Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XLVI: The Credibility Of Christianity Via Its Godly LAITY's And MINISTERS' Conquests Of Greed
(Luke 12:35-48)
  1. Introduction
    1. If Christianity is God's true faith that transcends this earthly life's fleeting values and resources, one should expect Christ's followers and ministers to live above the ungodly world's forceful, self-centered greed.
    2. Luke's Gospel, written to certify Christianity as the true faith to a spiritual "seeker" in Theophilus (Acts 1:3-4) points out the pathway of conquering materialistic greed among God's people. Its message equips us to live as true lights in a godless world as follows:
  2. The Credibility Of Christianity Via Its Godly LAITY'S And MINISTERS' Conquests Of Greed.
    1. Having urged the people to stand against greed in Luke 12:13-22, Jesus motivated His followers to avoid materialism as possessions are so transient and God is our true livelihood Security Source, Lk. 12:23-34.
    2. Thus, Jesus gave specific guidelines for His followers to live above materialistic greed:
      1. Jesus gave guidelines for godly laity in general to live above materialistic greed in Luke 12:35-40:
        1. Following His instructions on focusing on the Kingdom of God as a priority to having one's needs of material goods met (Lk. 12:31-34), Jesus commanded believers to be like waiting groomsmen, 35-36
        2. In Jesus' day, the groom would dine with his friends, leave to get his bride, and return perhaps quite late at night. He expected his friends to watch for his return, Ryr. St. B., KJV ftn. to Lk. 12:36.
        3. If the friends did not sense their accountability to their Master, they might not wait up for his return, angering Him and leading to discipline. If the Groom found they were diligently waiting up as they sensed this their accountability to Him, He would be happy and reward these men, 12:37-38
        4. Also, Jesus noted that a Master of a home could protect his resources from thieves if he watched over his goods with a sense of accountability for them, Luke 12:39.
        5. Accordingly, Jesus urged believers to sense their accountability to Christ as the key to their livelihood provision, thereby offsetting temptations for greed, Luke 12:40.
      2. Jesus then gave specific guidelines for His ministers in living above materialistic greed:
        1. Following Christ's admonition in overcoming greed, Peter asked Jesus if the previous admonition was for the twelve disciples, or for all who were listening, Luke 12:41.
        2. Jesus then gave another analogy on overcoming greed, and it is directed toward those who were to be the ministers of His flock, Luke 12:42.
        3. Such ministers, like godly laymen, are to sense their accountability to the Lord, leading positively to faithfully, gently giving out God's Word in its proper time to the other household servants of God, Luke 12:42-43. A leader will do this as a "wise" servant, meaning he will make the most of even deteriorating household arrangements: the word "wise" is from the Greek fronimos, used elsewhere in Luke's gospel only in Luke 16:8 of a steward who did the best he could do in a losing stewardship situation! (UBS Grk. N.T., p. 267; Moulton & Geden, Conc. To The Greek Testament, p. 995)
        4. Such leadership in faith in God's reward would lead to God's expanding leadership influence, 43-44.
        5. However, if the leaders failed to sense their accountability to God, and began to abuse laymen for their own interests or to counter a deteriorating situation in their own strength, the Lord would discipline them for it, Lk. 12:45-46. Such discipline would be meted out in accord with how well the ministers in question knew the Lord's will and their accountability to Him, Luke 12:47-48.
Lesson: The godless world insecurely views possessing material goods as livelihood security, and thus resorts to oppressive thoughtlessness to gain them. Thus, Christianity witnesses that it is GOD'S TRUE faith when its converts conversely live and minister securely in faithfulness and gentleness toward others in trying to please God, seeking HIS sure approval and resulting sure provisions!

Application: Though we are inundated with the false view that blessing is gained by PRESSURING and DEFEATING others to their loss in order to obtain goals, recall that having to RESORT to such MEANS to reach our goals exposes a FALSE, insecure value system! We thus do well to be sure that the METHODS we use are gentle, thoughtful and faithful as being done to the Lord for HIS reward!