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More Is Required of Us
Bible study on judgment, and God's requirements.

Jesus was approached by a man, asking Him to tell his brother to divide the family inheritance with him (Lk. 12:13).

Responding to the man, Jesus warned the crowd to be on guard against every form of greed, teaching that life doesn't consist of one's possessions, even if he has an abundance of material wealth (Lk. 12:14-15).

Then Jesus told a parable about a rich man whose land was very productive. The man decided to spend his new found wealth on himself, taking it easy while eating and drinking and being merry. But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your soul is required of you" (Lk. 12:16-20).

From the parable, Jesus teaches that people who store up treasure for themselves, and are not rich toward God, are like the man in the parable. They're fools, and their souls will be required of them (Lk. 12:21).

After the parable, Jesus continues teaching, warning the disciples not to worry about food and clothing, like the nations of the world, but to seek God's kingdom (Lk. 12:22-32).

He concludes, telling them to sell their possessions and give to charity; making for themselves money belts that don't wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Lk. 12:34).

Be Ready
Now Jesus shifts His teaching to readiness, using an analogy of a servant with his lamp lit, ready for his master's return (Lk. 12:35-40).

Jesus commands, "You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect" (Lk. 12:40).

Unlike the rich man who planned to waste his life on luxurious living, Jesus' disciples are ready every day to meet the Lord in judgment. And because we're ready, we're busy working in the Lord's kingdom.

More Required of People to Whom God Has Given More
Now Peter asks Jesus, "Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well" (Lk. 12:41)?

Jesus responds with an analogy of a slave. If the master finds the slave doing his will, he'll reward him, putting him in charge of all his possessions. But if not, the master "will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers" (Lk. 12:46).

Then Jesus concludes, "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more" (Lk. 12:47-48).

The Lord will Require More of Us
We are living in extraordinary times, when man is blessed by God more than at any other time in history.

So because we have been given more, and entrusted with more, the Lord will require more of us.

More Required Because of the Peace We Enjoy
As Christians, we are living at peace in the world, especially in the United States. This is a blessing from God, for which we should give thanks (1 Th. 4:11; 1 Tim. 2:2).

There isn't harsh, wide spread persecution like in the early centuries, or during the crusades. We are free to enjoy life, and worship without disturbance or persecution.

We're not encumbered with the distractions associated with persecution, fleeing from place to place, living in deplorable conditions, scratching out a minimalist living.

The peace we enjoy yields advantages other brethren didn't have -- more energy, more free-time, more opportunities.

The Lord requires more from us, because He's blessed us more.

More Required Because of our Material Wealth
Today, the average person living in a developed country enjoys a measure of material wealth unknown to previous generations.

And of the United States, it's often said that we're the richest, most powerful nation in the world, with even the poor living luxurious lifestyles by world standards.

God has blessed us with material wealth, and a recreational lifestyle brethren couldn't imagine, just a century ago.

The Lord requires more of us, because He's blessed us more, and entrusted us with more.

More Required Because of the Technology
We Enjoy We're also in an age of technological innovation, where the general public has fingertip information via the Internet.

This has resulted in two blessings for present-day brethren over past generations.

First, the common man has a wealth of information to use in Bible study and research, which a relatively few people previously possessed. This information is more easily, and more rapidly accessed than ever before.

Secondly, we can easily communicate with people all over the world, even with free video conferencing, edifying brethren and teaching the lost, rapidly and efficiently.

As a result, productivity of Christians should be much higher today, than in past generations.

The Lord requires more of us, because He's blessed us more, and entrusted us with more.

When we stand before the Lord in judgment, remember that more will be required of us.

We are free from the stresses many brethren endured, have more wealth than they imagined, and should be more productive because of technological innovation.

But sometimes I wonder if we're really good slaves, using the extraordinary blessings God has given us to do His work. Or, are we evil slaves, trying to get by with doing the bare minimum, while luxuriously living upon earth, in essence, stealing from God.

What do you think?