Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
My wife once said that forgiveness is the greatest word in the Bible, I countered with “Grace is” because with out Grace there would be no forgiveness. Of course as humble as I know how I pointed to the scripture, Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. However as we near celebration day of our Lords resurrection, I find myself drawn to the Luke 23:34 text. And with fresh elimination I see that both Grace and Forgiveness are tied together by a band of love, read the event concerning the “Sinful Woman” in Luke 7:36-50; see don’t you agree, and if you do don’t tell my wife.
Katie Rowe was interviewed in 937 at 1004 N. Lansing in Tulsa Oklahoma. Katie describes her experience as a slave on an Arkansas plantation, near the Bois d'Arc Creek. The complete interview is chronicled in a Book titled “Bullwhip Days Slaves Remember.” Her narrative begins: "I can set on de gallery, whar de sunlight shine bright, and sew a powerful fine seam when my grandchillun wants a special purty dress for de school doings, but I ain't worth much for nothing else I reckon. These same old eyes seen powerful lot of tribulations in my time, and when I shets 'em now I can see lots of li'l chillun jest lak my grandchillun, toting hoes bigger dan dey is, and dey poor little black hands and legs bleeding whar dey scratched by de brambledy weeds and whar dey got whuppings 'cause dey didn't git out all de work de overseer set out for 'em." You may have trouble reading Katie’s testimony concerning her days as a slave; her words drove the spellcheck device crazy. However you should have no problems with understanding Paul’s testament about slavery.
Romans 6:16-23 (ESV) 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin
THE SIGN OF A TRUE CALLING Of all the Prophets that foretold the coming of Christ, there was none greater than John the Baptist. It was Jesus that said “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist, (Matthew 11:11)
I personally think it was his short sermon recorded in John 1 that skyrocketed him past all the rest: 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” 32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” John 1:29-36 But let me call your attention to John 3:30 he is saying, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Did John know that he was headed toward death, or did he simply realize that his place in the grand scheme of things he was a lot less than the Lamb of God. I suggest the ladder, John knew, that his job as preacher was not nearly as important as the one he was sent to preach about.
In this day of the mega church with the mega congregation, it is my prayer that we are not producing mega preachers. And that we all would realize that it is he who is least in the kingdom of heaven that is greater than even John the Baptist.
Copy and Paste this URL below for a wonderful sermon by John Sampson how writes; “In the time of transition from popularity to obscurity, John the Baptist knew his place and the task he was called upon to do, delighting in the fact that Christ was now coming to greater prominence than him. We can learn much from his unparalleled humility.” ht tps:/ /www. sermo naudi o.com /serm oninf o.asp ?SID= 71518 18612 3
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