1. The Great Banquet parable... reveals what’s wrong is when worldly interests distract people from God. The banquet mystery also reveals that growing God’s kingdom is entirely dependent on you and me... inviting lost souls to meet Jesus again, perhaps for the first time. [Luke 14: 15-24] A Banquet sermon
2. The Planting Seeds in a Field parable... urges you and me to plant faith-seeds by sowing our personal faith experience in our field of family, friends and neighbors. This mystery limits our task to planting faith-seeds... because God takes responsibility for growing each seed that we plant. [Mark 4:26-32] A Planting sermon
3. The Wheat and Tares parable... reveals the devil corrupts some people and not others... yet they must grow alongside one another until Jesus returns for the final judgment (harvest). All who have repented, and accepted Jesus will be accepted into the kingdom... while those who have not... are sent to the everlasting fire. [Matt 13: 24-30] A Wheat & Tares sermon
4. The Lost Sheep and Lost Coin parables... both describe the high-spirited joy... every time a lost soul comes to Jesus by responding to one of our faith-seeds. The Lost Sheep parable emphasizes that we risk ridicule while planting our faith-seeds, and the Lost Coin parable emphasizes being persistent in our effort. Growing God’s kingdom remains entirely dependent on His disciples inviting lost souls to meet Jesus again, perhaps for the 21st time. [Luke 15: 1-10] Lost Sheep sermon
5. The parable of the Unprofitable Servant sets expectations... when completing kingdom tasks to which we are commissioned. We should not look for an at-a-boy or any instant gratification because our task is to use the gifts God provides... to grow the earthly kingdom, and we will be rewarded in our next life. [Luke 17: 7-10]
A Servant sermon
6. The Rich Fool parable... reveals there is nothing wrong with accumulating material blessings into our “barn” or bank... but only a Fool would enrich them self... without employing their blessings to help people in need. When this brief earthly life ends... what’s important to our eternal soul, is having been rich toward the least of Jesus’ sisters and brothers in need.
[Luke 12: 16-21]
7. The Foolish Virgins and Talents parables describe the consequences of two attitudes toward Christ’s return. Jesus, hoping to save everyone... urges everyone to become spiritually prepared for His coming, unlike the Foolish Virgins. The Talents parable reveals how God’s blessings are distributed based one’s individual ability... and to employ the blessings we’ve received...for kingdom purposes. [Matt 25: 1-13] A 10 Virgins sermon
8. The Hidden Treasure and Pearl Merchant parables reveal... not even winning a $500M lottery... compares with a person discovering the true value of God’s heavenly kingdom.
Whether accidently or intentionally discovering the kingdom’s true value, Jesus urges each of us to seek God’s kingdom first, before all else. The biggest obstacle to accepting the real existence and extraordinary value of God’s kingdom is mankind’s nature, preferring the certainty of living with whatever we have acquired... rather than living with the uncertainty of the next life, no matter how much better it may be. [Matt 13: 44-46]
9. The Good Samaritan parable reaffirms the kingdom objective that people act with kindness and compassion toward anyone in need. This parable reveals three principles about loving neighbors (which includes every child of God):
1. Lack of love is easy to justify, even though it is never right;
2. Our neighbor is anyone in need... of any race, religion, or social background; and
3. love means acting to meet the person’s need. [Luke 10: 27-37] A Samaritan sermon
Chapel by the Lake
Rev. Bill Taylor
Many observations drawn from the Life Application Study Bible.