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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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To Seek And To Save

 Watch and Pray

Luke 21.34-38

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[Depression Statistics] 

  • [Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. This includes major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder.]
  • [Pre-schoolers are the fastest-growing market for antidepressants. At least four percent of preschoolers -- over a million -- are clinically depressed.]
  • [15% of the population of most developed countries suffers severe depression.]
  • [30% of women are depressed. Men's figures were previously thought to be half that of women, but new estimates are higher.]
  • [15% of depressed people will commit suicide.[1]]

A.     The Price of a Worldly Life (vs 34-35) [– And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. – Depression and oppression will always be the worldly out come of a life lived without Christ.] 

1.      A Warning to be Heard (vs 34; Isa 65.12) [- And take heed to yourselves, . . . – In this phrase we hear and understand that a warning is being given.  If the phrase were paraphrased it might say. “LOOK OUT!!” ] 

a.       [Why Warnings Are Given – Warnings are never fun to hear or receive.  They almost always imply danger and point to uncertainty.  Warnings are almost always given because someone cares about you and your wellbeing.  Warnings are the result of love.  Even when a warring comes from a stranger it is still the result of love.]

[It seems to be common today for people to hear the warnings contained within the Bible and somehow imply that they are the product of hatefulness and discontent.  God places warnings in the Bible because God loves people, and wants to save people from the peril that is coming their way.] 

b.      [When Warnings Are Given - When a warning is given how should one respond?

If you are on a golf course and someone yells “FORE!” You don’t look around to see who’s yelling.  You duck.]

[If you are in the military and someone yells “GRENADE!”  You don’t look for the grenade you hit the deck.]

If you are living your life and God says “TAKE HEED!”  You would be wise to listen to God.] 

[But the human tendency seems to be to ignore God. 

[Isaiah 65:12 12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.]

[People always seem to want to foolishly accuse God of cruelty even after God gave numerous warnings, and multiplied opportunities for repentance and they rebelliously refused to hear or heed God.]

[God has given you warnings, because He knows infinitely more than you, and He loves you with the deepest of desires.  Will you hear and heed Him?]

2.      A Wantonness to be Feared (Eph 5.18) [- . . . lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness. . . . – What is God’s warning in this text?  It is a warning against worldly wantonness.  God warns against a heart that is Overcharged.] 

a.      [Word Studies] 

(1)   [Overcharged - βαρηθῶσιν (gk)  - Luke 21:34 in the warning against weighing down the heart with dissipation, drunkenness, etc.: Luke apparently adopts the widespread expression “heavy with wine” in order to express the danger of dullness and encumbrance through the pleasures and cares of this world [2] ] 

(2)   [Surfeiting - κραιπάλῃ krahee-pal'-ay (gk)  -  Sound a lot like our English word cripple -  A headache, a hangover, a shooting pain or a confusion in the head arising from intemperance in wine or strong liquors. Translated in Luke 21:34 as “surfeiting,” the sense of disgust and loathing from an overindulgence in wine and carousing.[3] ] 

b.      [Losing ones mind – God warns people against the worldly tendency of losing ones mind.  In a very direct sense God warns against chemical intoxicants that might dull ones thinking and lower ones inhibitions. In a positive sense the Bible encourages, 

[Ephesians 5:18 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;]

[A verse often used as an introduction for the topic of alcohol and alcoholism, but more appropriately addresses maintaining a clear and divinely directed mind.] 

c.       [Mind altering agents – In our culture this passage would appropriately point toward any thing that would alter ones consciousness.  Any alcohol and all drugs would clearly fall into the category of those things that would dull the mind.] 

d.      [Physically dull and Spiritually dull – Mind altering agents dull the mind physically which dull the whole of our being.  Alcohol and drugs affect our state of consciousness in that they cause us not to think as we should.  This is often reflected in choices that are described as wanton.  They lack sensibility.  But physical wantonness will clearly translate itself in to spiritual wantonness.  One cannot affect their mind chemically without affecting their spirit chemically.] 

3.      A Weight to be Carried (2 Tim 3.12; James 1.2-4) [- . . . cares of this life, . . .] 

a.       [The cause of our intoxication – There are numerous reasons why people get themselves wrapped up in mind altering intoxicants.  But only tow seem to come to the forefront in this study.] 

(1)   [Recreation – People hear the enticing words of their friends and peers.  They talk about the “high” of their drugs and alcohol.  They talk about the exciting feeling of the buzz associated with their intoxicant of choice.  I have had youth and young adults ask me, “Am I missing something by not drinking or doing drugs?”  Their friends are telling them that they are missing a really good time and that they ought to at least give it a try. 

Hear this and hear it well.  You are not missing anything.  The buzz they are feeling, the high they are proclaiming is the intoxicating agent destroying their brain and dulling their minds.  Some drugs are so powerful that the first time they are used will damage your physical mind irreparably and could lead to a life long struggle with an addiction.  This is true for both drugs and alcohol.] 

(2)   [Depression – a second cause for one losing themselves in mind altering drugs and alcohol is depression.  Depression is often caused by a sense of hopelessness and hopelessness is caused by a lack of or failure of your knowledge of God and His work in your life.  Our text identifies depression as the “. . . cares of this life . . .] 

b.      [Overcharged through Anxiety – Life often has a way of throwing us a curve, or placing things in our path that we just did not anticipate.  These challenges often tempt us to dull our emotions and feelings with those things that alter our minds, like drugs and alcohol.  Some of the cares of life can be so weighty that they, in themselves, can alter our state of being.] 

(1)   [Cares - μερίμναις  (gk)   - Anxiety, care that brings disruption to the personality and the mind[4] ] 

c.       [Misunderstanding the Christian Life – The greatest contributor to an overcharged mind and spirit for a Christian is the misconception that once they become a Christian they should no longer face trial and temptations in their lives.  Nothing is farther from the truth.  The Bible declares:] 

[2 Timothy 3:12 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.]

[James 1:2-4 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. ]

[Born again Christians still get sick, suffer losses, experience persecution and trials, and will eventually die.  Just because one receives the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior does not mean that they are insulated from the burdens of life.  But it does mean that they will never again face a trial or temptation without the help and encouraging presence of their Heavenly Father.] 

[Psalms 23:4 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.]

[Hebrews 13:5 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. ]

[For a Christian the joy of life is found in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and in his presence their joy will often be intensified by the trials of life.  Hence, they have no need for alcohol and mind altering drugs, instead they have the hope, and confidence of the Holy Spirit of God leading them through their valley.] 

[Hence the warning, Don’t allow your mind and spirit to be overcharged [overburdened] with mind altering agents through life’s difficult circumstances.  Instead, walk with the Lord, be filled with the Holy Spirit, crawl up into the lap of your Heavenly Father, and know that He is God.] 

B.     The Promise of a Godly Life (vs 36; 2 Tim 1.6) [– Watch ye therefore, . . . – These three words call each of us to a diligence and determination in life.  Why do people get caught up in the waywardness of our world?  Why do people get lost in the drunkenness of alcohol and drugs?  Why do people get lost in depression and despair?  Because they loose their way in life.  They loose their hope for the future.  They loose their purpose in life.  God says watch!  God says be diligent!  God says be purposeful!  Paul wrote to Timothy,] 

[2 Timothy 1:6 6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.]

For us to watch in means: 

1.      There is something worth living for (Jer 29.11; Psalm 40.5; Isa 14.27) [– Your life is worth living because your Savior is living in and for you.  Jesus died that you might live.  God has a plan and purpose for your life.  You are not just here and forgotten by God.  The Bible reminds us,] 

[Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.]

 [Your life is not just a series of chances circumstances.  God has a purpose for your life.  Our adversary the devil would love to convince you that you are just here and your Heavenly Father doesn’t even know that you exists.  But God reminds us,]

[Psalms 40:5 5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. ]

[The thoughts, plans and purposes of our Lord are many and certain.  We are told,]

[Isaiah 14:27 27 For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?]

[Life in Christ is worth living, it is worth watching, it is worth discovering and experiencing.] 

2.      There is something worth laboring for (Matt9.37-38; 1 Cor 1.21) [- If you are convinced that your Heavenly Father has something in your life worth living for then there is certainly something worth laboring for.  Jesus reminds us to,] 

[Matthew 9:37-38 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.]

[The harvest of our Lord’s kingdom are the souls of men, women and children all around us who have yet to come to a saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior.  We must continuously be reminded that,]

[1 Corinthians 1:21 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. ]

[My Christian friends, don’t ever be so burdened by this worlds affairs that you loose sight of your purpose in this life. Are you so discouraged by the current events of your life that you have become useless in God’s kingdom?  God says to you watch!  In other words get your heart right with God.] 

[Christian Youth, have you become so enamored by the allurements of our world, and the enticements of your peers that you have become essentially useless in God’s kingdom.  God says to you watch, get your mind right, get your heart right get your life right.] 

[There is a life worth living and a labor worth working.] 

3.      There is something worth languishing for (Matt 10.16; Isa 54.17) [- Now, someone might say, “Yes, I hear you preacher and I have tried living this Christian life and doing this kingdom work.  But you know what, it was hard work and I’m not sure I did any good.  So, why do it?” ]  

[Because if you don’t there will be multitudes all around you who will be lost and condemned to an eternity in hell.] 

[God never said that living the Christian life or working in His kingdom work was going to be easy.  Instead he said,] 

[Matthew 10:16 16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.]

[Jesus told His disciples and God tells us that our spiritual and physical enemies would try to devour and destroy us.  Our labor for God would be a languishing labor.  It is described as a warfare in the Bible and warfare takes diligence and determination.] 

[But God does give us a promise in the midst of this languishing labor.  He says,] 

[Isaiah 54:17 17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. ]

[Your life in Christ is worth living, laboring, and languishing for.  Will you watch?]

C.     The Passion of a Godly Life (vs 36) [- . . . and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. – As you live, labor and languish in this Christian life our lord reminds us of the passion that will see us through our struggle.] 

1.      Your Direction is available (Psalm 37.4-5;Prov 3.5-7) - . . . and pray always. . . – Prayer is more than just seeking to get what you want from heaven (God).  It is learning to get in touch with God in heaven so He can give you the direction you need in this life. 

[Psalms 37:4-5 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. ]

[Proverbs 3:5-7 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.]

[Realize that the best plans for your life are the ones your Heavenly Father has planned for you.  They won’t be the easiest plans to follow, but they will be the most fulfilling.  Get your direction from Heaven.]

2.      Your Deliverance is inevitable (2 Cor 5.10) [- . . . that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass,. . .] 

[2 Corinthians 5:10 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. ]

[The Bible reveals that there are events that will soon come upon this world that will be the worst series of events this world has ever seen.  Jesus just told His apostles that their hope for the immediate future would soon be completely destroyed.  Jerusalem would be decimated, and their longed for deliverance would not be realized in their lifetime.  Yet, Jesus also said, there is a deliverance available for you if you watch and work in their Lord’s kingdom.]

[We are told that there is a deliverance for us as well from the evil so to come upon this wayward world.  Will you be found as an overcomer and glorify your Lord or will you suffer loss with the overcome who succumbed to the anxiety and weight of this worlds burden?]

[Be an overcomer!  Watch and Work for our Lord!]

3.      Your Decoration is desirable [- . . . and to stand before the Son of man - Don’t ever forget that a day of reckoning and reward is coming.  We will all give an accounting one day.  By diligently watching for our Lord and serving Him in our lives with determination we will ensure that we are ready to stand before Him and hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”] 



[2]Balz, H. R., & Schneider, G. (1990-c1993). Exegetical dictionary of the New Testament. Translation of: Exegetisches Wr̲terbuch zum Neuen Testament. (1:198). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.

[3]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G2897). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[4]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G3308). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.]


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