Persistence is going to be necessary in the Christian life. Sometimes in your Christian life it will seem like nothing is happening, it’ll seem like God is not hearing you and like your prayers are being ignored. Yet in these parables the Lord Jesus is telling us ahead of time that persistence is necessary in the Christian life.
So it’s a great privilege to to be with you. Just thinking this morning, as I looked over the message again, the great privilege of speaking the Word of God, sharing the word of God. What a thought: that somebody’s life this morning, or even my own life, could be changed permanently, from one meeting. The Lord Jesus said if you continue in my word then you’re truly my disciples. There’s a lot of people that start out, but they don’t continue in the word, if you continue in my word then you’re truly my disciples and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. And it is truth that makes us free. That’s what we want to direct our hearts towards this morning, the truth of God.
So let’s open our Bibles to Luke 11, beginning reading in verse 5.
Luke 11:5-11 And He said to them, “Suppose one of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and from inside he shall answer and say, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9 “And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. 10 “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. 11 “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?12 “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
And than in chapter 18, if you just keep your place in chapter 11.
Luke 18:1-8 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, 2 saying, “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God, and did not respect man. 3 “And there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4 “And for a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wear me out.'” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; 7 now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 8 “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
I’ve read both of these because they’re both saying the same thing in two different ways. I’d like to speak to you on the subject of persistence this morning. Our text is in chapter 11, if you just flip back there, in verse 8. “I tell you even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” “Because of his persistence” and that’s really a good summary of both of these parables, this phrase in verse 8. “Because of his persistence he will,” and the word persistence here, I don’t know if you have a marginal note, but it says, “or shamelessness” and that’s literally what the word means: shamelessness.
(Rest of the transcript may come at a later date.)
Preached at Grace Life Fellowship in Hastings, Nebraska
Charles Leiter is one of the pastors at Lake Road Chapel, in Kirksville, Missouri