Blessing and Cursing

Dr. Steven J. Lawson

Lead Preacher
June 23, 2024
Luke 6:20-26



So, take your Bible, turn with me to the gospel of Luke, Luke chapter 6, and today we're going to be in verses 20 to 26, and the title of this message is "Blessing and Cursing." Beginning at verse 20, I want to read the passage. And last Lord's Day, we looked at verse 20, but I have to include it this week. 

"And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.'" 

[Prayer] Father, as we now look at this passage, it is gripping. It is positive and negative. It builds up and tears down. It's a sharp two-edged sword that cuts both ways. So I pray that the full power of this text would be unleashed by Your Holy Spirit today. I pray that You would fill me with Your Spirit, that I would be a faithful messenger of Your Word, and that You would be bringing the message home to every mind and every heart here today, and that we would all come under the influence of the Holy Spirit. So Father, this is our prayer. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. [End] 

In these verses that I have just read, Jesus states that there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who are blessed by God and there are those who are cursed by God, and there are no other people in the world. There are those who are in the kingdom and there are those who are out of the kingdom, and there are no other categories of people. There's no middle ground. There's no straddling the fence. Jesus makes this a very black-and-white issue. There are no shades of gray. There's no ambiguity. There's only this stark contrast that today as you sit here in this worship service, you are either blessed by God or you are cursed by God. 

Most people do not think this way. Most people size up people with different categories. Man sees not as God sees. Man looks on the outward appearance, God looks upon the heart. And most people do not want to think this way. Most people want to be inclusive, not exclusive. But Jesus could not be any more exclusive with these words. And so as we look at this passage, it's an incredible passage: blessing and cursing. It's not blessing and nothing. Blessing and cursing. 

The Pronouncement of Blessing

So, we begin in verse 20, which we looked at last week, but I just need to circle the wagons one more time. I want you to see, first, "the pronouncement of blessing." These are the first words to come from the mouth of Jesus in this sermon, the greatest sermon that's ever been preached in the history of the world, and it is the first sermon that is recorded in some length that we find in the Bible by Jesus. 

We read in verse 20, "And turning His gaze toward His disciples." Now, when Luke records "His disciples," he is referring to those who are sitting under the teaching and preaching of Jesus. He's not referring to everyone who is what we would call today a true, genuine disciple of Christ. No, in this crowd this day, which amounted to thousands, there are true believers and there are false believers. And false believers are unbelievers, they're just swept up in the crowd. And so, as Jesus brings now this message, He really has to draw a line in the sand, and for there to be a separation, not physically, but spiritually. 

And so, "He began to say, 'Blessed.' He says it four times in these four verses: blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed. And the word "blessed" means "to be graced," "to be favored by God." And there's only one source for this blessing and it is God Himself. 

Think of it in a Trinitarian way. Every blessing comes from God the Father, it comes through God the Son, and it is applied by God the Holy Spirit. The entire Trinity is involved in this blessing. James 1:17 says, "Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes down from the Father above, the Father of unshifting shadows, with whom there is no variation." There is this constant, continual flow of blessing that is coming down from the Father through the Son, applied by the Spirit. 

Now, I've tried to think how to explain this in a different way than I did last week, and I want to think about it in these two categories. There are two categories of blessings. The first is what we call "common grace blessings." They're called common because they're common to all people. They're common because they are non-saving blessings. 

Even unbelievers experience the common grace blessings of God. You do not have to be a Christian to have the blessing of God in this dimension, God is good even to unbelievers. He allows them to marry. He allows them to have children. He allows them to have a job. He allows them to buy a house. He allows them to go on vacation. He allows them to see the beauty of His creation. He allows them to have health. He allows them to go to a doctor and have their health restored. Those are what we call common grace blessings. 

They even extend to the animal kingdom. God bestows blessing even upon animals. And in Job 38 and Job 39, we see how God Himself feeds the animals day by day. 

The other category of blessing is what we call "saving grace blessing." They're not common to all people. Only those who are in the kingdom of God experience and receive the saving grace blessings of God, and these include forgiveness of sin and being clothed with the perfect righteousness of Christ, knowing God, knowing Christ, being adopted into the family of God, being sealed in Christ never to fall out, a mansion, dwelling places in the Father's mansion being prepared for you. 

And those who receive these saving grace blessings also receive along the way joy, peace, faithfulness, kindness. These are all produced in the one who receives saving grace, and the joy fluctuates and the peace fluctuates; but nevertheless, it never leaves. 

And so when Jesus says, "Blessed," He's referring not to common grace blessings, He's referring to saving grace blessings. So if you're in the kingdom of God, you're the most blessed person on the face of the earth, and even your worst day is better than an unbeliever's best day. The worst day in your life is far better than the greatest day in an unbeliever's life. They only have common grace, you have saving grace. So that's how this sermon begins in verse 20, "Blessed." 

Paradox of Blessing

Now, second, I want you to see not only the pronouncement of blessing, but the "paradox of blessing." Jesus now lays out four paradoxes that are totally counterintuitive, antithetical to the thinking of the natural man. Everything in the kingdom of God is turned upside down from the ways of the world. In the ways of the kingdom of God, those who humble themselves will be exalted. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled. It's just the opposite in the world. If you humble yourself, you'll be run over. If you exalt yourself, you'll be somebody. In the kingdom of God, you have to die in order to live. You have to give up in order to have. Everything is counterintuitive. It's paradoxical. And that's what we see here. 

Jesus says in verses 20 and 21 and verse 22 the most paradoxical statements that could be made. He says in verse 20, "Blessed are you who are poor. Blessed are you who hunger now. Blessed are you who weep." Verse 22, "Blessed are you when men hate you." This is the upside down kingdom. Everything's flipped for you and me. 

So, He begins by saying the first paradox, "Blessed are you who are poor." The word "poor," I told you last week, the root word means "to crouch," "to bend down." It's the idea of a beggar crouching and bending down who has absolutely nothing, can only extend an empty hand, and is totally dependent upon the mercy of another person to place something into his hand. And Matthew 5:3 really helps us interpret this when Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," not the poor in pocketbook. 

Some of the greatest people in the history of the world who have been blessed with saving grace have been rich people: Abraham, Job, Joseph of Arimathea, and on down through the centuries. No, Jesus is talking here about being poor in spirit, and that means for you to recognize that you have no spiritual resources in and of yourself to commend yourself to God. You have no spiritual capital in your account to be able to find approval with God. In fact, you are so in debt to God because of the wages of your sin that you owe a debt that you could never pay in a trillion lifetimes, and you must come to the realization of that and declare spiritual bankruptcy: "In my hands, no price I bring." That's what Jesus is talking about here, that you have to come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and have your sin exposed before your own eyes and to agree with God about your spiritual poverty and to confess your sin to God. No one enters the kingdom of heaven until they come to this point. 

"Blessed are you who are poor." And that's how we enter the kingdom. This also marks our Christian life the whole way as we advance in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. We never forget that "everything good about my life has come from God and everything messed up about my life has come from me. I am what I am by the grace of God." And so, "Those who are poor," Jesus says in verse 20, "for yours is the kingdom of heaven," yours and yours alone, yours and no one else. You are the only ones who possess the kingdom. No one enters into the kingdom without smiting your breast and saying, "God, have mercy upon me, the sinner." 

"For yours is" – it's a present tense. Right now the kingdom. We're not waiting for the millennial kingdom. We're not waiting for the eternal kingdom. There's a kingdom right now for you to possess, right now for you to enter into a kingdom and for this kingdom to enter into you. "Blessed are those who are poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." 

And then the second paradox in verse 21, "Blessed are you who hunger and thirst." How shocking this must have seemed to the crowd that day as they heard Jesus preaching. He says, "Blessed are you who hunger and thirst." And no doubt, there were countless ones there who were hungering and thirsting physically because they're out beside a mountain in the middle of nowhere in Galilee. 

But Jesus has a different hunger and thirst in mind. In Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." It is a hungering and a thirsting after you realize you have no righteousness, that you hunger and thirst for a righteousness, the righteousness that only God can give to you. It is given in the act of justification by faith alone. 

This word "hunger," it's a strong word. It's a deep craving for what you do not possess because you are empty on the inside. There is a gnawing on the inside of your soul. There is a starving and a famishing and a burning desire to have what you do not have. And when you're this kind of hungry, you don't just sit still, you don't sit back passive, you don't wait for the game to come to you. When you're this kind of hungry and this kind of thirsty, you would be willing to cross a river, climb a mountain, forge a gorge, whatever, to have what you desperately need. 

And of course, He's talking here about being fed the bread of life. Jesus said, John 6:35, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will never hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." One bite and you're satisfied forever. One sip and you'll never be thirsty again. That's how potent and how strong the grace of God is when it is given by the Lord Jesus Christ. You'll never go looking any place else for satisfaction, it's all in Christ. 

But you'll never have Christ until you hunger for Him and until you thirst for Him. No one casually comes to Christ. No one just skips into the kingdom. You come with a gnawing emptiness on the inside as the Spirit of God is plowing up the soil of your heart. "Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near." 

He says, "for you shall be satisfied." These are the only people who are satisfied in this world are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. The word "satisfied" means "to be well-fed," literally. It means "to be fattened," that you have received such a fullness, you just don't need anymore. And here, spiritually speaking, it means you are completely content. You are fully fulfilled. There's not a hole in your soul. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. My cup overflows." 

"I've come that you might have life and have it abundantly." And when you come into the kingdom for the first time in your life, you experience real peace and real joy. This satisfaction is a condition of heart that money cannot buy, that trials cannot take away, that only God can give, that no price tag can be put on it. What a paradox. Do you want to be satisfied today? There's going to have to be a desire for Christ and a desire for God. 

And then the third paradox, "Blessed are you who weep now." Graced, favored are you and you alone who weep – that's what Jesus said – now. The word "weep," it's a strong, intense word. It was used to describe the weeping of a widow at the graveside, the loss of a husband, the loss of a child. It's a loud wailing. It's a loud lamentation, a brokenheartedness. It's a heart-rending, heart-breaking weeping. And again, Jesus is talking about weeping over your spiritual poverty, weeping over your sin, weeping over the failure that your life has been, weeping over how you have violated the Word of God and violated the holiness of God. 

And I want to just say a word here. I really hadn't thought about the VBS choir being up here, but this is what makes child evangelism such a challenge. 

Can a child be saved? Yes. Can you know if a child is saved? It will take time for that to be verified by their life. But even for the child, there must be weeping over the offense of their sin that has offended God. It must be more than they want to please Mom and Dad. It must be more than, "I don't want to be separated from Mom and Dad in eternity." It's got to be more than, "I don't want to go to hell, I want to go to heaven." Who wants to go to hell? Who wouldn't want to go to heaven? 

There has to be the weeping. There may not be actual tears, but there will be the brokenheartedness in a child if they are truly converted. And it's the same with an adult. If there is no weeping, there is no conversion. If there is no weeping, there is no advancement in the kingdom of God. So we enter with weeping and we advance with weeping, and the more you advance, actually, the more disgusted you are with yourself with your own sin, because you are drawing closer and closer and closer to God who is the light; and as you draw closer to the light, you are able to see your own imperfections even more clearly. 

That's what was going on in Romans 7 with the apostle Paul. He had been a Christian for about 20 years. "Oh, I do the things I don't want to do. I don't do the things I want to do. O wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from this body of sin?" That's actually a mature Christian. So this is absolutely indispensable for those in the kingdom. But if you will weep, you will laugh. 

He says, "Blessed are you who weep now," – meaning in this life – "for you shall laugh." The word "shall" gives a note of certainty; not may laugh, could laugh, should laugh, might laugh. No, you shall laugh with joy and gladness because the guilt of sin has been rolled off of your trembling shoulders, and because the torture of hell has been avoided because the saving knowledge of God has been given to you. You come to God weeping. There is no easy believism, and there is no cheap grace. You are crushed. You are smitten. But when you weep over your sin, the grace of God floods your soul, and you laugh with joy and happiness because that for which you have wept over has been removed. 

And then in verse 22, the fourth paradox, "Blessed are you when men" – and the men here refer to unbelievers – "when men hate you," – that's strong language – "when they despise you, when they reject you." Why? Because you're no longer in their kingdom, you're now in another kingdom, and you no longer run with them and laugh with them and have their values. You now are headed in a totally different direction. 

"Blessed are you when men hate you," – the "you" refers to believers. Unbelievers will hate the believer – "and ostracize you." That means cut you out of their circle of relationships. They will shun you. They will no longer reach out to you, because you convict them, because you won't go along with it. 

And then Jesus adds another layer, "hate you, ostracize you, insult you." That means to your face, they will revile you. They will denounce you. It'll just come spewing out at some point. And then Jesus adds one more layer, "and scorn your name as evil." "Scorn" literally means "to drive out," "to cast out." And the total opposite is true. Actually, the unbeliever is evil, but they will denounce you as evil. Second Timothy 3:12, "All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." A man is known not only by who his friends are, he's also known by who his enemies are. 

And at the end of verse 22, He says, "for the sake of the Son of Man." It's not because you just have an irritating personality and have no social skills and no ability to be with people in a polished way. No, it's because of Christ, because of the Son of Man. He's the sticking issue. And this also implies they know where you stand because you talk about the Son of Man. You're not a closet Christian. You're not hiding it. You're flying your flag, it's out there. 

And so Jesus says in verse 23 regarding this paradox, "Be glad." Can you imagine going to a Christian counselor and you go in there and you just tell him all your troubles? And he tells you, "Well, here's the solution. You need to be glad." "What? I just paid you $500 to tell me, 'Be glad'?" "Yeah, be glad. I'm from Al Mohler's School of Counseling. Three things. Number One: What's your problem? Number Two: What does the Bible say? Number Three: Why are we still talking?" 

"Be glad in that day." The day refers to the day in which you are being harassed, the day that you are being ostracized, the day that you're being insulted. "In that day" – giggle. He says – "leap for joy." Jump up and down. Why? "Because people know where you stand, and because now I'm identified with my Savior whom they crucified. There's no doubt where I stand." And by the way, they only martyr and burn at the stake Bible believers. They don't martyr liberals, or moderates, as they prefer to be called. 

"Leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven." You may be being ridiculed here, you're going to be rewarded there. And the greater the persecution, the greater the reward. We don't all get the same reward in heaven. This isn't Little League Baseball where everyone gets a trophy. No, there's winners and losers. And the more you're harassed for your faith, the greater will be your reward, and the more you will long for the second coming of Christ. You're not going to be hanging on to this world. You'd rather go to heaven than go to Europe. 

Verse 23, "For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets." How did they treat the prophets? They mocked them. They killed them. They threw them down in a well. They put them in a log and cut them in half. They threw stones at them. They beat them with rods. They put them in a lion's den. They put them in prison. He said, "Nothing's changed." 

So according to Jesus, you and I must expect the same ill-treatment. It may come from within your family, with an unbelieving spouse, an unbelieving sibling. It may come from in-laws. It will come from employers, coworkers. It will come from friends, acquaintances. It will come from big tech. It will come from government. It will come from court rulings. 

And we have now entered into a new day in this country in which these verses are very relevant. We no longer are in a post-Christian society, we now are in an anti-Christian society, and it will only increase and it will only heat up in the days ahead. Our freedom of speech is being taken away. Charges of hate speech will be leveled against us. Tax-exempt status will be removed. Lawsuits will be brought against us for discrimination in our hiring practices. Bank accounts will be frozen. Prison sentences will be coming for some. 

The Pronouncement of Cursing

So, how are we going to respond when that day comes? According to Jesus, we're to be glad. We're to leap for joy. We are to anticipate our reward. We are to realize that we are identified now with the prophets who suffered before us. We have joined a cloud of witnesses who have gone before us: Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, John the Baptist. That's the pronouncement of cursing. 

So now let's look at the pronouncement of cursing in verse 24. And I'm not going to be able to get through this. But Jesus says, "But woe to you." You talk about a sharp turn in the road. I mean, I thought we were talking about having my best life now. 

The word "woe," it's an expression of grief and denunciation. Theologically, it means the opposite of being blessed. It means "to be cursed." It means "to be condemned." It means "to be sentenced to punishment." It means "to be under the wrath of God." It means "to be the object of divine vengeance." It means "to be under the pending judgment of God with a death sentence hung around your neck." 

The Punishment of Cursing

"Woe to you." "You" is in the plural. Not just one person in the crowd. "All of you who are not in the kingdom of God, all of you who are not poor, who have not wept, who are not hungry and thirsty, all of you who are not being persecuted for My namesake. The rest of you. Woe to you." And He now lists the punishment of cursing. 

It's, "Woe to you who are rich." Again, He's not speaking of physical richness, He's speaking of those who perceive themselves as being spiritually rich in their own estimation, by their own self-righteousness, by their own religious activity, by their own moral character. They never see themselves as God sees them. "I'm fine with God. I'm good with God. That's your religion, I have my religion. I'm happy for you, it's private with me." 

"You're rich, so you think. You've never seen yourself in light of the law of God. You have never been measured by the law of God. You've never been placed in the balances and weighed against the Ten Commandments and the perfect holiness of God, and you think you are as good as God is good. Woe to you who are rich, just stuffed full of yourself, for you are receiving your comfort in full. Right now is all the comfort you will ever have. There is coming a day when there will be not one drop of comfort for you. You will be cast into the flames of hell, and you will be ever dying yet never dying, and you will be tormented forever and ever because you have trampled underfoot the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and you have insulted the Spirit of Christ." And God says, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. "No, what little comfort you will ever know, you have it in full right now. There will be no more comfort for you." 

And then in verse 25, "Woe to you" – cursed are you, condemned are you – "who are well-fed now." Again, He's not speaking physically, He's speaking spiritually. "You're just fully satisfied with your life the way that it is. You're fully satisfied in your dead religion. You sense no need for forgiveness. The gospel is for somebody else, not for you. It's for the harlot. It's for the drug dealer. It's for the terrorist. Not me. I'm well-fed, stuffed with myself." 

He says, "for you shall be hungry." Throughout all eternity, future, in hell, there will be a gnawing on the inside, a craving on the inside for what you will never touch, you will never taste, you will never know. There will not be one moment of comfort, and your emptiness will be screaming for relief, and there will be none." 

Then he says in verse 25, "Woe to you who laugh now. Life is one big joke for you. There's no serious thinking about God, no serious thinking about eternity, no serious thinking about death and judgment, no thinking about heaven and hell, no soul searching, no weeping over sin, no repentance, no shedding tears over the death of Christ. You just want to go to church and be entertained. You just want to hear a concert. You just want to hear a TED Talk. You just want your ego massaged and your back slapped and your palms greased and told what a great person you are. 

"You laugh now," – "now" referring to this present life and this present age, Jesus says – "for you shall mourn." That's a promise. "You counterfeit disciples, the day is coming." Hebrews 9, "It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment." "You shall mourn." 

Hell is called the place of the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. There's a definite article. The weeping, all the weeping in the history of the world does not even begin to compare to the weeping in hell and the gnashing of teeth. All of the grinding in this world against what has been done to people will not even begin to match the gnashing of teeth in hell. No one is repenting in hell. Everyone is angry with God and mad with God and gnashing their teeth in fury at God. Jesus said, "That day is coming for you. It's looming on the horizon." This planet is spinning through space with an unavoidable collision with judgment. 

And then Jesus says in verse 26, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you." You know what that means? "You never stood for anything in this world, you just went with the flow. You never stood for anything. You never stood up for anything. You never opposed evil in the world. You never condemned their lives. You never ruffled any feathers. You were just everybody's friend. You were even the devil's friend. You never contended for the faith. You never tried to witness to an unbeliever. You just tried to blend in depending upon who you were with. And you can fit in on Sunday morning with this crowd, and you can fit in on Saturday night with this crowd, and you just blend in perfect wherever you are, you don't stand out in any group. That's why all men speak well of you." 

Listen, a man is known, as I've already said, not only by who his friends are, but who his enemies are. You need some enemies as you share the gospel in love. Romans 12 says to "try to live in peace with all men as much as in you lies." But the gospel is offensive. The cross is offensive. The cross says, "Your sin has violated the holiness of God, and you're under a death sentence." 

"Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way." You know what that means? Even back in Israel's history, those who were circumcised physically but uncircumcised in their heart, they got along great with the false prophets. "We hang out with the false prophets. We love their message. We affirm the false prophets. When they say, "I've had a dream, I've had a vision." "Oh, tell me. Tell me. Tell me more." They never confronted the false prophets. They were to stone them to death is what the law demanded. "No, you just accepted them and affirmed them." These are strong words by Jesus. 

Here today, there are only two groups of people. There are those who are blessed by God with saving grace, and there are those who are cursed by God. When you leave here today and you go to your neighborhood, you go to your apartment complex, you go to a park, wherever it is you go, you need to have this lens in front of your eyes: people are either blessed or they're cursed. 


So, I want to ask you today, where do you stand? I'm calling for the vote. Where do you stand? Maybe what Jesus said so long ago is causing you to think about yourself today. Maybe what Jesus said so long ago in such black and white terms of, really, heaven and hell and grace and justice and judgment, maybe this kind of message is what it takes for you to really come to grips with, "Where am I with God? Where am I regarding the kingdom of God?" Have you ever seen yourself in this light? 

Are you poor in spirit? Then yours is the kingdom of heaven. Are you hungering and thirsting for righteousness? Then you should be justified by God. Are you weeping over the offense of your sin? Have you ever been crushed by the weight of your sin and come to God for forgiveness on His terms, through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ? And to make it real that you have, have you ever been hated? Have you ever been ostracized? Have you ever been insulted for the name of Christ? Then that's like a seal of assurance that I'm in the kingdom. 

As I ask those diagnostic questions of you, if you cannot say an affirming yes, if I was you, I wouldn't leave here today without knowing where I stand with the Lord. And the seed of the Word has been sown into your heart, and Jesus said, "With some hearts, the birds of the air will just come snatch up that seed, and you won't remember what was just said. Other soil is very shallow, it's not deep, and the roots go down, but it can only go down so far, and then they just die." 

Could that be true of you? Other soil, there's weeds in it, the cares of this world. Worldliness, chokes out the seed. You hear it, but you don't hear it. Then there's other soil that's been tilled, plowed up, prepared by the Spirit of God, broken, moist. The seed falls into that heart, it bears fruit, some 30, some 60, some 100 fold. 

Where is your heart today? May the words that Jesus spoke so long ago, may they fall upon the soil of your heart, and you not push it aside, and you not just have an initial little emotional response and then it wears off. May you not go back to your house and the cares of the world just choke out what you just heard. May it really set down roots in your heart. If you've never believed in Jesus Christ, I call you today to see the poverty of your spirit, and to weep, and to hunger, and to thirst for what only God can give you. May today be that day in your life. Let us pray. 

[Prayer] Father in heaven, what a weighty message Jesus brought. What a sobering message. I fear at times we want the easy message, not the hard message. Lord, come crashing into this room today and come crashing into hearts today. May Your Word not return to You void. May it accomplish the purpose for which You send it. May there be souls saved today. May there be saints strengthened today. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the church, in Christ's name. Amen. [End] 

As I read the closing benediction, I want you to know I'm going to be gone for a few weeks. I take an annual family vacation – my wife, my children, grandchild – and I'll be gone for two weeks for this vacation. And then I will fly to Los Angeles. I will preach at Grace Community Church for two weeks. I will teach at the Master's Seminary for those two weeks. And I don't want to be gone. If I could, I would fly back every Sunday. But I will be back in the second half of July, and you will be very much in my heart and very much on my mind. And I look forward to Luke 6:27 when I return. 

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." God bless you.