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5/14/12 at 03:50 PM 0 Comments

A Biography of Jesus (BOOK EXCERPT, PT 2)

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The Book Stop Blog is featuring excerpts from A Biography of Jesus by Tom Cowley and available from Paraclete Press.

A Biography of Jesus by Tom Cowley

Decision With Focus

a Teaching event
No one can serve two masters.

JESUS reminds the crowds to listen and follow the signs he is giving to them. The Christian journey demands a life completely focused on God. One needs to be completely committed. You have to be “all in.”

Jesus tells the Pharisees that although they may clean the outside of their cups, inside they are full of greed and wickedness. Be clean inside! Light the world on the outside. Then in Luke 12 he teaches the values of the kingdom of God. We hear of a rich fool who stored his crops in bigger barns in order to have more for himself, only to lose his life anyway. To be rich toward God requires treasures in heaven, which are more valued than treasures on earth. Jesus reminds us where our treasure is and says, there your heart should also be. We must be dressed for service and have our lamps burning. Our decision to follow Jesus demands constant focus.

The parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1–15) reminds us that no one can serve two masters. Money is not of great value in God’s kingdom. The currency of love from the heart, agape love, is what matters most of all. Zacchaeus, the tax collector, came down from a tree, gave half of his possessions to the poor, and followed Jesus (Luke 19). Jesus uses this as an example of the value of decisiveness and focus!

refer to: Luke 11, 12, and 16:1–15 Related readings: Luke 19:1–27

Question: Do you see any aspect of yourself, and how you might respond under similar circumstances, in the story of Zacchaeus?

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