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The Time Is Now

The Lord's Favor  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:22
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The Time Is Now

Are any of you Star Wars fans? Have you seen all the movies? Most of the movies? Some of the movies? Didn’t know there were movies?
I have a confession. I’ve never watched Episode III. I think because it’s seems dark. And because I know where the movie starts, and where it ends up at. So I’m not as interested in seeing it get there.
That’s fine for a movie, until I miss a reference to that move and someone accuses me of not being a REAL fan. OK, guilty!
But I think that’s what we do in our Christian life all too often. “I know how I was saved, and I know were I’m going. I’d rather not deal with the messy bits in between.”
When we live our lives like that, we miss out on such blessing God intends for us. And the world misses out on so much God would do through us!
May we not be guilty of this! Today we will look at Jesus path to engaging with His ministry and what we can translate to what He has called us to.

The Appointed Time

Our passage today picks up at the end of Jesus temptation in the wilderness.
Luke 4:13–21 ESV
13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus declared a thing complete. That what was prophesied about Him was fulfilled. As we examine what Isaiah actually said, and what Jesus was fulfilling at this moment, we can see that what was complete was His preparation and presentation.
It’s as if we had a prophecy that there would come an engineer who would have such equaled skill and foresight of planning that he could deliver one set of plans that would actually fix the Spaghetti Bowl - without needing to redo it is 5 years! And after this one person is born and makes their way through school and apprenticeship, gains insight and skill. Then finally, at the peak of their career they finally make it to that one position all civil engineers desire to attain - road design in Reno, NV!
And the first day on the job we all knew the solution was coming. The prophecy, we could say, WAS fulfilled. The answer to our road worries was here! BUT, the design would not be in hand yet. And the concrete and asphalt not poured yet. The prophecy fulfilled, but the work still needs to be done.
This is Where Jesus was at. The Solver was here. But the solution was on it’s way. And the ones to implement that solution would need to follow the plan.
I spoke yesterday morning about two warnings Paul gave Timothy about those who would follow Jesus. Some would be all talk, no action, and only cause trouble. The others would claim to follow Jesus but never leave the sin of their former lives. But those who would make a difference were those who were workmen and who’s work was tested and approved.
We need to be about the work that Jesus was about. And we need to be diligent in preparation. When Jesus arrived in Nazareth to read from Isaiah, His moment in time had come. But it was those things that led up to that moment that made Him ready.
So much more for us - that we are prepared for our moment.
Let’s trace Jesus’ preparation.

Jesus Path of Preparation.

1. Submitted - To His parents growing up. To the Law of God which he would fulfill perfectly. To the priests who he learned from and interacted. To the Spirit of God and the Father. And he was submitted to John the Baptist. When John said it is I who should be baptized by you...
Matthew 3:15 ESV
15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.
Though He had ALL authority, He submitted to human authority so that He could truly be that representative for us to cover our sin.
2. Anointed - When Jesus had submitted to John’s baptism, He was then anointed.
Luke 3:21–22 ESV
21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Sometimes we feel a call or direction or an anointing from God on our lives and we think “Here it comes!” But realize that after Jesus’ anointing, things went down hill for Him for a while. That wasn’t the time yet.
3. Directed - Immediately after His anointing, He was directed not to the palace, not to the people, not to victory. He was directed to the desert.
Luke 4:1–2 ESV
1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.
To the wilderness. For spiritual battle. Without dinner! I’m fairly sure most of us would have a problem if God directed us to skip dinner. (He does. We are directed to fast from time to time…) But when God says go/stop/stay/pray/love/speak truth in love, do we obey? For Jesus direction WAS action! For those two groups Paul warned about, direction is debate.
4. Challenged - God directed. Jesus followed. So all’s good? NO! The devil showed up!
Luke 4:3 ESV
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
Luke 4:5–7 ESV
5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”
Luke 4:9–11 ESV
9 And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ 11 and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”
The devils quoting scripture! That’s why we need to know it too. Out of context, misapplied scripture it a truth that tells a lie. This is the exact same tactic the devil used in the garden. It’s the same as was voiced through Job’s friends as they were used to test him. And it can be used against us. That sound hard, So I want to see what Jesus did.
5. Committed -
The devil offering bread from stones?
Luke 4:4 ESV
4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’ ”
The devil offing power and authority that’s beyond your domain?
Luke 4:8 ESV
8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ ”
The devil trying to convince you that prideful, dangerous, destructive actions wont hurt you because you have been anointed and redeemed?
Luke 4:12 ESV
12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
Don’t listen to deceivers! And don’t answer in your own wisdom. Jesus could have told the Devil to go count sand at the bottom of the sea and he would have had to! But if finding truth, strength and redemption in the scriptures was the right answer for Jesus, I’m certain it’s the right answer for me!
6. Physically Depleted - In the desert. Fighting the Devil. Without dinner!
Luke 4:13 ESV
13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
I don’t know if you’ve had an intense spiritual struggle, but that will wipe you out. It takes physical energy for us to fight a spiritual battle. When you are physically depleted, emotionally depleted, spiritually depleted take caution! Those are the most dangerous times. When your weary and your guard is down. Don’t neglect the commitment of the battle in the walk back to camp.
7. Spiritually Supported - Wherever. Whenever. Whatever. No matter the location, situation, or state you’re in, God is there to support you. When Jesus was tempted...
Mark 1:13 ESV
13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
I have been aware on only a few occasions of angels ministering in a situation I was in. But do you think those where the only times they were there? I don’t!
Luke 4:14 ESV
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.
Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit. But He was led home by the POWER of the Spirit. Lean on God in your need. He has what it takes to hold you up!
8. Diligent Digester - What Jesus had done, He still does. That is sit under the teaching and authority of the scripture.
Luke 4:15–16 ESV
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.
Notice the components here:
He gathered in the synagogue. There are many who think that they don’t need to gather with other believers to study the Bible. Jesus did.
As was His custom. It was habit. If it was the Sabbath, you didn’t need to look for Jesus, just go to church! When Jesus was left in Jerusalem and His parent’s couldn’t find Him. Luke 2:49 “49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”” Do you not know that you need to be in your fathers house?!?
And He taught. We can not teach what we have not digested. We can not digest what we have not ingested. Jesus didn’t just show up and begin teaching the sermon in the mount! His teaching was the result of those years of persistent, consistent, dedicated study. You can’t serve what you haven’t sought.
9. Effectual Evangelist - Jesus proclaimed with audacious confidence that HE was the fulfillment of this prophecy. This is were our following Jesus’ example should take us. And where our mirroring Him stops! When Jesus followed His path of preparation, HE was the light of the world and HE was effective in telling others that.
When WE follow His path, we point away from ourselves and to Him. Sometimes we are not effective is what God calls us to because we try and skip all the hard steps that take us there. Yes, you can take a short cut. Yes, it’ll be easier. No, it wont actually work. If what God has called us to is important (and it is) then being willing to walk the path that God draws you through is worth every step.
So let me summarize our path. There are elements and truths what have seen in Jesus’ preparation that we might encounter. But our story is not His story. Every life God uses is unique.

A Path We Follow.

To summarize the previous 9 specific steps, here are 3 categories of commitment.

In Lordship

Surrendered Life. Lordship is when Lord stops being a title and starts being a function in your life.
Kingdom Classification (Spiritual citizenship trumps physical needs)
Plants, Animals, fungus, bacteria… These are biological classifications called kingdoms. But there is another plane, another kingdom we exist in - spiritual. Don’t let your biological kingdom dictate the life of your spiritual kingdom.

In the Bible

Student in,
Servant to,
Servant of,

A Practical Participant

The Story of the Gospel
The Work of the Body
The Reach of the Kingdom
Jesus prepared for the moment His ministry was ready. Luke 4:21 “21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.””
If we are to follow Jesus footsteps. If we are to pour the concrete to make straight the way of the Lord, the time is now!
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