Read Luke 12
Jesus denounces scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites (Luke 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 self-deception of covetousness by telling this parable: 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 (store) my fruits? . . . I will pull down my barns, and build greater (larger); and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:16-20). By hard work in the highly-respected occupation of farming, this man had become wealthy. There is no hint that he had gained his wealth by dishonest methods. His soul-destroying sin was that he spent his lifetime in self-gratification. 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).
We Christians should not allow material desires to distract us from doing the will of God. We are not to worry about our future needs. As important as food, clothing, and shelter are to maintaining life, our first concern should always be to seek . . . first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). By keeping our priorities right, we prepare ourselves to be all that our Lord wants us to be to accomplish the purpose for which He created us.
How we use our time and talents is an expression of our Christian faith. Christ taught that life is truly fulfilling by loving, serving, and giving to extend the Good News to a lost world. Regardless of how much or how little talent, or possessions we may have or acquire, as good stewards we should prayerfully acknowledge His ownership and consider what Jesus would have us do with them.
Thou, O man of God . . . follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness (gentleness). Fight the good fight of faith, lay (take) hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession (confession) before many witnesses (I Tim. 6:11-12).
Thought for Today:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Rom. 5:5).
12:50 straitened pressed 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 Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Officials: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO), Rep. Geoff Davis (KY), and Sec. Hillary Clinton (Dept. of State) • Country: Finland (5.2 million) in northern Europe • Major languages: Finnish and Swedish • Religious freedom • 86% Lutheran; 1% Orthodox; 12% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God with a spirit of thankfulness for His goodness (Ps. 107:1,21).
Memory Verse for the Week: Mark 4:19