Lk: 12:15: And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
(The economic condition, in America, is declining. Many people, Christians and non-Christians, are apprehensive about the future, some are already in financial trouble. Many Christian leaders are trying to help Christians handle the situation. I have heard them encourage the people to have faith that God will provide. I have heard them teaching people how to handle money, debts, and spending, but what seems to be missing is the mind of Christ on the subject. Here in Lk: 12, we can learn the rest of the instructions for Christians in financial jeopardy.
The first step is to be ever mindful that accumulating a full storehouse, a beautiful home, a horde of clothes, and all the latest technology is not what life is really all about. Itís easy to forget that in modern America, so I urge you to first of all to get your priorities straight. If you are a Christian you are to put on Jesus. This means you are to learn to see things through His eyes and deal with things the way He has instructed. So this is not a suggestion, this is not an option, this is the way it is to be done.)
16-21: And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18: And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19: And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20: But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21: So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
(I donít have anything further to say about these verses--they speak for themselves.)
22-24: And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23: The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24: Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
(Jesus teaches us the right focus and the right order of priorities. In these verses He tells us not to take thought--that is not to be overly concerned or even worried about what you are going to have to wear or what you are going to have to eat because Almighty God is your Father, if you have received Jesus and Jesus says you can count on Him to provide for you.
Yes, that is what I acknowledged many leaders are already reminding people of, but the main subject was not brought out to my satisfaction. They emphasized not worrying and urged the people to trust in the Lord, but listen to this teaching--it goes farther. Jesus says in order for this to work well the person must keep things in perspective, keep God on the throne, and keep possessions in their proper place.
What is their proper place? That things are nice to have, but not necessary to life or happiness. As for food and clothes--God fed the ravens, He clothed the grass, and He says you are worth much more to Him than either one of those--so be happy, God is still on the throne.)
25-31: And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26: If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27: Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28: If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29: And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30: For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31: But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
(Here, He gives more examples of Godís power and caring. Notice that Jesus teaches us that we can reason along these lines. Reason can be our enemy if it is faulty, but Jesus teaches us that we can look at nature and see how God cares and we can apply that reassurance to our own situation. He also teaches here, that God loves us with the same kind of father love as humans have only His goes farther, but we can know that love because it is an affectionate and benevolent love.
Jesus is teaching us here how to survive economics bad times. He has told us to have faith in God and now He gives us a promise that, if taken to heart, can give the believer all the strength they need to go through the hard times, but Jesusí emphasis is on priorities again. Seek the kingdom of God.
What should you do when you lose your job, or drain your bank account, or donít have the money for the mortgage? SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD! He says, if you seek His kingdom, you can be rest assured that God will look after your finances.
So it is not just--trust in the Lord. And it is not just good planning and management that will get us through financial tough times and keep us on the right tract--it is to make sure our first priority is always to seek the kingdom of God.)
32-34: Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33: Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35-40: Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36: And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 37: Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38: And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39: And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. 40: Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
(Look at that! What a feeling of joy Jesusí words invoke here--Itís Godís good pleasure to give us the kingdom. The kingdom!--that which we are to seek. How do you come into the kingdom? You seek it until you find it. Itís the kingdom where God rules and no other. If you are still saying--ĒI canít do this.Ē or Iím afraid of tomorrow.Ē or ďI know I should, but ÖĒ know and understand that you are not in that kingdom yet. When you can say, ďI know whom I have believed and I am assured that He is able ÖĒ Then you are not far from the kingdom of God.
Now in Godís kingdom, people handle things differently from the world. Instead of worrying about their financial shortage, they sell things so they can give to the really poor--for those in His kingdom have learned that it is far wiser to lay up their treasures in heaven. Up there, there is no inflation, no robbers, and no corroding influences.
Then He says all this works when you have your loins girt with the truth and you are letting Jesus shine in your life. THATíS WHAT HE WANTS YOU TO DO IN THESE FINACIAL HARD TIMES! He wants you to put on the full armor of God and be a light in this dark world, all the while watching for His return.
Thatís the plan! Instead of fussing about decreased income, you are to center up on being a light for this dark--getting darker- world and look up for your redeemer draweth nigh. That is--live as though He is coming this week.)