Branson Bible Church
Sunday Service 04.25.2021
  • Revelation Song
  • 10,000 Reasons
      • Philippians 1:21–26ESV

  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness
  • Build My Life
  • Pray
    Our passage today is a continuation of last week. [Summary of previous message:]
    Having warned his listeners (and particularly his disciples) of the grave danger of religious hypocrisy, he warns them of another danger in vv. 13-21 of chapter 12:
    Rich & Foolish (Luke 12:13-21)
    Materialism is an obstacle to true discipleship.
    He illustrates for them with a parable…
    Foolish is the one who sets his heart on laying up treasure on earth.
    Instead, the focus of their hearts ought to be on… (being rich toward God)
    Instead, be rich toward God.
    And so we are still in this section where Jesus is teaching what interaction with possessions reveals about our hearts. - Addressing his disciples directly, Jesus turns from the danger of greed (of materialism), to another problem for his followers to avoid: stressing over provision (being anxious about basic needs, daily needs).
    Luke 12:22–34 ESV
    And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
    The danger of focusing on possessions (placing one’s trust in them) - can make us greedy, or make us anxious
    Instead, Jesus desires to comfort his people with God’s gracious care and call them to focus on greater, more lasting concerns.
    What interaction with possessions reveals about our hearts. - Which kingdom is the focus of your heart and life? The focus of my heart concerning possessions and what I do with my possessions reveals which kingdom I’m prioritizing, where I’m storing up treasure.
    It’s not having the possessions that’s a problem; it’s how our heart handles them.
    How Should Christ’s People Handle Concern For Daily Provision?

    Do Not Be Anxious (vv. 22-28)

    (Important to our understanding…) Just like you don’t have to be rich to be greedy, you don’t have to be poor to be anxious over money and possessions, you don’t need to expend unnecessary mind and heart energy on worry about provision for your needs.
    While we often make this a priority, a primary concern, Jesus emphasizes the relative unimportance of possessions. v. 22
    The first of three points Jesus makes about not being anxious is…
    Life is more than worrying about daily provision. There is more to this life than material concerns.
    He drives these home with a series of pictures, a sequence of illustrations from nature for comparison.
    Ravens are scavengers. They certainly do not participate in agricultural endeavors, yet God in his wisdom and care has made (and makes) provision for their food. And if God cares for these creatures, this is the second emphasis from Jesus:
    How much more valuable are you than birds? Will God not care for his children? God places higher value on his children, and yet look how he cares for the plants and animals.
    Jesus immediately turns to a third point:
    Why be anxious over what you cannot control? - You can’t even add single hour to your life (or add a single cubit to your height), so why worry about lesser things?
    What good does it do? Don’t waste energy on anxiety. - Consider the lilies (most likely a broad reference to flowers of the field). They don’t have the capacity or skill to work and spin clothing for themselves, and yet not even the matchless King Solomon (with all the expensive and exotic materials, and skilled clothing makers) could match the amazing way that God clothes flowers. - God has your provision under control. Don’t waste inordinate amounts of energy and time and money on your wardrobe (how you dress, how you look).
    On balance with scripture about not being lazy, but being good workers who earn their wages, and on balance with even Christ’s own instruction that we be good stewards, good managers of what God provides, then the issue here must not be that we be reckless and foolish, but that our hearts are prone to put WAY too much into this: obsessing over provision of our needs now and in the future, pampering ourselves and plotting whether or not our garb looks good to others. - The purpose of clothing should be modest covering that is appropriate for the occasion. (Am I not seeing something accurately from a biblical stance? Am I over-simplifying? I don’t know, Jesus seems to make it even more simple than that! Put some clothes on, care just enough to give the impression that you are a responsible human being, and move on to more important things!)
    These are transient things, like the very same grass of the field that one day is flowering splendidly and then the next could be dry and will be cut down to be used as fuel for a fire. - There are more lasting concerns to invest your energy in—the ultimate good that God desires for the eternal souls of men.
    Before moving on, I want to make sure you give thought to extending the application of our anxiety: We are anxious in many ways over that which we aim to control. But here’s the simple reality: I have almost nothing actually within my control. - Two key examples in our current context: anxiety over heath and anxiety over current events. ***
    Where Jesus is going with all of this is that we need not be anxious because God is trustworthy.

    Trust God & Seek His Kingdom (vv. 29-32)

    God has all things within his control. And he is generous. - You don’t have to be anxious because God is sovereignly generous. God can be trusted to provide for your daily needs... (and I’ll add) And God is trustworthy to sustain you in suffering.
    Did you notice at the end of v. 28 what our anxiety reveals about our hearts: “O you of little faith.”
    Worry reveals a deficient faith. Anxiety over stuff betrays a lack of gratitude and contentment.
    When my kids worry about what they have a don’t have, they seem to have forgotten the obvious: they are amply supplied by caring parents with what they need on a daily basis.
    Again: Worry reveals a deficient faith. Anxiety over stuff betrays a lack of gratitude and contentment.
    2 Corinthians 9:15 ESV
    Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
    We ought to be thankful and content because in Christ God has given us the greatest gift.
    Do not be like the rest of the world, which seeks after these things—more and more possession, more and more comfort… what they perceive as greater and greater security. Instead, seek after that which will last. Seek His Kingdom, and he’ll take care of your provision.
    Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom! - You don’t need to worry or fear, you don’t need to be anxious because, if you are his child through faith in Christ, then he has already given you something far greater than anything pertaining to an earthly kingdom. He has given you an eternal inheritance.
    What does it mean then to seek his kingdom? - It means aim to honor God with everything he provides! ***
    Also, be generous, because it reveals who you are… whose you are.

    Be Generous (vv. 33-34)

    … like God is toward you. Through faith in Christ, God has graciously made you his child and given you an eternal inheritance.
    So invest in that eternal kingdom. Be generous with what God provides you. Help those in need. - Your generosity may in fact be God’s means of providing another’s daily needs! Can God do it without you? Sure! But God loves to bless his people by allowing us to be a part of his rich grace to others.
    Observing the church at work - Example of vehicles being given to those with greater need. Truck: re-gifted three times within two years.
    By contrast, I have discovered in my heart that I can be stingy sometimes. Not in a way that almost anyone would notice. But I know it’s true in my own heart, and I have to seek God’s forgiveness.
    What a great benefit it is to Christ’s church and to advancing the gospel, when we are generous. And cheerful giving makes us all more unified, more grateful and content, more invested in kingdom purposes.
    How do I know? It’s the treasure principle: Where you’re investing money and time and energy, that’s where you heart is. Remember though, we don’t do it to be recognized, bc then the recognition is the reward. We do it to honor God, to invest where it counts, in God’s eternal purposes.
    What a waste of time and energy to store up stuff for ourselves here! - Once more of course we don’t mean to be irresponsible and unwise. If you have the means to store up for possible retirement to provide a basic cost of living, you should do it. But why save and save to live high on the hog while others go hungry? What is its value? What will last?
    Full circle: The way to not be anxious over money and possessions is to trust God... and be generous. The same can be said for greed: the antidote to greed is to seek God’s kingdom first... and be generous.
    Conclusion:
    How Should Christ’s People Handle Concern For Daily Provision? What should we do instead of being anxious over many things which we cannot control?
    Because God is trustworthy
    And has been generous toward you,
    Do not be anxious.
    Instead, seek His Kingdom
    And be generous.
    ***
      • Luke 12:22–34ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 9:15ESV

  • Build My Life

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