In these increasingly tumultuous times, we need to remember a lesson that Jesus taught in Luke 12:22-40 about not worrying. I think his words apply to every time and situation, but especially to the Last Days. If you’ve found yourself spending a lot of time and effort trying to prepare for any of the troubles that look like they are hanging out there on the horizon, then I hope you will find some wisdom and comfort here for these days to help steady you.
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. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 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! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”Luke 12:22-26 (NIV)
In this first part of the passage, we read very clearly that not only are we not to worry about food and clothing, we should not even worry about our very lives! Jesus tells us quite clearly, we cannot add even a single hour to our lives. But do we believe that? Do we live like that and make decisions that demonstrate that faith? Or do we take worldly advice and make decisions based on it like the rest of the world…?
“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. 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! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 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.”Luke 12:27-31 (NIV)
In the next part of the passage, we also find Jesus assuring us that it is not through our own efforts that we will get the things that we need, but instead, if we will trust and serve him, then God will provide them. This then begs two questions: Are we living a life of worry? Are we currently putting our main efforts where they should be? Our labors should be directed towards serving God and his kingdom, but they can easily shift to simply trying to provide for ourselves and/or prevent any possibility of disaster from harming us. When we worry like that, we are wasting energy and resources that God could put to better use.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Luke 12:32-34 (NIV)
When times get hard, it is only natural to begin hoarding resources for ourselves and our families. But is that what Jesus is instructing us to do? No, instead he is calling for us to continue to be generous, even in the face of fear. And he promises that he will reward us for it. Also, what makes you think you’re going to be able to hold on to and protect your things in the face of the lawlessness and destruction of the Last Days, anyway?
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”Luke 12:35-40 (NIV)
Let us face these days of turmoil and uncertainty with confidence and courage. Let us trust the Lord with our possessions and remain generous with those less fortunate. Let us be watchful and ready for our Lord’s return so that we will not be caught unaware and unprepared. Let us not worry. Maranatha!