Don’t Worry, Be Generous (Luke 12:22-34)

Then Jesus 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 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Luke 12:22-34)

Learn it:

            In the section before these Jesus taught a parable that warned against storing up wealth.  He now begins to address the topic more head-on.  He begins by telling his disciples not to worry about material things in their lives.  They should not worry about food, physical appearances, or what we will wear.  God will provide for us in every way that we need.  We should not worry ourselves to death making sure we have enough.  We must trust that God will get us through because all of that worrying will do nothing positive for us. 

            Jesus bases God’s goodness on nature.  He provides food for the ravens.  The lilies are considered beautiful and they are that way naturally.  Since God cares so much for animals and nature, how much more will he care for humans who are made in his image?  It should be the unbelievers who are pursuing material things because they do not know there is something much better waiting for us.  In response to trusting that God is going to provide for us, we should live a generous life.  Knowing that the things we have are from God and so we should us them how God wants us too.  That is to take care of the widows and the poor.  Knowing our true treasure is in heaven.

Live it:

            This is one of those passages that is nice to read but it difficult to live out.  It is in our nature to want to store up and make sure we have secure financially.  As a husband, and new father, I want to make sure my family will not go hungry and will have a place to live.  It can be hard to be generous when we do not have a large budget to live on.  Yet that is exactly what Jesus calls us to do.  He wants us to be generous with the things we have.  The only way we can be generous is if we truly believe that Jesus will provide for us.  This is an area that God has been working on me the most as an adult.  Being generous with my money.  Knowing that my true treasure is in heaven.  Nothing I by here will ever compare to being with Jesus in heaven.  How are you being generous?  Are you generous at work?  With your neighbors?  Are you tithing?  If you look at how you spend your money, where does it say your treasure is?   

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