Selfishness closes the door to love. Jesus speaks of this many times. Until we understand this teaching of Jesus, we cannot experience the true joy of life.
Lent Daily Devotional
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. (full text at Luke 16:19-31)
Do not be Blind to God’s Call
What feelings do you have when you listen to the story from Luke’s Gospel? It is understandable that you take the side of poor Lazarus. But on the other hand, the rich man did nothing wrong either. He was just living his life. So what does Jesus want to teach us by telling us this story?
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The message of this parable is clear: be alert to the needs to which the Lord calls you to respond.
Indifference is the Opposite of Love
In this parable, Jesus is not talking about the good and holy life of Lazarus. Nor is he talking about the rich man’s evil deeds.
But Jesus highlights the indifference of the rich man who closed his eyes and pretended not to see the poor man at the gate of his house.
It may be that this poor man is God’s chance and opportunity to make the world a better place. God wanted the rich man to answer the call to help the poor. But the rich man just closed his eyes and pretended not to hear the Lord’s call.
Attention – the rich man’s indifference sent him to hell.
Selfishness Closes the Door to Love
When we close our eyes and refuse to see the problems we could solve, our lives become meaningless. An egocentric way of life prevents us from experiencing true love or the joy of life. We become bored with life and nothing brings joy to the heart. We look for adventure and hope that it will cheer us up.
Unfortunately, as long as you live a selfish life, nobody can help you. There is a reason. There is a consequence.
Look up – that’s what Jesus is asking you to do
That’s why Jesus asks you to open your eyes and see the world around you. Jesus asks you to open your ears and hear God’s words, not just sounds that are pleasant to the ear.
Jesus says: “Love one another”. These are words that are pleasant to the ear. But it becomes a real challenge when you want to live by those words.
Lent is about understanding how you are called by God, what riches you can share with Lazarus.
Pray today and ask to hear this parable of Jesus in a new way, that it may touch your heart and open your mind.
Prayer for Today
Lord, grant me sensitivity to others. Please open my eyes to see those who live with nothing. Open my mind to see how I can show them compassion through real actions.
Lord, please give me the strength to live all day today according to your Word. So that I can thank You and praise Your goodness in the evening. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.