“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning …” (Luke 12:35, ESV).
Our Friday morning men’s Bible study has been working our way through the gospel of Luke and we covered part of chapter twelve this morning. In this section, Jesus is instructing his followers to live with right priorities (“do not worry about your life … seek his kingdom”). It is possible to get so caught up in our pursuit of what is temporary that we lose sight of what is eternal.
When this happens, we begin to think of ourselves as owners rather than stewards.
- I own my time.
- I own my stuff.
- I own my talents.
This is the opposite of what Jesus teaches. In fact, he puts it this way: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48).
- I do not own my time. My life is on loan from God.
- I do not own my stuff. I have been entrusted with resources.
- I do not own my talents. I have been given gifts and abilities to serve God and others.
Underlying this entire section is one thought: life is short and Jesus is coming back.
This is why Jesus tells his followers to stay dressed for action and to keep their lamps burning (v. 35). The people of God are to be vigilant and purposeful. We are not drifters who wander aimlessly through life. We’re not to spend our time chasing after the things the pagans do (see Luke 12:30). We are to be dressed for action.
The apostle Paul later picks up on this theme:
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord … Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. ” (Ephesians 5:8-10, 15-16).
Good words to live by. In my next post, I’ll share a few thoughts about how to stay dressed for action.