Lent 2015, led to the Cross: Cast your crowns before the throne

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This is the lent series and we’re reading through Luke, from the 40-days Jesus spent in the in the desert triumphing over temptation to His crucifixion and resurrection. We just finished reading Luke 4 and 5 and are now reading through chapter 6.  We read that: Jesus grace triumphed over temptation and evil; about after His preaching He met persecution; that He suffered to relate to our suffering; that He came for sinners (tax collectors, fishermen, and us!). Today Jesus calls the 12 disciples, and tells us about how we are to cast our crowns before the throne and dedicate living our lives to His plans.

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.  When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:  Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:12-16)

Jesus went to be alone to pray. In fact, Jesus prayed for the entire night! At daybreak Jesus doesn’t sleep after being up all night; instead He gets on with the business of assembling his disciples and goes to preach about blessings and woes.

He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon,  who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured,  and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all. (Luke 6: 17-20)

Jesus came to the crowd and He stood with them- He was on their level literally and figuratively. He healed all who came to hear Him, all who believed.

Looking at his disciples, he said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
 Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
 Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
        because of the Son of Man. (Luke 6:17-22)

The disciples had left everything behind to follow Jesus. They were poor in property, but rich in their inheritance of the kingdom of God. The disciples were hungry because they worked hard, traveled with Jesus, and ate what they could when they were able to, but Jesus promised their eternal satisfaction. The disciples gave up their creature comforts to accompany Christ. They faced people who wanted to extinguish Christianity on a constant basis. The disciples knew they were storing up treasures in heaven, they cast their crowns before the throne, and they are our example of how to live today.

 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

“But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have already received your comfort.
 Woe to you who are well fed now,
    for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
    for you will mourn and weep.
 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
    for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets. (Luke 6:23-26)

We fall down, and we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus. We acknowledge that we are here for His purposes. Holy is the Lamb.

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