NEW BOOK: Ancient Roots of the LGBTQ Movement

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Turn with me to Luke chapter eight. We are going to study most of the chapter today. I will be reading out of the New Living Translation. It’s rare to read this much scripture in church services these days. We’ve become accustomed to a half-hour entertaining, motivational speech.

It makes us feel good. It’s fun. But there is no lasting impact without the Word of God. In these last days, we must hunger for nothing more than God’s Word. You are going to have to use discipline to stay focused. I recommend you put in the work. Deny your flesh, resist distractions, and listen intently to the Word of God.

Luke 8:1-15Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples. One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him: “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they look, they won’t really see. When they hear, they won’t understand.’ “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.

Hundredfold Return

How many of you have heard this parable used to teach about financial giving? That’s why we refer to giving as sowing a seed and expecting a return. I believe this is an accurate use of this scripture. The law of sowing and reaping is from the Kingdom of God.

In this parable, Jesus is teaching about sowing the Word of God and reaping a harvest. But it also applies to literally sowing seed in a garden. It applies to giving finances. It applies to how you treat people. That which a man sows, that he shall also reap.

Do you have a problem sowing a tomato seed and reaping a harvest of beautiful tomatoes? But you didn’t even create the seed. You didn’t cause it to grow. You simply put it in the ground and watched over it. And now you think you can just pick off all those tomatoes and eat them?

Yes, you do! None of us have a problem when a tiny seed produces a harvest that is too great to count. That’s why it is a hundredfold return. From seed to harvest is an unfathomable calculation.

I know, the NLT said one hundred times. But what we are really talking about is one hundredfold. That’s when it doubles every time you fold it. We’re talking about your seed to the hundredth power. For example, if you take the number two to the hundredth power, here’s what you get:


It’s incomprehensible to the human mind how a little seed can produce a big plant that produces a massive amount of fruit.  Again, we don’t have a problem with this! As a matter of fact, we expect it to happen. That seed best become a thriving tomato plant, or I am going to be upset that it didn’t fulfill God’s design.

But most of us, when we sow financial seed by giving at church, we have a problem expecting a hundredfold return on our little seed.We think, “I shouldn’t get that much. I didn’t work for it. Why would God give me such a big return for the little amount I invested in His Kingdom?”

Or maybe you think, “It didn’t work last time, so it probably doesn’t work at all.” It’s thoughts like these that prevent our seed from producing the massive harvest it was designed to produce.

Our wrong thinking steals the seed or kills the plant before it matures. It doesn’t have to be that way. Jesus teaches us how to care for our seed. Let’s read that verse again in the KJV.

Luke 8:15 KJV – But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. 

According to this verse, three things are required for your seed to bear fruit:

  1. Right motivation (honest and good heart)
  2. Continue to believe (keep it)
  3. Wait on the harvest (patience)

I bet you can easily identify where you missed it. Maybe your motivation is off. If you got that kind of return, you’d just sit on your blessed assurance and pamper yourself.

Maybe you gave up because it didn’t come in your timing. You wanted the harvest the next day. So you abandoned your seed when it didn’t come quickly. You were impatient.

Identify where your problem is so you can fix it. It’s vital that you do because we are called to demonstrate the Kingdom of God, where there is always more than enough.

The church should be the most wealthy entity on the earth. Our resources should be so vast that we have no problem taking care of all the widows and orphans. We should possess the best land in the city and build things that glorify God and demonstrate the magnificence of His Kingdom.

We are called to rule and to reign. And it’s not because we create the harvest from our own effort. We simply plant the seed and watch over it and patiently waith while God creates the harvest. Did that help anyone? It sure helped me. I didn’t realize I had a problem expecting a massive harvest from my financial seed until this past week.

As I read this, the Holy Spirit simply said, “You don’t have a problem expecting a massive harvest from a natural seed. Why do you have a problem expecting the same from your financial seed?”

For me, it was a problem because I didn’t feel like I deserved a massive harvest. I wanted to be able to say I worked for it. I earned that. But the reality is, that’s prideful thinking.

So, I renewed my thinking and updated my expectation. When I sow financial seed, I expect it to produce a hundredfold return. I will use that return to advance the Kingdom of God. I will continue to believe and wait patiently on the Lord while the harvest grows into maturity. Let’s continue in Luke 8:16.

Luke 8:16-18No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all. “So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.”

Multiplied Understanding

This seems like another topic, but it is actually a continuation of what Jesus was just talking about in the parable of the sower.

He revealed how to get the Word of God to produce a huge harvest in our lives. Now He is giving more insight into how it happens. Things that have been concealed in the Word of God will now be illuminated.

I’ve noticed this to be a continual progression. As time goes on, the Holy Spirit illuminates more and more of the Word of God. Things we have never seen before are coming into the light.

The words have always been on the page. We just didn’t understand them until now. The things that were concealed are coming into the light.

In this season we are in right now, it is especially easy to extract these things from the Word of God. All who dedicate time to the Word are being filled with revelation through the Holy Spirit.

I’ve been studying the Word consistently for over a decade now. I spent two years in Bible school. But the Word has never been more alive to me than it is right now.

If you aren’t consistently spending time in the Word of God, you are missing out on miraculous encounters. The Holy Spirit is so eager to reveal God’s Word to you.

You just have to get in it instead of watching your favorite show or whatever else you are wasting time on. There are so many distractions! Get rid of them. The Word of God is better. Pay close attention to how you hear God’s Word.

Everyone in this room is hearing the Word right now, but not everyone is listening. There’s a difference. Hearing is not enough. You must also listen. You must lean into what God is saying and quickly obey what He teaches.

When you do, more understanding will be given. But if you don’t listen, even what you think you know will be taken away from you.

Have you ever met someone who thinks they know something, but it’s quite obvious they don’t? This is why. They heard it, but they didn’t act on it. They didn’t obey. Now, what they thought they knew was taken away from them.

So, pay attention to how you hear! It takes discipline to listen. It takes sacrifice to obey. But it’s worth it because more understanding will be given to you as you listen and obey.

Who wants multiplied understanding? Pay attention to how you hear. Let’s keep reading. We are at verse 19.

Luke 8:19-25Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they couldn’t get to him because of the crowd. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they want to see you.” Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are all those who hear God’s word and obey it.” One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”

When Faith Is Lacking

Notice how Jesus calmed the storm even when the disciples’ faith was nowhere to be found. They did not have faith. But what they did do was run to Jesus when they were in trouble.

Let that be a lesson for you. Run to Jesus when you are in trouble, whether you have faith or not. He calms the storm even when our faith is nowhere to be found.

Jesus fills the gaps in our faith. He makes up the difference. All we have to do is run to Him. Run to him, not your friends. Run to Jesus when you find yourself in trouble. Let’s keep reading.

Luke 8:26-33So they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes, across the lake from Galilee. As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in the tombs outside the town. As soon as he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down in front of him. Then he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of him. This spirit had often taken control of the man. Even when he was placed under guard and put in chains and shackles, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wilderness, completely under the demon’s power. Jesus demanded, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, for he was filled with many demons. The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit. There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby, and the demons begged him to let them enter into the pigs. So Jesus gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned.

Insight on Demon Possession

There are a few things I want to point out that give us clarity on casting out demons. It said this man had been homeless and naked, living in the tombs for a long time. This reveals what those possessed by demons are dealing with. They feel alone, ashamed, and dead inside.

I don’t know about you, but this gives me compassion for the person who is dealing with demons. It helps me to separate the person from the demons. This is a person needing freedom.

Also, in verse 29, it says, “this spirit had often taken control of the man”. In other words, even though this man had many demons, they were still not in full control. The Greek word translated to “legion” refers to a group of about seven thousand soldiers.

So this man had thousands of demons. Yet, they still couldn’t control him all the time.

This tells me that demons cannot possess your spirit. They can only possess your body and your mind. In that same verse, it says, “Even when he was placed under guard, he broke the chains and shackles, completely under the demon’s power.”

So, what is it? The demon often controlled him. Or was he completely under demonic control? The KJV clears it up for us.

Luke 8:29 KJV – …For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.

The KJV uses the word “caught” instead of “control”. The word is defined as “to seize by force”. Imagine someone being arrested and put in jail. Someone else has control of their surroundings, which impacts their physical body and thoughts. But they cannot have full control of that person.

Demons can make you sick. They can insert ungodly thoughts and wreak havoc on your emotions. But they cannot have full control.  Even this man who had thousands of demons; they could not control him all the time.

This is why many of those dealing with demons seem to have two personalities. They are sweet one day and gossiping the next. They feel good one day and are sick the next.

You are seeing the actual person contrasted with the manifestation of the demon. That’s why the Holy Spirit gives us the gift called discerning of spirits, so we know who we are dealing with.

Did you notice the NLT’s phrase “completely under the demon’s power” is not in the original text? It was added to bring clarification. Although in this case, it brings confusion.

Turns out, there is no contradiction here. Although this man was often seized by the legion of demons, they did not have full control.

The last thing I want to point out about this specific deliverance is that the demons didn’t come out immediately. They stalled. They begged Jesus to leave them alone.

When this happens, follow the example of Jesus. Don’t give in. They are required to obey the authority of Christ.

This doesn’t mean we make it a long, drawn-out process. What we just read most likely transpired in just a few minutes. Don’t give in to the stalling tactic. Command the demons to obey.

And don’t get bent out of shape when the demons stall, or even if they talk to you. They did it to Jesus, they can do it to you. Keep your peace and command the demons to obey. Let’s keep reading. We are at verse 34.

*Read Luke 8:34-37

Dealing with Rejection

Somehow, we’ve come to believe that being a Christian means that everyone is going to accept you. The main theme for many churches these days is acceptance. What a deception.

Even when Jesus did good things, like delivering a man who had been bound by thousands of demons for a long time, people rejected Him. They begged Him to leave.

What did Jesus do when rejected? He left. When He was not wanted, He left. He didn’t force Himself on anyone.

However, He didn’t leave with a haughty attitude like many self-righteous Christians do today. Yes, He left. But, I imagine He left weeping.

Jesus wants nothing more than for everyone to be a part of the Kingdom of God. At the same time, He knows that many will choose otherwise.

You can’t force people into the Kingdom of God. You can’t manipulate them. You can’t coerce them. That’s not how the Kingdom of God works. They have to choose it.

So, our job is to let people know about the Kingdom of God. Then it is up to them to choose. If they choose otherwise, don’t stick around and beg. Leave them alone and go tell someone else. Let’s keep reading at verse 38.

Luke 8:38-39 – The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.

Knowing Your Assignment

Notice this man wanted to go into ministry with Jesus, but Jesus wouldn’t let him. Your assignment in the Kingdom of God isn’t always the obvious choice.

When people sense the call of God on their life, they pigeonhole themselves into the functions of the church. The obvious choice is to become a pastor, evangelist, or prophet.

But you need to dig deeper. In this case, the man’s assignment was to focus on his family. Jesus said, “Don’t join my ministry because you are called to teach your family about the goodness of God.”

There’s a video I want to share with you. Pay close attention to this. The Holy Spirit is going to use this to course-correct several of you. It’s time to get positioned exactly where you are called.

Seek first the Kingdom of God. Not what you think you should do. Not what others think you should do. You must seek God until He reveals your assignment in His Kingdom.

No one else can reveal your calling. It only comes by revelation through the Holy Spirit. He will show you through visions, dreams, and even that still-small voice on the inside.

He will then confirm what He tells you through others. It’s amazing. He’ll confirm it over and over again. Personal, prophetic words should be a confirmation to something the Holy Spirit has already put on the inside of you.

If someone prophesies your assignment but it doesn’t resonate within you, they probably missed it. Don’t put your faith in the words of someone else. Put your faith in God.

God will reveal your purpose within you. And then, He will confirm it through the words of others, as long as you have positioned yourself around a body of believers.

Let’s take time to seek God now. Open yourself to correction. Let the Holy Spirit in to rearrange things and purge your life of your own ideas and all the distractions.

About the Author

Kade Young

Kade Young is the lead pastor of NoLimits Church.