Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
August 3, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<454> Thesis: Our problem with "selective" compassion is our focus on the unimportant. Introduction: Today we have come again to August 3 as a Sunday. August 3 fell on Sunday five years ago, and it will fall upon Sunday again in six years. Five years ago we opened our Bibles to Luke 1:1. This morning we open them to Luke 7:11. This means that in five years we have moved through the records of Luke's presentation of Jesus of Nazareth from the preliminary considerations concerning Luke's interest in Theophilus to Luke's insistence that only the faith of the centurion of Capernaum will be able to sustain the weight of our conflict with Evil in this world. One could say that we have simply multiplied words for five years -- heaping up words upon words on top of Luke's words. And, when we step back to look at the bigger picture, we have to wonder about why heaping up words on top of words seems to be important. On the face of it, Luke's record is about the trustworthiness of Jesus and how crucial it is that we enter into a life of trust with Him. Also on the face of it, it should go without saying that if it can be established in any one place that Jesus is trustworthy, all of the other words about His trustworthiness are simply redundant. But we live in a world where should seldom is. What clearly ought to be is not and what clearly ought not to be, is. And, the approach God has taken to this reality is "words upon words". Note in Isaiah 28, where the should has been turned completely upside down into the should not, what God does: He uses the multiplication of words to do two things; 28:9 -- to teach knowledge, and 28:13 -- to drive men into their own disaster. So as we launch out into our sixth year of the study of the Word of God, we do so with a clear-eyed understanding that it will enormously help those who are interested in what ought to be and it will dull those even more who could care less about what ought to be. In the face of these facts, one of the most crucial issues that we face is the challenge to keep on believing. So, this morning we are going to look at Luke's record once again.