Scripture

Luke 12:22-34

Do Not Worry

22 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 For 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 your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers 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—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 never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Reflection

Do you believe God “has been pleased to give you the kingdom?” Or do you often think God is just waiting for you to slip up, waiting to catch you in an unGodly behavior? Do you imagine an angry, authoritarian God or a loving, compassionate God?  

Jesus went to great lengths to demonstrate to you that God is a God of love, grace, mercy, compassion. Jesus showed compassion, concern and care for everyone he encountered, even those who were considered the worst sinners. He died on the cross, not because he had to, but because he wanted to demonstrate God’s great love for you. 

Luke 12:32 is a verse about the nature of God. It’s about God’s heart. It’s a verse about what makes God glad, what God delights to do, and what God takes pleasure in doing. “For your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” 

It pleased God, God chose it gladly. In other words, God did not act in this generous way in order to cloak and hide some malicious or judgmental motive. God is not saying, “I will be generous for a while even though I don’t want to be, because what I really want to do is bring judgment on sinners.” God acts in complete freedom, not under constraint. It gives God joy to give us the kingdom, and access to all that is in it. And do you notice this is past tense? God already gave us the kingdom. 

So what does that mean? What does it look like to have access to God’s kingdom? That is a question worth considering. We already have the kingdom at our fingertips. Are we living into that way of life? Are we living as if life is more than food, clothes and everyday necessities? Are we thinking bigger and greater than those daily needs, or are we stuck in worldly desires? Luke tells us to “seek the kingdom.” What does that look like?

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for loving me so. Thank you for giving me the kingdom, allowing me to play a part in your great love and grace. Remind me that life is about more than the daily necessities, and show me what it looks like to see your kingdom. Give me courage to follow you each day. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.