Monday, March 18, 2024

Sermon and Announcements March 17, 2024


March 17, 2024

Make the Most of our Time

Luke 20:4-47, 21:1-4

We are continuing today to look at what Jesus was doing as his time on

this earth drew to a close. Jesus continued to teach, to answer

questions from skeptics, to simply make the most of the time he had

left before his arrest and crucifixion. Last week we looked at the three

ways talked about by Luke, that the priests and Pharisees were trying to

stop Jesus. We did not look at the ways they were trying to trap him in

detail, but Jesus always had an answer that was within God the Father’s


Today we read three examples of teaching moments Jesus had with His

disciples, as well as some of those teachers of the law that were out to

get him. Jesus first sought to answer the question about who exactly he

was in relationship to God. He then went on to warn, especially the

disciples, about how there will be those who will put on a good show

for God but are really only worried about themselves and their position.

Warning to not be deceived by their clever lies and their false religious


Jesus then gives one more example of those who really care more

about God and His work than themselves. In the last two examples,

Jesus drew the contrast between the ones putting on a show and those

who just want to do the right thing for God. The final example Jesus

gave was about the widow who had very little to give. She barely had

enough to get by on for herself, yet gave to God’s work faithfully. Jesus

showed how she gave far more than those who gave greater amounts.

God sees and understands the attitudes of our hearts and understands

every situation. In all of these teaching moments, Jesus knows his time

with his disciples is drawing to a close. Jesus also knew what was going

to happen to his disciples when they were the ones continuing to teach

the message of salvation, grace, love and righteousness. Jesus knew

things were not going to be easy. So, he sought to prepare them as best

he could in those final weeks they were together. Jesus knew that at

times personal sacrifice would be necessary. So he wanted them to, not

only, understand who he was as the Son of God, but also be aware of

what would lie ahead for them. That is why he warned about those

who pretended to be teachers of God’s word. And then showed the

example of true humility and faithfulness.

If we were to have finished the 21 st chapter we would see Jesus then

gave them a picture of what would happen at the end of this age. We

might say the end of the church age. Jesus did this to let the disciples

know there will come a time when God will bring an end to all the lies

and deception that will happen. Jesus also wanted everyone to know,

especially future generations, that things will get worse before they get

better, but God will give His people the ability to overcome.

The final two verses of the 21 st chapter says this, “Each day Jesus was

teaching at the temple, and in the evening, he went out to spend the

night on the hill called the Mount of Olives and all the people came

early in the morning to hear him at the temple.” Jesus was making the

most of the time he had left to teach and share with those he loved, his

disciples as well as God the Father. In many ways that is another of the

examples Jesus has given to all of us. We have a limited amount of time

on this earth. God is calling each one of us, his children, to use the time

as wisely as we can. Spend time with our family and friends. Share

God’s love and His righteousness as often as we can, in the ways the

Lord leads us. Sometimes it will be all about mercy and grace as Jesus

showed in some of the verses we read. Other times it will be tough

honest and yes loving truth that we will be called on to share as we also

read in these verses this morning. That must always be the purpose for

us as it always was with Jesus. The desire to draw our family, our

friends, our neighbors to share in the eternal life God has for each who

will receive.

In closing I will ask you the question I felt God asking me, which goes

back to the sermon title. Are you, am I, making the most of the time

God is giving us? Both in sharing time with those we care about, those

we love, as well as using our time as ambassadors for Christ. As we see

how Jesus used every moment, every opportunity to teach and to love,

that is what he is asking us to do as well. God has great things in store

for each and every one of His faithful servants. We can, at times, get a

glimpse of that while we are here on earth. But truly the best is yet to

come when we hear our Heavenly Father say to each one of us, “Well

done good and faithful servant!”

Pastor Larry


Sunday School 9:00

Tuesday 9:30 Bible Study

Today and next Sunday—One Great Hour of Sharing—special

envelopes in the back

March 20—12:00 Women’s Fellowship luncheon and

meeting—meal provided, in the Fellowship Hall

March 28 7:00 p.m. Love Feast at the Brethren Church—we

are invited to participate with them.

March 31 Easter—sunrise service at Veterans' Park (at our church if

inclement weather)

--Please sign up to give a children’s message during worship

and/or children’s story lesson in the nursery during the sermon.

We need your help.

Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362

Donation Box for March: Camp Emmanuel

First Sundays: Food Bank donations

Keep in Your Prayers

Mike Roach and family; Carole McClarey; Dave White; Louis and Carol Sulwer; Ava; Nora

Hanaver; Jan Bower; Larry Traxler; Randy and Michelle West; Mike

Gentry; Eli Brunner; Nancy Fansler; Doug Larrick; Ron and Kathleen

Petersen; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Tina Wilhelm; Mike and

Carol Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Mayo and Darlene

Hanaver; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests;

victims of disasters; victims of shootings; shut-ins; the Nigerian

church; Haitian Brethren; Ukraine; Israel and Hamas war

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Oakley Brick congregation and

for the denomination’s Discipleship Ministries Office.

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