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Daily Worship


April 26 | Luke 16:19-31





You Have a Choice

by Kim Starr

This parable tells us about a rich man who wore purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. A poor beggar named Lazarus lived at the gate of his home, was covered with sores, and received “bad things” during his life. Both men die: Lazarus goes to Abraham’s side "far away" from the rich man, who goes into Hades. From his position in Hades, the rich man looks up, sees Lazarus next to Abraham, and asks for pity, which he does not receive. Why?

The rich man knew Lazarus’ name. He had seen him at his gate; yet, he did not acknowledge Lazarus’ situation. Instead, he ignored him and had no compassion for him. Nevertheless, the rich man specifically asks Abraham to send Lazarus to help cool his tongue demonstrating that the rich man still believes Lazarus is beneath him and wants him to serve him.


The rich man is in Hades, not because he didn’t believe, but because of the way he treated others around him, especially Lazarus. He had opportunities to repent, change his ways, and serve others, but he chose not to do so. The rich man remains nameless, perhaps, so we can associate ourselves with him. Are we like him? Do we treat people the way he did? Are there Lazaruses in our lives that we need to attend to and help? Like the rich man, do we have resources, but refuse to give or use them?


In life, we are told, this rich man had receive his good things. The earthly treasures this man had stored up for himself expired the day he died. Lazarus, on the other hand, was blessed by heavenly treasures. This is what became the chasm between them.


In the "Free!" series, we are learning how, through the Holy Spirit, God guides and empowers us to make good and godly decisions in all the circumstances of our lives. Are we embracing the riches God has given us and been good stewards of them? Are we following God’s example and acting and treating others as he did? Are there Lazaruses in our lives that we need to acknowledge and help?


Let’s take inventory of our lives, our behaviors, and those around us, and determine whether we are using what God has given us in a manner that makes God the Lord of our wealth. If we are not, let’s change our behavior so we do not end up in Hades with the rich man. We still have time to repent, make a different choice, and spend eternity with God in heaven.


Oh God, please open our eyes so that we can see the Lazaruses in our lives. Show us how you want us to use our wealth and resources to benefit others. Help us remember it is only because of you and your generosity that we have what we have. Help us make the choice to be stewards of your blessings and glorify your kingdom. Amen.

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