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treasurey of gold coins October 20 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Luke 12:22-13:17; Luke 13:22- 14:24

Treasures

What do we value in life? Our looks? Sports? Sex? Our abilities? Careers? Respect? Popularity? Wealth? Maybe we value something more basic like eating or being clothed. Jesus redirects us to a different set of values. In preparing the disciples for his death and their future persecutions, Jesus instructs his disciples,

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes....

Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.

But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Luke 12:22-34, NIV).

Where is our treasure? One of the ways we can tell where our treasures are is by looking into our wallets and watching our spending habits. We have wallets or purses in which we keep (amongst other things) money and credit cards. We use the money or credit cards to purchase items or services. What things or services do we purchase? Whom do they benefit? Do they benefit us, family members, or friends? Of course they do. Most of us do not even keep track of all we spend or how we spend it. The wallet or purse at times seems to have holes in it, and we have to keep filling it with more money for more purchases.

How lasting are our purchases? Most of the time what we spend for is quickly consumed and forgotten. Many times we spend our money on fleeting pleasures. Instead of seeking things of this world, however, God wants us to value things of the next world. A purse or wallet full of money will eventually expend itself, but a purse of eternal pursuits does not wear thin; its contents last for an eternity.

Why don’t many come to Jesus for eternal life? Pride is often the problem for all of us; we think too much of ourselves and we want others to think well of us, too. We buy things we can’t afford and do things to impress people we don’t even like. We are not sure we need Jesus. Pride keeps us from coming to him for salvation.

Some people believe they are invincible; they don't see trouble on the horizon and take no steps to avoid it. We, even more than the ancient people of Jesus’ day, can discern from the skies and weather patterns what the next few days will be like. If we see heavy rains, tornadoes or other violent weather headed our way, most of us prepare for it. So if we can discern the physical weather and prepare for it, why don't we prepare for spiritual weather.

What is it that we should prepare for? The Bible, God's Word, says we must all be judged after we die (Hebrews 9:27-28). Unbelievers will be judged for their sins (Revelation 20:11-15), and believers will be judged according to their works, whether they are good or bad, meaning useful or useless (2Corinthians 5:10). To avoid condemnation and the fires of hell, everyone needs to turn from his or her sins to God to be saved. He can forgive us, give us spiritual life, peace, and the assurance of heaven (more...). God provides the only place of safety through his Son Jesus Christ. Let's not think we are invincible. Let's not live in denial. Let's make the choice for heaven.

Heaven is a greater value than any treasure on this earth. Jesus says, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11, NIV). It is not so much what we do in this life which makes us important in God's eyes; it is who we are. Have we become God's children? Do we walk in humility or self-righteousness? Do we understand what is good and what he requires of us—to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God? (Micah 6:8, NIV) Let's consider eternal values.

Some people don't come to Jesus because they think it is an inconvenient time for them. Imagine mom or dad calls us to the table to eat. “In a minute,” we say, but we never come. It is inconvenient. Never mind the kindness of being invited or the trouble someone took to make the meal; the meal came at a time which was not suitable to us. The meal is then consumed by others or put away.

God first calls his people (the Jews or Israelites) to the table to eat in the kingdom of God (heaven). Most refuse Jesus as their Messiah, their Savior from sin. Now, in his grace, God calls us non-Jews (Gentiles) to the table. Will we come or is it inconvenient? Are our career goals more important? Do we have too many places to go and things to do? Do we say we will come later when we are old and gray? When we come to God’s table, we receive food for eternal life, which he prepared for us through the death of his Son Jesus Christ. Let's put away what we are doing and come to the banquet table. The food of eternal life is more important than anything else we might consume. Let’s not miss the meal. Let’s not offend God. He may not extend the invitation a second time. Now is the time to come to God’s table and receive eternal life for our souls (more...).

 Lessons to Live By

  • A purse or wallet full of money will eventually expend itself, but a purse of eternal pursuits does not wear thin; its contents last for an eternity.
  • We need to prepare ourselves spiritually to avoid judgment, condemnation, and the fires of hell. We do this by turning away from all wrongdoing and trusting in Jesus for our salvation. (more...).
  • Heaven is a greater treasure than anything we may seek on this earth.
  • God invites us to his banquet table. The food of eternal life is more important than anything else we might consume. Let’s not miss the meal.

Focus Verse

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV)

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A Look Ahead: What does Jesus teach about our Stewardship of Time and Resources? Find out in our Next Lesson.

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