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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Right Priorities (Luke 12:22-23)

"Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body more than clothes" (Luke 12:22-23). 

Advertisers would have people believe that real life is to “live to eat” and “dress up to play.” Their message is as ancient as the serpent's in the Garden of Eden. There Satan deceived Eve into choosing “good” over God and personal autonomy over trust in God. Instead of experiencing the life that Satan promised, “You will know good and evil, and be like God,” Adam and Eve experienced the spiritual death that their disobedience ensured. They chose not to believe that God is good and that His word is true--that they were created to walk with God. They believed that eating from the prohibited tree would give them something better than God. 

Since then, all humanity lives to satisfy self instead of deny self, to succumb to fleshly appetites and ignore the spiritual need of being re-united with the Creator. Therefore, Jesus warned his followers not to focus on their physical needs, but to pursue the life that He gives, “Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father know that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you” (Luke 12:29-31).

To our world of contemporary convenience, these words may seem strange and out of date, but in Jesus‘ day people could not go to the grocery store; wages were few, and most were poor; and, famines, sickness, and want were abundant. Our wealth weighs us down and robs our souls, while their poverty drove them to listen to the words of the One who could provide. With our bodies sated, we ignore spiritual realities and fulfill Paul’s warning, “Those who mind the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8). 

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading
Luke 12:22-13:17
  • Why do people worry and what do they mostly worry about?
  • What should prohibit a person from worrying?
  • How does worrying about yourself and your provisions affect your being prepared for the coming of Christ?
  • How does spiritual preparedness affect family relationships?
  • How do people explain natural calamities?
  • What does the teaching of the parable of the fruit tree have to do with preparedness and worrying about provisions? (This passage teaches us that the legalist is more concerned about their interpretation of the 4th commandment than the health of a chronically ill woman)
Luke 13:22-14:24
  • Why do so few take seriously the call to follow Jesus?
  • What makes the way so narrow and difficult?
  • Why are the Pharisees trying to urge Jesus to leave their area?
  • Why are the Pharisees more concerned for the welfare of their oxen than the needs of those around them?
  • How does Jesus' parable of the wedding feast and the great banquet explain why the Pharisees reject Christ?
  • What is the Pharisees' main problem?

Turning truth into prayer
"The pagan world runs after such things and your Father knows that you need them." Ask the Lord to let you see where you act just like the pagan in your pursuits and unbelief.