“Do Not be Afraid, Little Flock”
“..your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom”

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 care.

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.

God Knows
"...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."

God Provides
"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 from anxiety.

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
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