22Then 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. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider 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! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
THE BIG STORY ON CNN ON FRIDAY WAS THE RELEASE OF MARTHA STEWART FROM PRISON. THEY REPORTED THAT IN THE TIME SHE WAS IN JAIL, HER STOCK HAD GONE UP 135%, SHE WAS ONCE AGAIN A BILLIONAIRE. AT THE SAME TIME, THEY WERE REPORTING THAT FOR THE NEXT 5 MONTHS, SHE WOULD BE UNDER HOUSE ARREST, HAVE TO WEAR AN ANKLE BRACELET, TO MONITOR HER ACTIVITIES. SHE CAN BE AWAY FROM HER HOME FOR 48 HOURS A WEEK. HER BILLIONAIRE STATUS CANNOT BUY HER FREEDOM.
THE RICH FOOL SAID, EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY. GOD SAID, THOU FOOL. TODAY, YOUR SOUL WILL BE DEMANDED OF YOU.
AS WE OPEN OUR TEXT TODAY, IT IS CARRY OVER FROM WHERE WE WERE A WEEK AGO. NOTICE, JESUS SAYS TO THE DISCIPLES, THEREFORE. ANY TIME WE SEE THAT WORD, WE KNOW THAT IT IS THERE FOR A REASON, AND THE REASON IS TO CONNECT TWO THOUGHTS TOGETHER.
THE PARABLE IS STILL FRESH IN THEIR MINDS, AND JESUS IS GOING TO DRAW A CONTRAST FOR US. WE HAVE THIS PICTURE OF THE RICH FOOL, AND JESUS IS TELLING US, HOW FOOLISH THIS MAN REALLY WAS. AT THE SAME TIME HE TELLS US WHAT IS TRULY IMPORTANT.
THE RICH FOOL SAYS, EAT, AND JESUS SAYS TO US, DON’T WORRY ABOUT YOUR FOOD. THE RICH FOOL SAYS, BE MERRY. AND JESUS SAYS TO US, DON’T WORRY ABOUT DRESSING UP FOR THE PARTY.
OFTEN, WHEN WE READ THIS PASSAGE WE EMPHASIZE THE ASPECT OF DON’T WORRY. JESUS, SAID, DON’T WORRY, I AM GOING TO TELL YOU TODAY, DON’T WORRY, BUT THE HONEST TRUTH IS, EVERYONE OF US, SOMETIME IN THE NEXT LITTLE WHILE, WILL IN FACT, WORRY. NOT TO DOWN PLAY THIS, BUT, I BELIEVE THERE IS ANOTHER ASPECT OF THIS PASSAGE THAT WE OFTEN MISS. LETS SPEND SOME TIME LOOKING TOGETHER AT THIS.
THE WORLD HAS SET A STANDARD, IT IS A BASIC PHILOSOPHY, THAT GOES LIKE THIS, GET STUFF, BE HAPPY. HE WHO DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS WINS. JESUS IS GOING RIGHT IN THE FACE OF THIS.
HE ILLUSTRATES THIS FROM NATURE. DON’T WORRY ABOUT FOOD. WE HAVE A CAT, OR RATHER, I CORRECTLY SHOULD SAY, OUR CAT HAS US. SHE JUST SHOWED UP ONE DAY, AND TOOK OVER, WE ARE THERE TO MAKE HER HAPPY. BEFORE SHE MOVED IN, SHE WAS ON HER OWN, CAUGHT MICE AND BIRDS, WOULD GO OVER TO LUCKY’S AND STEAL SOME OF HIS FOOD. SALLY HAS NEVER WORKED A DAY IN HER LIFE, SHE DOESN’T GO TO W-M AND BUY FOOD, SHE IS TOTALLY DEPENDANT ON US FOR HER FOOD. AND JESUS SAYS, LOOK AT THE BIRDS, THEY DON’T STORE UP FOOD, BUT GOD PROVIDES FOR THEM. AND IF GOD DOES THIS FOR THEM, HOW MUCH MORE WILL HE DO FOR US. THE RICH FOOL SAID, I AM GOING TO STORE IT UP. I AM GOING TO EAT. AND JESUS SAYS, DON’T BE LIKE THE RICH FOOL.
THE RICH FOOL SAID, BE MERRY, GET DRESSED FOR THE PARTY, AND AGAIN, JESUS ILLUSTRATES, FROM NATURE. YOU CAN GO AND BUY THE BEST CLOTHES, BUT IN ALL YOUR BEAUTY YOU WILL NEVER COMPARE TO THE FLOWERS IN THE FIELDS. IF GOD DOES THAT, HOW MUCH MORE WILL HE DO FOR HIS CHILDREN.
LISTEN CLOSELY TO WHAT JESUS SAYS IN VS 30 &31. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. GOD KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED. JESUS IS NOT SAYING, YOU DON’T NEED FOOD OR CLOTHES. WHAT HE IS SAYING IS THIS; GET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT, FIGURE OUT WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT. LOVE GOD, AND LOVE OTHERS, SEEK HIS KINGDOM, AND WHEN YOU DO THAT, YOU WILL NOT ONLY FIND TRUE HAPPINESS, BUT YOU WILL GET THE OTHER STUFF AS WELL.
THE PAGAN RUNS AFTER THIS STUFF. HURRY, HURRY HERE AND THERE, TO GET STUFF. MY LEAST FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR, IS THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING. GET UP EARLY TO GO AFTER ALL THE GOOD SALES, LIMITED QUANTITIES, FIGHT THE LINES, FIND A PLACE TO PARK, IT JUST DRIVES ME NUTS. AND JESUS SAYS, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THE PAGAN, RUNNING AFTER STUFF, GOD KNOWS, AND HE WILL PROVIDE, AND THE BONUS IS, IF YOU SEEK HIM FIRST, HE GIVES YOU ALL THE STUFF ANY WAY.
DO NOT BE AFRAID, FOR THE FATHER HAS GIVEN US THE KINGDOM. BY THE WAY, WHEN JESUS SPEAKS OF THE KINGDOM, HE IS SPEAKING ABOUT THE CHURCH. THIS IS HOW IMPORTANT THE CHURCH IS. THE BIBLE CALLS THE CHURCH THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.
EPH 5; 25 just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. JESUS WILL RETURN TO GATHER UP HIS BRIDE, THE CHURCH. HE LOVED THE CHURCH SO MUCH, HE WAS WILLING TO DIE FOR HER. THIS IS THE VALUE THAT GOD PLACES ON IT. IF GOD PLACES THIS HIGH OF VALUE ON THE CHURCH, SHOULDN’T WE AS WELL?
BACK TO LUKE, JESUS SAYS, SELL YOUR POSSESSIONS AND GIVE TO THE POOR. AGAIN, THERE IS A CONTRAST, THE WORLD SAYS, GET STUFF, AND JESUS SAYS, GIVE IT AWAY.
ONE THING WE SHOULD NOTE ABOUT THIS. IN I COR 13, THE LOVE CHAPTER, IT SAYS, If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. SO, ALONG WITH OUR GIVING AWAY, WE MUST HAVE THE PROPER ATTITUDE. OUR MOTIVATION TO GIVE MUST BE BECAUSE WE GENUINELY LOVE. AGAIN, WE SEE GOD’S ECONOMY. PUT YOUR TREASURE IN HEAVEN. HOW DO YOU GET TREASURE IN HEAVEN? I TIM. 6;17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
THE WAY TO GET IS TO GIVE AWAY. ISN’T THIS JUST LIKE GOD, HE GAVE US HIS MOST PRECIOUS GIFT, JESUS. AND HE SAYS, HERE IT IS, YOU CAN HAVE IT. NO STRINGS ATTACHED. NO HIDDEN COSTS. NO INTEREST PAYMENTS. ABSOLUTELY FREE. AND WHEN WE TAKE THE GIFT, WE GET LIFE.
JESUS FINAL THOUGHTS ON THIS ARE; For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. IF YOU SHOW ME YOUR DAY PLANNER AND YOUR CHECK BOOK, I CAN TELL YOU WHAT THINGS ARE VALUABLE TO YOU. STOP AND THINK FOR A MOMENT, WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST TREASURE? WHEN YOU ANSWER THAT, YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR HEART IS, AS WELL. JESUS IS SAYING, MAKE SURE THAT YOUR GREATEST TREASURE IS STORED UP IN HEAVEN. ETERNAL THINGS. PUT YOUR HOPE IN GOD.