DATE POSTED: Tuesday, June 6, 2023, and I was blessed to be at O’Brien, FL when God inspired me to write this blog post. My Footnote will tell you how to find, read or listen to any and all episodes that I have shared over the years.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE FROM THE New Living Translation (NLT) IS FOUND IN Luke 16:24-28
THE BIBLE TEXT IS: “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’ “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’ “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’
MY INITIAL THOUGHTS: This is just an excerpt from a very well-known Bible story that involved a proud rich man, and a humble poor man who sat at his gate most days hoping to benefit from the scraps from the rich man’s table. From every indication, the rich man saw Lazarus as more of a bother than anything else, as long as the rich man felt more important than Lazarus was. I wonder how well we would do in our witness if we felt frowned upon by prospects we witnessed to?
APPLICATION OF THE WORD: Jesus is telling this story, but He was treated in much the same way as Lazarus. However, I believe that many of us would be challenged to accept ridicule and still go on loving and looking out for a person’s best interest if they don’t appreciate, nor want us anywhere near to them. But as long as the rich man felt ‘rich’, or better than Lazarus, there was nothing that Lazarus could offer him of any meaningful good. However, when the position was reversed, the rich man suddenly discovered, and acknowledged, the value of poor old Lazarus. Apparently, the witness of this poor old man had an impact on the rich man’s life after all, even though his life here on earth was much too comfortable to think of ‘needing’ the God of this universe. Notice how, in two instances, the rich man asked Abraham to ‘send Lazarus’. When our lives are changed, and we could identify what helped our lives to change, we are suddenly ready to refer that change agent to others! Friends, none of us desire to be poor, or especially forced to beg for our nutritional needs, but throughout the Bible we are taught the benefits of humbling ourselves and persistence in our witness for our Lord and Savior. Just as I believe that the persistent witness of Lazarus had a profound effect on the rich man from our story today, I believe that we could also give God complete access to use us in witnessing to great and small alike – even those who we might often feel inferior to, because of their earthly status and value. Think about this, no matter how much money a man might have, he must still enter heaven through the same gate that the poorest man on earth, in order to see heaven. Jesus sent His Son so that ALL may enter, through Him, into the portals of Heaven. Yes, your approach may have to be different when witnessing to a rich man than you would to a beggar. But their need is the same, and the solution to their earthly problem of sin, is the very same. There is no ‘first class’ entrance, or golden gate, for one versus the other. Regardless of your financial status, your lineage or your job position on earth, we are all equal at the foot of the cross. The rich man struggled to see this while alive, and so will many who consider themselves above the rest, but our story, our witness, and our love for each and every one must be the same, for its only through Jesus that one will be saved and made acceptable to heaven.
BLESSINGS WORTH NOTING: Praise God, there is a way for us to enter heaven! We may not be guilty of the same sin as the rich man in our story, but without ever accepting Jesus as Lord, some will face the same predicament where they will see those who witnessed to them afar off in heaven spending time with Jesus, and they will wish they would have listened to the warnings.
PRAYER BECAUSE OF THE IMPACT OF TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Lord Jesus, thank You for accepting me as Your son, and promising me the glories of heaven. But because of this story, I am reminded of the rich, the princes, the kings, the queens, and the CEOs of large corporations who may never see the need of One who offers them much more than anything they could ever have here on earth. It is challenging for even me to understand that they will be filtered through the same gate as me, to receive their judgment and directions for their final, eternal destiny. Please Lord, place men and women in their way, just like You did with Lazarus, but please help nonbelievers to catch a glimpse of Heaven, where You stand with opened arms to receive them, should they make good decisions today. You died for us all, now please speak intently to those who do not feel the need to accept You as Lord. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There’s another page on my website, entitled ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to this page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin or continue your walk with Jesus. If you would like to read more of my devotionals, or subscribe for a daily email containing each new devotional, please go online to NuggetsFromGodsWord.org. Go online to Apple Podcasts, or using the Apple Podcast app, simply search for Nuggets From God’s Word to hear more episodes, or click ‘Follow’ to be notified of Podcast updates. Please allow me to encourage you to find a church home near by your home and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!