Luke 12:22-32 (ESV)
“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. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 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! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
“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. 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!
“And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 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. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’”
Can you think of a time when you needed something – anything? Have you ever needed money or food? Have you ever needed friendship, or help with something, or advice?
I have. I grew up in a relatively poor family, and I remember my parents almost always being worried about finances and whether we’d have the money to pay all the bills for this week. I have needed money.
I have also needed friendship when, for several years, I didn’t have anyone that I could get close enough to for me to feel comfortable enough to talk about the things I was dealing with. Instead I hid all of it: the depression, the anxiety, the loneliness, the questions.
Some people I went to school with needed help understanding the content that we were learning in class, but they didn’t know who to go to. Growing up in a small church, several of the young people wanted Christian mentors who would set an example for them and give them advice, but they couldn’t find anyone.
What do you need?
In Luke 12:22-32, Jesus explains that God’s children don’t need to worry about any of their needs being met. He gave his listeners several reasons why.
Jesus began by using ravens as an example. Even the ravens, he said, who do not grow their own food or store it up for when they can’t find what they need, have all they need because God provides for them. And, we are much more valuable than the birds!
He also presents the lilies as an example. All they do is grow. They don’t work hard to make their own clothing, yet “even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” If God would clothe these, which are here today and gone tomorrow, he will definitely provide for you!
He tells his listeners not to run after our necessities, because He can take care of that. Instead, we need to run after Him.
It’s easier to tell someone not to be worry than it is to actually put it into practice, though, isn’t it?
But the last statement gives us the biggest reason for why we do not need focus on our necessities: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
We can have confidence that God will provide, not just because He is able, but because He enjoys it! God takes pleasure in giving us all that we need.
This week, don’t just look after your own needs. Find someone else who needs something, and meet his or her need.