Wednesday, January 20, 2016

And everybody said, “No way!”

Wednesday  1-20-16 (Home in Modesto, California)   
Scripture reading for today:    Gen 49 – 50  Psalm 8    Luke 20

S=Scripture  O=Observation  A=Application  P=Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S.  Luke 20:16  “... He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others."  And when they heard it they said, "Certainly not!" NKJV
Luke 20:16  The landlord will wipe those evil vinedressers off the face of the earth and give the vineyard to other caretakers.  And nobody said, “Amen”... Instead they yelled,“No way!”  NUHV*

O.  Jesus parable was clearly directed at the chief priests, scribes and elders.  It needed no interpretation for them.  They knew that in His story they were the evil “vinedressers” who had beaten the Owner’s servants whom He had sent to them and finally killed the Owner’s son.  There were no “amens” from that crowd.  Instead they were saying among themselves, “How can we silence this guy?  Everybody knows He is talking about us!  Did you hear that?  He is saying that we will be rejected by God and our inheritance will be given to other nations.”  “Let’s kill Him!”

A.  How do I react when I realize that the sermon is directed straight at me?  Does the preacher get a hearty “Amen” or a “No way, Jose”?  True, I love to sit on the front row or no further back than the second.  I want to sit right under the spout where the glory flows out.  But sometimes “the glory” that flows out is too hot for comfort.  Holy Spirit conviction hurts.  Sometimes the preacher gets to medlin’ and starts steppin’ on my toes and I start squirmin’ and wishin’ I was sitting in the back row.  Now the preacher is calling, “All you nasty sinners come up to this altar and get right with God!”  And although I know that by God’s mercy I am saved, this nasty sinner is the first one to fall on his knees again at the altar for a spiritual update and another heavenly makeover.

P.  Yes, Lord, I know You are still working on me.  People look at me all dressed up like a preacher as I strut by and think, “Now there is a holy saint!”  But then You come by and show me an x-ray of my heart and... since my desire is to please You, I find myself at Your feet pleading again for Your forgiveness, mercy and grace... which You so freely give.  I plead with You, don’t ever stop this process until I walk the streets of gold hand in hand with You and with my darling Frances.  Amen. 


*New Unauthorized Hiatt Version

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