Friday, July 22, 2016

Luke 16:24-26

Luke 16:24-26
“And calling to him, he said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me and send Lazarus in order that he should dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am being tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, ‘Little child, remember that you received your good things in your life, and Lazarus likewise received the bad things.  But now in this place he is being comforted and you are being tormented.  Even more, in all this place a great chasm has been established between us and you – that the ones who desire to pass over from here to you should not be powerful enough to do so.  Neither should the ones there pass over to us.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

If we look at the rich man’s words at the beginning of this passage, we truly find out why he is where he is.  He only thinks about himself and his own needs.  There is no thought of sacrificial giving.  There is no thought of generosity.  All he can do is to think about his torment and the flames that have put him in torment.  God doesn’t call us to consider only our own needs.  He has called us to imitate His Son, who came and put the needs of the Father and others before His own.

Do you live sacrificially?  Where are you giving of yourself?  Where do you hesitate to give because you are too focused on your own needs?

Second Thought:

In the story, Abraham gives the rich man a haunting lesson.  The rich man is being tormented because he got all of his blessing in this life.  Just to prove his point, Abraham tells him that Lazarus is being blessed because he didn’t receive much blessing in life.  Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we should seek to live a cursed life now as proof of our salvation.  If I make myself miserable, why would God honor that?  However, what this is saying is that we need to be careful where we put our treasure.  We need to consider treasure extended to us in the life to come of far greater worth than treasure in this life.  In this life, we simply need to receive God’s provision to sustain our life.  Our reward will come in a far greater time, when it can no longer be wrestled out of our hands by this world or even by death.

Where is your treasure?  Do you long to live an easy life now?  Do you long to live a life of luxury now?  If so, what does your heart say to you about how much you might be like the rich man in this story?  How do you learn to depend upon God’s provision while looking forward to His reward in the life to come?

Third Thought:

Finally, look at Abraham’s description of the chasm.  A great chasm has been established so that the people on either side are not powerful enough to get to the other side.  We will be unable to go and comfort those who chose worldly treasure.  People who chose worldly treasure will not be able to cross over from torment into eternal peace.  It is a simple teaching, but it is an important one to remember.  Our time to decide is now.  Our place for choosing eternal or temporary peace in life is now.  Once we die, Jesus is telling us that our decision will be made.

How do you live in demonstration of your choice in this regard?  Can the people around you see your choice to choose eternal treasure over worldly treasure?  Why do you think God has placed a chasm so that we cannot alter our choice after our death?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 16:27-31

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