Dear Precious Friends,
As we welcome this new day, this gift from God, I pray you are embracing the amazing words given to us from our Lord in each Chapter of Luke. I love the way Luke writes and the fact that he was the only known Gentile author in the New Testament. His words are very detailed and we can see he was well educated. Luke was a Dr. and a close friend of Paul's.
As usual in our read a chapter of Luke a day challenge leading up to Christmas, it is so hard to pick one area to focus on when there are so many rich teachings in Chapter 21. In this chapter we have, I. The notice Christ took, of a poor widow that cast two mites into the treasury (v. 1-4). II. A prediction of future events, in answer to his disciples’ enquiries concerning them (v. 5-7). Of what should happen between that and the destruction of Jerusalem—false Christs arising, bloody wars and persecutions of Christ’s followers (v. 8-19). Of that destruction itself (v. 20-24). Of the second coming of Jesus Christ to judge the world, under the type and figure of that (v. 25-33). III. A practical application of this, by way of caution and counsel (v. 34-36), and an account of Christ’s preaching and the people’s attendance on it (v. 37, v. 38).I will focus mostly on Luke 21: verses 1-19....
Jesus is observing a characteristic activity of the temple: the wealthy putting their gifts in the offering. Are they doing so with attention getting focus on them? At any rate, their giving is observable.
By contrast he then observes a poor widow who only puts in a very small amount of money. But she gave sacrificially... she was poor and had few resources for making money. Her small gift was a sacrifice and she gave it willingly. She the one who has put in more! Why? Because what counts is not how much you give, but her heart to give all she had to live on. Her generosity is extraordinary and commendable.Jesus sees in the heart of the giver. The widow gave two very small copper coins. There coins were the smallest of coins and not really worth anything at all, HOWEVER, it was ALL SHE HAD. What Faith this widow had to give all she had.
In God’s eyes, she gave gave MORE then the rich. The heart of her giving is what Jesus saw. God doesn’t need our money to accomplish his work. It is a privilege’s to give to God’s work.
How do we measure our generosity? By the amount we give, or by the amount we have left behind to enjoy for ourselves? As believers we are to consider increasing our giving whether money, time or talents where it is beyond a "convenience".
Here are a few main points on the rest of the verses in Luke 5-19 and oh there is so much more! Brief is not my gift!
(21:5-9) While there in the temple, some observe how beautiful is its edifice, the stones and the offerings. Jesus then predicts what soon came to pass: not one stone left upon another. In AD 70, the temple was indeed destroyed. These things, verse 9, will take place but the end is still to come. We are to be careful that we are not deceived by people claiming the time is any moment (21:8).
(21:10-19) Now Jesus spans his vision to the end of all things. God’s clock is divided into two periods: Before Christ (BC) and After Christ, of “Anno Domini,” the year of the Lord (AD). We now live “AD,” and in that time period we are by definition in the “last times.” During these times there will be great turbulence throughout the world (21:10-12), but this will also give Jesus’ followers special opportunities to bear witness (21:13). How?
Jesus’ advice is clear and encouraging. Don’t worry beforehand what to say when asked about our faith, for He himself will give us wisdom and words through the HOLY SPIRIT, that no adversary will be able to overcome. While some indeed will be witnesses in the sense of “martyrs” in an eternal perspective, not a hair on our head will perish. What matters is simply that we endure (21:18).
No one knows when Jesus will return, we must be ready no matter what.
Perhaps you and I are sensing opposition for our Christian witness. Clearly, Jesus is not against planning or preparation, but He is speaking against worrying ourselves beforehand. And he has a special promise for those who will be hauled up before courts—secular or our Christian belief—to accuse them and before whom they need give “witness.”
Jesus himself will give us words and wisdom at that moment that none will be able to answer. That special promise has many times been proven in the lives of his people, and is a special promise that you too can rely on as you face your hour of trial. Be assured He will not leave us without his wisdom and his words.
As believers we are not exempt from physical harm or death during persecutions. Rather we will not suffer spiritual or eternal loss which is the greatest treasure we have.
WOW WOW WOW. We are assured that Jesus will return in power and glory. We have great assurance that while we are here on earth, the Holy Spirit is with us, He comforts us, protects us, and gives us the words we need to say in any circumstance including persecution. What courage and hope we have to stand firm for Christ no matter how difficult the situation!
Source: God's word, Holy Spirit, Bible Study tools and commentary, God Centered Life.