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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bigger Barns (Matthew 13:15-21)

"Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Studies show that, although family size is shrinking, homes are larger than ever (from around 1200 sq. feet in 1970 to an average of over 2400 in 2005). We have so much stuff that we need larger homes in which to contain all of our growing accumulations. In fact, the small storage unit business is a rapidly growing business, since people need more room to store their excess. It is so easy to get caught up in "storing up things for yourself" instead of investing in the only things that last forever:

  • The souls of men
  • The Word of God
  • Prayer
You are not your car, jewelry, label in your clothing, address, or 401K (I don't think that is much of a problem anymore in today's economy!). The world values those things and it is easy for followers of Jesus Christ to "get caught up" in the accumulation of things, in consumerism. At some point we must stop and ask ourselves, "How much is enough?" We need to evaluate both our expenditures and our investments. Down sizing may be necessary so that we are able to focus on those things that last forever. John warns in his first epistle that "friendship with the world is enmity with God".

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Luke 10:21-24; Matthew 11:25-27

  • Why does the Father hide spiritual truth from the wise and learned and reveal the same to little children?
Matthew 11:28-30
  • How does Jesus describe Himself and what does He desire to do for those who come to Him?
  • Why do people refuse to come to Jesus and to what instead do they typically turn?
Luke 10:38-11:13

  • How do the sisters differ in their choices and what kind of problem does this cause?
  • Why do Jesus' disciples ask Him to teach them to pray?
  • How does Jesus explain or illustrate what should characterize our prayers?
  • What view of God drives bold prayers?
Luke 11:27-12:21
  • What does Jesus look for in people?
  • What causes the Ninevites to repent?
  • How does the story about Solomon and the Queen of Sheba apply to the crowds of people?
  • How does Jesus explain the necessity of spiritual sight?
  • What are Pharisees most concerned about?
  • What is the key of knowledge that Jesus refers to?
  • How are the Pharisees similar to their forefathers and what is it about Jesus that makes the Pharisees so furious?
  • Why does Jesus give such a stern warning about hypocrisy?
  • What drives hypocrisy?
  • Why does Jesus warn the people about greed?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to reveal to you areas in your life where you need to downsize in order to focus more fully on the Word of God, the souls of men and prayer.