Grace For The Journey
In Luke chapter 12, beginning in verse 22, Jesus warns us against worrying about the necessities of life. He says, “Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on.” In order to curb our worries about these day-to-day essentials, like food and clothing, the Lord points us to the ravens and the lilies. In verse 24, He says, “Consider the ravens…” Then in verse 27, He says, “Consider the lilies…” Through this simple yet powerful lesson, the Lord Jesus shows us what the birds and blossoms have to do with our cupboards and closets.
As we study this passage, there are three things our Lord gives us. First of all, notice with me:
1) THE PRINCIPLE OUR LORD GIVES US.
Verse 22 says, “And He said unto His disciples, ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on.’”
In verse 22, the Lord mentions two of the most simple and basic needs of human life.
While the Lord addresses the simple needs of food and clothes, the point of this text is something much more significant than dinner and dress. The Lord is dealing with issue of worry.
The primary principle behind this passage is that . . .
We should not worry about the
Necessities and requirements of life.
Notice a couple of things about this principle our Lord gives us. First, He says to us:
Don’t Be Disturbed About The Supply Of Life’s Needs.
The word “thought” is an interesting choice that the Lord uses.
It speaks of being divided or distracted.
Jesus is not saying that
We should never think about
Necessities like food and clothes.
What He is saying is that
These sorts of needs should not
Worry us to the point of distracting us
Or dividing or tearing us apart.
Most of us know the feeling of staring at a stack of bills and not having a stack of money to match it. Most of us can relate to the strain that can often come, even from life’s most basic demands. In those moments, when our supply doesn’t meet the demand, the Lord says that we should not let that deficit tear us apart. We should not be disturbed about the question of how our needs are going to be supplied.
Notice something else we draw from this principle our Lord gives us in this text. He not only tells us, don’t be disturbed about the supply of life’s needs, but also . . .
Don’t Be Deceived About The Significance Of Life’s Needs.
Verse 23 says, “The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.” In other words . . .
A man’s life is not defined
By what he eats
And what he wears.
You cannot judge
The character and quality
Of a man’s life by looking
In his cupboard and his closet.
Even though we live in a materialistic society, where wealth and success are often glorified, surely you understand the point Jesus is making. Just because a man eats in the finest restaurants, and wears the most expensive, designer clothes, that does not mean that his life is good, or that his life is more valuable than that of the man who eats Hamburger Helper, and wears clothes from Wal-Mart.
The principle our lord sets forth in this text is absolutely correct, because . . .
It is possible for a man
To have a full stomach,
Still have an empty heart.
You can put a thousand dollar suit on a dead man, and he will still be dead.
Notice not only the principle our Lord gives us, but notice also secondly:
2) THE PICTURE OUR LORD GIVES US.
As Jesus walked the ancient roads of Palestine . . .
He saw more than mountains and
Meadows, creeks and creatures.
He saw in nature object
Lessons about His Father.
To Him, all creation
Pointed to the Creator.
In our text, twice our Lord points us to spiritual pictures that are to be found in the most common points of nature. In verse 24, Jesus said, “Consider the ravens…” Then in verse 27, He said, “Consider the lilies…” The word “consider” literally means “to contemplate something, or to study and observe something in order to learn from it.”
Jesus uses the picture of birds and blossoms
In order teach us a lesson about God’s care.
Notice a couple of truths we draw from these pictures. Notice first of all . . .
God’s Care For The Birds.
In verse 24 Jesus says, “Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are you better than the fowls?” The Lord says, “Observe the birds. They don’t plant crops. They don’t harvest wheat or corn. They don’t have granaries and silos full of food, and yet your heavenly Father sees to it that they find the sustenance they need to live.” You will never hear a bird sing about is a grocery bill. Birds never chirp about where they are going to find worms and insects.
The Lord points us to God’s care for the birds
In order to encourage us about His care for us.
If He is big enough to feed all the birds,
Then He is certainly able
To supply our most basic needs.
Notice not only that the Lord gives us a picture of God’s care for the birds, but notice also further, He points us to:
God’s Care For The Blossoms.
Verse 27 states, “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.” No doubt, as the Lord taught His disciples that day, He pointed down to some of the many wildflowers that grew throughout that region.
There were several different types of lilies that grew throughout the year in Palestine, and they varied in color from white, to gold, to red. Someone has described them as being “indescribably lovely.” Jesus pointed to these flowers and said, “Look at these plants, wearing these beautiful, colorful petals. They didn’t spin and sew these garments. They didn’t work to create their own clothes. Yet, your heavenly Father has outfitted them with robes more glorious than King Solomon’s finest royal attire.”
The point the Lord was making was
That if God takes the initiative to clothe
The flowers of the field,
Why should you and I worry about
Having something to put on our bodies.
Notice a final thing our Lord gives us in this text. Notice not only the principle our Lord gives us, and the picture our Lord gives us, but notice also thirdly:
3) THE PROMISE OUR LORD GIVES US.
In this text, our Lord asks two rhetorical questions that point us to the promise that comes with our relationship to God. In verse 24 He asks, “Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are you better than the fowls?” In verse 28 He asks, “If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?”
When a person receives Christ, and is saved by grace, they are adopted into the family of God. The God of Heaven becomes their Father, and with that relationship, there comes certain promises.
The Lord Jesus reminds us of a couple of truths regarding God’s promise to us. Notice first of all that . . .
We Are Important To Our Father.
After Jesus described how God feeds the birds, He asked this question, “…how much more are you better than the fowls?” The implication is that while God does care about the birds, and so much so that He sees to it that they are fed, His care for us is even greater than that of the birds.
We often talk about the importance of God in our lives.
Have you ever considered your importance to God?
Have you ever thought about how much you mean to Him?
Do you want to know how important you are to your Father?
Look at the cross! There God’s surpassing love for man
Was demonstrated as He gave up His own Son.
In this passage, the Lord reminds us of God’s love for us, and promises us that we are important to Him. Notice also, the Lord promises us that . . .
We Are Insured By Our Father.
Verse 28 says, “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?
Look again at verse 28, and notice the truth our Lord lays out. He says, “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?”
The point is that . . .
If God will care for the flowers,
Then surely, as our Father,
He will care for us as well.
We are insured by the fact
That we belong to the Father.
Why should you worry about necessities of this life? Why should be anxious over the things you must have in order to make it? If you belong to God, then your Heavenly Father has promised to take care of you. You are guaranteed and insured by your relationship to God.
Jennifer Katherine Gates is a twelve year-old girl currently living in Medina, Washington. Jennifer is not your typical little girl, however, because her dad happens to be Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and a man who was estimated at one time to be worth over $100 billion. Can you ever imagine young Jennifer worrying over her lunch money, or how she would get a new dress?
Do you realize that it is just as ridiculous for a Christian to worry about the necessities of life? Our heavenly Father is richer than Bill Gates could ever imagine. The Lord reminds us that our relationship to God insures that we will never be without the things we need. Our Father will care for us!
The issue the Lord is tackling in this text is the sin of worry. Someone once said . . .
“Worry is not a trivial sin,
Because it strikes a blow at both
God’s love and at God’s integrity.
Worry declares our heavenly Father
To be untrustworthy in
His Word and His promises.”
The Lord points us to the birds and blossoms in order to comfort us about our cupboards and closets. We can trust in the provision of a good God. Those that know Christ, and have been born again into the family of God need not worry about life’s demands. The Father knows you have need of these things, and He promises to provide.
This is God’s Word …
This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”