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Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (no audio this week)

September 1, 2019 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Pentecost

Passage: Luke 14:1–14:14

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†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Luke 14:1-14
Date: August 28th, 2016; Pentecost 15
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • In our Gospel lesson for this morning Jesus warns, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled” (Luke 14:11). 
  • Exalting ourselves really gets to the heart of our problem.  
  • This goes back to the Garden of Eden. 
  • The serpent tempted Eve with the highest exaltation when he told her, “You will become like God” (Genesis 3:5). 
  • As good as Adam and Eve had it - they wanted more. 
  • Trusting the lie that they would become exalted like God, they took the fruit and ate it - and then all hell broke loose.
  • No longer did they walk with God, they ran from him. They hid in shame. 
  • Once they only spoke words of truth to God; now they spoke lies and deception. 
  • This original sin, inspired by a desire to exalt self, broke everything. 
  • It broke their relationship with God. 
  • It broke their relationship with the world around them. 
  • It broke their relationship with each other.
  • Health, vitality, and life were exchanged for sickness, suffering, and death.  “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled” (Luke 14:11).
  • Nothing has changed.  We still desire to exalt ourselves today.
  • We like it when we get the attention - the good grades, the promotion at work, the nice clothes, the new car, the new house.  Check me out!
  • While none of these things are inherently bad or wrong, the danger is they can lead to sinful pride.
  • It’s hard not to exalt ourselves in this world that thrives on the survival of the fittest.   
  • To be humble is viewed as weakness. 
  • But there is also danger in being proud of being humble.
  • Instead of being exalted in our accomplishments and stuff, we become proud of our humility.  
  • “I’m a very humble person” we brag.  
  • We take pride in the fact that we aren't like the rest of those egotistical people out there.  
  • In one way or another, it is such a temptation to exalt ourselves before others.
  • But even more dangerous is the temptation to exalt ourselves before God.
  • It seems to be our default to exalt ourselves before God.  
  • “Look at how much better I am than all of those other sinful and horrible people, God.”
  • “Look at all of the holy things I do - you must be very pleased with me God.”
  • “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled” (Luke 14:11).
  • Be humbled by God’s Word that reveals to us that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  
  • Be humbled by God’s Word that reveals to us that “all who rely on works of the law are under a curse” (Galatians 3:10).  
  • Be humbled by God’s Word that reveals to us that “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace(Galatians 5:4). 
  • Examining our lives in the light of God’s Law will leave us humbled.  
  • It should.  
  • Not for the sake of beating ourselves up, or wallowing in our sin and failures - but to remove every single bit of self-righteousness that is in us.
  • One who is self-righteous has no need for God’s grace and his righteousness.
  • God’s Law leaves us humbled, but Jesus doesn’t just leave us there.  
  • In addition to his warning - he gives us his promise.  There’s a flip side.
  • Jesus warns, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.”  
  • But he then promises, “…and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
  • Humbled by God’s Law, all we can do is repent and confess our sins.  
  • All we can do is cry out to God for his mercy.  
  • All we can do is pray that our hearts and minds be turned away from sin so that we walk in his righteousness.
  • Our sin wreaks havoc in our lives and in the lives of others.  Our sin humbles us.  It kills us.
  • But Christ Jesus exalts us.
  • And he accomplished this for us not with his power and might, but through his ultimate act of humility.  
  • Just think about that.
  • God, who created everything, controls everything, has power over everything - took on our flesh to save us.
  • He allowed himself to be disrespected, mocked, spit-on, tortured, and finally to be put to death on a cross to set us free.
  • God sacrificed himself, he humbled himself to the point of death on a cross - to exalt you - to save you and give you eternal life.
  • When Natalie and I lived in Edmonton we would try our best to get to one Oilers game a year.  
  • The tickets that we could afford had us seated in in the rafters where the players looked like ants!
  • A moving company in Edmonton sponsored what they called “the move of the game”.  
  • Two fans would randomly be selected to move from the nosebleed section down to the main level where they sat on leather recliners to watch the rest of the game.  
  • At one of the games we attended, the people sitting right in front of us were chosen.  
  • An usher approached them and said, “Come with me.”  
  • The couple, filled with joy, made their way down to watch the rest of the game in comfort and style.
  • As we cling to Christ in faith, God graciously moves us from our sin and death and seats us in his heavenly kingdom.  
  • He says, “Come with me.  Come to the font and be washed in your baptismal waters and be joined with me.”
  • “Come receive the forgiveness of your sins, and be reconciled, be at peace with me and one another.”
  • “Come hear my Word through which the Holy Spirit creates in you a clean heart.”
  • Come eat and drink at my table for the forgiveness of your sins and the strengthening of your faith.”
  • Dear friends, Jesus has defeated your sin and death and he has exalted you.
  • Hear him say to you, “Come and take your seat at the heavenly banquet and live eternally in my kingdom.”  Amen.
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The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

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