Being Salt and Light in Ocean View, HI

Luke 18:1-15

I’m Alan and welcome again to ocean view Baptist Church just a quick reminder before we get started please don’t forget our church business meeting this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. first of all let’s recap brother Nate sermon from last Sunday where he told us of the kingdom of God and the Lord’s second coming that the kingdom of God is not seen in worldly signs and that the second coming of our Lord will be like in the days of Noah the mankind will be going about their daily lives as usual when there will be half of those who are taken up and half of those who remain now the sermon for this morning is on Luke chapter 18 verses 1 to 14 from the NASB and in these verses we’re going to look at two of Jesus parables on prayer the first parable is about a widow and a judge in verse 1 Jesus is talking to his disciples now he was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not lose heart in this opening verse there is so much that our Lord Jesus is telling us about the significance of continuing to pray while not losing hope prayer is our lifeline to God and without prayer even for a relatively short period of time we can become thoughtless and desensitize to what is actually happening to us we drift further away from God and closer the sinful behavior now surely there are many good things in this life but some of them can also divert our attention away from God just as sure as the many bad things we encountered we can become preoccupied and callous towards even towards those we love and care about you see brothers and sisters the world around us is like an ocean of sin without consistent and sincere prayer we soon become like a boat without a rudder carried by a current that pushes us along forcing us until it drives us crashing onto the rocks this is really about a battle for your soul but with steadfast study of Scripture and faithful prayer our rudder is sound and we are equipped with the armor of God protect ourselves and the spiritual resolve to fight back and endure knowing that God loves us and will guide us home to safe harbor now Jesus is not just telling us to pray he is also saying we must not lose hope we must not give up especially when we are tired in the Caesar rough my friends if we are to keep this boat afloat and survive despite for our soul we must pray fervently and we must stand firm in our faith day and night in verse two he continues saying in a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect men remember the fear God means that you Revere him that you have respect for him and his word and you abide by his commandments the judge mentioned here in verse two a prayers preoccupied with himself and his power we don’t know much about him or what made him that way nevertheless one thing is evident he had become insensitive and and he ignored God and despised men the folks let me add something here I have had and still have friends that were law enforcement officers and I can tell you for a fact that not one of them that entered into a career in law enforcement ever did it to get rich it was born out of a desire to serve others and bring justice for those who need it now that being said it does not mean that all those in law enforcement are Christian believers but of the many that are they face a daily struggle maintain their faith amidst the depth of sin they encounter out on the streets in this case however it is a judge who is unrighteous and whose does not fear God as we move on to verse 3 Jesus says there was a widow in that city and she kept coming to him saying give me legal protection from my opponent this poor lady was a widow her husband had died she was most likely alone because she absolutely needed protection from someone she needed legal protection in fact it says that she kept coming back and asking the judge for help so you know it had to be that important to her now the scripture here doesn’t tell us if the widow is young or old or if she had children or not the widows had a particularly hard in those days and they were certainly considered prey for example let’s take a look at what Jesus says about it in Matthew chapter 23 verse 14 woe to you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites because you devour widows houses and for a pretense you make long prayers therefore you will receive greater condemnation when it says to devour that almost gives us the impression of ravenous hunger it’s as if they couldn’t wait to greedily foreclose on some poor widows house leaving her homeless and out on the streets and once homeless and destitute a widow could go either way she could completely give up on God and fall into sin or she could turn deeply toward God for help as it says in 1st Timothy chapter 5 verse 5 now she who is a widow and Dean and who has been left alone has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day so let’s continue with Luke 18 verses 4 & 5 for a while he was unwilling but afterward he said to himself even though I did not fear God nor respect man yet because this Widow bothers me I will give her legal protection otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out because the judge did not fear God and had become insensitive he kept turning the widow away every time she came to him for help however because she was relentless in her desire for help and kept asking the judge over and over god convicted his heart and he finally gave in and decided to help her she could have given up and the judge would have been just fine with not doing anything for her but she didn’t and this is the principle behind praying at all times and not losing heart by praying to God night and day and not giving up the Father hears and will answer he knows our problems and he knows our hearts and if we are faithful and patient and we trust in him he will see that our needs are met at just the right time as Jesus said in Matthew 21 verse 22 and all things you ask in prayer believing you will receive and again in Luke chapter 11 verse 9 where Jesus kept oldest disciples so I say to you ask and it will be given to you seek and you will find knock and it will be open to you but I submit to you that not only should we pray to God for our needs it is absolutely necessary to thank him for all of the wondrous blessings he provides us with daily so unbeknownst to the judge who was living with the desires and directions of the flesh God gave him the change of heart as we move on to Luke 18 verses 6 & 7 Jesus is speaking to his disciples and the Lord said hear what the unrighteous judge said now will not God bring about justice for his elect who cry to him day and night and will he delay long over them now Jesus is not only asking his disciples if they heard what the judge said but do they really understand what he said he is pointing out that it was the persistence of the widow and the will of God that finally caused the judge to agree to help her and here our Lord is also saying that surely and without prolonging it God will answer the prayers of those that are faithful to him the ones who ardently believe that he will bring justice to them who seek it another scripture in which our fathers justification is mentioned is in Romans chapter 8 verse 33 who will bring a charge against God’s elect God is the one who justifies we come now for the last verse and this particular parable per se where Jesus says I tell you that he will bring about justice for them quickly however when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth this certain vrse is addressed to all of us not just to his disciples here in the first part Jesus states that God’s answer to the prayers of the elect the believers will be given promptly and then in the latter part of the verse Jesus is referring to when he returns his second coming and by his question will he find faith on the earth he is asking all of us to have faith and continue to pray until he does come again he is asking us to not lose heart to love one another and to be persistent and thankful in our petitions to the Father and this is so well stated in Philippians chapter 4 verse 6 be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be known to God as we continue with Luke chapter 18 verses 9 and 10 Jesus tells us of the Pharisee and the tax collector and he also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt two men went up into the temple to pray one a Pharisee and the other tax collector now the hour of prayer was at the ninth hour about 3 p.m. which was the likely time that the Pharisee and the tax collector entered the temple to pray Jesus begins here by speaking about the Pharisees the ones who considered themselves learning and practiced in the Mosaic law and therefore superior and righteous they looked down on those who did not study and keep the law as they did Jesus also made this dramatic reference when he spoke to the Pharisees back in Luke chapter 16 verse 15 and he said to them you are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men but God knows your hearts for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God see our Lord is saying that the false displays of devotion by the Pharisees are nothing in the eyes of God so he sees what is true in our hearts and this should also tell us that following God’s commandments and the giving of our loving and humble service to him and to our fellow brothers and sisters is absolutely what he wants to see in our heart so he just continues telling the story in verse 11 the Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself god I thank you that I am not like other people swindlers unjust adulterers or even this tax collector the Pharisee of course saw himself as being better than the tax collector and Jesus points out this habit of the hypocrite Pharisees in Matthew chapter 6 verses 5 and 6 where he instructs us on how we are to pray when you pray you are not to be like the hypocrites for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men truly I say to you they have their reward and pull but you when you pray go into your inner room close your door and pray to your father who is in secret and your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you see brothers and sisters Jesus is telling us that we are not to put on an act for others when we pray that prayer is deeply spiritual that is between God and our hearts that if we pray as the Pharisees did our only reward will be what people see us doing in fact Jesus himself gave us examples by the way that he would bread alone for instance one good example is in Matthew chapter 26 verse 36 then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane and said to his disciples sit here while I go over there and Brett okay let’s go on to Luke chapter 18 verse 12 where the Pharisee who is still praying in the temple says I fast twice a week I pay tithes of all that I get earlier and Luke chapter 11 verse 42 Jesus pointed out these typical bold claims of the Pharisees but woe to you Pharisees for you pay tithe of mint Andrew and every kind of garden herb and yet disregard justice and the love of God but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others the idea of being humble and forgiving in our prayers is the example that our Lord wants us to follow not to put on an act or to pray so that others can say oh look how pious that person is now meanwhile back at the temple the tax collector is also still praying but his kind of praying is altogether different as Jesus goes on to tell us in verse 13 but the tax collector standing some distance away was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven but was beating his breast saying God be merciful to me the sinner and you can also find other references in scripture regarding the same way of pray such as in Mark chapter 11 verse 25 in which Jesus says whenever you stand praying forgive if you have anything against anyone so that your father who is in heaven will also forgive your transgressions Jesus now finishes up his second parable on prayer with verse 14 I tell you this man went to his house justified rather than the other for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled but He Who humbles himself will be exalted Jesus also mentions the same teaching of humbleness and exaltation earlier in Luke chapter 14 verse 11 where he says for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and He Who humbles himself will be exalted and again this is also stated in other scriptures as well such as in James chapter 4 verse 10 humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you you see my friends the tax collector was justified and forgiven when he left the temple after pray he was exalted because he had humbled himself before God and forgave others but because the Pharisee was not forgiving and humble in his prayers before God he was not right – surely justified and as he left the temple and walked out into the streets he would carry his Unforgiven sins with him brothers and sisters he’s too short parables today tell us so much about praying though there are many who are unsure that their prayers will be answered this is where our faith and trust in the Lord comes in and if you are one of those that aren’t sure then pray for strength pray for the strength of spirit a strong spirit overcomes weak flesh just remember unbelief dishonor stop so pray in a humble in forgiving way you can pray kneeling down sitting up or even standing you can pray in the morning during the day and at night if you like to take a long walks brave while you’re walking if you’re a runner pray while you’re running but pray in the spirit so that the spirit will guide your prayers be sensitive to the needs of others not just your own needs surrender to God’s will remember when Jesus was praying to the Father and go cemani he said not my will but your will be done so everyone pray as a humble servant of God pray with your heart and be sincere pray all the time and do not lose hope braying you know is a Christians life line we need it it spiritually connects us with the Father it keeps us strong and shipshape and it keeps our boat on course to the one safe harbor we all strive to reach the kingdom of God and so I would like to close the sermon today with the most memorable prayer of them all the Lord’s Prayer here taken from Matthew chapter 6 verses 9 to 13 our Father who is in heaven hallowed be your name your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors and do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil and father we pray these things in the name of your son Jesus amen



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