The sweep of daily life can draw our hearts and minds far from the things of eternity, but tragedy can powerfully awaken us to the reality of death, judgment, and our need for a Savior. Jesus calls us to repentance unto life, that we might know both the joy of His salvation and the joy of walking in obedience to His commands.
In Luke 12, Jesus warns us that in this life, the gospel comes with conflict as well as salvation. There is a cost to following Jesus as His disciple. But there is a far greater cost to not following Him, or to denying what we know to be true about Him. Our Lord teaches us how the grace of discipleship makes the cost of discipleship not only acceptable, but our great joy through the One who paid the price for our sin on the cross.
Believers are not meant to wander aimlessly through the Christian life. We are to anticipate our Lord’s glorious return and live accordingly. In Luke 12, Jesus warns us of complacency and calls us to an active and vigilant faith in the One who readily obeyed the will of His Father on our behalf, Jesus Christ.
Jesus knows the weakness of our faith and how easily we succumb to worry. He also loves us and does not want to see our joy and fruitfulness for His kingdom choked by earthly fear and anxiety. So He repeatedly lifts our eyes to our mighty Father, in whom alone forgiveness, peace, and security are found. Through the grace of the Savior who always sought God’s kingdom, we may replace fear with faith, trembling with trust, and paralysis with obedience.
Every good financial plan has short, medium, and long-term goals, but they are all worthless apart from consideration of the longest-term of all, eternity! Jesus said that even the savviest investor is a fool if he is not rich toward God through the grace of the Savior who became poor so that we might become rich in Him. Jesus paid for our lives on the cross and shows us how to invest them for His eternal glory.
God created us to fear Him above all else. He designed us to worship and adore Him in awe, humility, and reverence. But sin has warped our fear such that we now fear nearly everything except God. How can our bad fear be overcome, and our good fear restored? Only through the Savior who did not fear death but gave His life for us so that we might live unflinchingly for Him.
No one likes being corrected, especially in front of a crowd. But what if correction is the only thing standing between us and destruction? Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees was not only a stalwart stand against hypocrisy, but a loving attempt at reclamation. The truth of God’s Word often hurts, but it is also the only way to healing through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus faced much opposition and disbelief on His way to the cross, but continually proclaimed His identity as the supreme Savior. No one could rival His power, wisdom, or word, and He remains the sure hope of all who trust in Him today. By grace, we may worship and reflect the One who set us free through His supreme work on the cross.
Even as believers, we sometimes think that God is too busy or disinterested to hear our prayers. We may even think we need to convince him to help us. But as Martin Luther wrote, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance. Prayer is laying hold of God’s willingness.” Jesus taught us that the Father is only too willing to care for His beloved children. He invites us to call on Him boldly and continually through the Son whom He loves, given for us.
The tension between Martha and Mary is often attributed to personality differences, or even sibling rivalry. But Martha’s struggle in Luke 10 was not the result of her personality as much as her priorities. As one pastor said, she had allowed service for Jesus to distract her from Jesus! Whether we are more like Mary or Martha, we are all at risk of neglecting the essential for the merely important. Thankfully, Jesus calls us back to Himself where we may rest not in our work for Him, but in His gracious work for us on the cross.