July 26 – August 1, 2016

WORD

13Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”  14But Jesus said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?”  15And Jesus said to them, “Take care!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”  16Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly.  17And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’  18Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  19And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’  20But God said to him, ‘You fool!  This very night your life is being demanded of you.  And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’  21So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:13-21

Listen: 

Reading Scripture to Know:

  • What is happening/being said? (Observation)
  • Why is this happening/being said? (Interpretation)
  • What does the rest of Scripture say about it? (Evaluation)
  • What does it mean? (Understanding)
  • What does it mean for us? (Application)

Reading Scripture to Grow:

  • What words or phrases stand out to you? Why?
  • Where do you hear the voice of God in this Scripture?
  • How do you see the character of God reflected in this Scripture?
  • How does this Scripture reveal God?
  • How does this Scripture expose humanity and its need for God?
  • How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in your life?
  • How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in our world?
  • What might God want to communicate to you (us) this week through this Scripture?

Reflection: Take a look at the jar of golden coins above.  What feelings are brought up in your soul when gazing upon such an image?  Do you long for the money you see?  Do you begin to think about what you might be able to do (or even the good you might be able to accomplish) if you had all of that money?  Perhaps such an image should inspire anxiety within us.  Such riches can be dangerous.  Many persons have testified to the curse of wealth in their own lives.  We might be tempted, then, to say, “Well may I be cursed with such curses!”  But God wants us to want more than wealth.  God desires that we spend the currency of our lives on more than just enriching ourselves.  What good is wealth if we squander away our lives to attain it?  What is it that God wants from you today?  What will be your motivations for the work you do and the actions you take this week?  What will you do with the abundance with which God has already blessed you?

Daily Readings: 

  • Tuesday, July 26 – Acts 9
  • Wednesday, July 27 – Acts 10
  • Thursday, July 28 – Acts 11
  • Friday, July 29 – Acts 12
  • Saturday, July 30 – Acts 13
  • Sunday, July 31 – Acts 14
  • Monday, August 1 – Acts 15

 

SPIRIT

Prayer Focus: Ask God how he might be leading you this week to share your wealth instead of stockpiling it.  The man in the parable thought he could hoard his wealth for his own future use, only to discover that he was without a future!  How many people might he have fed if he opened up his storehouses instead of building up larger ones?  As you pray, ask God how you might downsize in your life in order both to free you from the pull of wealth and to share your resources with those in need.  God has supplied the world with enough resources to provide for us all – yet he has called us to accomplish this through the act of lovingly, graciously, and openly sharing with others.

Meditation Focus: Read these words again: “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”  What does life consist of, then?  Think about your life in ten year increments.  What do you imagine your life consisted of at birth?  What was of importance to you then?  How about at the age of ten?  Twenty?  Thirty?  Forty?  And so on?  Has your view of life changed over the years?  How so?  Ask God to bring to your mind what is truly important.  Imagine God taking those important aspects of life and placing each one in your heart and mind.  Is there space for them?  Must other things be cleared out?  God has filled our lives with so much of great importance.  How might you make room for that which is truly important today?

Journaling Focus: Paul wrote that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).  The writer of Hebrews warns us to “keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5).  Money seems to be a necessary evil in life.  We need money in our society to survive – to buy food, to pay for shelter, to purchase needed medicines and even water.  So how do we use money without money controlling us?  Write about your experiences in life with money.  Do you find it easy to practice faithful and sound financial stewardship or do you struggle with the manipulative power of money and the lure of possessing more stuff?  What practices might you adopt to help you manage your money for the glory of God?  What practices might you need to abstain from in order to honor God with your resources?  Jesus is calling to us all, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed!”

Breath Prayer: Father, save us from greed and make us generous.

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