Note from Jesus
I talked to you yesterday about managing your assets with spiritual wisdom — about investing your assets in the places where you saw Me invest My life and in the things the Father talked to you about in the Scriptures (the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings). So this is a good time to build on that principle and add a very important insight.
In today’s parable in the verses below, you meet a foolish rich man who lived only for himself and neglected the people in need around him. This rich man invested his assets in what he wanted and in what made him feel important, secure, and powerful. What he did and how he did it went against the teaching of the Scriptures. The things that he did were clearly out of phase with the people and things in which I invested My life. So the rich man is everything opposite to what I taught you yesterday — he is the anti-hero. This situation is sad. Even sadder is his neglect of a brother in need at his doorstep. The Father dealt with this rich man as He said He would. There are no surprises for anyone who knows the Scriptures. Unfortunately, the rich man didn’t realize his foolishness until after his untimely death and because of the punishment he had brought on himself. So I want to remind you to use your blessings to care for your brothers and sisters in need; that’s investing in what matters in heaven!
While that’s a very important point and fits perfectly with what I taught yesterday, that’s not the main thing that I want you to focus upon today. People want to blame their lack of passion, their lack of focus on godliness, and their lack of living with urgency for God’s kingdom on everything but themselves. They say things like:
- “I needed it made clearer.”
- “My church didn’t talk about these things.”
- “I really needed a couple of miracles to show that the teaching was true.”
All that is a self-delusional rationalization. If folks don’t get the truth from Scripture, they are not going to believe it even if it is talked about more frequently or if the teaching is accompanied by a couple of miracles. Getting the message of Scripture is a matter of obedient trust in the truth of Scripture. If folks don’t believe the Scriptures, then it won’t matter to them even if someone comes back from the dead and shows them that this way of life is true. If you say you believe in God, then value what God values. Miracles won’t convince you if your heart chooses to be callous and greedy. Each of you must invest your life in things that align with the heart of God. His will, His character, and compassion must be the passion of each heart — your heart, My friend.
So where is your heart? What is your focus? Are you listening to what Scripture teaches?
Verses to Live
You are saved by grace through faith — your New Testament makes this clear. Grace, however, not only saves you from the consequences of sin and death, grace also saves you for a life of character and compassion as My disciple. Read from My brother James (James 2:14-22) and also from the apostle Paul (Ephesians 2:1-10). Paul summarized it well when he said, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6 NIV). If you listen carefully to what I AM saying to you today and what I teach a little later, you will see that James and Paul were saying essentially the same thing I taught!
Jesus (with another parable):
There was this rich man who had everything — purple clothing of fine quality and high fashion, gourmet meals every day, and a large house. Just outside his front gate lay this poor homeless fellow named Lazarus. Lazarus was covered in ugly skin lesions. He was so hungry he wished he could scavenge scraps from the rich man’s trash. Dogs would come and lick the sores on his skin. The poor fellow died and was carried on the arms of the heavenly messengers to the embrace of Abraham. Then the rich fellow died and was buried and found himself in the place of the dead. In his torment, he looked up, and off in the distance he saw Abraham, with Lazarus in his embrace.
He shouted out, “Father Abraham! Please show me mercy! Would you send that beggar Lazarus to dip his fingertip in water and cool my tongue? These flames are hot, and I’m in agony!”
But Abraham said, “Son, you seem to be forgetting something: your life was full to overflowing with comforts and pleasures, and the life of Lazarus was just as full with suffering and pain. So now is his time of comfort, and now is your time of agony. Besides, a great canyon separates you and us. Nobody can cross over from our side to yours, or from your side to ours.”
“Please, Father Abraham, I beg you,” the formerly rich man continued, “send Lazarus to my father’s house. I have five brothers there, and they’re on the same path I was on. If Lazarus warns them, they’ll choose another path and won’t end up here in torment.”
But Abraham said, “Why send Lazarus? They already have the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets to instruct them. Let your brothers hear them.”
“No, Father Abraham,” he said, “they’re already ignoring the law and the prophets. But if someone came back from the dead, then they’d listen for sure; then they’d change their way of life.”
Abraham answered, “If they’re not listening to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be convinced even if someone comes back from the dead.”
Response in Prayer
Father, thank You for Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The change in the apostles from fear at Jesus’ trial and crucifixion to courage after His resurrection is a powerful testimony to me. And as I apply Jesus’ teaching today, I know that my heart needs to seek Your will or Jesus’ resurrection really won’t convince me of anything that requires me to change. So, as I open Your Scriptures to hear Your truth, I pray that You use the Spirit to conform me to be like Jesus and transform my heart to care about what matters to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.
© 1998-2020, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus‘ is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
A Matter of Obedient Trust
Source: Passion for Praise