Gracious Lord, thank you for the gift of this day, for its blessings and for the opportunities you have for me to serve you in it.
Read LUKE 12:1-12
Warnings and Encouragements
12 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be[a] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
- Luke 12:1 Or speak to his disciples, saying: “First of all, be
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake’ (Psalm 23:3, ESV). Consider how you feel today. Rest a moment before you read God’s Word.
In chapter 11, Jesus has been telling his disciples to be on their guard against people (e.g., the Pharisees) who might try to dissuade them from following him. He continues this theme in verse 1. Can you think of things which might distract or dissuade you from following Jesus today?
There will come a time ‘before the angels of God’ (vs 8,9), when Jesus, the Son of Man, will either acknowledge us as his followers… or reject us. At this point, God will bring light to things that are currently in darkness (vs 2,3). Jesus alone is the way to life after death (vs 5,8). So, Jesus tells us to fear God rather than other people, for God is the One who:
- forgives us (v 10);
- loves and cares for us (vs 6,7);
- gives us words to say when we are under pressure (v 12).
Verse 10 might cause some to worry that we have spoken against the Holy Spirit. But Jesus is referring to those who persistently reject his message. Those who tend toward worrying about this have no need to fear, for their hearts are already open toward God.
Turn to the distractions you considered earlier. Are there things for which you need to repent?
Holy Spirit, fill my heart with God’s love and with openness to follow him. Thank you for the assurance you give of his presence with me and his power in me to do his will.
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