Hymn # 218 All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
Call to worship – Psalm 112
Leader: People of the Lord, in whose name is our help?
All: Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Hymn # 407 Lord, like the Publican I Stand
Call to Confession – Ten Commandments
Prayer of Confession
Words of Assurance: (Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
God's Will for Our Lives: Ephesian 5:1-21
5 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a]6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hymn # 258 The Spirit Breathes upon the Word
WE LISTEN TO GOD'S WORD
Prayer for Illumination
Scripture: Luke 14:1, 7-14
14 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Sermon: Humility and Exaltation
So how does one do that in this day and age? I don't know any poor people in Exeter. And how do they make it out?
Intro: it is easy and natural for people to seek their own honour.
Setting: Sabbath meal at the house of a ruler, a Pharisee. He was at the house of an influential religious leader.
Attitude: he was under a microscope...they were examining him carefully, judging him in essence.
Jesus had just healed a man with dropsy...not on the verge of death..just a sick man. The Pharisees would not have been happy with him over this.
At this meal he saw people seeking to get the best seats, the seats of honour. The closer you sat to the head of the table, the more important you were in the social standing.
Query...how do I seek honour?
Jesus taught them to do it differently....do not seek out your own honour first, let others show you what your honour is. To be asked to move in this society was mortifyingly embarrassing.
This reads as good advice....show your honour by not seeking it. Looks better in public.
But what is Jesus doing here?
In those days the poor, sick and disadvantaged were seen as sinners, and that it was all their fault. And therefore had no part of God and in God's kingdom. Therefore outside of God's grace and outside of theirs.
But Jesus calls people out of this mindset.....he wants us not to seek the praise of other people. He wants people to not seek out what they think deserve. God wants us to put aside our pride.
All of us struggle with pride...all of us struggle with the desire to be recognized for what we do. God wants us humbled.
So how do I humble myself? Is it just a matter of turning what I do to the grace of God allowing action? Lord, forgive me for my pride. Help me not to seek my own.
True humility comes in knowing Jesus Christ and our need for him (which is a constant). Jesus doesn't want repayment, he came simply to bring us back to God. He came knowing that all we had to offer was our great need. We come with less than nothing to the cross of Christ. We come spiritually poor to Christ.
When we really understand this, it helps us to be humble, because then we truly know we have no basis for pride.
I have no basis for pride in my life. Not a one.
We are called by Jesus to be humble in all of our life, and we do that only y loving and trusting in him.
Hymn # 574 Have Thine own Way
Hymn # 713 I Am Thine, O Lord
Hymn # 122--5 Christ to Thee, with God the Father