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).
One cannot read these impressive verses without catching the solemnity in which they were uttered. Jesus warned: Beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth (Luke 12:15). There is something very grim and terrifying in the finality of our Lord's next parable concerning sharing our faith and our possessions with those who need help (Matt. 19:21-22; James 2:14-17).
The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought . . . What shall I do . . . I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow ALL MY . . . goods. . . . But God said . . . Thou fool, this night thy soul shall shall be required of thee. . . . So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (Luke 12:16-21). This financially rich man was a prudent, worldly man who rose to great affluence in the wholesome occupation of farming. He had all the virtues which the world applauds and often holds up as a model to young men. But he unconsciously implied how little satisfaction his wealth had brought him. Take thine ease (12:19) was a confession that his life was burdened by the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches (Matt. 13:22).
The world measures people by their bank account, new cars, and fine homes; yet nothing could be more wrong, because godliness with contentment is great gain (I Tim. 6:6). Contentment accompanying true godliness is not dependent on worldly possessions. The fact is, the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, (as a result) they have erred from the faith (6:10). If we have little, we are taught to be content with that little; if we have much, we are taught how fragile is our hold upon it and how essential it is to be rich toward God since we must give an account to the Giver of all good gifts.
Christian friend, whoever you are and regardless of how much or how little you possess, the Lord knows you and your circumstances and has chosen you to be His representative in the area in which you live. Fix your heart on Him.
The psalmist prayed: Incline my heart unto Thy Testimonies, and not to covetousness (Ps. 119:36).
Thought for Today:
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (Mark 8:36)?
For Luke 13:27: See Ps. 6:8. Luke 13:35: See Ps. 118:26.
12:50 straitened dressed 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.
Pray for Staff: Bill Beach • Government Officials: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO), Rep. Geoff Davis (KY), and Sec. Hillary Clinton (Dept. of State) • Country: China, Mainland (1.242 billion) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Standard Chinese (Putonghua) or Mandarin (based on the Beijing dialect) • Renewed persecution of the Church • 16% Asian (including Fulun Gong); 8% Buddhist; 3% Muslim; number of Christians unknown but growing; 10% Atheist • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His wonderful blessings (Ps. 150:2).
Memory Verse for the Week: