What’s your dream?

All week we have been walking with God and looking at how His leaders have strayed. Jesus even shares a prophecy that will be fulfilled within a generation of our His own death, when the Roman general Titus leveled and burned Jerusalem, along with the temple. It was literally trampled down, as God warned through Isaiah. After the Jewish leaders pronounce their own condemnation, Jesus asks if they have ever read in the Scriptures. Psalm 118:22-23~ The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. (NIV) Matthew 21:42~ Jesus said to them, Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? (ESV) Is the work of Jesus Christ marvelous in your eyes? Because He is the cornerstone. He is the most important stone in the building. Stonemasons conform the rest of the building to the cornerstone, keeping everything in the building: square, plumb, and true. Jesus wants to be the cornerstone of your life. Listen to Paul impart this wonderful knowledge in Romans 8:29~For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (NIV)

Continuing to explain the parable of the wicked tenant farmers, Jesus tells the Jewish leaders in Matthew 21:43~Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. (ESV) Because Israel is failing to produce the fruit He desires, and they will soon slay His only begotten Son, Jesus, God will take the privileges given to Israel and give the privilege to people who’ll be spiritually fruitful. This is why Paul and Barnabas boldly proclaim it was necessary that God’s message is first spoken to the Jews. 

However, since the Jews rejected it, listen to the declaration in Acts 13:46~And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. (ESV) Finally, Jesus warns them in Matthew 21:44~And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him. (ESV) This means if we don’t allow Jesus to be our Deliverer, He will be our Destroyer. John 5:22~Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, (NIV) You don’t have to be a judgy person, it’s not your job. Just inspect the fruit. You can hear the fear strike their hearts as the chief priests and Pharisees finally realize Jesus is talking about them. Matthew 21:45-4 6~ When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet. (ESV) John writes in John 11:53~So from that day on they plotted to take his life. (NIV) 

Even knowing His brutal death is imminent, Jesus refuses to stray from God’s will for His life. As a result, He continues to be the rejected Cornerstone as an example to us. Jesus wants to be your Cornerstone. Someone once asked John Wesley a question. They wanted to know what he would do differently if he knew he was going to die tomorrow. Famously he replied, nothing. He would do what he’d already planned. Because he had already committed to being faithful to what God called him to do. Tomorrow and the trajectory of the rest of your life is made today by the choice you make.

So let me ask you, What do you want to do differently? Our life is only as long as God has authored it to be, and not one is promised tomorrow. Then, why would anyone want to live a life of mediocrity or one of complacency? I want you to spend today seeking God. As Paul writes the people of Rome he tells them in Romans 12:2~Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. (JBP) As you prepare to pray and go out into the great big wide world, ask God to help you walk in holiness. Ask God that His holiness through the Holy Spirit would be your traveling companion and then you won’t have to change a thing when He comes again to the earth to get you.



Submitting to God’s Will

Each believer must realize that Christ is the cornerstone (21:33-46) Jesus is teaching the religious leaders in Matthew 21 about God’s economy and He says to them, let me spell this out for you by returning to the vineyard. Matthew 21:33~Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. (ESV) The religious leaders should know exactly what Jesus is talking about. For the succinct didactic story oozes of Israel’s own story. Psalm 80:8~You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. (ESV) Jesus is sharing spiritual truths that drip from God’s holy word.

Matthew 21:34-35~When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Matthew 21:36~Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. (ESV) Jesus says to them do you know what you tell a man with two black eyes? Nothing, because they have already been told twice. God has sent leaders, judges, priests, and prophets throughout the Old Testament. Luke 13:34~Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (ESV)

Thank God that He is long-suffering, or you might think He is getting exasperated. 2 Peter 3:9~It is not that he is dilatory about keeping his own promise as some men seem to think; the fact is that he is very patient towards you. He has no wish that any man should be destroyed. He wishes that all men should come to repent. (JBP) God has great things in mind for your life, and all you need to do is repent, and follow, don’t be rebellious in His vineyard of life. Matthew 21:37-38~Finally he sent his son to them, saying, They will respect my son. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance. (ESV) 

We are watching it unfold before our very eyes. The religious leaders assume they can continue in power if they can only kill Jesus. Jesus ends the parable by asking them a question. Matthew 21:40~When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? (ESV) Matthew 21:41~They said to him, He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons. (ESV) 

Jesus has just done something so amazing, that every parent desires when teaching a child. He’s taught and informed them so well that they, the Jewish leaders, are forced to announce their own fate. So, you understand everything, and this is still your choice? Listen to what God says He will do to His vineyard, Israel, in Isaiah 5:5~Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. (NIV) 

Everything God does serves His purpose. God acts not as we do, reacting in a moment based upon circumstances, rather He acts with the perspective of eternity. Ecclesiastes 3:11~He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (ESV) God is the creator. Not only did he make everything, he made it all beautiful in its time. The idea of beautiful here means appropriate. God has made everything for its appropriate purpose. In time, that purpose reveals the beautiful reason God created it. 

Everything includes, well, everything. That means you, me, and all people too. Proverbs 16:4~The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. (ESV) I want you to know that you and your life have a purpose for God. Instead of acting in rebellion, right here in the vineyard where God planted you, why not give into Him fully and find out what true freedom is? I bet there is a place in your life that the Lord has been speaking to you about and today is the perfect time to let go, and let God. Pray, and say, Lord, today I want to give you this area that has been holding me back. Help me relinquish control to you and trust that you will guide me and keep me in your grace.  



10…David —Confessions of a King — Avoiding Satan’s Schemes — 2 Samuel 11…Handout

God’s Word is truth, it instructs us to tell the truth, the whole truth, & ______ but the truth. God’s Word records the lives of His greatest saints—warts, flaws and all. Genesis 9:21~God shares of Noah’s_____________. 1 Kings 19:4~God shares Elijah’s_____of faith. Matthew 26:69-75~Peter’s own_________. Like no other, except Jesus, David’s life is recorded in over ____ chapters, warts, and all. With unrelenting ________, God records the horrible sins of the king upon whose throne His Son will reign for eternity. Psalm 119:160~All your words are ____; all your righteous laws are eternal. (NIV) Avoiding Satan’s Schemes: Keep, Accept, Know.

1) Keep _____ About the Gospel (11:1-2) David is now about ____, and he has been king for about ____ years.  Passover represents the___________ and rebirth of the Israelite people brought out of slavery to freedom, as Easter does for Christians. 2 Samuel 11:1~In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David _____ Joab…they ravaged the Ammonites…But David remained at Jerusalem. (ESV) What do we do when we get________ by idleness? Be a person of integrity. As Martin Luther said, You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from______ a nest in your hair. Psalm 101:3~I will not look with approval on _______that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. (NIV) Avoiding Satan’s Schemes means that we keep busy with the business of the Gospel and that we Accept.

2)_______God’s Warnings (11:3-5) John 16:13~But when 

he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will_______ you into all the truth…(NIV) So, David inquires about Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 11:3~The man said, She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. (ESV) David should have thanked his______ servant for being righteous, instead, he ignores God’s warning. When our hearts are set on sin, we lose all________ to God’s warnings. The Evil One leads us into sin through a three-step process: ________, ________, ________. Deuteronomy 5:32~So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you. _______ stop living this way. (GWT) James 1:14-15 tells us that sin,_____death.

3) Know that God is _________ (11:6-27) God is paying attention to our lives, trying to help us avoid the ______ of sin. True repentance, like all good things, is a_____of God. Proverbs 28:13~Whoever conceals their sins does not_______, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (NIV) Even though David tries, Uriah is such a man of ________, he feels it dishonorable to sleep with his beautiful wife while his fellow soldiers are dying on the battlefield. Watch how dirty David plays 2 Samuel 11:15~Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then_________from him so he will be struck down and die. (ESV) 2 Samuel 11:27~After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done_________the Lord. (ESV) Job 34:21~For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees____his steps. (ESV) 1 Corinthians 10:12~So, if you think you are standing firm, be________ that you don’t fall! (NIV) Take-A-Step: ___________________________________________