The CJCN Daily Worship.
By Pastor Don’t Roy Hemingway.
Gooooooooooooooooooooood morning brethren, peace unto you and the grace of our lord Jesus be with you. May the Almighty God of hosts stay ever with you this morning and thank you, for joining us here at ‘The Church of Jerusalem and the Christian Nation’ for worship and praise. Let us begin as is our tradition every day here at the Nation, by reading from the word of God. Amen…………
The Gospel according to….
Luke 21.21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
1 And He looked up and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury,
2 and He saw also a certain poor widow casting therein two mites.
3 And He said, “In truth I say unto you that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.
4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God, but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”
5 And when some spoke of the temple and how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, He said,
6 “As for these things which ye behold, the days will come in which there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.”
7 And they asked Him, saying, “Master, but when shall these things be? And what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?”
8 And He said, “Take heed that ye be not deceived, for many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ,’ and, ‘the time draweth near.’ Go ye not therefore after them.
9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified, for these things must first come to pass. But the end is not at once.”
10 Then said He unto them, “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,
11 and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines and pestilences. And fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, and you will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.
13 And it shall turn to you to bear testimony.
14 Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand what ye shall answer.
15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents and brethren and kinsfolk and friends, and some of you they shall cause to be put to death.
17 And ye shall be hated by all men for My name’s sake.
18 But there shall not a hair of your head perish.
19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
20 “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21 Then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let them that are in the midst of it depart out, and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23 But woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25 “And there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars; and upon the earth distress among nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring.
26 Men’s hearts will fail them for fear and for looking upon those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.”
29 And He spoke to them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees.
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
32 Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
33 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.
34 “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life, and so that Day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
37 And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple; and at night He went out and stayed on the mount that is called the Mount of Olives.
38 And all the people came early in the morning to Him in the temple to hear Him.
Lord our God, you are help, comfort, and life to us in everything we have to endure. We gather before you as poor, weak people, but you can make us rich and give us new life so that our lives prove we hold to your will and to the justice you bring on earth. May we be one in spirit through all we experience in our hearts, to the glory of your name. May the praise and thanks of many people ring out into all the world because you are help and deliverance from all evil. In Jesus we pray. Amen.
The Daily Lesson.
(29) Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. (30) When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. (31) So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. (32) Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. (33) Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. (34) “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. (35) For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Christ relates the Parable of the Fig Tree (verses 29-33) to give instruction regarding His warnings in the previous verses. The “these things” in verse 31 refers to the question asked in verse 7 and Jesus‘ subsequent answer in verses 8-28. “These things” are the events foretold to happen as the end nears. In the parable, Christ provides the perspective we should have as we anticipate the unfolding of the previously described events.
What owner of a fig tree would spend hours each day scrutinizing his tree to see if it was budding? Would he make the fig tree the focal point of his day? Of course, no one would. An owner of a fig tree would be aware of its location, its level of health, and its progression through the annual cycle of growth, but these matters would not require his all-consuming effort.
The parable, then, shows us that we should be aware of prophecy, we should keep an eye on what is happening in the world, but it does not require—and we should not allow it to become—our primary focus. In the fig-tree analogy, Jesus illustrates for us the balanced view we should have toward prophecy. We must be aware of what is taking place, but we need not be over-attentive.
Some make the mistake—a spiritually dangerous mistake—of ignoring the lesson of this parable by making prophecy a major or even sole focus that distracts them from their primary spiritual responsibilities. It is easier to focus on prophecy and world events than it is to give the same scrutiny to the evils lurking in our corrupt human nature (Jeremiah 17:9). In Luke 21, Christ definitely does not overlook the latter, as we see in verses 34-35:
But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
With the opening “But” in verse 34, Christ’s message takes a definite turn. He is still talking about preparing us for the end of the age, but He shifts from the external events of verses 7-33 to the internal: “take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts. . . .” He is no longer talking about world events, the physical and external, but our “hearts,” the spiritual and internal. He gives a warning to those who are not spiritually aware and focused—those who are distracted. They will be caught completely off guard—”that Day come[s on them] unexpectedly”—because their hearts are misdirected.
Verse 35 re-emphasizes that the end will be a surprise to some people, one that Christ compares to a bird snared or trapped. Why? Verse 34 supplies the reason: They are burdened by the “cares of this life,” not focused on what counts. They are looking in the wrong direction, and the trap springs on them without warning. Rather than overcoming the world (I John 5:4), as Laodiceans, they are being absorbed by it (Revelation 3:14-22).
Between verses 8-33 and verses 34-35 of Luke 21, we can also see a contrast in the awareness levels we need to have regarding the physical versus the spiritual. For the physical, we are to be aware but not over-attentive. For the spiritual, however, Christ raises the level of vigilance: “Take heed to yourselves,” or be on guard! He exhorts us to be in a high state of spiritual alertness.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
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