Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jesus denounces scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites (12:1-12). Verses to heed (12:4-5,8-10). Learn of greed, money, possessions (12:13-15). Don't be a fool (12:19-20). Repent, be prepared for the Master, don't be left out (12:35-48; 13:1-5,22-30)! Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath (13:10-17). Jesus grieves for us too (13:31-35).
The Lord illustrated the deceptive danger of covetousness by saying: The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all . . . my goods (12:16-18).
By hard work in the highly respected occupation of farming, this man had become wealthy. There is no intimation that he had gained his wealth by dishonest methods. His soul-destroying sin was that he did not acknowledge the Lord as his enabler or see the needs of others around him. He spent his lifetime accumulating only for himself. God called him a fool and then added: So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (12:20-21).
The message of our Lord contrasts with the world's determined ambition to accumulate more and more "things" as a means of daily satisfaction and security for the future. The Christian attitude is to be: Take no thought (do not worry) for your life, what ye shall (have to) eat; neither for the body, what ye shall (have to) put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. . . . But . . . seek ye the Kingdom of God; and all these things (necessities of life) shall be added unto you (12:22-23,31).
Just as an award-winning athlete, who has the supreme desire to win, will prepare himself with severe discipline to win, we are to take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. As important as food, clothing, and shelter are to maintaining good health, our foremost concern must be to seek . . . the Kingdom of God.
Christ taught that life is fulfilling only when we seek to extend and build His Kingdom by loving, serving, and giving to others. They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (I Tim. 6:9-10).
Thought for Today:
The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him (Nah. 1:7).
12:50 straitened = with intense sorrow; 12:58 hale =take by force; 12:59 mite =fraction of a cent; 13:8 dung it =fertilize it; 13:24 strait =narrow, strict, illustrating no deviation from what God has said in His Word.
For Luke 13:27: See Ps. 6:8. Luke 13:35: See Ps. 118:26.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Henry Rogers • Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Officials: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO), Rep. Geoff Davis (KY), and Sec. Hillary Clinton (Dept. of State) • Country: India (986 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Hindi and English • Religious freedom, but increasing harassment and persecution of Christians by religious radicals • 78% Hindu; 12% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 3% Christian; 2.5% Indigenous; 2% Sikh; .9% Buddhist; .5% Jain; .3% Parsi; .2% Baha'i; .1% Jewish; .5% non-Religious • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for the privilege of publishing His Word (Ps. 68:11).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:20