111.     In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”              -Luke 12:1-3

These verses deserve a slow and thoughtful reading. Go through them again. Most of the Pharisees did what they did not out of love for God, but to impress their fellow men. It was enough for them to be considered “good” people by those they were trying to impress. Jesus knew that their hearts were far from him, and in secret their minds were cesspools of sin. In pride they judged others for not doing the outward things they did, but did not humble their sinful hearts before God. Leaven starts out small inside dough but eventually spreads like cancer to every part of the dough, ruining it. Hiding our sins instead of confessing them and dealing with them does that in the church. When we live and act as phonies our sins continue to eat us up from the inside out. Jesus says one day all will be revealed. Meditate on this statement: “The sins we uncover through confession to God He will cover with His blood and forgive, but the sins we cover up God will uncover one day.” Don’t be like the Pharisees and think you can fool God. Get it right now before it’s too late!

 

112.     “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into Hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!”   -Luke 5:4-5

Sadly, history reveals many times Christians have had to apply these words all the way out to being killed for their faith. Sometimes it is from governments, sometimes it is those of another religion, and many times even from members of their family. Insults, harassment, persecution and even martyrdom are often experienced by those who follow Christ. Far from being a thing of the past, we are told that there have been more killed for their faith in the last century than the previous centuries combined. Persecutors cannot do the Christian any eternal harm – because for the believer the moment they are absent from the body they will be present with the Lord and one day get a perfect new body! Having feared God as their rightful Judge, they have thrown themselves on “the mercy of the court!” And because of Jesus the repentant sinner looks into their Judge’s eyes and finds the Savior there! Having that proper fear of God they no longer have to fear what any person can do to them! Many times those who have done the killing were so impressed with the boldness of the believer in the face of death that later they too turn to the Lord for salvation.

 

113.     “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”       -Luke 12:15     Context: Luke 15:15-21

Jesus is very serious about Him being the most important person and “possession” in our lives. Here he speaks of the person who spends their entire life gathering possessions to spend on themselves.  When they die they won’t have any eternal benefit from the possessions piled up here. Many people like this say, “You can’t take it with you.” Our response is, “you can’t take it with you, but you can send it ahead!” The use of our time and treasure here stores up for ourselves treasure in Heaven, making us “rich toward God” instead of ourselves. The Bible makes very clear that we can add to our heavenly retirement portfolio now through both generous and sacrificial living and giving! Another great benefit is that in the here and now Jesus means all the more to us as our best “treasure!”

 

114.     “Blessed are those servants, whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.” -Luke 12:37     Context: Luke 12:35-40

Jesus is coming back for His church one day! Will he find you ready, able to say that you have prioritized serving Him? Oh to hear Jesus say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” What a wonderful picture Jesus presents of the privilege of serving God and others. Here he hints that even in the future Jesus won’t think anything of having us sit in His presence and bringing us the cup of coffee as we fellowship together! If that is true of Jesus, we should never begrudge the opportunities He gives us now to serve others in His name!

 

115.     “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.”         -Luke 12:51                 Context: Luke 12:49-53

Do what, Jesus? I thought that with Jesus we all will have “peace on earth, goodwill toward men.” That verse is Luke 2:14, and will be completely true when Christ returns and reigns on earth after His second coming. Only those who receive Jesus as Savior will experience THAT physical peace on earth THEN. Those who receive Him as Savior NOW experience God’s spiritual peace that comes from being reconciled to God! Of course where many people have accepted Christ and share His love with others, great goodwill toward men is exhibited. Much of the world has benefited from the change the gospel brings not only to individuals but communities. But Jesus makes very clear here that there will remain a division when those who have received Him and those who have rejected Him interact. Jesus is not saying you have to take a negative posture against your family. He is saying that from now on Jesus is your first loyalty, and all other loyalties now are viewed through your faith. Inevitably this causes division when others insist that you put them before God, or practice sin with them. That’s when the division is felt! As believers we honor every person we can everywhere we go, but we are never to compromise our faith to try to achieve peace with men. It just doesn’t work that way!