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Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
Series C

Option #1: "The Lord's Logic"
Luke 11:5-13

Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

  I. From the lesser to the greater re: needs for this life--Gen 32:26; 2 Cor 12:8ff.

 II. From the lesser to the greater re: spiritual needs--Ezek 36:27; Matt 15:22-28; John 7:37-39; Col 4:12

III. The conclusion--vv9-10: Ps 34:4; Lam 3:54-58; Jonah 2:2-8; John 15:7&16; James 5:11

Barnes Notes on the New Testament: the scorpion is an animal with eight feet, eight eyes and a long jointed tail, ending in a pointed weapon or sting. It is found in tropical climates and seldom exceeds 4 inches in length. Its sting is extremely poisonous, and it is sometimes fatal to life. It is in Scripture the emblem of malicious and crafty men. When rolled up it has some resemblance to an egg, Luke 11:12; Ezek 2:6.

All that is to be applied to God in this parable is simply that it is proper to "persevere" in prayer. As a "man" often gives because the request is "repeated," and as one is not discouraged because the favor that he asks of his neighbor is "delayed," so God often answers us after long and repeated requests. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

Jesus’ teaching on persistence in prayer is linked to the inbreaking kingdom (Luke 11:5-28; 18:1-8). God is not like the reluctant neighbor, even though Christians may have to wait for answers (Luke 11:13; 18:6-8). The ironies of prayer are evident: God knows our needs, yet we must ask; God is ready to answer, yet we must patiently persist. Children of the kingdom will have their requests heard (Matt 6:8; 7:7-11; 21:22; John 14:13; 15:7, 16; 16:23; compare 1 John 3:22; 5:14; Jas 1:5), particularly believers gathered in Jesus’ name (Matt. 18:19).

In Hebrew thought, the name was mysteriously linked to the person’s character and prerogatives. Thus prayer in Jesus’ name is prayer that is seeking His will and submissive to His authority (John 14:13; 1 John 5:14).

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Children's Message
Luke 11:9-10

I hate to do this to you, but I have to say three words that you probably don’t want to hear. You can cover your ears if you like, but it won’t do much good. BACK TO SCHOOL!

If you you haven't yet been shopping for school clothes, you pretty soon will be.You have about a month or so, but it’s coming. Sometimes you must go from one store to another because you can’t find your size or maybe the price was too high. But you know that your mom and/or dad will do their best to get you ready for school. They wouldn’t buy you shoes that are a size too small; they wouldn’t buy you clothes that are way too big. They wouldn’t make you wear a hat that was pink with purple polka dots. Now, moms and dads are sinners like anybody else, but they wouldn’t make you look silly or hurt you.

Jesus said that if that’s true of people who are sinners, how much more is it true of our heavenly Father. He said a father wouldn’t give you a poisonous animal like a scorpion if you asked for an egg. How much more will your perfect and loving heavenly Father give gift good gifts when you ask him. He said: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

God knows what we need before we ask for it, but He wants us to remember how much we need His help in our lives. He loves to help us, but sometimes we have to pray more than once. He wants us to know where all of our gifts in life come from. That’s what Jesus said when the disciples asked Him about prayer, and that’s what you and I need to remember. God loves us more than we know; Jesus died on the cross and rose again to meet our greatest need; He’ll take care of all the other things as well.

You can trust the Heavenly Father because He cared enough to send the very best. He sent His Son.

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"Won To Be One To Win!"
Genesis 18:20-32

Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

 
The Point: praying for grace and compassion in wake of a culture--and ourselves--awash in "grievous sins"
 
The Problem: on the one hand, self-righteousness--fire and brimstone, judgment and condemnation rather than grace and mercy; on the other hand, unrepentance 
 
The Promise: God is patient with us, making us righteous through Christ and, through the Holy Spirit, pleading for and compassionate toward others who persist in sin and unrepentance
 
Notes:
 
1. Terence Fretheim has written: "The righteousness of a few can so permeate a wicked society that they can save it from the destructive effects of its own evil ways." But there comes a time when God cannot avoid judgment and still be just. (Ralph Klein)
 
2.One cannot reform and renew a community unless one is identified with the destiny of the community. Lot’s wife had more ground to engage in moral discourse than her husband, who ran away to save his own life. The intriguing story of Abraham interceding for Sodom is not really about a numbers game but about the salvific significance of the righteous in a corrupt community. In spite of all the excruciating ambiguities of history, it is fundamental to the Christian faith that humanity is saved by the life of one righteous person! The story of Abraham’s intercession thus points to the central theme of biblical faith: the steadfast love of God--hesed, agape--that refuses to be frustrated even in the context of a most immoral society.(Kosuke Koyama)
 
3. "My people are bent on turning away from me... How can I give you up, O Ephraim!" (Hosea 11:7-8)
 

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM