Do not worry… consider the lillies…


Luke 12:22 He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This is an incredibly challenging passage. It’s a continuation of the passage from yesterday in which Jesus cautioned against pursuing money over God. It’s apparent there were listeners worried about basic provision: food, clothing, and so on. Jesus said, “your Father knows that you need (these things)”. In other words, we can trust God to meet our basic needs. We don’t have to worry when we are children of God through Jesus Christ.

In fact in v.33 Jesus tells the people to sell what they have, give it to the poor, and choose to enter into total dependence on God for everything. “Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out”. If the only treasure we have is our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then we have a treasure which cannot be stolen or destroyed. It’s a treasure of the heart and spirit rather than a treasure of material things. And this treasure from God will go with us into everlasting life.

Again I’m challenged by the invitation to live in complete dependence on God. It’s contrary to everything I’ve been taught about saving/storing up resources for the future, for a rainy day, for the kids’ college, for emergencies, for retirement, and so on. What would it be like to live from day to day in complete dependence on the Lord for provision? To have a balance of $0 at the end of every day and trust the Lord for tomorrow?

There’s a part of me that wants to dismiss this teaching as hyperbole, which is a dimension of Jesus’ teachings in some cases. But I don’t think (in this case) it’s hyperbole. I think Jesus means exactly what he’s teaching here. So again this morning I’m wrestling with the implications of complete dependence on God. Every day.

Lord Jesus open my heart and spirit to receive your teaching. Amen.

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