I was recently reading in Luke chapter 12 and I felt the Lord showing me a very convicting message. I first found the message when as I was reading I felt as though the words of Jesus were a bit confusing. I’ll show you what I mean.
I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.Luke 12:4-7 NASB
Now in one breath, He tells us that we are to be afraid of God, as He has the power to send us to hell. Yet in the same breath he says that we are of much value and that we should not be afraid. I never really understood what exactly Jesus was trying to say until recently. I always thought that when Jesus said this he was trying to get us to be afraid of God, to know that if we mess up we will go to hell. But I realized that Jesus was trying to make us powerful in this understanding, that we should only fear God. This is a super encouraging and powerful message. Not only do the oppresive powers of this earth have no real power over us, but that we are seen by God as highly valued. And because of this understanding we are called to be brave and in this bravery we prove both God and ourselves as powerful. In the parable of the rich man with many barns, He teaches us that our wealth is better spent in love and in giving to others rather than hording our wealth to ourselves.
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared? So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”Luke 12:20-21 NASB
This also ties back to the understanding in Ecclesiastes that all things lead to nothing, yet Jesus provided the answer to that problem. Jesus teaches us that we have the opportunity to store up for ourselves treasure in heaven, that will last forever.
Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Luke 12:33-34 NASB
But Christ also warns us to be focused on His kingdom and on being prepared for Him.
Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.Luke 12:37 NASB
We must focus and remember that we are storing up for ourselves treasure in heaven, and we should not become complacent in how we live our lives. We must be ready everyday, and we must remember the hope of our treasures and our inheritance as children of God. I hope that you will take time to read Luke Chapter 12 and be encouraged by the words of Jesus. May God bless you.