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At the Door

Andrew Carpenter



  • April 11, 2015
    10:00 AM
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My name is Andrew carpenter. I'm the Bible teacher chaplain at San Gabriel Academy just outside of L.A. I've been here in Southern California for about five years or so I guess at the end of the school year to be five years. Originally I come from Madison Tennessee that's where I was born and raised. But my family's actually from last year. My dad grew up here went to school last year and he actually worked here Loma Linda for a little bit before he couldn't take Southern California anymore so he moved to Tennessee. And then when I finished my undergrad at Southern Adventist University I got the call to come out to St Gabriel Academy and I was sitting in traffic with my father as he was helping me move just outside of Rancho Cucamonga sitting there as many of us have done many times and stop and go. And it was about one hundred ten degrees and my dad was reminded why he left Southern California. And I was wondering why I was headed back and in the first the first year or so here I was kind of wondering the same thing you know the weather is pretty nice exposure as you get closer to the coast and I and I enjoy that and you know I call my my parents sometimes and they'd be like oh you know it's it's forty degrees and it's raining seventy five degrees here and it's sunny like oh are you going to go outside because I'm going to see when you get a day like that you've got to go outside because you only get a few of them I said Nama side because you know it can go like this tomorrow and it's going to be gone. It was the day after that and the day after that and the day after that. So it is a blessing to live here in Southern California and I was once again reminded of that as I went home at Christmas. It was cloudy and rainy for ten days and sometimes I think I know when I want to go back to Tennessee and then I go back to Christmas and I sit in the rain for ten days and then I come back and I land and I go straight to the beach. Maybe I'll stay here for a little bit to the Lord calls me somewhere else. But it's a blessing to be Hansel in California and it's a blessing to be here at Advent hope this morning. I'm so glad that we have the opportunity to look at God's word together. The title this morning is at the door and the main passage that we're going to look at this morning comes from Luke Chapter sixteen. But in order to understand Luke Chapter sixteen we need to take a quick look at the previous chapter in Luke Chapter fifteen. Now my Bible. Many of these words are in red letters which means that this is Jesus who is talking and if you go to Chapter fifteen Luke Chapter fifteen verse one. If that then all the task collectors and the sinners Jew near to him to hear him. Verse two when the Pharisees and the scribes complained saying this man receives sinners and eats with them. So they were little they were a little upset that the pastor was preaching to sinners. Verse three so he spoke this parable to them saying and we know the parable right. So the parable of the lost sheep and then he tells the parable of the lost coin. Then he tells the parable of the prodigal son. And these three are very interesting because I believe that they represent the experience of some of us in our lives. The lost sheep he wandered away from the shepherd. Maybe unintentionally maybe intentionally but he was lost and even though the shepherd had ninety nine other he still went after the last you see the shepherd still found value in that one lost sheep. And so because that one lost sheep had a value he went after in search of to find that lost sheep. And then in the next parable we have the last coin and there is how many coins ten and one gets lost right. Yet the whole house is torn apart. Everything is weapons site even though there's nine others that one last point still has one value. So maybe there are some of us who are lost at home. But the owner still finds value in the one that was lost. And then we come to the next story. The story of the prodigal son right. And we have somebody who chose to deliberately walk away insulted his father and his family and said I want nothing to do with you. Give me what's mine. I'm out of here. He chose to leave. Yet when he returned How was he received. They had a party because even though he had chose to leave even though he deliberately said I'm out of here he still had what he still had value and this is what the Pharisees were having a hard time understanding was that Jesus US valued everybody. G.'s us value people and what Jesus is trying to show them in these three parables is that he values even the law just right. And so then we come to the next parable here and it's the parable of the unjust steward. So first of all he says here's a last do you value them. Then he says I'm giving you something to do take care of my sheep take care of the last what are you being a good steward with what I have given you to do. Very interesting how Jesus works now go to Chapter sixteen Chapter sixteen verse eleven it says Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous who will commit you who will commit to your trust the true riches. Verse twelve and if you have not been faithful and what is another man's who will give you what is your own. And we read these verses many times before. If you can't be trusted in the little how can we be trusted in our great right. Jesus is saying I've entrusted you as my people to value people to take care of people to be a blessing to people to go after people who are lost regardless of the reason why are you being a good steward with what I've given you now see the problem is in verse fourteen it says now the verses were lovers of what money and if you go to the previous verse verse thirteen it says no servant can serve two masters three either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other you cannot serve God and Mammon or well. If you see the problem with the nation at that time was they were not valuing God values were not valuing people they were great theologians they knew the law. But the problem was their application of that knowledge was wrong. For you see God had given them these things so that they could be a blessing to others. But their problem was that in this world they were valuing the wrong things. And so Jesus is trying to get their attention. Now we come to what we want to focus on this morning. A very popular story and Chapter sixteen. The story of the rich man and Lazarus after Jesus has given them these things. He then goes on to tell another story chapter sixteen verse nineteen. It says there was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen. In verse twenty but there was a certain beggar named Lazarus full of sores who was laid at his gate. Basically what I thing is there is a rich man and on his front porch there was this beggar verse twenty one and the beggar desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked a source twenty two so it was that the beggar died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom and the rich man died also and was buried. Verse twenty three and being in torment in Hades he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. Now what this story in our community is most popular for is how do we go straight to heaven or hell when we die. Well that's really not what Jesus is addressing here in the context where you see there are some interesting things there's only two names in the story Abraham and Lazarus. And as you look at this story. Lazarus is at the front door of the rich man. If you look at what labs are is what his name is in Hebrew it's L.-E. asr. Now is there a relationship between a man named Abraham and a man named El Yaser L.-E. asr is Abraham's trusted servant in Genesis. In fact Elliott is or was still faithful to Abraham that Abraham was going to give him his inheritance. He was going to receive a more hams blessing because he was such a faithful servant Now here's the interesting thing Ellie asr his name names are very important right. You ever notice that God does a lot of things in his name. Ellie is very interesting because it means God is my help. So was laying at the front door of the rich man. God is my help. The beggar is there for a reason. As a teacher I've learned to stop praying for patience. You might think that's odd but the reason why is what happens when we pray for patients. That was like Alright it's time to go time to go to practice playing a little more. This is fifteen year old. Right and you have a God works that way right. Lord give me strength. Well let me give you some exercises to do and so I never prayed this morning. Help me Lord save me and maybe the rich man prayed this prayer and so God put it right at his front door. He said Here is your chance. Do you value what the Kingdom of Heaven values. How do you value people. I've blessed you with something very special. What do you value the purpose of why it has been given to you. Just go to verse twenty four. Luke Chapter sixteen. Then he cried and said Father Abraham have mercy on me and then last or is that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said Son remember that in your lifetime that's very important. He said Remember when in your life time remember that time when you had the chance to make choices before death came because the dead know nothing. Remember in your life time. If you received your good things and likewise Lazarus evil things but he is comforted in your tormentor. Now obviously the obvious question here just a touch on this whole what happens to you when you die thing when we die we're going to be able to converse between the two places. No probably not so there's obviously some indicators in here that would use this is a parable right it's an analogy he's trying to speak to them in a way that they will be able to relate and comprehend verse twenty seven Then he said I beg you therefore father that you would say to him being Lazarus to my father's house for I have how many brothers five brothers that he may testify to them lest they also come to this place of torment Now here's the interesting thing. Jesus is very smart. Praise the Lord. He's using this phrase here to identify who exactly he's talking about. He's talking to a very specific group of people here where you see these men who he was talking to were from the tribe of Judah. How many blood brothers do to have blood brothers five five blood brothers. Jacob had a couple wives five. So what Jesus is saying here and the thing I'm talking about you. He's giving them a hand that if they're listening they will understand who they are. He's saying you are that rich man. Now look at verse twenty nine this is very interesting is that Abraham said to him they have what they have Moses and the prophets let them hear them. Very interesting. And he said No father Abraham but if one goes to them from the dead they will repent. Verse thirty one but he said to him if they do not hear Moses and the prophets neither will they be persuaded from one who rises or is resurrected from the dead. In other words if they won't pay attention to the Word of God They won't pay attention to anyone. He said I've already given you what you need to know the question on is are you taking the time to pay attention. And as I thought about this question he says they have Moses and the prophets. They have the Old Testament to go back and look at and to see what is it that God values. So I want to take a look at that figure out your Bibles which are already you know hopefully probably go back go back to the book The Book of Exodus. Now when we talk about Moses when I talk about Moses and the prophets what is Moses known for. To the rabbis for his law right now when we look at the Bible it's very interesting and the first eleven chapters of the Bible you have the history of man continuing to screw up right. After many Kane the flood he wipes everybody out except for eight. They come back. They didn't learn the first time they wanted to build their own empire and he says I promised you I wouldn't wipe you out again so I've got to confuse the languages. I've got to go another way. But he chooses one family one man after he confuses the language to keep that blessing and to be a blessing to the others. He finds the faithful and he says I'm going to give you the key. I'm going to give you what you need and the interesting part is as you continue to look at the story we know how it goes right. They end up in Egypt. They come out of Egypt while they were in Egypt. There was a problem they had forgotten how the relationship works between them and their god. There's been four hundred years among a pagan society where their view of a relationship and values had been warped and so when they come out of Egypt God says I'm going to instruct you. I'm going to give you what you need in order to understand how love works. Now let me know if I'm being reasonable or not. I got married about a year and a half ago. And hopefully that's reasonable. Thank you. Is it reasonable that when my wife and I got married was it reasonable that we said hey you know what. She said to me you can I can I can be the only woman in your life and I said I have to be the only man in your life. Is that reasonable. Very good. Would it be reasonable for us to say to each other all the ex boyfriends and girlfriends the pictures the Facebook pictures the the knickknacks the trinkets whatever it is take those things and put them away if they are reasonable and we get rid of them. Don't put him in the shoe box. Is that reasonable. What would be reasonable when we got married for us to look at each other and say hey you know what we have to respect each other we can't be making fun of each other is that reasonable. And would it also be reasonable for us to say you know what let's take it one day a week and let's spend one day a week together is that reasonable. I think a lot of times something like no one gave me my way or sometimes people scratch their heads about that was that reasonable I think that's reasonable right. Welcome to the first floor of the commandments. I have to be the only god in your life you can't have other idols. We can't be making fun of each other and let's spend an entire day together. So the first four define our relationship with God and the next six define our relationship with each other. Can I have a good relationship with any of you if I keep stealing your car. It doesn't work that way. In fact you know I was looking at this do you know why Heaven is paradise. Some people don't like this you know I haven't paradise. Where legalization what everybody keeps God's law. When I'm going to heaven I don't have to worry about rebates I was the only one and I don't have to worry about rain stealing my car why. Because he obeys God's Law I don't have to worry about somebody coming in making fun of me why. Because they follow God's law. I don't you know as a Perry not to worry about your children not honoring you why because we've all got along because he has given us the tools to understand how relationships work together right and then he said I want you to take this and I want you to bless the world with the information I've given you I want you to bless the people so in Exodus Chapter twenty he says here's how the relationship works and then if you keep reading right after that he then goes into how they need to treat each other how they need to treat people. They build an altar then he's like now this is how you treat each other. Now go to Deuteronomy Deuteronomy let me if you want to understand righteousness by faith. I highly recommend you read Deuteronomy. What. Yes the retelling of the law and I'm going to explain that if you go to Deuteronomy Moses is retelling the law right before they enter into the law right before they enter into the Promised Land. And this is very important because he said I want you to know how to operate in the promised land so that you can have life and life abundantly. Now look at this go to chapter six chapter six and we're going to start in verse four. Deuteronomy Chapter six verse four. It says here O. Israel the Lord your God The Lord is one. Now he gets a little New Testament on us he says You shall love the Lord your God with all your what heart with all your soul and with all your might or strain and Leviticus Chapter nineteen verse eighteen says and you shall love your neighbor as you are so that found like the Gospel that I found like what Jesus came to tell us and then he says this is says in verse six and these words which I command you to day shall be in your heart. Now notice this he's talking about the law he says You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house when you walk by the way when you lie down and when you rise up you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and between the front lids of your eyes to be at the front lip between your eyes. Now we don't have time to go through the whole study but did you know that the law. It's a reflection of God's character. So what he's saying here is you need to keep the character of God around your house. If you keep reading he says write it on the doorposts put it on your hand in your actions put it on your forehead in your thoughts. Have the character of God If we have the character of God will we value what God values and we know that God values people God values people. Now go to Chapter seven verse twelve. Is that then it shall come to pass because you listen to these judgments or commandments and keep and do them that the Lord your God will keep with you. The covenant or the promise and the Mercy which he swore to your fathers. So in other words if you keep this he will keep his promise his promise to protect you his promise to bless you. Now one of my problems growing up was I thought that God was a magician. I thought that God was my magical genie and when I needed something I prayed and then poof it happened. But then I wrote a verse in Deuteronomy that blew my mind. Look at chapter seven verse fifteen. You probably want to what is says keeping all this in mind and the Lord will take away from you all sickness and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known and I thought about that for a second. When they came out of Egypt to God come up with a bunch of arbitrary laws and rules and say if you do this then OK then I'll put my magical force field around you. May the Force be with you. Is that what he did. Nono Check this out. They came out of Egypt and God reformed their lifestyle. Yeah they came out of Egypt and when he says if you listen to me this won't come to you. He says because if you do what I'm telling you to do. The natural result of following my law is a blessing and as people around you look and say Hey man why are you not sick all the time. As they look at it why do you and so why are you happy. I say well let me tell you about the lifestyle that God showed me. They'll see it or in a moment here right. We know these things. They weren't arbitrary things that God gave them but he said I'm doing this so that you can be a blessing to those who don't know not so that you can continue to gain wealth and prominence for yourself. That's the love of money. But he says if you value what I value I'm giving you these things so that you can be a blessing to others to the ones who are lost because they will go their own way for whatever reason. And when they look back they'll say I miss being happy. I miss the joy that I had when I was following God But if we are not living it will they look back and see the goodness. It doesn't earn us any salvation but what it does is it becomes a blessing what it does is it lets us have a little bit of a piece of heaven here on earth he says listen I don't want to just sit down here and suffer and be nice to that but he says I'm going to give you the tools that you need to be a blessing. Now if you keep looking here in Deuteronomy by the way if you read Chapter nine that's a great one righteousness by faith. Deuteronomy Chapter nine and then Hebrews three and four when you go home this afternoon and read those and think about that. When we go to chapter ten Deuteronomy Chapter ten we get some other New Testament things and here it says in verse sixteen Deuteronomy Chapter ten verse sixteen therefore circumcise the four skin of your heart does that sound like the Gospel. Circumcise the four skin of your heart and be stiff necked or stubborn or longer. Verse seventeen for the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of Lords the great God mighty and awesome who shows no partiality nor takes any bribe. Now check this out. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow. He loves the stranger giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger for you were strangers in the land of Egypt now here's a question. Does he do that just by magically having clothes appear before the poor. No How do I know. Well flip a couple pages go over to Chapter fifteen chapter fifteen verse four. It's says and there will be no poor among you for the Lord will greatly bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to pose as an inheritance. Verse five Only if you carefully obey the voice of the Lord your God to observe with care all the commandments which I command you today so here it is. Why will will be Why will there be no poor among these people. Go to verse seven it says this if there is among you a poor man of your brethren within any of the gates of your land which the LORD your God is giving you you shall not harden your work nor shut your hand from your brother but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need. What ever he needs. So this is why the response to the rich man was if they're not listening to Moses and the prophets they won't listen to anyone he said. I've already given you the information. Take some time to chew on it to learn it and then apply it to your life. The reason he gives us these things is so that we can be a blessing to others. And so when Lazarus whose name means God is my help when he was at the door of the rich man God was giving the rich man his chance to make a decision. Are you going to value what I value and use what I have given you to be a blessing. I'm going to Deuteronomy Chapter thirty. This is what the Lord wants to do. This is what the Lord wants to do for us today. Chapter thirty Deuteronomy thirty verse six. It says this and the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants to love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul that you may hear. He says I have done this for you. I've done this to change your heart to circumcise your heart so that you can see the goodness of who I am. Micah six eight and you can look at that we know that love justice do mercy. Isaiah fifty eight write to bring relief to the poor. This is what God has desired for us to do so that as we do that they will look and they will say Why are you doing this. And then we can say Let me tell you about Jesus. Let me tell you what he's given me. Let me tell you why I am happy. And as we sit and we pray Lord what do I do next. What do you have for me. Maybe it's not something huge maybe it's whoever is at your front door today. Maybe that's all he's asking you. Do that one person that has been at our doorstep that we've been ignoring saying Lord what do you want me to do and he's like it's right here. God is my help is out the door. The question is are we taking the time to pay attention to and to value what God value do we value the last. Do we value the people who for whatever reason have said no I don't want this anymore in my life. Do we still value them or do we look at them they say look I'm a teacher a novice goes you have the students who just refuse are doing I am fine forget it. I mean hopefully we don't do that but that's that's our human nature right. They rejected our help time and time again. If you come after school I help you. And if I don't I don't want you know fine. We write people off. When Jesus says no do we value even the one even though you have ninety nine others. Do you value the one that's not sitting with us today. Do you value them enough to go and be God's help at their door to knock on the door say hello can I pray with you. Do you value the clerk that you see at the store every day when you go to Vons or Whole Foods I don't know what you're in the Linda stater brothers. Do you value them enough to say hey look let me tell you about my friend Jesus. Maybe they've been at your door every Friday when you go and do your grocery shopping for the weekend. Who is at your door. I want to read you something from Christ object lessons. Christ object lessons. Page two sixty one. It says the rich man did not belong to the class that represented start over the rich man did not belong to the class represented by the unjust judge who openly declared his disregard for God and man he claimed to be a son of Abraham. He did not treat the beggar with violence or require him to go away because the side of him was disagreeable. If the poor lonesome specimen of humanity could be comforted by beholding him as he entered his gates the rich man was willing to let him remain. If this poor beggar feels comfortable being here in the comfort of my porch and see me walk by every day and that's OK let him be there he's comfortable. But he was selfishly indifferent to the needs of His suffering brother. There are today close beside as many who are hungry naked and homeless. A neglect to impart of our means to these needy suffering ones places upon us a burden of guilt which we will one day fear to meet. All covetousness is condemned as idolatry all selfish indulgence is an offence in God's sight. In other words some of us here he has blessed us with the means with the knowledge with whatever it is he has blessed you with for a reason. And it's as simple as asking yourself one question what do I value. One simple question. What do I value. And that's a hard question to ask ourselves what do I value. Ask yourself that question today. It reminds me this reminds me of a group of people in Revelation Chapter three The Revelation chapter three and I want to end with this verse. Many of us know well the last church of the seven churches Laodicea is known for being lukewarm for being in a different way. But notice what verse twenty says. A Revelation chapter three verse twenty it says Behold I stand at the door and knock if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in to him and dine with him and he with me. God is a matter of an inch and a half away from us. He's at the door but it might not be in the way that we are expecting. We might walk by him every single day and not realize throughout our struggles throughout the pain throughout the stress throughout the anxiety. We've been praying and wondering Lord what do I do when the whole time we've been stepping over him as we go about our daily duties. There's something about service. There's something about recognizing the needs of others. There's that becomes not only a blessing to them but a blessing in our lives when we take the time to recognize that Christ is at our door. God is my help was sitting at the door of the rich man. It was there on his front porch and he stepped over it. Every day is Christ at your door this morning. What do you value. Let's pray for hard questions to ask ourselves. We're thankful that you blessed us with this knowledge with your truth. We think we're thankful that you have given us the promise that you're coming again and what we're also thankful that you've said I'm coming again but in the meantime feed my sheep take care of the lost. We open up our eyes and see what is out of the front door this morning and may we use what you have given to us as a blessing. Yes this media was brought to you by Adil purse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about our universe or if you would like to listen to more sermon legalism W.-W. W. dot audio Verse dot org.


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