Friday, September 2, 2016

Luke 21:14-19

Luke 21:14-19
Therefore, put in your hearts to not practice beforehand to defend yourself.  For I will give to you all a mouth and wisdom for which the ones who oppose you all will neither be powerful enough to stand against nor to speak against.  And you all will also be handed over by parents, brothers, kinfolk, and beloved ones.  And they will put to death those out of you all.  And you all will be hated by all for the sake of my name.  Yet a hair out of your head should surely not be destroyed.  In your patient endurance, procure your life.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus tells us not to worry about preparing our defense.  Be careful, here.  Jesus is not giving us permission to be lazy.  Instead, Jesus is showing us the importance of trust.  He wants us to trust Him.  He wants us to become comfortable relying on His power rather than depending on our own power.  Naturally, this does make sense. Who is going to be better at guaranteeing our defense: we, who are short-sighted human beings with limited intellect, or God, and omniscient omnipotent being?

How do you rely upon God and His wisdom?  Where or when do you struggle relying upon God?

Second Thought:

Jesus then continues with a dark and foreboding message.  Parents, children, siblings – in other words, family – will hand us over.  They will desire to persecute us.  The real issue, though, is why.  We will be persecuted for the sake of Jesus.  When we become His family, we are no longer a part of this world.  They no longer have claim over us.  That means that we will be fair game for persecution.

What does it say about the world that it would be willing to torture its own kind simply because they believe in God?  Do you think that you would be able to endure persecution from your own family?  Does it make it easier to know that it will come for the sake of Jesus and His love for us?

Third Thought:

Then Jesus reminds us that even in those times we will not even lose a hair on the top of our head.  They may persecute us.  They may even kill us.  But they cannot take us out of the hands of God the Father.  They cannot take us away from His firm grip.  They may take our life, but they cannot touch our eternity. As we endure persecution with patience, we procure eternal life from the very hand of God, who gives it to us as a gift.

Does it make it easier to think about persecution when you realize that God holds you in His hands?  What do you think the expression “procure your life” really means?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 21:20-24
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