Faith + Obedience = Prepared for Jesus’ return.

 

Matthew 25:34

 

As I prepared for this message this equation emerged as I read what Matthew wrote in his gospel. Faith + Obedience.  Jesus was teaching the disciples and the crowds gathered for Passover to have faith and to be obedient then they would be ready for His return.

 

No one had to be ready for Jesus to come the first time; after He arrived people needed to be open to Him; but when Jesus comes a second time we all have to be ready or we will miss out.

 

Have you ever written down the wrong date or time for a party and missed it? Maybe you had other obligations and couldn’t make it and afterwards you regret not changing your plans?

 

We must all put a big star on our calendars for Jesus’ Second Coming. The problem is I don’t know the day; Jesus even said He didn’t know the day, only the Father.  So how can I be see Him if I don’t know when He is coming.  I have to be ready every day.  I have to have my house cleaned and ready everyday expecting He will arrive.  So we wake up excited, expectant every day, working till He gets here; maybe even disappointed at the end of the day because He didn’t come.

 

An excited expectation – what does that feel like? What was the last thing you ordered from Amazon?  I just ordered a new phone case and couldn’t wait for it to arrive, I checked the tracking information to see if it was moving through the system.  Then I looked Friday morning, it is out for delivery; arriving today. I couldn’t wait for it to arrive.  Childish?  Maybe, but that is the kind of excited expectation we should have for Jesus’ Second Coming.  What if it didn’t come, I would have been very disappointed.

 

If we are going to be ready and excited for Him to come, then we must have faith and be obedient.

Faith + Obedience = Prepared for Jesus’ return.

 

Some of Jesus’ last teaching was about Faith and Obedience.

So today we will begin to look at Jesus’ last week, the final 10 days of Jesus on earth.

 

Friday

We start the Friday before the Friday of Jesus’ crucifixion.

Jesus arrived in Bethany at his friend’s house and a dinner was served my Martha as Lazarus and Mary listened (John 12:1-9). Mary anointed Jesus’ head (Matthew 26:7) and feet with a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume.  It was worth a year’s wages.  Could you imagine $45,000 dollars’ worth of perfume?

Jesus said that Mary was preparing Him for burial. We should all be willing to sacrifice so much to show are love for Jesus.

 

Saturday

Scripture does not record His worship this Sabbath but we know what Jesus did on other Sabbath’s. Jesus went to worship and rested before His final week.

 

Sunday

Sunday was Jesus’ Triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

 

Matthew 21:6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7  They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9  The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” 10  When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11  The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

 

Jesus then went to the temple and cleansed it for the second time.

The first was early in Jesus’ ministry (John 2:13-22).

Matthew 21:12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13  “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.'” … 17  And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

 

The crowd praising Him as the son of David to the religious leaders being furious with Him disrupting their money making.

 

Then Jesus goes back to Bethany for the night.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Jesus went back and forth from Bethany to Jerusalem.

 

Monday morning Jesus is headed to Jerusalem to teach the people.

 

Matthew 21:18  Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19  Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. 20  When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. 21  Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22  If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

 

Jesus tells the disciples to have faith and not doubt. He says to believe and you will receive whatever you ask in prayer.

Do you have faith that moves mountains?

 

Matthew 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

 

Faith has two parts – a belief in who God is and His power and a trust in Him and His power.

Do you have faith?  Do you believe in God?  Do you trust in God’s power?

Hebrews 11 list lots of people who had mountain moving faith. So can we.

 

Young David had faith – he believed in the power of God and trusted God to deliver.

1 Samuel 17:45  David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, …46  This day the LORD will hand you over to me, …47  All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

 

That is belief and trust in God to handle the giant. Goliath was the mountain that was about to be cast into the sea.  Another example of mountain moving faith is in Daniel.

 

Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

 

Peter had mountain moving faith.

Acts 12:5  So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. 6  The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.

 

Peter was sleeping soundly the night before he was going to be executed. James had been killed by the sword and now it is going to be Peter.

 

Do you have mountain moving faith? Belief in who God is and trust that He will bring forth His will.

What is the mountain in front of you?

Jesus’ mountain was the crucifixion; He was dying for the sins of the world.

 

Matthew 26:39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

 

Not my will but yours be done; that is how Jesus taught His disciples to pray and how we are to pray.

 

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15  And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.

 

No mountain is too big if we have faith in Almighty God. It is not about the size of the problem not even the size of our faith but the size of our God.

What “mountain” are you facing in life?  Give that problem over to Jesus.  Know like David that God has got this.  Trust like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego even if God doesn’t answer the way you want you will not trust in anything else.  Sleep soundly like Peter in the face of death.

 

Is God big enough to handle this issue? Yes! Are you big enough to handle the issue?  No!  Then let God take care of it, have faith, believe He can and will take care of you according to His will.  He loves you and will bring you out of the fire or break you out of prison or give you victory in the battle.  Yes, you will have to go through some trouble to come out on the other side knowing it was God who provided.

 

When you have that kind of faith you will be obedient to what He asks you to do.

 

On Tuesday and Wednesday Jesus taught about that kind of obedience.

On example is the Parable of the Two Sons

Matthew 21:28  “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29  “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. 30  “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. 31  “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered.

 

If you believe you will obey. Faith leads to obedience.  Faith plus obedience makes you ready for Jesus’ return.

 

Faith plus Obedience becomes “Well Done, take your inheritance.”

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world….40  … ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

 

Are you prepared for Jesus to return? Do you have an excited expectation for Jesus’ return?

 

Have faith plus obedience so you will be ready. Believe in Jesus, be immersed into Jesus, and life for Him.