“Do Not be
Afraid, Little Flock”
“..your Father has chosen gladly to give you
By Jon W. Quinn
Life can get complicated! Problems
arise; some obstacles seem almost insurmountable. There's financial concerns,
health concerns, family concerns, job concerns, societal concerns and
educational concerns. Pity the poor fellow who is so buried in the rubbish of
the world that this is all his life amounts to; struggling against one concern
after the other; his greatest goal being to take care of the problem at hand
knowing that more are on the way tomorrow.
No wonder so many people are frustrated with their lives. In fact, many tend
to make heroes out of some of the most unheroic figures. More lament occurs at
the passing of a spoiled celebrity due to an overdose than a soldier defending
the rights and freedoms of others.
Jesus never lost an opportunity to let His light shine in a dark place. He
insisted that our lives need not to be filled with fear, cynicism and
uncertainty. There is a better way to live, but it takes a clear perspective,
courage and faith. The Sermon on the Mount is just about that (Luke 12:22-24).
The Value of Life
"For life is more than food, and the body than clothing." (Luke 12:23). What a
shame that so many have reduced their lives to the point of meaningless. To
deny the spiritual side of ourselves and to begin to measure life by material
things possessed. Life becomes absurd, and not worth very much, when its value
is reduced to measuring it by such a materialistic standard.
Jesus insisted that life is more than that. We do not live to eat and wear,
but eat and wear so that we may live. Food provides the body with energy;
clothing provides warmth and protection. A materialistic person may deck
themselves out in the most ornate jewelry and dress possible, but it’s all
quite empty apart from a higher reason for living.
See the Ravens!
"Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; and they have no
storeroom or barn; and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than
birds!" (Luke 12:24). Jesus contrasts the ravens with the man of his previous
parable who busied himself building more and larger barns. The rich man was so
materialistic that he only thought of himself in those terms. He did not think
of himself as man the creature, nor as man the worshiper, nor as man the
offspring of God.
As human beings, we bear the Creator's image. The blood of the Redeemer has
been shed for us. If God cares for the physical needs of the ravens, certainly
He cares for all of our needs.
Of course it is not wrong to build barns and storehouses. It is not wrong to
sow and reap. In fact, those are good things. That's not the point. The point
is that we need to recognize our role in God's creation, and have faith in His
See the Lilies!
"Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil or spin... if God so
arrays the grass of the field... how much more will He clothe you, O men of
little faith!" (Luke 12:27,28). God's natural processes provide beauty in the
appearance of the lilies which not even Solomon could match. You can't either.
There is a beauty which does not depend upon fancy clothing or gold or silver.
It has to do with character. Even as God's natural processes bestow beauty
upon the lilies, His spiritual process will bestow beauty upon the faithful.
But if all we are concerned about is the outward things, then we will miss
that wonderful design which God intends for our lives.
"...but your father knows that you need these things." (Luke 12:30). You, as
believers in God, do not need to continue to harass your hearts and minds with
the anxieties of the world. Those who have, with the Psalmist, learned to say,
"The Lord is my Shepherd" will also say, "I shall not want."
"But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you." (Luke
12:31). Let the eternal kingdom take first place in your life. Food and
clothing are important, but temporary needs. Those which put eternal things
first will discover that it does not demand that they do without the things
they need to live. Putting the kingdom first does not mean that we have do not
have time to think about what we eat or how we dress; only that we arrange our
priorities properly. A chief benefit we receive now for doing so is freedom
Wonderful Things for a Little Flock
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you
the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). Perhaps the flock is little, but the Shepherd is
brave, loving and wise. We do not need to feel overwhelmed by the immensity of
the world and its problems. We see the Shepherd’s rod and staff, and are
comforted. And we see Shepherd’s happy attitude toward us as He protects,
guides and provides; He gladly gives us the kingdom.
A Matter of Heart
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Luke 12:34).
Where is the treasure? Well, it’s according to your heart. There's an old
saying. "One man's treasure is another man's junk." I'm afraid that all of
this world's treasures will prove to be only worthless junk on the Day of the
Lord. It will fade, but not so the treasure of the kingdom.
The world has already proven itself unreliable and its promises empty. It has
nothing to offer that will mean anything on that day when we stand before our
God. What a tragedy to live a life of anxiety, only to end it unprepared for
the life to come. It does not have to be that way. Jesus has a better way.
From The Bradley Banner 6/1/2013
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway