130811 Luke 12:32-40

Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Luke 12:32 – 40
Sermon Theme: Have No Fear!

 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

Ever since sin entered the world, there has been fear in the world. When the Lord God came looking for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after they had disobeyed his command not to eat from The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam's first response was, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." Sin makes sinners like you and me afraid of a holy and just God because we know that he has told us in his Word that he hates sin; that he can't tolerate ANY sin and that the wages of sin is death (not just physical, but spiritual as well). Because of sin in the world, bad things do happen. When we hear of new terrorist threats, when we hear of shooting after shooting taking place, when we see the great amount of destruction left in the path of a violent storm, we have fear. So today, we give thanks that our loving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is speaking to us in his Word. As we continue to take a closer look at the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says to you and to you and me, "HAVE NO FEAR!"

In his Word before us this morning, our Lord not only says "Have no fear!", but he says "Stop being afraid now and don't have any more fear in the future!" Why? Because we are part of his flock. The words of Psalm 23 come to mind where we read, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want...Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." It is our loving Lord Jesus who says to you and me in John chapter 10, "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father."

"Have no fear!" It is because of our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, that you and I enjoy the forgiveness of all of our sins. It is because of Jesus that you and I are children of our Father in heaven. And as his dearly loved children, he promises to take care of all our physical needs. Our Savior tells us, "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Here the Savior is not telling us to get rid of ALL our earthly things. But what he is telling you and me is not to worry. A few verses earlier in Luke chapter 12 we read these words of our All-Providing Lord, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."

"Have no fear!" As you face that stack of bills that keeps piling up, the Lord promises to provide for you and your family. "Have no fear!" As you face that next medical test or an upcoming surgery, the Great Physician promises to be at your side. "Have no fear!" As you start a new school year, your Good Shepherd will be with you. "Have no fear!" As we as a congregation look to the future of our ministry and we consider the great number of dollars we will need to spend to carry out that ministry, the Lord of the Church promises to bless all our faithful efforts. "Have no fear!" Your Father in heaven promises to take care of all your physical needs in his time and in his way.

"Have no fear!" This is not only true for our physical life. It is true for our spiritual life as well. As I mentioned at the beginning of this sermon, because of our sin, you and I should be living in fear; in fear of God's anger; in fear of God's judgment; in fear of spending a life that never ends in the punishment of hell. Yet we hear Jesus say, "Have no fear!" Why? Because "your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." Our place in the kingdom of heaven is a gift, freely given to us by God our Father. God the Father sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to be your Savior and mine. Jesus, our loving Savior, took your sins and mine upon himself. He carried those sins to the cross. It is there that he gave up his body and shed his blood as the full payment price for your sins and mine. In your place and mine, Jesus took on his Father's anger over sin. In your place and mine, Jesus suffered the Father's judgment against sin. In your place and mine, Jesus endured the punishment of hell. Jesus, our Good Shepherd, won our forgiveness and made us part of the Father's heavenly flock. Again, in John chapter 10, Jesus assures you and me, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." Or, as we read in the Good Shepherd Psalm, Psalm 23, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want...He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

"Have no fear!" As children loved by our Father in heaven, because of the Holy Spirit working on our hearts, you and I know that we enjoy the forgiveness of all of our sins through Jesus our Savior. And the loving Lord wants others to know this Good News as well. So Jesus encourages you and me, "Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

"Have no fear!" As you feel guilt for the sins that you commit, know that Jesus your Savior paid the price in full for those sins. "Have no fear!" As you face the final days of your life here on this earth, know that heaven is your home, where you will live forever in perfect peace and joy. "Have no fear!" As you look forward to that great and glorious day when the Almighty Lord will come again in all his glory, know that he will take you both body and soul to be by his side forever. "Have no fear!" As you share the message of God's Word with others, the Lord promises to give you just the right words to say. "Have no fear!" As we as a congregation and as a synod continue to carry out the work the Lord of the Church has given to us, he will use you and me to spread the Good News of Jesus to those in our own backyards and around the world.

Yes...there are scary things in the world around us. Yes...there are scary things in personal lives. But the good news for you and me is that we do not face them alone!

"Have no fear, little flock; have no fear little flock,
For the Father has chosen to give you the kingdom;
Have no fear, little flock.

 

Thankful hearts raise to God; thankful hearts raise to God,
For he stays close beside you, in all things works with you;
Thankful hearts raise to God! Amen.

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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Sunday
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9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

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St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

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