection is an indispensable part of the Gospel. It is so for two main reasons.

a. If Christ is not resurrected, than we are still dead in our trespasses and sins (1 Cor. 15). Scripture is clear that He was raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25). His resurrection is the proof of His sacrifice having been accepted. Resurrection is the hope of every Believer. If in this life only we hope in Christ, then of all men – we are the ones to be pitied most! (1 Cor. 15:19)

b. That all men will be raised from the dead to face judgment for what they did in this life is essential to press home: John 5:28-29 (ESV) 28 “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” Many imagine there is no real reckoning beyond the grave. And we must wake them up to the fact that their sins follow them into the next life – where all hope of forgiveness is finally lost. Each one will give an account for the things done in this life. No one will escape. All outside of forgiveness in Christ now, are presently abiding under His wrath (John 6:36) – which wrath is but a foretaste of eternal wrath to come.

3 – Acts 4:23-31 (ESV) 23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples plot in vain?

26 The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers were gathered together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

RAF: Boldness. We most often consider the word and the topic when it comes to evangelism. Rightly so. Even our text today is addressing it in that context. Peter and John had been involved the previous day in the healing of the lame beggar on the steps of the Temple. Now, under arrest, they are faced with giving some answers to the Council. It is in this exchange that 3.13 notes: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”

Note first then that this boldness of theirs linked them directly with Jesus. Jesus Himself was a bold man. Bold, not brash, belligerent or harsh – bold. Quite simply fearless. Jesus lived without fear of any man or circumstance. He feared only the Father. That godly fear equipped Him to stand resolute irrespective of what He faced. His was not the boldness of human bravado or hubris. His was the bold calmness that comes from absolute confidence. When there is no need for self-protection or self-defense. It did not matter to Him if others disrespected or disregarded Him – at least not in the personal sense. In an age when disrespecting someone is virtually the worst offense we can think of (at least in this culture) Jesus seemed above it all.

The Disciples here, like Jesus, knew both WHO they were, and WHOSE they were. So it is shabby treatment, disrespect and opposition were not the things that moved them. They endured all without bitterness or hardness. All this, still broken over the condition of their enemies. Still reaching out to them and preaching to their detractors. Never a hint of the “I’ll show you” attitude that is prevalent in us when we are crossed or feel powerless. No striking back. They didn’t need personal power – they served Power personified.

Boldness can be easily lost. In fact, it often flees us under a number of conditions: a. When yielding to intimidation; b. When giving way to a response of bitter detachment; c. When reeling from the sting of rejection or misunderstanding; d. Or in the loss of confidence due to personal errors, failures, or unexpected opposition. e. When we believe others do not share any love or compassion toward us.

But boldness must be the product of a right Spirit. The commandment “you shall not kill” is often misunderstood because people fail to take into account more than one type of killing. Hence, some will even use God’s commandment to deny the death penalty, when the very same law DEMANDS the death of those who defy it. Murder and just execution are both killing, but light years apart. Boldness and brashness are similarly so. So it is when in Luke 9, Jesus (and the Disciples with Him) are disrespected by the Samaritans and not given the impromptu lodging they desired, James and John boldly want to call down fire from heaven to consume them. But Jesus rebuked them. Some manuscripts note Jesus saying “you do not know what spirit you are of.” What was the problem? They were indignant, but Jesus had not come to destroy people’s lives, but to save them.

So we note secondly that even after Pentecost and other confrontations, Peter prays in our text for continued boldness. He did not want to fall back under those old ways. To be bombastic or crushing when calm in the face of the storm would reveal Christ more. The Church needs boldness in our day. Not to out argue or shout down our detractors. To remain calm, steadfast and loving when fear would drive us simply to frustration and bombast.

Note thirdly then, in verse 31, that God was pleased to answer that prayer, and they “continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” The Word is what they spoke with boldness. Not their opinions, pronouncement, judgments or retorts – God’s Word, God’s message. In other words, they continued to gospelize their detractors.

So, how are you doing with your boldness?

4 – Acts 5:21-24 (ESV) 21 And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach. Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council and all the senate of the people of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to.

RAF: How often we too are found asking the wrong questions. Notice vs. 24 – These men were more concerned about “what this would come to” – this preaching of the apostles after their miraculous release from prison, than they were what it MEANT that they were miraculously released from prison and preaching in the Temple again. Their vision was so narrow, they couldn’t think beyond what impact all of this would have on their power, position and authority. How they needed to open their eyes to what God was doing right in front of them. Heavenly Father – deliver us from the very same thing. Let us see things in light of eternity and your hand moving, rather than what might please us or impact us in the natural and the temporal. The remnants of indwelling sin still influences our thoughts and attitudes, and I know how easily I can find myself at odds with your sovereign work, because I am not seeing it from your perspective. Give us the eyes of Christ.


Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on Oct. 22, 2K8.

1 – Luke 13:6-9 (ESV) 6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’ ”

RAF: Who can fathom the mercy, grace and patience of God? What is obvious here, is that judgment is due men. It has been due for a long time. As a race we have not yielded up any of the fruit of righteousness due to our God. And yet God intercedes with God. The grieved Judge provides His own intercessor. And a season is still appointed for the preaching of the Gospel, that Believers might “bear fruit for God” (Rom. 7:4)

2 – Luke 13:22-30 (ESV) 22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

RAF: The question is a theological one, but perhaps not the best one for us to ask. In the long run, what possible good can one derive from an answer regarding the numbers of those ordained to be saved? None. It can do nothing for anyone beyond satisfying our curiosity. The right question is – “what are YOU doing with the present opportunity before you?” What are WE doing with regard to the Gospel? Are we believing it? Are we advancing its message to the world around us? The harvest remains in His hands, ours is to plant and water the seeds. Inquiring beyond revelation leads to speculation. We need to deal with truth – not speculation.

3 – Luke 14:12-14 (ESV) 12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

RAF: Living by faith requires the viewing and weighing of all things with respect to their impact on the resurrection.

4 – Luke 14:23-24 (ESV) 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ ”

RAF: There is a feast ready. So many are those who have rejected the invitation to come. They won’t have any part in it. Are we then compelling others to come and dine, that the Master’s house may be full?

5 – Luke 14:25-33 (ESV) 25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

RAF: Whatever we cannot bear to lose in order to follow Christ – is our purchase price. This is the value we put upon our own souls. So we must ask – is it worth it?

6 – Luke 15:31-32 (ESV) 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’ ”

RAF: In essence, the father is asking: “If your brother is not, am I not more valuable to you than a party?” The older son thought the Father’s values were skewed, when it was his own that were so amiss.

7 – Luke 16:31 (ESV) 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”

RAF: Witnessing miracles does not cure unbelief. The problem is not that there is insufficient “proof”. Man’s problem is a rebellious heart. It is a moral problem, not an intellectual one. That the “heavens declare the glory of God” – to the extent that no man is without excuse regarding the reality of God’s power and being – is manifest. That the Gospel has been preached is evident. That the redeemed are all about us cannot be denied. But in their fallenness, men will not believe. They reject the evidence. They refuse to be convinced. Praise God for His overcoming Spirit! Apart from Him, none would be saved.

8 – Luke 17:7-10 (ESV) 7 “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’ ”

RAF: How bankrupt is any system which imagines we can earn our salvation by good works. Should we in fact render nothing but perfect obedience all of our lives, we would not earn eternal salvation. We could not earn adoption – sonship. Perfect obedience is only our bare duty. It is only what is expected of us. This is the amazing thing about our salvation – not only haven’t we obeyed – we have absolutely rebelled. And STILL He saves us. We could stack up our works until they reached above the clouds – and still we could not warrant the unspeakable wonder of becoming the “sons of God.” This can be had but one way – grace. It must be a free gift, for even perfection could not earn it.

Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on Oct. 21, 2K8.

1 – Luke 12:1-3 (ESV)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.

RAF: In the Last Day – there will be no place for the hypocrite to hide.

2 – Luke 12:4-7 (ESV)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. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

RAF: In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address as President of the United States, he uttered the famous words: “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” He was wrong. Some may indeed fear fear itself, but the only thing we HAVE to fear, is the Living God. Fear Him rightly, and you need not fear anything else in all of life. Fear Him, and there is no man, no circumstance that has a right to grip you. Heavenly Father, give us that holy, right, singular fear of you, that make us to face life boldly and confidently no matter what else we may confront. Knowing that we can stand before you in Christ – for it is sin which would make us the subjects of your just wrath – we can stand boldly in His finished work at Calvary. And that, will see us through these short years, and usher us into the eternity you have planned for those that love you.

3 – Luke 12:10 (ESV)10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

RAF: The Holy Spirit is the illuminator, the revelator of Christ to the soul. Reject His revelation, and you are beyond hope, for there is no salvation outside of Christ Jesus and Him crucified.

4 – Luke 12:13-15 (ESV)13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

RAF: Here is the Son of God, speaking to the crowds. He is teaching them eternal, soul saving truths. Revealing Himself and the salvation to be found in Him. And You mean to tell me, as the Son of God stands before you, the only thing on your agenda is whether or not you get treated fairly in a financial matter? The Son of God did not come to be an arbitrator over financial issues with others. He came to seek and to save the lost. What a call this is to me! Where are MY priorities? I can enter His house with His people, and let the worship of the King be completely overshadowed by a million, petty, earthly matters – all the while the Bread of Life is being broken to me, and the opportunity to lift up the name of my Redeemer in public with His people is passing me by. Heavenly Father, deliver me from such earthbound nonsense. Deliver me from my own pettiness. Deliver me from wasting the moments you give us in gathered worship with anything other than the glory of your Son’s name. Forgive me.

5 – Luke 12:22-34 (ESV)22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 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. 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

RAF: What does it mean to “seek the kingdom” as opposed to the other things we see here? It means at least four things.

a. Seek the Kingdom to be dominant within. In other words, be about the business of being Spirit controlled. Letting Christ reign in our hearts through faith.

b. Seek to advance Christ’s Kingdom through the preaching of the Gospel. Enlarge the boarders of the Kingdom through evangelism.

c. Seek to build up the Saints in the Faith. Help one another grasp and grow in the knowledge of Christ and His Lordship.

d. Seek (as the actual emphasis of this present text is) to contextualize all of life in preparing for the Kingdom to be inherited by you at Christ’s return. Live like that is what you are really living for. Make everything else secondary. Aim toward Heaven. And build your life around that pursuit. Enter the Pilgrim’s Progress toward the Celestial City. Live life, as a journey to terminate in the arms of Christ.

6 – Luke 12:54-59 (ESV) 54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? 57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”

RAF: This is the interpretation of the present state of things He is calling for in 54-56: A WORLD-VIEW Paradigm for Evangelism – this is what men need to know.

a. Mankind stands accused and guilty before God.

b. We are on our way toward the Judgment Bar of God.

c. Now is the time to settle with God in Christ Jesus – before it is too late.

Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on Oct. 20, 2K8.

1 – Luke 10:38-42 (ESV) 38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

RAF: When people are hurt or angry because others do not feel the same burden for a particular ministry they do – you can be sure they have failed to choose “the good portion.” There is a time to pay attention to Christ, to His presence and teaching, and THEN a time to serve according to the burden. But to constrain another to act simply because of our own sense of urgency, while they are taking the time to hear Christ and know His Word, is to make the ministry an idol. It is to place more importance on service, than to submission to Him. Each must be had in its proper place.

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Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on Oct. 17, 2K8.

1 – Luke 9:22-26 (ESV) 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

RAF: Being a disciple of Jesus, to follow Him, will unavoidably mean several things. But at the center of it all, will be rejection by those whom one would imagine to be most invested in Christ too – those who are steeped in ruling God’s people, serving God’s people, and know the Word. For He must be served and followed even above any system about Him. We must be willing to be rejected, even by the ones we know that in their own hearts and minds think themselves to be serving God in the very act of rejecting us. To love them, while losing our lives to follow Him. To be unashamed of His words, even when that means others will not understand. To lose the lives we would like to have among them, that we might walk with Him with abandon.

2 – Luke 10:1-2 (ESV) After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

RAF: There is to be no competition in genuine Gospel ministry. We are to desire as many to be about the work as possible. We cannot reach them all ourselves. If they are preaching salvation by faith alone, through grace alone, because of Christ alone – they are fellow-laborers. May God multiply His work force in the world ten-thousand times ten-thousand fold.

3 – Luke 10:10-15 (ESV) 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. 13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.

RAF: It is greater sin to reject the Gospel, than merely to remain in darkness and unbelief. All who hear, are responsible above those who have not heard.

4 – Luke 10:16 (ESV) 16 “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

RAF: One simply cannot reject Jesus as the Christ, and have God too. They are one. To reject Jesus IS to reject God. For all our discussions about Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnessism and a hundred more – we must always come back to this absolute. For the Christian, Jesus Christ is our God. This is what men need to be confronted with. Is Jesus your God? Without that as a foundation, Christianity is merely another religious opinion, and all roads lead to Heaven. Nor, can any in these discussions deny the Holy Spirit as God, nor the Father as a person distinct from the Son and the Spirit yet the three in one, undivided Godhead. This is the mystery of true Biblical Christianity. We dare not run from it. This is the revelation of Christ in this world. A truly tirune God. Anything less is not Christianity. Anything less, is not God. Anything less, is not salvation, on any level.

5 – Luke 10:17-20 (ESV) 17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

RAF: They were amazed at seeing the demons subject to their delegated authority. Jesus tells them not to be so impressed. He has seen much higher and greater things than that – even Satan being cast down from Heaven. And yet there are some things which are to be regarded as even more wonderful than any such visions – it is the knowledge that our names are written in Heaven., This truly deserves our awe.

6 – Luke 10:22 (ESV) 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

RAF: Election is a multi-faceted thing. Not only has the Father designated indivudals from all eternity to be “in Christ”, but there is a work of the Son where He personally choses and reveals the Father according to His own will. These end as one and the same. Whom the Father elected, the Son chooses and reveals the Father. While each acts independently, there is perfect oneness. All of this does not yet take into account the work of the Spirit – whose domain it is to make all these things reality in the lives of individuals. He it is who applies all of this to us – works all of this in us. Salvation is a gloriously triune accomplishment. The work of all three as one must be wrought out in their proper spheres.

7 – Luke 11:1 (ESV) Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

RAF: Having observed Him praying before, one wonders, does the question arise because He did not pray out loud, but silently? If they were used to hearing Him pray, it seems this question would be superfluous.

8 – Luke 11:2-4 (ESV) 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread, 4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

RAF: 1. (1-4) The PRIORITIES of Prayer

a. The Father’s Glory

b. The Extension of The Father’s Rule

c. The Father’s Appropriate Provision

d. The Father’s Pardon – for Intimacy

e. The Father’s Heart – Toward others

f. The Father’s Purity

Notice first the PRIORITIES of Jesus’ prayers here. We get much insight into the mind of Christ Himself through it. It is as though He is saying, “OK, so you want to pray? Let me tell you the things that most burn in MY heart and mind in prayer.

a. The GLORY of the Father. “Father, hallowed be your name.” When the Father is most revealed, when He is in His proper place in men’s hearts and minds, mankind is at the very apex of blessing. For God can give us nothing higher than Himself. Pray that the fame of My Father’s name be restored. Nothing is of greater value to the universe.

b. The RULE of the Father. “Your kingdom come”. The source of all evil and woe, of every pain, sorrow, heartache, grief and ill is rebellion against the loving rule of God the Father. Pray He rule in the world of men through their hearts. Nothing can be better for them. Nothing is more right, more glorious, more good. May the Father extend His manifested rule everywhere and in all things at all times.

c. The perfectly appropriate PROVISION of the Father. “Give us each our daily bread.” Who knows better our need as we expend ourselves in seeking His kingdom and righteousness? Not too much lest we grow drowsy. Not too little lest we grow faint. Just right in every way. We are to look for His perfect provisions for our every need. If we have no provision for it – we don’t need it.

d. The Father’s PARDON. “and forgive us our sins.” It is against the Father we sin. And our intimacy with Him can only remain intact as we obtain His forgiveness for our often failures. How gracious He is. And how intensely He delights in our close fellowship.

e. The Father’s IMPARTATION. “for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” Oh that we might have His own heart, to forgive as He delights to forgive us. How we need that from Him. He alone can make it so.

f. The Father’s PURITY. “And lead us not into temptation.” Holiness. Knowing, anticipating our own weaknesses, and pleading that He might grant grace to keep us in a place where His name is protected in our behavior. Casting ourselves upon Him entirely.

These are the burning priorities in the bosom of Christ Jesus. We would do well to make them our own.

Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on Oct. 8, 2K8.

1 – The one-word theme of Luke’s Gospel is: THE SON OF MAN. This title becomes Jesus’ most common way of referring to Himself in this Gospel. By it. He is constantly reminding us that He did not take on the nature of angels, but of mankind. He comes in the likeness of sinful flesh. Though no sin is in Him at all, yet He does not appear like the Adam before the Fall – whatever that glory might have looked like. He comes sharing our weaknesses, our griefs and sorrows, aches and pains. He suffers weariness, hunger, abandonment, misunderstanding, thirst, loneliness and whatever else belongs to the human condition. He is a Priest who can have compassion on us knowing the feeling of our infirmities. He did not insulate Himself from us. What a Savior!

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Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on Oct. 2, 2K8.

1 – Matthew 18:1-5 (ESV) At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,

RAF: Greatness in the Kingdom is not like it is here. Here, greatness revolves around giftedness, lineage, exploits and station. There, greatness is bound up in trust, humility and utter dependence. Those who in the most faith, live simply and confidently as His dear ones.

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