Christian Community of America
1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for allthese things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24, New King James Version)
22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. (Luke 12:22-53, New King James Version)
Jesus is speaking to the disciples and a crowd that had gathered around Him. He’s been talking to them in parables, and has forseen unbelief and doubt rising in their hearts about God’s ability to provide for them. Worry is a sign of unbelief when it comes to the spiritual things discerned. This is why Jesus describes who God provides for natural things such as lillies, and compares them to man who is greater because God desires a relationship with man. Imagine that lily, a beautiful flower that is clothed and protected by God is more splendid then the wealth of Solomon. Here is what the wealth of Solomon was…
14 The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, 15 besides that from the traveling merchants, from the income of traders, from all the kings of Arabia, and from the governors of the country.
16 And King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each shield. 17 He also made three hundred shields of hammered gold; three minas of gold went into each shield. The king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. 19 The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round at the back; there were armrests on either side of the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the armrests. 20 Twelve lions stood there, one on each side of the six steps; nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom.
21 All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Not one was silver, for this was accounted as nothing in the days of Solomon. 22 For the king had merchant ships at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the merchant ships came bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys. 23 So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
24 Now all the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 25 Each man brought his present: articles of silver and gold, garments, armor, spices, horses, and mules, at a set rate year by year.
26 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar trees as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland.
28 Also Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. 29 Now a chariot that was imported from Egypt cost six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse one hundred and fifty; and thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria. (1 Kings 10:14-29, New King James Version)
Now, imagine that descriptive Jesus said in describing the lily, imagine the wealth and grandeur of Solomon’s riches. Now, see the lily pale the wealth of Solomon, see the beauty of the lily overpower the grandeur of Solomon. There is not sight more beautiful than a lily in bloom, thus we can say that worldly gain is not near a profitable as the full reliance on God that the lily has. A lily does not bloom without God, and it does not exist without God. We too need to have full reliance on God, like that lily, which is what Jesus says in the parables three times over!
After this, Jesus starts speaking about the return of the Master or preparation for the Thief. Since this follows right after the passage about not being worried over worldly concerns, I would infer that concerns over the worldly things distract us from being about the business of the Lord God, and the Son. Therefore worldly concerns distract us from preparing for the master’s return and distract us from the deeds of the thief of the night. In both instances, Jesus says that He is both the master and the thief, He will return suddenly and He will steal the Children away in the night. He is both Master and Thief. Either way you look at it, you’ll see that He ultimately is coming unannounced and will be ruling the house. So to those unprepared for the arrival, who’ve been slacking off in their duties to the Lord God, He will be like the thief in the night who steals from the servants who have gone off and partied their lives away. Unlike the servants who were prepared for the Master’s return, being awake at all hours cleaning and preparing the place for His return. AND when the master arrived they were praised and greeted, but they were READY. The house was not a wreck but it was in order.
Following the Thief and Master we see Jesus swing in to action talking about how He had not come to bring ‘peace’ to the world. But rather that He came to divide families, 3-2 or 2-3. You’re looking at the division of the unbelievers from the believers. Here is the opportunity in which worry, and dread, and unbelief can over take your lives when your family is divided from each other. However, previously Jesus has said to no worry, and that we ought to be preparing for the arrival of the master. So perhaps He was using this to illustrate where these worries were going to come from, as people began to follow after Him wholeheartedly. Good or Bad, Divided or United, strong or weak, God will provide all things, and in Him all things are found. Jesus is clearly telling us that even through we’ll be feeling times of division, and will have to go through it, God is ultimately in charge of everything. Yet when we are distracted by the events of life that trouble us were are more and more unprepared, which makes Jesus come like a thief in the night and we’re caught off guard. If we’re too focused on the needs of ourselves versus the commands of the master, we shall find us also caught off guard by the thief.
So, when we put all these parables together and read them in context with each other we get the real scene that Jesus is trying to communicate to His followers, which also includes us. These parables are painting what it is like to be faithful, and trusting in God’s ultimate plan and that if we keep our eyes on the commands given to us by the Master, we shall not find ourselves caught up in a rush of theivery, we shall be ready to meet and greet our Master. Thus, there is no need to worry or concern ourselves with the deepening crazy worries and fears of the world as time dwindles down. We need not be distracted from doing the will of the Father and Jesus, because God will provide for us and Jesus will greet us when the time is right. There is not need for fear, because all is prepared by God in an ordained fashion and He will mete out the correct portions. As it is said, “To much is given, much is required”.
Scripture passages: Rom 12:13, 1 Tim 5:9-10, James 2:2-4
Definition: Hospitality is the open arms of the Church, and Christians, to all peoples without bias and among themselves.
Spiritual perks: There are several spiritual perks, most of which ties together in community and feeling of belonging to The Family/Body of Christ. It also brings accountability which builds up the body and individual’s Godly character as we become more Christ like.
What was revealed about God’s heart?
There is a great and deep void when you are not connected
Purpose/Value of this means:
Purpose: to keep the Body growing so that all may know Christ
Value: edification, growth, compassion, love, understanding, and grace itself.
How one could exercise this means:
By inviting people, saved and unsaved, into your home and building community among them
You can have a Fellowship dinner with a Christian family or just opening your time window for others to spend with you in your home or simply just inviting people over for conversation.
How you exercised biblical hospitality and A reflection on your exercise of biblical hospitality:
Over the break, I invited my brother over to the house to spend time with him. We just hung out but we don’t really ever do that. So it was a change for us to hang out one on one. I also helped my Mom make the dinners for two nights of family just sitting together gabbing about our daily lives. We also haven’t sat down together for a family meal with me and my brother together for a long time either to it was refreshing. We all talked of plans coming up for the Church and things that needed to be worked on in the Church itself. The hospitality came because we were open armed to each other. My brother has been a bit on the wilder side lately but this was good for him because he needed to get together with the family. Just by being together as a family made a big difference in the atmosphere, and he seemed more eager to be with the family. My mother told me a couple days ago that he was also intending on making more family dinner occasions. There is definitely need for that as he gets led astray so easily by his friends who aren’t saved. It is definitely important to be gathered into the family, the biological family and the church family because they can be held accountable for actions.
Honestly, hospitality is the art of being ‘welcoming’, but also can be related to as being a family. Families have warmth, and people are drawn to families by the sheer interaction of the family. If the family is not close, people tend to shy away while if the family is closer and you can see the love shared by the family people wish to be a part of it. That is what the Church needs to be. Families fight for each other, defend one another, and don’t cast judgments on you. They will correct when necessary, but they also love you for you. That is why hospitality is so important to the Church, because the Church is supposed to be like a family.
Hospitality breaks the seduction of seclusion and allows me to hear God’s invitation to/for community and family.
2 Tim 2:11-26
We need to be reminded of the saying that Paul gives us. It is necessary for us as Christians to be reminded of our state with Christ and our state without Him. We’re also reminded that Jesus is faithful, and never faithless because He cannot negate Himself. We’re also reminded in the first few verses that Jesus is the source of our life. We are in Christ, and Him in us. Apart from Him we can do absolutely nothing, and this is emphasized in the saying that Paul gives us.
Paul then proceeds to go into telling Timothy, what a proved workman of God is like contrasted against those who are not faithful to the Lord, and are not proved. What does it mean to be proved of God? We are tested, tried, and found to be a work in progress. We’re not approved, because we can never be perfect. But we are proved in Christ through trials, and tests, and tribulations that shape and mold us. The more we gleen from Christ and lean on Him the more we’re proved to be worthy workman of Christ’s. But if we reject Christ and disown Him during these trials we’ll find ourselves disowned in Heaven when it comes time to die and meet our maker. But if we persereve through these trials, and tests faithfully in Christ we are proved to be worth our work and toil. We are then Christ like followers of God. Therefore we do not need to argue our case with others, they will see the differences in our lives compared to those who do not follow God truly. There are some people who will argue over the finer points of detail, to distract from the real call of God through his scriptures and passages of words. These people we are not to be like because they’re doing nothing but destroying the Gospel. They’re there to distract and drag people down with them.
But we’re also to be careful ourselves, be they are there. Paul also begins to list off the future problems with the Church as he’s seen from the Lord himself. These are signs that are very evident in the church today and are a sad state to see this family and body of Christ being dragged into the folds of lost sheep that are being drawn further from God by idols. It’s very similiar to the situation of Israel in the Old Testament, if you’ve studied it at all you’ll see that it’s a fall from God by allowances for idols. They challenged God, and they were always headstrong and putting their verisions of God up in front of everyone. Idols..all of them. So Paul warns against these things in the closing of chapter 2 which is also giving a description of what that kind of perosn will be like. Two faced and clinging to all their stories. It’s a good check to have for us as christians to have a list of those characterstics so that people can see if those traits are present in their actions and life to repent form them so that they’re in obedience to Jesus. Since we’re bought and purchased by Him and we’ve got to be proved through HIm, we need to keep in check out attitudes through accountability.
But Paul is also warning Timothy of these because he does not want to see his young disciple get frustrated at these people because they’re unchanged and will not leave him be. Paul is trying to write and encourage Timothy. The whole second letter is that, and warning to the young Pastor. Paul is trying to establish good leadership in his young pastor, so that he himself does not fall into these traits and characteristics to then lead the people astray. Paul is wanting to keep his young pastor like David, following after that heart of God rather than falling away to idols and deviations of the people of the world. People who wish to see the Lord be a profit to them, to sell the Lord and cut of this real self. That is what happened in Israel’s past, and Paul being a student of the Law would know this. He was a Pharisee at one point in time, and thus knew the power of the God of Israel, and the problems that led Israel astray to begin with. Paul desired to keep these cycles from happening within the Church and yet Paul that knew the Church would not be perfect and these people would come. He wanted to warn Timothy and other church leaders to not fall prey to these temptation of money, wealth, and power that come from seeking after the Lord God. He wanted to prevent as much destruction of the Church as possible, without ever realizing that was what God was using him for. However, the Church today has not reflected that correct ideals that are described in the Bible for the church and have allowed idols of money and power and things to cover up the real God. His blessings have become the idol that Christians worship rather than the Gift Giver.
Which is the problem that Israel faced when she was falling apart at the seams in Kings. Is the Church going to continue to allow this to happen? Where is consecration to the holy one Himself?