Read Luke 12 -- 13
In Today’s Reading:
Warnings against greed and hypocrisy; more parables, healings and teachings.
The Lord illustrated the deceptive danger of covetousness by saying: The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought . . . What shall I do . . . I have no room . . . to [store] my fruits? And he said . . . I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there [I will store] all . . . my goods. And I will say to my soul . . . [you have] much goods laid up for many years; take [your] ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said [to] him, [You] fool, this night [your] soul shall be required of [you]: then whose shall those things be? (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 [lays] up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (12:20-21).
A person's true worth is not determined by material possessions. However, the worldly-minded would disagree, since they measure success by the accumulation of wealth, popularity, and influence.
In contrast, the Christian's concern is to not allow material desires to distract us from doing the will of God. Jesus said: Take no thought for your life (do not worry about future concerns), what [you] shall (have to) eat; neither for the body, what [you] shall (have to) put on. . . . But rather seek . . . the Kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added [to] you (12:22-31). As important as food, clothing, and shelter are to maintaining life, our first and foremost concern should be to seek the Kingdom of God with all our hearts, then trust the Lord for life's necessities.
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, ability, or possessions we may have or acquire, as good stewards we should prayerfully consider what Jesus would have us do with them. It is of utmost importance that we prepare ourselves to be all that our Lord wants us to be in order to accomplish the purpose for which He created us.
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 Timothy 6:9-10).
Thought for Today: If we are truly concerned about God's interests, He will take care of ours.
12:50 straitened = pressed, hampered, restricted; 12:58 hale = to take by force; 12:59 mite = a very small unit of money; 13:8 dung it = fertilized it; 13:11 had a spirit of infirmity = had suffered a disability; 13:24 strait = to be narrow, strict.
For Luke 13:27: See Psa. 6:8. Luke 13:35: See Psa. 118:26.
Government Officials: Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY), Rep. David Phelps (IL), and Rep. Charles Stenholm (TX) · Pray for your Sunday School teacher · Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America · Major languages: Spanish and Quechua · Religious freedom · 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha’i · Prayer Suggestion: Thank God in prayer for His faithfulness to His Word and His desire that all come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 13:2