“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Luke 16:19-31 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.
1 Timothy 6:11-19 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Love others, use things. Often we do the opposite. The problem is if we focus on ourselves we have no time for others. In the parable about Lazarus, we are the rich man passing by those in need. We get so focused on our stuff we for get the Great Commandment - love God, love your neighbor.
Set not your hope on stuff but on God who richly provides everything for our enjoyment. Love God, love neighbor.
Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
Luke 16:10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all—this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-7 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Have you heard about all the dishonest and illegal business practices conducted by Wells Fargo and several car companies recently? Tremendous time and effort was spent in trying to figure out how to beat the system, thereby hurting customers and their companies. Can you imagine if Christians spent as much of their time, passion, intellect, and energy on being more like Jesus? How much better off would the world be? Following Jesus isn't just a part-time job. Jesus lives in us, all day, every day. Every encounter with others provides us an opportunity to reflect Jesus in what we say and what we do. Let Jesus fill us so that He might live through us.
"Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he had found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices."
Luke 15:4-5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
I Timothy 1:12-15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Sheep wander off and bit by bit they lose their way. How are we like lost sheep? It's the story of all of us. We wander off, get too busy, begin to worry and our take our eyes off the prize, Christ Jesus. The Lord is looking for us lost sheep just like the good shepherd did. If God saved a man like Paul He can save us too.
"So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions."
Luke 14:33 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it."
Matthew 10:37-39 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
What or who do you put first in your life? God wants to be the center of our lives and yearns for us to loosen our grip on things and people. He will never loosen His grip on us.
Sermons by Pastor Ken Hohag
Pastor Ken Hohag has been delivering sermons at BFLC for over 25 years.