Thursday, February 21, 2008

Luke Chapter Twelve

Reading:  Luke 12.1-59

Scripture:  "When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."  Luke 12:11  
And also, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Luke 12.34

Observations:  Luke's gospel paints a picture of Jesus that is far different than the meek and mild Jesus that most of us learned about in Sunday School.  His harsh words against the Pharisees, his stern warnings about hypocrisy, greed and spiritual slothfulness, and his predictions about the divisions and persecution that would come to his followers give us a window into the volatile setting of the New Testament world.  
Luke was the Apostle Paul's traveling companion and he witnessed the very kinds of persecution that Jesus predicted. Notice He says "when" not "if" you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities.  Luke stayed a faithful companion to Paul throughout his years of imprisonment long after others had deserted him (2 Tim. 4:11).  Hard times call for deep commitment. Persecution followed the spread of the gospel because it was so antithetical to the controlling powers of the kingdoms of this world.  But Jesus' followers are to seek first God's kingdom and treasure the things that are of eternal worth.

Apply:  The kingdoms of this world will always pressure us to trade our eternal treasures for temporary pleasures.  Let the parable of the Rich Fool (vs. 13-21) remind us of how futile it is to spend our lives just to store up treasures on earth.  

Prayer:  Jesus, help me to find my greatest pleasure in pleasing you.  May I remember that living simply and serving others is the way to true riches. 


traci said...

(oh MAN do I wish we had spell check on this blog!)
I woke up this morning to Adrian Rogers - saying quite loudly..."you're waisting your life - your waisting your life!!" - phew...I turned off the alarm, walked away shakin' my head at such an abrupt awakening - I shook my head ALL THE WAY BACK to the radio to double check what I was hearing.(scared the heck outta me at 5 am)
Thankfully it was NOT a supernatural infiltration thru my radio giving me a personal tongue lashing :-)
Adrien was talkin about the same thing Jesus was sayin to the desciples and the crowds in Luke 12 when he told about what will happen to the guy who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God" He must be reading along with us Pastor Bill.
Jesus said ALOT in this chapter - phew - and I have to echo Pastor Bills prayer
Jesus, help me to find me greatest pleasure in pleasing you. May I remember that living simply and serving others is the way to true riches.

Kathy said...

S: 22-26 "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!............... Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannnot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest."

O: How often do we struggle and worry? How do I look, what do I wear, how do I control a particular situation? God tell us that we/our lives are perfect to Him.

A: These are some of my favorite verses in Luke and I love the analogy of the recurrent "blooms" of the lilies. It reminds me of how "perfect" our spirit is in Christ. I appreciate being reminded by these verses that my life is not under my control and worrying ('though I am getting better) will not change things.

P: "Oh, thank you Father. Thank you for giving me my perfect provisions according to your will not mine. I pray that in times of worry, impatience, frustration and doubt, when the toll of my emotions and feelings get the best of me, that I can rest in your peace and "consider the lilies."