Surprise, Surprise

Lou Lotz

Read: Matthew 25:31-46 Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? (v. 44) Surprise, surprise—everyone is surprised. The sheep are surprised. They did not know they were being compassionate. They had no inkling that the king might be present among “the least of these.” There was no thought of potential reward. They were just doing what, to them, seemed natural. Good fruit comes …

Storm Warning

Lou Lotz

Read: Matthew 7:24-27 Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (v. 24) As anyone who has had teenagers will tell you, listening to instruction is one thing, doing it quite another. At the conclusion of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, in effect, “All right, you’ve heard my words, but if you don’t act on them, putting into practice what I’ve told …

Count the Cost

Lou Lotz

Read: Luke 14:25-33 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (v. 26) The Lord’s followers have to hate their own families? Really? Of course not. Jesus was not demanding that would-be disciples desert their spouses or abandon their children. This was his way of recruiting serious soldiers and discouraging dilettantes. He used strong language …

Lost and Found

Lou Lotz

Read: Luke 15:8-10 Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? (v. 8) A woman loses a silver coin. It must be in the house somewhere, but where? Thus begins a flurry of activity—lamps are lit, floors are swept. Every nook and cranny is examined. There is no thought of giving up the search. The woman looks high and low, …

Possessed by Possessions

Lou Lotz

Read: Luke 12:13-21 Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? (v. 20) “The land of a rich man produced plentifully.” What’s wrong with that? We have learned to mask our envy by sneering at prosperity as though it were a shameful thing. But prosperity is not a vice, no more than poverty is a virtue. So far as we know, the rich man is not dishonest or immoral …