A Devotional Guide on “Misplaced Treasure” from Luke 12:13-34

Misplaced Treasure – A Personal Worship Guide

Monday: How is God calling you to personally apply Jesus’ caution in Luke 12:15? Confess to the Lord the specific ways that you have struggled with covetousness. which is a desire to acquire more and more material possessions or to possess more than other people have, irrespective of need.
Tuesday: Our passage sets forth two types of fools. One is rich (vv.16-21). The other is poor (vv.22-31). What miscalculations did the rich farmer make? From Jesus’ teaching on worry, what miscalculations might the poor disciples make? With which do you identify the most?
Wednesday: If life doesn’t consist of the abundance of our possessions, what does it consist of? How would you answer this question biblically? See John 6:27; 8:12; 10:10; 17:3-4; Acts 20:24.
Thursday: Listen again to the soliloquy of the rich farmer in vv.17-19. What effect had his wealth had on him? Upon what was he centered? What was his focus? How does becoming a Christian change all this? How does it change the pronouns that we use? Recall and pray slowly through the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and ask: How would we live differently if our focus was “we, our, and us” rather than “I, me, and mine”?
Friday: Part of the cure for misplaced treasure is to recall your true identity. According to Jesus’ words in Luke 12:30-32, who are you? How does He describe us? Three ways. What is the corresponding role of our God?
Saturday: What are you fearing to lose that you can’t keep? Lay it down at the feet of Jesus! There are two basic approaches to possessions in our text: Storing and getting (v.18) vs. Selling and giving (v.33).

Treasure the Pearl – Matthew 13:44-46

Treasure the Pearl – Personal Worship Guide

This study will guide you through the following questions: Who is the pearl? How do we treasure the pearl? Why should we treasure the pearl?

RAP: There once was a merchant looking for pearls
Thinking of them like nuts to squirrels
But one day he found a pearl of great price
And sold all he had, all his merchandise
To buy the pearl he sought the most
Which in the end would be his boast.
There are those who seek from place to place
What can be found only through God’s grace
The pearl of great price is Jesus our Lord
When you find Him you’ll find that you can afford
To replace your trust in other things
With the One from whom eternal life springs.

When God Pursues the Frustrated – A Sermon from Luke 5:1-11

Listen to a MP3 of this sermon

According to Luke 5:1-11, when God pursues the frustrated, four things occur…
Intro: Have you ever been hopelessly unproductive and unsuccessful at something? How frustrated did you get when all of your resources failed?
US: Some of you have gotten extremely frustrated playing the dating game or maybe not playing the dating game.
For others of you attempting to have children has proven stressful. For others having children has proven challenging.
Career/lost of a job… Some of you have had to stand up for your convictions and it has cost you.

The Story: Simon is frustrated, tired, and weary. A night of fishing has proven very unfruitful. He’s caught absolutely nothing. In the morning, Jesus finds Peter washing his nets. He tells him to launch the boat and let down the nets. Oh great… a rabbi telling a professional fisherman how to fish. Peter initially objects, but finally concedes. Let’s look at what happens when God pursues a frustrated fisherman…
I.  When God pursues the frustrated, He convinces us of His power. He is able to do in seconds what Peter was not able to accomplish all night!
The miraculous catch of fish produces in Peter a contrite spirit as he marvels at the power of Jesus. The catch is so amazing that the nets are breaking and the boats are sinking. In other words, the point is: this is an utterly unprecedented catch of fish in a location that seemed hopelessly unproductive the night before. And it was caught at the powerful and authoritative word of Jesus.
Isaiah vision of God’s glory and greatness (Isaiah 6:1-8). Endure…
Paul’s vision of the risen, glorified Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).
John’s vision of the exalted, risen Christ (Revelation 1:9-20).
These men received glimpses of the power of Jesus Christ.
This power is in the Word of Christ (drawing people to faith… drawing fish into a net). Romans 10:17 – Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. At your word I will let down the nets (v.5). The call of Jesus for these men to follow him.
(This leads us to a profound awareness of our own sinfulness).

II.    He convicts us of our sin and unworthiness.

How does Peter respond to the miraculous catch of fish?
“Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” Peter sinks to his knees in awe before this mysterious figure: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” In other words: “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinner. If you only knew to whom you were speaking! My spirit is dull and my heart is weary. Depart from me!”

Ask the Lord to give you a growing awareness of His presence as well as keener sense of the depth of your need of His pardon.
I departed and turned my face away from my own begotten son so that I would never depart from you. What does Jesus say to Peter and to all his disciples at the end: “Surely, I am with you always even to the end of the age.”

How is it that Jesus would not depart from Peter? One day Jesus would die for Peter’s sins of betrayal, pride, ambition, and idolatry (Mark 10:45).
(Thankfully, our sin does not disqualify us for service. The same power that prompts Peter to fall at Jesus’ knees in contrition and humble worship now lifts him into God’s service. It is interesting in this story that Jesus gets into the boat to call Peter out of the boat!)

III. He commissions us to serve Him and participate fully in Jesus’ ministry.
What does Jesus ask Peter to do? What is He asking us to do? Catch men, women and boys and girls for Him.

In verse 10b “Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.’” Fishing for men…Gathering from among the nations a people for His name. Gathering those who are trusting in Christ alone for salvation.
Fishing and shepherding are two enduring metaphors and images of Christian ministry. Catching men who will be empowered to catch others (Acts 11:19-26).

Catching men for Christ is an endeavor that the church has struggled with in the past. In the early church, God used persecution to disperse the Christians throughout the Middle East for gospel expansion. Sometimes God brings adversity into the lives of his people so that they might live to prove that Jesus is more precious to them than even their physical lives.

Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Ask the Lord to show you one person that you can pray for and befriend in order to share Christ with them. Charles Spurgeon: “Let all who trust in the merit of Messiah’s death be joyful at every remembrance of him, and let their holy gratitude lead them to the fullest consecration to his cause.”
IV.  He causes us to value Him above all else.
Peter and James and John respond with hearts overflowing with the value of knowing Jesus: “When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.” The text notes that Peter and his companions “forsook all and followed Him” (5:11).

This is what it means to follow Jesus: he is more valuable to us than everything. I count everything as loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Philippians 3:8).

Ask the Lord to show you what it is that you value more than Jesus. Is He more valuable to you than your money? Your spouse? Your children? Your career? Prestige? Pleasure? For sure there is something that we must bring and lay down at the feet of Jesus.

What do you need to leave behind to follow the Lord more fully? The woman at the well. Broken cisterns that can hold no water… fountain of living water.

For one year I rode the ministry pine. I was sitting on the bench begging the Lord to put me back into the game. Our fourth child had just been born. One opportunity after another passed without an open door.  Out of this wilderness God brought me to a position that was perfectly tailored for me. It was three fruitful years of service at Intown Community Church.
The Lord doesn’t always bring our frustration to an end after one year, but if you have something in your life that you wish weren’t there that has caused you a measure of frustration, I can guarantee you this: The Lord is pursuing you in order to show you four things: How great is his power, how great is your need of His pardon, how vital it is to adopt His purpose, and how vital it is to value him above all else.

Personal/Family Worship Guides

We want to urge you to take some time during the week to worship God personally and with your family. These guides serve to develop further the themes of our corporate worship services.

Simple Church (Isaiah 40:1-11). This devotional guide delves into the mission of our church. Isaiah’s prophecy highlights four non-negotiables: There is a majestic God to worship. There is the eternal Word of God to know and believe. There is a flock to shepherd. There is good news to proclaim.

When God Pursues the Frustrated (Luke 5:1-11). Peter has experienced a very unfruitful night of fishing. He’s caught absolutely nothing. In the early morning, Jesus finds Peter washing his nets. He tells him to launch the boat and let down the nets. Peter objects, but finally concedes, and catches a huge haul of fish. The miraculous results produce in Peter a broken spirit as he marvels at the power of Jesus. Jesus tells Peter, “From now on you will catch men” (5:10).

When God pursues the frustrated… four things occur…

He convinces us of His power.

He convicts us of our sin and unworthiness.

He commissions us for a new work.

He causes us to value Jesus above all else. The text notes that Peter and his companions “forsook all and followed Him” (5:11).

Devoted to Becoming a Cruciform Community – During our last missions conference, our speaker, Skip Ryan, challenged us to become a cruciform community that is marked primarily by how it loves versus a Christian community that is marked by what it does. Luke 7:36-50 sets forth two distinguishing features of a cruciform community.This type of community is marked by the loving welcome we extend to sinners and the loving welcome we extend to our Savior.

Devoted to Generous Justice

Devoted to Our Priestly Vocation

Devoted to Loving Our Neighbors

The Great Hindrance to Friendship with God

Devoted to the Corporate Gathering

Devoted to Worship