Do you ever worry about being able to afford the basic necessities of life: food, clothing, and shelter? With inflation and prices rising faster than wages, that is becoming an ever-increasing concern for people worldwide. But this concern is not unique to today’s world. It was true for those that Jesus moved among as well. And Jesus’ words about worry in Luke 12:22-31 are just as appropriate for his followers today as when he first spoke them.
“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)
After telling me not to worry, Jesus tells me not to be afraid because the Father has given me the kingdom. I may experience want, or abundance, in this life. But this life and all it has is temporary and will pass away. The kingdom I have been given, though, is eternal. And in it, there will be no place for worry or want.
That all sounds good. Until Jesus continues and tells me to sell what I have and give the proceeds to the poor. Was he being serious there? I believe he was. There are a few things to keep in mind here. First, this is a call to faith. He said, don’t be afraid; sell and give. Trust in me to provide for you.
This is also an invitation to accumulate real wealth that will never be lost. When I invest my temporary worldly wealth in the kingdom’s work, including giving to the poor, I am investing in heavenly treasure. I have lost nothing when I share what I have with those in need. Instead, I gain much.
Allow God to use you to help other people. And then hear him say to you, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:34, 40).