May 24, 2023 — Time to Listen, Repent, and Obey, not Time to Scoff

As we waited for Ricky to bring breakfast, Stan mentioned, “A few weeks ago, we talked about some people who laughed at Jesus. Do you remember that?”

“I do,” I replied. “Some people laughed at Jesus because they thought they knew more than He did about a child dying.”[Note to reader: See the posting for March 15, 2023, “Laughing Because of Unbelief”].

Why do you ask?”

“Earlier this morning,” Stan replied, “I was reading in Luke’s gospel about a similar situation with some Pharisees, but they weren’t so blatant about it.”

“In what way?”

“They didn’t laugh out loud,” Stan said, “but they did scoff or ridicule Jesus for what He was telling them about the use of money.”

“Why would they do that?” I asked. “Why would someone ridicule what Jesus had to say about anything?”

“They didn’t like what they heard because it was contrary to what they wanted to hear,” Stan replied. “It can be the same thing today.”

“What same thing?”

“Let’s look at what was going on and see how it might apply to us,” Stan said. “A quick summary. Jesus had just spent quite a bit of time talking to some Pharisees about money, being good stewards, giving to the needy, and things like that. Luke writes that they scoffed at Jesus. They ridiculed Him for what He had just told them.”

“Any idea why they scoffed?”

“Luke writes that they did so because they were ‘lovers of money’.”

“Oh,” I said. “They loved money more than they loved hearing what Jesus had to say about them and money. So they ridiculed what He had to say. Is that it?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And it’s a good lesson for me.”

“In what way?”

“When I read or hear something God has for me, and I don’t like what I’m reading or hearing,” Stan replied, “it’s time for me to take a closer look at what’s going on. Is there something that God is pointing out that I love more than I love Him? If I just scoff at what I read or hear, rather than taking it to heart, I’m on the wrong road heading in the wrong direction. It’s time to turn around.”

“Turn around,” I said. “You mean like repenting?”

“Exactly, my friend,” Stan replied. “It’s time to listen, repent, and obey, not the time to scoff!”


Bible verses to consider:

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things, and they were scoffing at Him. Luke 16:14.

And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others, let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” Luke 23:35.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your free and gracious provision of life eternally with you through the cross of Christ. Thank you for those who brought me to that truth so I could accept it. Thank you, too, for all you have to say to me about living for you and your kingdom. I confess that too often what you say is contrary to what I want to hear and, as a result, I do not obey. Please forgive that foolishness. Help me follow every step of your lead so I truly listen to what you have for me. If what you say is not what I want to hear, please help me look at why that’s so and make whatever adjustments need to be made so I do obey you. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him? If no, is that because you don’t believe and you are ridiculing and rejecting God, as well as those who do believe? If that’s what you are doing, take some time to reflect on why you want to do that. If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing when what God says is something you don’t want to hear? Do you just reject it, or are you willing to take a look inside of yourself to see why you don’t want to hear what God has to say? If you sense the need for change in any of this, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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