I have been reading luke 12 for forever. there's nothing like the words of Jesus, seriously.
it starts out warm and fuzzy..."fear not: you are of more value than many sparrows..."
and ends a little disconcerting: "...and that servant...shall be beaten with many stripes..."
at first i'm overwhelmed by stark encouragement and stark warning. how can i ever measure up? especially if i still struggle living out the encouragement part...i cant do the easiest thing, how can i ever do the hard stuff?
but remember, this is Grace Himself we are talking to. i realize that Jesus wants us to have His thoughts- His perspective on the daily action of living- His definition of success.
so, in going for the big picture, i made a list as i went through the chapter asking myself, "what is Jesus' definition of doing a good job at this life. what is He listing as something that brings Him pleasure? what does Jesus define as success?" these statements are only my own words, but maybe their summarization can work to our benefit. its interesting, some of the ideas totally repeat themselves. Jesus is an excellent teacher :)
GOD IS PLEASED WHEN I:
1-3: am real and genuine...when i take being real and genuine with God and man seriously.
4-5: fear God as the only one i am accountable to/answer to
6-7: dont live afraid because i know i am higly valued by Him
8-9: tell others about Him
10-12: give Him my tongue as His tool, and my heart rests peacefully on Him
15: am aware of the temptation/danger of covetousness. He is pleased when i dont live my life based on the amount of stuff i have- it is an indicator that my treasure rests elsewhere
21: am "rich toward God." he is pleased when He Himself is what my heart values.
22: dont worry about life or the body- realizing their proper place (ie, not priority in my heart)
24: know HOW He sees me- that i am valued by Him, that i matter to Him, because He knows it will affect how i live
26: choose trust over worry and anxiousness
27: when i look around and see His faithfulness in everything
28: have BIG faith
29: trust Him to the point of not having an anxious mind
31: seek His kingdom
32: realize that He very much wants to give us what we seek. to know that the "kingdom" is ours and therefore not to fear
33-34: give up the temporal in exchange for the eternal. when my heart's treasure is in Him
35-37: wait for Him/watch for Him expectantly. he pronounces a blessing for those who are ready for Him
40: READY for Him to come
42-48: say in my heart as His servant, "my master comes at any moment. i will preserve the man and maidservants around me like a good steward. i will be sober and aware."
there's so much love in this chapter...hear o israel...you shall LOVE Me...
o, how He wants us to LOVE Him, and to know truly that we are loved by Him.