Remember that Chapter 12 of Luke is where Jesus teaches us how to Live for Jesus, teaching us to:
Remember the quotation from Mother Theresa who stated that the more we have the more we want and the more dissatisfied we are. We looked at several verses in the Bible where we are warned about the dangers of wealth and the pursuit of wealth. Jesus called the man in the parable a fool. He was a fool for forgetting God, for living for this life and not eternity. So we see the problem, but what is the solution?
This morning, Jesus tells us How to Manage this Human Nature.
Paul gave Timothy some instruction to pass along to the early Christians, instructions that are just as important to us today.
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. 1 Timothy 6:17-19I have three recommendations to avoid the foolishness that we are prone to fall into.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17Over and over again, God tells us to “give thanks”
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
...always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father. Ephesians 5:20
Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share 1 Timothy 6:18
Another thing we learn in this Luke passage is:
Don’t Be Anxious:
And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not 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.” Luke 12:22-34This passage still tracks on the subject of “riches” because what we worry about shows what is really important to us. A greedy person worries about money and possessions. A godly person is concerned (worries) about God and what matters to Him. How many of you here today would say that you are worriers? Instead of our worries, God wants our hearts to be filled with His peace. Can you imagine going days, weeks even months with out worrying? It sounds strange to us. In American, worrying has become the norm.
The Complete Life Encyclopedia says “Doctors call it anxiety. To [others], the every-day term, ‘worry’, is a good approximation of what anxiety means. At the Minirth Meier New Life Clinics, we treat more cases of anxiety than any other type of mental disorder. In fact, we deal with various forms of anxiety every day.”According to this passage, what are some reasons why we shouldn’t worry?
And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, ... and do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.” Luke 12:22,29At least twice in this passage Jesus specifically commands us not to worry. Have you ever asked God to forgive you for your sin of worry? We don’t think of worry as sin, as disobedience. In fact, sometimes we even represent worry as a virtue, as evidence of a genuine concern for someone or some issue.
Charles Wesley, the famous Methodist hymn writer from the 1700’s, is reported to have said that it would be just as inconsistent for him to worry as it would be to take the Lord’s name in vain. What he had in mind, no doubt, was the fact that both are sinful.
What are some different reasons Jesus gives why we should not worry?
And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? Luke 12:25Jesus points out that worry doesn’t accomplish anything positive. In fact, worry accomplishes very little at all!
But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! Luke 12:28You men of little faith! That’s a pretty stinging indictment Why do we worry? Because we have so little faith. In fact, worry is an indicator that I’m not really trusting the Lord with some issue in my life. It’s flashing red warning light that should tell me that I need to turn this matter over to Him.
As I like to say, it is evidence that in my heart and mind I have a little bitty God, not the actual great big God.
Jesus points us to the root issue of worry it’s not the greatness of our problems but the smallness of our faith! Worry says a lot about where we are spiritually. It is a measure of our faith, how much we are able to trust in and rely on the Lord. This makes the matter of worry much more serious. We tend to see worry as a “minor” sin, if we see it as sin at all. But if worry indicates a lack of faith (and Jesus says it does), then worry is a warning sign of a very significant issue. That is not a minor problem.
For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Luke 12:30,31,
God knows our needs better than we do. And He certainly knows better than we do how best to meet our needs. These things will be added to you. This is just one of many places where God promises to meet our needs if we will just trust and obey Him. Here are some other promises:
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Where is your treasure?
In verse 34 Jesus nails us: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In Matthew 6, Jesus puts it this way:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21Invest in what really lasts:
Treasures in heaven can’t be lost to moth or rust or thieves. Jesus is telling us that we need to invest in what will last for eternity. When it comes to eternal investments, someone has said that “you can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead!”
That is what John said in First John 2:
The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17
I think the other implication of the phrase “treasure in heaven” is that we need to invest in what really matters.
It’s not always easy for us to identify the things that really matter. In fact, you’re probably surrounded by people
that treat their possessions like treasure and yet treat people like trash. We get mixed up when it comes to the
true value of things.
Where are you investing your time, your money, your energy?
Are you more like the rich fool of Jesus' parable or more like Jesus Himself?
What are some specific ways I can store up treasure in heaven?
Next week we will continue in Luke 12 where Jesus is teaching us to Be Ready For Jesus.
Read through Luke 12 again.