READ: Luke 12:22-48
THINK: What are you worried about? Is anything causing you tension or anxiety? While most people would admit that worrying never accomplishes anything positive, it still seems to be a fact of life in many circumstances. Yet God doesn't intend for His followers to be consumed with worry. In a very real sense, worrying means taking responsibility for something God never intended--or at least not in the way He intended. From the basic necessities to the greatest trials, God has everything under control, which means, as a follower of Jesus, you have nothing to worry about.
RESPOND: Why are people so concerned--even obsessed--with life's basic necessities, like food and clothes? Why don't we have to worry about those things? What can worry demonstrate about a person's view of God? How would you describe "treasure" as used in this passage? (See 12:34 note.) How can you tell what your treasure is? How can you store up lasting treasures? What does Jesus mean when He says, "Be dressed ready for service" (v. 35)? (See 12:35-40 note.) Why must you be ready at all times? (See 12:40 note.) What does the parable about the wise and unwise managers teach about handling opportunities and responsibilities? (See 12:42-48 and 12:45 notes.) What do verses 47-48 indicate about the relation between our responsibility and our reward or punishment from God?
PRAY: Give God thanks for providing for your needs. Ask God to give you the desires and discipline to store lasting treasure in heaven. Pray to stay alert for Jesus' soon return so you'll be faithful to fulfill your God-given responsibilities.
ACT: Entrust to God any need or situation that currently worries you. Any time this concern arises, resist the tendency to worry, Instead, go to God in prayer as an indication of your dependence on Him. Also, take a brief inventory in your mind of those things that get most of your time, attention and resources--including your money. What will eventually come of these things--anything of lasting value? If this exercise reveals that your priorities are skewed, shift your focus and make changes. Start putting your efforts and affections toward things that will matter for eternity.
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