READ: Luke 12:1-21
THINK: Are you hiding something? Are you pretending to be something you're not? It might not seem like a big deal to you, but it's a huge deal to God--particularly as it relates to your relationship with Him. Remember, You may fool people, but you can't fool God. In fact, the Bible speaks frequently about fearing God and focusing on eternity, rather than worrying about what people think and focusing on what's temporary.
RESPOND: What is "hypocrisy," and why does Jesus condemn it so strongly? (See 12:1 note.) In what ways do some people "live a lie"--particularly in a spiritual sense? What does persistent hypocrisy reveal about a person's attitude toward God? (See 12:1 note.) What does it mean to fear God, and why is this understanding so vital? (See 12:5 note.) How does this relate to Jesus instruction, "Don't be afraid" (v. 7), when it comes to trusting God's care for us? What does it mean to "disown" Jesus? (See 12:9 note.) Why don't Jesus' followers have to worry when sharing or defending their faith in Him (cf. vv. 11-12)? What is greed and why is it so destructive? (See 12:15 note.) Why does accumulating wealth and material goods never truly satisfy? Why does it not matter what you accumulate in this lifetime? What does it mean to be "rich toward God" (v. 21), and how do you become rich in that way?
PRAY: Ask God to expose and help you remove any hint of hypocrisy from your life. Pray that you will live with a reverent fear toward Him, that drives away every other fear. Pray also that you'll never become preoccupied with a desire for worldly wealth, but that your priority will be to gain eternal riches toward God.
ACT: Perhaps you feel that God has opened a specific opportunity to talk with someone about your faith in Him. But for one reason or another, you've hesitated to initiate a spiritual conversation. Trust the Holy Spirit for the words to say, and then obey God. If you've been a hypocrite in any way (maybe that's why you're afraid to speak up), confess it to God and to the other person. This could open a very effective door to talk even further about Jesus. Also, if you've been greedy or materialistic in any way, make a change and give that area of your life to God. In fact, take some money that you would have used to get more stuff and give it to missions instead.
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