This is the Lent 2015 series. We’re reading through Luke, from Jesus conquering temptation in the desert to the Passion, His crucifixion and resurrection.
The Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21)
Yesterday we read about Jesus’ direction to the disciples, and to us, to guard ourselves against hypocrisy, to guard our words, priorities, emotions, and experiences, and to guard each other. Luke 12 continues with Jesus’ direction to the crowds:
- Guard yourselves against greed. Store up treasures in heaven, because nothing on earth will satisfy. Where you treasure is, there your heart will be also. Life is not about an abundance of possessions; true wealth is in your relationship with Jesus and your salvation.
Do Not Worry (Luke 12: 22-34)
These 3 words are total game changers. We should treat this as we do the 10 commandments, visualize it as the 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Worry. Easier said than done, I know…but look at what Jesus says about this:
- “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear” (Luke 22). So if we take life (health, death), food (provision), body (aches and pains, image), and clothes (presentation) off the table there is not too much left to worry about- I think those are the top “worry elements”. One of the lead stories on the news this morning was about the effects of stress, or worry, on our health including: losing sleep, shrinking (stress compresses your spine, impacts your posture), ringing ears, itchy skin, and upset stomach. Jesus tells us this in Luke 12 and He gives us the cure to all of that: stop worrying.
- “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 25) Worry zaps our resources, energy, and presence- we can’t be in the moment if we’re worried about the last moment or the next moment. The past is gone, it’s over, consider it flushed. The future is out there on the horizon, it may happen, it may not. What we have is this moment- the present. Worrying won’t change the past, or the future, but it can change the present in that it robs you of it.
- God knows our needs, “But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” (Luke 12:31) God will provide for our needs, and dress us in beauty and splendor like the wild flowers. Trust God to provide for your needs and recognize that everything comes from Him. Trust Him especially in your trials. Paul never carried the gloom of a cemetery around with him, but a chorus of victorious praise. The more difficult his trial, the more he trusted and rejoiced shouting from the very altar of sacrifice. He said “Even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you (Philippians 2:17), -From Days of Heaven upon Earth by A.B. Simpson
- “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) There is nothing to fear, the Kingdom and all that is in it is yours. You are saved. You are free. The gift of righteousness and the abundance of grace is yours.
- For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:34) I remember a pastor saying “If you want to know what you love you only need to look at the register of your checkbook.” Where are you spending your money? Where are you spending your time? For many people the answer to those questions may be “worry”. Worry can even become so powerful in our lives that it can actually become an idol. Jesus tells us to knock it off.
You are His treasure. Clothed with the beauty of wildflowers. Provided for, celebrated, and having no cause for worry. Dance, laugh, smile, rest. Claim your gift of righteousness and the abundance of grace! There will be trials, and especially in those trials, trust God. Do not worry.
They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life. (Romans 5:17).