Be On Guard
Do we live and give in this life as if Jesus is coming again soon? It’s easy to get side-tracked by worries and dramas of this life. But in today’s reading, Luke invites us to remember to be on guard and to make up our mind now how we will live out our faith.
Be On Guard with How We Give
On Sunday mornings how we respond to an invitation to give is very revealing. Jesus noticed the wealthy people, but He drew attention to the widow. She did not give from her abundance, but from her lack and she gave all she had.
What was her secret? Surely she needed that money, but she was not afraid.
The Value of a Gift is Not It’s Amount
Notes from the Blue Letter Bible said that “two mites is 1% of a denarii-1% of a day’s wage. She gave two mites, not just one. The widow might have kept one coin for herself, and who would blame her if she did? Giving one meant giving half of all her money. But in giving two mites, her giving has a certain recklessness about it.”
“Jesus praised this woman and said she gave more than all of them. How is that possible? In God’s eyes, the value of a gift is not determined by the amount. God does not need our money—but we need to give. It is our privilege to give to Him. A gift’s value is determined by the spirit in which it is given. God loves the cheerful giver. The value of a gift is determined by what it cost the giver; this is what made the widow’s gift so valuable. David refused to give God that which cost me nothing (2 Samuel 24:24).” (Blut-Letter Bible Notes).
Scripture of the Day: Luke 21: 10-18 (CSB)
10 Then he told them, “Nation will be raised up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be violent earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you. They will hand you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will give you an opportunity to bear witness. v 16 You will even be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will kill some of you. 17 You will be hated by everyone because of my name, 18 but not a hair of your head will be lost. 19 By your endurance, gain your lives.”
Be On Guard With How We Live
We live in a time where we don’t know what words to share, don’t we? These verses appear right after Jesus’ disciples ask when the end of the world will come. Persecution will come. And in the face of that persecution, God will provide what we need so we have an apt word.
Be On Guard With How We Speak
13 “This will give you an opportunity to bear witness.”
Do we see persecution as an opportunity? Or a burden? Self is a burden. But being Kingdom-minded helps us to not worry about insults and to respond in humility. Do we see the times we live in now as an opportunity?
14 “Therefore make up your minds not to prepare your defense ahead of time, 15 for I will give you such words and a wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.”
Make up your minds ahead of time. Right now. We can decide how we will respond. And we don’t have to get caught up in the drama or in what people say. The Holy Spirit will give us the words.
Be on Guard With How We Think
Friends, as we read about the end times, what emotions do you feel? Sometimes we can feel like the end times are so far away, it is hard to keep watch for it. But Luke challenges and reminds us to keep watch in Luke 21:34-36
34 “Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly 35 like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Make Up Your Mind
Don’t let your minds be dulled by entertainment, friends. Recently I heard how video games and viewing porn wrecked a marriage. We can forget that we are on mission here, friends. Do not get involved in civilian matters! How we live matters!
We need to be on guard. When we are not on guard, we can get seduced to wickedness and be of no use to God.
I wonder if this is what happened to the chief priests and scribes. They were no longer on guard. They just got comfortable and accustomed to following a religion rather than following God. It can happen to anyone of us.
Luke 22:2 says, “The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put him to death, because they were afraid of the people.”
Be On Guard Against the Fear of Man
The leaders in the church were looking to kill Jesus – and why? Because of the fear of man.
After Jesus reveals the disciples’ need to be prepared for the end times and then Jesus revealed the betrayal during the Passover meal with His disciples, Luke ushers us into the betrayal of Jesus, and the denial of Jesus by Peter.
Friends, before this happened Jesus told them to pray that they might not fall into temptation. In conclusion, may we stay on guard and make up our minds now who we will serve, Amen? Right now we have an opportunity to witness. And Jesus is coming again soon. Will we be ready?
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #181:Luke 21-22
Scripture of the Day: Luke 21: 13-15
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