LeavenBro. David Chancellor
7/27/2003 6:00 PM
And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
Jesus uses the example of leaven. He says, What can I compare the kingdom to, so that people will get the picture? Leaven here is not picturing corruption. Hes not saying we get a little of God and that it eventually fills us. He is explaining his plan for his church. It began with just a few who were hidden at first. It began with a little, but God intended it to go to the whole world. If you allow leaven to work, it will eventually be in all of the dough. You may not see it, but its alive and at work. Men may not be able to see what is inside of you, but it should be alive and working in you to spread itself in the world. Were in a wicked world, but God didnt intend for us to hide in a monastery. He wants us to live and work in this world. He wants us to live and work and walk among those that are sinful and wicked. God intended that his grace in us would make us able to stand in a wicked world. The sinful world may resist Christianity, but it keeps on coming. God planned for us to live in the world, not in a hidden community apart from the world. People may deny God and say that people have to sin, but they keep running into godly people. God wanted us to be mixed right into the world. Its sad that the people of God arent bearing more influence than they are. If we live as God would have us to, well have a great influence. The 120 in the upper room made a quorum, and made an uproar all over Jerusalem because they had the presence of God in the heart. We need to carry God into the world. The grace of God in the heart will keep you in the midst of a sinful world. It will keep you wherever you go, if youll keep your hand in Gods hand. We cant win in our own strength. If we try that, well fail. If we keep our hand in Gods hand, well be fine. People need our light to shine forth. Be friendly to worldly people, and keep your eyes on God. Show them there is something different to be had, something good.
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
This pictures how the leaven works, but in a different way. These were exercising an influence to disobey the truth. If you dont stay in the center of Gods will, you will lose and get swallowed by the world. The answer isnt to pull people out of the world, but get something in the people that will keep them. The child of God will be happy to be as God made them. There is an influence, and were to be that influence to a lost world. The majority of humanity is believing the devils lie that going Gods way is miserable, and that sin is better. Our mission is to show the world that Gods way is a happy way to live. Were happy to serve God. We want people to see that Gods way is good, and that the devil is a liar. We want them to see that theres a choice. Be faithful to God and hold up the truth that Gods way is a happy way. God would have us to go out among the world and work with sinners, so that his work can be done. People can live in sin and all the feelings that go with it, but we can show them that theres a better way.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Christ had given them his word and the world hated them. Christ didnt pray that they would withdraw, but that they would be right out with the rest. He wants us mixed in, influencing the world. Were in the world, but we dont follow the same course. There are many places, though, that your life will intersect with the world. Be a good example to your neighbors. If theyre hard to get along with, maybe they need to see someone who works to get along with people. Jesus makes the point that we are not of the world. We arent to be of the same qualities as the world. We come together to recharge our spiritual batteries and to take something and live it before the lost world. Were showing forth the message of Christ. The reason God puts us in the world is so that those that skip church or never come to church will still get the message. We dont try to be rude and obnoxious about it, but just live so that they can see how a Christian lives, whether they like it or not. People will get the message from the pure life you live. Christ wants the message to still be there. Dont go along with the world. Seek to lift God up where youre at. People finding God isnt an overnight event. It may take a while for the message to sink in. The work of God isnt an overnight enterprise. Be faithful in it. Gods grace can overcome. It may take a while to get through to some people. E. E. Byrum was working with someone who appeared impossible to win. They took some time to show kindness to one who was opposed and over time broke down the barriers. It may look like nothings happening, but God can be working. We arent keeping score on how effective our lives are for Christ. Be faithful to God before a lost world. We may not always see things for what they are. God can show us what to do. Be faithful even in the small things. Care about people. Smile, even at the unpopular folks. You may never know how much it means. God will know whether we did a good work or not. He would have us to live right in a wicked world. Come into the kingdom of God and get what it takes to stand. Live like his word says to live. Reach out to your friends, but stay like God would have you to be. The world runs after their amusements, but when it all breaks they want a child of God for a friend. Be a help to these. God doesnt want us to pull off to ourselves, but to keep walking among men.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
What is Paul saying here? He had told them not to keep company with wicked men, but he wanted to clarify. He told them not to keep company with wicked men who claim to be a brother. Not keeping company with wicked men would require us to leave this world. Keep a guard on your soul against wrong influences. Live a godly life wherever youre at. You can hold up Christ in any situation. Keep living the example; show people that you care. It matters who you are around only if someone is professing to be a child of God and is living wickedly. They need to know that you arent taken in by their false profession. Dont be calling these brother. We arent interested in being party to that. Dont pick people apart, but if theyre obviously sinning, we cant be calling them brother. There needs to be a bit of judgment put down. Still be kind, but let them know that they need to get right with God. If people are going to profess Christianity, then they need to be a true Christian. We dont want people misrepresenting Jesus. To do so will poison the message. Lift up Christ before everyone. Live out holiness and the love of God before everyone. The worst thing is the one who claims to be a brother, but who lives in sin. Let this one know that you cant smile on that. If everything that wants to, professes without living it, it will hide the message of holiness. The world doesnt need this confusion. Live a pure life in the presence of an ungodly world. They need to see the change that God can make in lives. Dont make excuse for sin, but have a genuine care and concern for the sinner. People may notice youre a little different. People observe what goes on around them. Live for God wherever you go. Be a light and example so that others might find God and live for him, too.