Thursday, March 3
Luke 12:22-48 — Money, Stuff & Staying Ready
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 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—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”
42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Points of Interest:
- (v.31) “seek his kingdom”—we have more important things to pay attention to than mere survival. It’s God’s strong rooting interest, not just to take care of our basic needs, but to give us His abundant and joyful kingdom. We can be so confident about this that, not only do we not need to worry, but we can afford to give to others freely.
- (v.36) “like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet”—while the master is out partying, the servants stay at home to make sure that the lights are on and the fire is warm for the master when he returns.
- (v.37) “he will dress himself to serve”—this is a strange turn of events. The master wants the servants to stay up and alert not so that they can serve him when he returns, but so that he can serve them. He puts on his butler uniform and throws them a little party.
- (v.39) Jesus changes scene: in one scene, He is the master of the house and we are the servants; in the other, the devil is the owner of the house, and Jesus is the thief. The very same event—Jesus’ coming—is looked at very differently, depending on your perspective. For those who are faithfully waiting (like Simeon and Anna from earlier in our story), Jesus’ coming is the wonderful return of a generous master bearing gifts. For the greedy and the oppressive, of whom the devil himself is the leader and primary example, it’s a catastrophe. Those who wait well and are on the lookout for it will be amply rewarded. Those who get tired of waiting and try to meet their needs by taking advantage of other people . . . well, it will be a bit awkward for them when God’s help arrives.
Taking it home:
- For you: Let’s say for a minute that what we spend money on indicates where our heart will be. If that were the case, what would your recent purchases tell you about your heart? Does it feel true that you’ve invested some of your heart in the things you’ve recently bought? If so (and it may not be), how do you feel about that? Where would you like your heart to be? How could you use money to help point your heart in that direction?
- For your Six: Pray that Jesus would free your Six from the power of worry.
- For our church/ILTJ: Pray that we would be faithful with our finances, ILTJ, and everything we have been entrusted with this past year. Pray that God would pour out financial blessing on our church in this next year.
- To Talk About: Jesus talks about the affect of worry on our lives. What do you worry about or what do you fear?
- To Do: Grab a backpack or bag today. Put a heavy book or big rock in the bag for each of the worries or fears of each member of your family. Then, have each person put the backpack on for a few seconds to feel how heavy it is. Our worries and fears can really weigh us down and even be impossible to carry. But Jesus says that He will take care of our needs and worries. Sit in a circle with the backpack in the center. Have each person take an item back out of the backpack and pray about that worry or fear. Ask Jesus to take it from you and help you trust He is bigger and stronger than the worry or fear. Then thank God for loving you so much and taking all those fears and worries so you don’t need to hold onto them anymore.