Caught By Surprise

Re: Verse reading–Luke 16:19-31 (day four) 

One of the questions we would ask if we were doing an inductive study of this passage would be…”who was Jesus speaking to?”  Look back at verse 14…”Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things…”  The Pharisees considered wealth to be a blessing from God and a confirmation of their privileged relationship with Him.  The rich man in our story shared this common Jewish belief and was caught by surprise when he ended up in Hades.  He had no change of heart though, even there, because he still saw Lazarus as a servant to meet his needs.  He was also oblivious to the sufficiency of Scripture to call us to repentance.

Are we blinded to the obvious message of God’s Word in any area of our lives?  Forgive others…be reconciled…it is better to give than to receive…love your enemy?  Ask God to search your heart today so you will not be ‘caught by surprise.’  (Psalm 139:23-24)

Author: Larry Soape

Larry Soape is the Associate Pastor for Median & Senior Adults, and Missions at FBCSA.

One thought on “Caught By Surprise”

  1. Men serve themselves; Jesus came to serve others! The story of the rich man and his self-interests reflect the truth about what is going on in this world. There are always two types of people: 1) self-centered, and 2) others-centered.

    Self-centered people are immensely concerned with their own interests and well-being, their self-love or egotism.” Because of their immense love for their own interests, self-centered folks will overlook other people’s interests and needs. Looking out for our own interests is natural in this world and in every society. I am sure Jesus noticed that natural self-love and self-centered tendency so he commanded that Christians love their neighbors as ourselves. Learning to love others is a spiritual gift and a great personal and leadership attribute eventhough, sometimes, we may feel some people are very difficult for us to love. The world will be more joyful and peaceful when God’s resources are shared in a way that will please God and when our surroundings will be more others-centered, not more self-centered.

    As we make decisions, think of how our decisions will impact others. Putting ourselves first and unconcerned for those who may be impacted by our decisions will lead to a destruction of oneself.

    Many self-centered examples we have seen in the media recently. It is such a chaos living in the 21st century! In my humble opinion, these self-centered people are rooted in their strong desire to please self, to the current life, not to please God for eternity! Eternity may not be a relevant factor for self-centered people! Following God by denying themselves is not an option!

    We, human beings, have a tendency toward self-centeredness due to earthly internal and external factors. Hopefully, we all can help lead and shape the spirit of love and sharing God’s resources whenever and wherever we are! I have seen people with little wealth but they made selfless sacrifices to reach out and to spread God’s love to others. Personally, I have the privilege to meet them along the way. They love God and are others-centered more than self!

    Sharing is caring! It is not how much we give but how much we care. It is not how much or how little we have in our bank accounts, but what matters most, in my view, is what from our hearts. A little love can help transform a life and can be a life saver. The heart counts, not the quantity of how much we give. The thought of thinking of others counts!

    How can you define yourself, others-centered or self-centered, more others-centeted, or more self-centered? Or it all depends? I will reflect on the Jesus’ model of humanity! He is worthy to praise for and to follow!

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