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Luke 16:19-31 (NIV)
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
What does this story teach you about comfort and suffering?
I thank You, Lord, that I am very rich and comfortable compared to most of the rest of the world. Help me to not be blinded by my wealth or self-absorbed by the comforts that surround me. Open my eyes to the desperate needs of so many around the world, and even to those who could be right in front of me daily. Make me uncomfortable when I see the suffering of the hungry, homeless, sick, vulnerable and needy. Show me how I can use the blessings You have given me to share with those who are suffering. You suffered and died for my sins and was resurrected to give me the gift of salvation. There is nothing in this world that is worth more than that. Neither comfort or suffering in this world will last forever, but salvation through Your resurrection will last for eternity. Let my main focus not be on me and my comfort but to live in a strong relationship with You based on repentance, faith, and Your grace. Use me as an instrument to bring comfort to those who are suffering around me today. Amen