What is the relationship between your priorities and God’s provision? What shapes your priorities and how much are you focused on providing for you? What do you treasure most?
13 Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” 15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” 16 Then he told them a story:
- …”I will honor you if you help me get more stuff.”
- Jesus says; “Don’t look to me to justify your greed / coveting.”
- Christ’s Kingdom is not in any way concerned about earthly possessions
- Message to the crowd: ‘This life is not about what you have’
“A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
- Who made the farm produce such fine crops? Who made the soil fertile?
- His response to abundance is self focused (control)
- I can’t use everything I have, I will make room to have even more…
- He keeps talking to himself… calls himself: ‘My Friend’… self-satisfied
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 21“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
- He stored up stuff based on a life he had no control over (God demonstrates)
- He wanted to have the stuff for himself ONLY…
- God defines foolishness as preoccupation with ‘earthly wealth’
- The opposite of that is a rich relationship with God (through Jesus Christ)
That part is directed at the crowd, the rest of this passage is for ‘Christ’s Disciples’. Christ’s Disciples defined by Scripture: By God’s grace they have surrendered their life to Christ’s Lordship and are indwelled with God’s Holy Spirit
22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing.
- Those who declare themselves to be Christ’s disciples are to live by this lesson
- Our discipleship is about learning to live a life that is not focused on STUFF
- Our lives, Christ given redeemed lives, are to be focused on ‘Rich Relationship’
- Disciples are not focused on playing the worlds stuff accumulation game!
- Even basic necessities are not to a focus of worry
- ‘Do your best, trust God for the rest’
24Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?
- The example is to show God’s intimate care in the smallest of creatures
- We are the apex of God’s creation! We bear HIS Image!
- Don’t forget He is talking to His chosen Disciples: Rich Relationship=Max Value
- The basis for that relationship is understanding God is ultimately in control
- We have illusions of control about small things, but it has to be all or nothing
- Biblical Theology: God consistently declares He is in control of EVERYTHING!
- If God is in control of anything than HE is in control of everything!
27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
- Examples from creation (God’s character is consistent throughout creation)
- Jesus is trying to explain how much God will care for you if surrender your life
- The repetition is driving home the point that God is fully invested in YOU
- He has chosen you to be His disciple, trust that God is invested in your care
29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. 32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
- Christ’s disciples will not have an ‘overriding concern’ with life’s basic needs
- Don’t let such things bother you, God knows what you need to survive
- Concern for survival dominates the lives of those apart from God
- As Christ’s disciples we are to make His Kingdom our ‘Overriding Concern’
- As we work at doing that (discipleship) God will gives us everything we need
- We should enjoy our salvation as much as God does! Fear smothers joy
- If Christ has given you eternity with Him you can be free from fear!
33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
- Disconnect yourself from unnecessary stuff
- Do you own stuff or does stuff own you?
- Valuing people and relationships above things (things serve needs of people)
- Being an agent of God’s blessings rather than a storehouse of them
- By distributing God’s goodness we accumulate what has eternal value
- If you have stuff, you have to worry about it.
- If God is your treasure, no worries!
- What you invest your time, emotion and skill in is what you truly value
Following Jesus is not about justifying your focus on stuff.
Blessings & resources are to be shared not hoarded.
A focus on accumulating earthly things is in opposition to relationship with God!
Storing up things is an expression of not trusting God to provide.
Christ will take care of His disciples who prioritize His Kingdom work.
Jesus’ disciples have nothing to fear when we put His Kingdom first.
As Christ’s disciples our focus is to be storing up what is of ‘Eternal Value’.
Your true spiritual allegiance is proven by what you use your life to store up.
Jesus says beware ‘every’ kind of greed; what kind of greed are you susceptible to?
What are a few ways you can shift your focus from earthly things to Kingdom things?
What are some ways you can tangibly express trust for God to provide in new ways?
How does worry & preoccupation with stuff hamper your relationship with God?