Luke 12: 32-34 (NIV)
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 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. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Scripture tells us in John chapter 3, that God didn’t send his son Jesus on a mission of condemnation but on a search and rescue mission. He doesn’t want anyone to perish. He does know that some will though. Why?
In the Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13), Jesus tells the people the story of a farmer sowing seed. Some of the seed falls on the hard, dry beaten path, some on rocky soil, and some in good soil but is choked out by weeds. Are any of these soils unredeemable? No, they aren’t. Why are the other soils cast in a bad light then? The dry beaten path doesn’t understand and isn’t interested enough to even pay attention to the words of God. The rocky ground joyfully receives the message but they are shallow and not willing to invest in true growth. The soil that is choked out by weeds is good soil, but they allow other things to grow alongside and don’t have the resources to support God and the rest of the world.
There have been numerous sermons/devotionals on this passage of scripture. Writing another specifically from this passage was not my goal. My goal is to be the profitable servant mentioned further down in chapter 12 of Luke.
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 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. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. (NIV)
Verse 32 says: 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. First of all, I am a helpless little lamb but I shouldn’t be worried. Worry, fear, and anxiety are weeds and they choke out the good seed. NO WEEDS ALLOWED! Why shouldn’t a helpless little lamb worry? Because GOD is my FATHER and he’s given me the Kingdom. When I choose to join his family and become his child, I am an heir to his kingdom.
Verse 33: 33 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. When Jesus was left behind in Jerusalem at the age of twelve, his parents were understandably lost and confused. They questioned his motivation and he was equally as vexed with them. His answer was “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” To be fully invested, we should be doing our Father’s business. We should be giving to the poor, preaching the gospel, teaching, whatever area God has called us to do. Don’t be invested in earthly things, not money, possessions, fame, (taking it down a notch) – comfort, popularity, great cell phone plan, make just a little more, a newer model car, a vacation home or condo, not much, just enough to make me happy(ier).
Oh, ouch, stepping on some toes now, mostly mine.
The next part of that verse says to provide purses for yourselves that won’t wear out. What would I need that for? I need an eternal purse for my eternal treasure. We’ve seen of late that our houses, churches, favorite restaurants, or our businesses can come crumbling to the ground when struck by the financial ruin of a quarantine, the winds of a tornado, or the flames of a fire. These are not the things to be eternally invested in.
Verse 34: 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Whatever matters most to you is what you will be fully invested in. Are you invested in earthly things or heavenly things? Do you spend your time? money? resources? in things that matter only to the here and now or are they things for the next life? This life is temporary. The next one is what really counts. How many times are we just barely getting by?
I want to be a profitable servant. I want to be the one who knows his master’s voice and follows it. The scriptures tell us several times whatever God gives you, you are responsible for and you will be held accountable for what you do with it, how you use it and how you don’t.
No story would be complete without a football analogy. Does God need bench warmers? No, he needs players. He tells us to pray for workers to go out and harvest. On a football team, you have offensive players and defensive players. Not everyone is on the field at the same time. When the quarterback is planning to pass the ball, he doesn’t need the kicker on the field. Does that mean he doesn’t ever need the kicker? No, it means he needs the right person for the right job. Every player is important, even the backup players.
God needs me to do my job and I can’t just be rocky soil that does a happy dance every Sunday morning and then allow the grain to die Monday through Saturday. The bad ground doesn’t have to remain bad ground. What do you need to do to be fully invested in God’s kingdom? Weed out the worries? Till up the ground to make it soft? Listen/Read the Word and seek to understand it? Kick out the rocks of adversity? Sometimes the hardest prayer to pray is “Lord, make me willing to be made willing.” I may want something, but I don’t want to do the work to get it.
God has called me to do several jobs in my life. He has called me to be a wife (insert long devotional for another day here), a mother (another long devotional for a different day), a nurse, an educator, a church leader, a friend, and a writer. I’ve spent the last forty-four years (no, I am not 44, I was saved as a child) pulling weeds, softening the hard soil, and chunking rocks. The soil still isn’t perfect, but I’ve had some seeds take root and grow to maturity. I want the Master to return and find me following in his footsteps, knowing what he wants done, and what his goals are. I want to hear him one day say, “Well done, good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” (KJV).