Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 26 - Luke 12

Today's reading in our daily plan is Luke 12. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Yesterday, in Luke 11, we saw Jesus warns Pharisees because of their hypocritical lifestyle. Jesus continues to drive this point home in today's chapter when he refers to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees as a yeast. Yeast is a fungus that grows rapidly under the right conditions. He reminds the disciples that nothing is hidden from God and nothing is a secret. 
  • Jesus goes on to encourage the crowd not to fear rejection or death.  He knows they will face persecution for their belief. They may face a hostile world, but loving God and standing up for him is all that matters. And just like he cares for a simple bird, he will care for them in time of trouble.
  • The Bible talks about money more than almost any other subject, and this chapter is no exception. Jesus gets caught in the middle of a financial dispute when he reminds the listener that greed is dangerous. He then shares a story about a rich man. This rich farmer has a banner year, yielding more crops than he could ever need. So, he decides to build more barns to store his extra crops. The farmer does all that work and dies. The point of the story? There is no hint of stewardship with this man. Do you notice how he says my barns,  my grain, myself ? He does not seem to understand that everything he has is a gift from God. Therefore, he has a responsibility to give back to God what is rightfully his. It is this lack of regard for God's gifts that lands this man in the grave. Jesus is not saying possessions are evil, but the pursuit of them. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God knows us inside and out. He knows our thoughts, our secrets, and our heart. Nothing can be hidden from him. He also knows our worries and our fears. However, God cares for us and knows what we need.
  • God makes us choose what we care about most. If we are to follow him whole-heartedly, nothing else can come first. Not money, family, or even life on this earth. We must let go to pursue Jesus. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Let's take a moment to be honest: Is God the number one priority in your life? The question is not do you believe in God? or do you go to church? Even the Pharisees did these things and were told they would not enter the kingdom of God. The question is whether God is your ultimate priority and comes first for you in everything. Your family is important, but does God even come before them? Your job really matters, but is God an even higher priority? Do you obey God with your money? Your sexuality? In the way you treat other people? Remember, it's an honest moment. So: Is God central in your life?