Scripture: Luke 12:32-48
32 "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35 "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour."
41 Peter said, "Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?" 42 And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, 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 does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. 48 But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.
Meditation: What is the greatest joy and treasure we
could possibly possess? The Lord Jesus promises that those who
seek God and his kingdom will not be disappointed (Luke 12:32,
Matthew 6:33). The Lord Jesus offers us the greatest treasure
possible - but we must first seek it and make it our true joy and
possession above all else. We naturally want to have and keep
whatever we think will bring us happiness, peace, and security.
Jesus offers a priceless treasure and source of abundant joy and
security that is worth selling all else for.
The priceless exchange and everlasting reward
Jesus tells his followers to not be fearful or anxious about their present lives and future security (Luke 12:32). He urges them to sell their possessions and to give their money to those who need it most - especially those who have nothing to provide for their present needs and welfare (Luke 12:33). This seems to go against our natural instinct to hoard and save for the future. Why would anyone want to sell their possessions and give away their money - unless they wanted to exchange these goods for something far more precious and of greater value than all the money and possessions they could ever hope to acquire in this present life.
Jesus warns that money and possessions will not last and can be
taken away at any moment by a thief or by death itself. But there
is one treasure which can never be lost or destroyed because it is
kept secure by God himself. What is that treasure? It is the Lord
himself and his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the
Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). This treasure is worth far more than
anything we could possibly acquire on our own. If you make the
Lord your treasure, then you will have in your possession the
greatest source of joy and lasting peace and security. The wisdom
of Scripture tells us, If the Almighty is your gold and your
precious silver, then you will delight yourself in the Almighty,
and will turn your face toward God (Job 22:25-26). Do you
know the joy and happiness of making God your one and only true
treasure and security?
If the Lord Jesus knocked on your door today would you be ready
and eager to receive him? He wants us to be prepared for his
coming - today, tomorrow, at the hour of our departure from this
life (our death), and when he comes again at the end of this
present world to judge all the living and the dead. The Lord will
reward those who have believed in him. The Lord Jesus knocks on
the door of our heart each and every day. Do you listen to his
word and receive it with trust and joy. The Lord calls to each one
of us and he says, "Listen!
I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice
and open the door, I will come in and we will feast together"
(Revelations 3:20). Do you hunger for the Lord and for the
treasure of his kingdom?
The Lord comes to reward his faithful servants
Jesus' parable adds an unexpected reward for those who have faithfully served and watched for the master's return. When the master finally arrived home from the wedding feast at a late hour of the night, he did the unthinkable for his servants who were present to welcome and let him in. He then puts on a servant's apron and tells his servants to be seated at his own banquet table. Once they are all seated the master then personally waits on them and serves them with his own rich food and drink (Luke 12:37). Jesus' parable turns the world's way of thinking upside-down. The master rewards his faithful servants by serving them himself with the best he has to offer - a royal feast fit for a king and his loyal subjects. Are you prepared to feast with the Lord at his banquet table?
Psalm 40:7-10, 16
6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire; but you have given me
an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not
7 Then I said, "Behold, I come; in the roll of the book it is written of me;
8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; Behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD.
10 I have not hid your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, "Great is the LORD!"
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The true meaning of 'loins girded and lamps burning', by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
"The girding of our loins (Luke 12:25) signifies the readiness of
the mind to work hard in every thing praiseworthy. Those who apply
themselves to bodily labors and are engaged in strenuous toil have
their loins girded. The lamp apparently represents the wakefulness
of the mind and intellectual cheerfulness. We say that the human
mind is awake when it repels any tendency to slumber off into that
carelessness that often is the means of bringing it into
subjection to every kind of wickedness. When sunk in stupor, the
heavenly light within the mind is liable to be endangered, or even
already is in danger from a violent and impetuous blast of wind.
Christ commands us to be awake. To this, his disciple also arouses
us by saying, 'Be awake. Be watchful' (1 Peter 5:8). Further on,
the very wise Paul also says, 'Awake, O sleeper, and arise from
the dead: and Christ shall give you light' (Ephesians 5:14)." (excerpt
from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 92)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible:
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright
1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the
Division of Christian Education of the National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the United
States of America. Used by permission. All rights
reserved. Citation references for quotes from
the writings of the early church fathers can be
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