November 25th, 2006
There’s something inside all of us that wants to get rid of the monkeys that control our lives. We don’t want to have to deal with the monkey that orders us round at work and gives us our weekly paycheck. We don’t want to have to deal with the monkeys that collect our mortgage payments and car payments. We don’t want to deal with the monkeys that deliver all our other bills, forcing us to continue our slavery to the work monkey. We crave financial independence, that heavenly state which is free from all monkeys.
Luke’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 12
12:1 Meanwhile a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that people were treading on each other. He first spoke to his disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 12:2 Everything that is covered up will one day be revealed, and everything hidden will be made known. 12:3 Whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light. Whatever you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops.
12:4 “I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of people who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 12:5 But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear the one who, after he has killed, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
12:6 “Aren’t five sparrows sold for two dollars? Not one of them is forgotten by God. 12:7 Even the hairs of your head have been counted. So don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.
12:8 “I tell you, everyone who confesses me publicly will be acknowledged by the Son of Man before the angels of God; 12:9 but whoever denies me publicly will be denied in the presence of the angels of God. 12:10 Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 12:11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, don’t be anxious about how to defend yourself or what you will say. 12:12 The Holy Spirit will teach you at the right time what you must say.”
12:13 One of the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 12:14 But he said, “Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 12:15 He said to them, “Beware! Avoid greed, because your life doesn’t consist of the things which you own.”
12:16 He told them a parable, “A rich man’s land produced a huge crop. 12:17 He thought to himself, ‘What will I do, because I don’t have room to store my crops?’ 12:18 He said, ‘This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 12:19 Then I will say to myself, “You have got enough to last you for many years. Take it easy, eat, drink, and be merry.”‘ 12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool, tonight your life is demanded from you. Who is going to get the things which you have been storing away?’ 12:21 That’s how it is with people who accumulate treasure for themselves, and are not rich toward God.”
12:22 He said to his disciples, “Don’t be anxious about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 12:23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 12:24 Think of the ravens. They don’t sow, they don’t reap, they have no warehouse or barn, but God feeds them. You are far more valuable than birds! 12:25 Can you add half a metre to your height by being anxious about it? 12:26 If being anxious doesn’t even help you to do the small things, why are you anxious about anything? 12:27 Think about the lilies, how they grow. They don’t work, and they don’t spin, but even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of them. 12:28 If this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and is burnt in the incinerator tomorrow, how much more will he clothe you? Your faith is so small! 12:29 Don’t worry about what you will eat or what you will drink, and don’t be anxious. 12:30 Most people chase after things like this, but your Father already knows that you need these things. 12:31 Seek God’s Kingdom, and all these other things will be provided for you. 12:32 Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father is delighted to give you the Kingdom. 12:33 Sell what you have, and give gifts to needy people. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where thieves don’t come, and moths don’t destroy. 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
12:35 “Be dressed ready for action and keep your lamps burning. 12:36 Be like servants waiting for their master, when he returns from the marriage feast, so that they are ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. 12:37 Blessed are the servants that the master finds waiting when he comes. I can guarantee that he will put on his apron, make them sit down, and come and serve them. 12:38 They will be blessed if he comes in the middle of the night and finds them ready. 12:39 You can be sure that a houseowner who knows the exact time that a thief is coming would watch out, and not let the house be broken into. 12:40 So be prepared, because the Son of Man is coming at a time that you don’t expect him.”
12:41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everybody?”
12:42 The Lord said, “Who is the faithful and wise manager, whose master will put in charge of his household, to distribute food at the right times? 12:43 Blessed is the servant that the master finds working responsibly when he comes. 12:44 I can guarantee that he will put that servant in charge of all that he has. 12:45 But if that servant thinks, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to mistreat the other servants, and to party and get drunk, 12:46 the master will come on a day and at a time when he isn’t expected, and will rip the servant to shreds, and throw the servant out with other unfaithful people. 12:47 A servant who knows the master’s will but doesn’t prepare or do what he wants will be beaten severely, 12:48 but the servant who doesn’t know, and does things deserving punishment, will be beaten less severely. A lot will be required of someone who receives a lot. Much more will be required of someone who has received much more.
12:49 “I came to start a fire on the earth. I wish it was already burning. 12:50 But I have to go through a baptism ritual, and I am weighed down until it is completed. 12:51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? I tell you, no, I bring division. 12:52 From now on, five people in one house will be divided, three against two, and two against three. 12:53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
12:54 He said to the crowd, “As soon as you see a cloud rising from the west, you say, ‘Rain is coming,’ and it happens. 12:55 When a south wind blows, you say, ‘There will be a scorching heat,’ and it happens. 12:56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you can’t interpret the times? 12:57 Why don’t you decide for yourselves what is right? 12:58 When you are going with your opponent before the magistrate, try as hard as you can on the way to settle the matter, in case you get dragged before the judge, and the judge hands you over to the officer, and the officer throws you into prison. 12:59 I tell you, there is no way you will get out of there until you have paid every last cent.”
Entry Filed under: Generosity