Dear Student of the Word,
It's time once again for us to look into Luke's gospel, with the intent not just to know the Word but to apply what we are reading in the Word. This week, we focus on Jesus' discourse in Luke 12, where He urged us to lay up treasures in heaven and not to be so earthly-minded. I wrote in part five of this seven part study (you can download Study 20 in its entirety below):
Study Twenty, Part Five
35 "Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like men 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. I tell you the truth, 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 second or third watch of the night. 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."
12:35&36 – In Part Four above, we saw Jesus exhort His disciples to store up treasures in heaven through generosity. Earlier, we read Jesus story of the man who built bigger barns to hold his “stuff,” only to die and be required to give an account. Jesus urged His followers to be in a state of readiness where heaven and death were concerned. It is a dangerous attitude that “I have time yet to do what God wants me to do. I can get serious about God later.” Your “later” may be tomorrow. Nobody knows how much time we really have.
Jesus uses the analogy of household servants who aren’t sure when their master will return from a wedding feat, but they know it could be at any time. Therefore, they are ready and waiting, even though they aren’t sure of the exact hour when he will arrive. That is what our attitude should be in regards to the Lord’s return or our death. We must be preparing for either of those events.
12:37 – For those who have this attitude and have stored up treasures in heaven for such a day, the Master will honor them: “I will repay each of you according to your deeds” (Revelation 2:23).
God repays all His “debts.” If He promised to reward or repay, He will do it, if not in this lifetime, then the one to come. Do you believe this? If you do, then what are you doing about it? Try this: pray and ask God if there is anything you have that you need to give away. Afraid to pray that? Then perhaps your treasure owns you instead of the other way around.
On one occasion, I struggled over giving away some books in my library. Can you imagine that I was attached to some books? Another time I struggled to give away my coin collection. A few old pennies found their way into my heart and attached themselves there, producing greed! How about your time? Do you jealously guard your “space” even if someone else has a need or your church needs it? Is that a form of greed? Could you give your time away and thus store up treasures in heaven?
12:38 – We don’t know when the Lord “will come” for us. This could be my last day on earth, so I must be in a state and mindset of readiness. Are you? Are you talking about where you will go or what you will give “one day”? I know of people who won’t give $5 because they can’t give $50. They lose the benefit that a $5 gift could bring them because they lament that the gift can’t be larger. Is that how you think? Then give the $5 today and store up treasure in heaven. You have no time to lose.
12:39&40 – We must be ready to meet the Lord at any time. Is there anyone you need to forgive? Someone to whom you need to express your love? Is there some place you must go? Something you must do? Then take action today! You don’t know how long you have, so act like your time is short. I hope your time here is long, but act like the opposite is true.
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. For additional Bible studies, check out my website archive, which contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse New Testament studies, along with the daily devotional entitled The Leadership Walk. Thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy this study of Luke's gospel from God's word.