Luke 12:1-34

1 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9 but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

When a teenage high schooler doesn't know who he is, he searches, explores, and determines who he wants to be. He fears the threats (the opinions of the popular crowd), he determines who he wants to be (I will be accepted by them), and how to get there (I'll do whatever it takes to be in the middle). Then every moment of toil to maintain that status is like torture. It's deception (hypocrisy's root word means deception or playing a part) and its powerful.

We may not all be young teenage men and women anymore, but we know the feeling of feeling threatened. If we sit down and survey all the things we're fearful of... losing a child, losing a job, losing a parent, losing status, markets turning downward and losing retirement, losing valuation whether monetary or social or perceived... the common thread is possession. We possess and possess and accumulate and gather and hold on tight, and become fearful of that which is not ours to gain or lose.

Luke 12:30-31 says "For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you."

1 John 4:18 says "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear."

Do you believe and know that the God who commands life, death, heaven, and hell has great love for us? Do not fear those who kill the body (Luke 12:4)! Fear not, you are of more value than many sparrows (Luke 12:7)!

The perfect love of God our Heavenly Father drives out fear.

Posted by Robert Han on 12/22/2016

Comments

I think I am among many that wish they could tell our younger selves just how much it doesn't matter. The opinions of others don't matter when you look at the greater picture in life. I tried so hard to fit in with the popular crowd, and when I was rejected, I tried so hard to NOT be like the popular crowd. So much wasted energy in wanting to belong. Now, with decades of experience and wisdom that I've been blessed with, having a place in God's courts and having a place at His table means so much more to me and my worth than any approval from the popular crowd. Praise God that my eyes were opened to what truly matters. Praise God that our worth is not in our things, but in our salvation.

Diana Lim on 12/28/2016 at 8:57 AM