The Book of Luke, Take No Thought - Lesson 162
Luke 12:22-23, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
As we concluded our lesson last week we were about to consider two things in nature that the Lord Jesus Christ asked his disciples to think about.
He introduced these two things as supporting arguments for his command to take no thought for their life, what they should eat; neither for the body, what they shall put on.
This phrase ďtake no thoughtĒ means to not be anxious or to not worry about these things for God desires his children to know, once and for all, that he is responsible for these things.
In Godís economy there is no allowance for Godís children to be anxious or to worry because Godís word to his children is that He will take care of them, period, case closed.
As we read I Pet. 5:7, last week from the Amplified Bible: Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
Jesus Christ expects his disciples to take this command and obey it without having to be convinced over and over again.
Take no thought means just that.
From now on, be not concerned about these things for I will take care of you.
God takes the role of father in its fullest sense and will see perfectly to their needs and he takes anxiousness and worry on the part of His children as a personal affront.
Anxiousness and worry exercised by those who are to trust God is a slap in Godís face for it tells Him that his word is not believed.
So to support this command Jesus Christ brings to mind two things from nature and asks his disciples to put their thoughts on these.
It is OK to use your mind to ponder the ways of God but not to use your mind to doubt Godís word.
Do not use your mind in worry and anxiousness but use your mind to see how God works in his creation.
Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
Luke 12:27, 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.
Anxiety about food and clothing is foolish when we consider Godís wonderful provision for his creatures as we are told to observe in nature.
The foolishness of worrying about food and clothing is played out by our Lord by pointing to two illustrations from nature ó the raven and the lily.
These two are witness to Godís faithful provision of food and clothing for His creatures.
The raven example shows Godís provision of food, and the lilies of the field show Godís provision of clothing.
Both do not appear to be so worthy of Godís care and yet He cares for them as he cares for all of His creatures.
He points them out as a contrast to you and to me for he says if I care for the raven canít you expect me to care for you for you are better than the fowls?
Even though the raven is not thought of as a clean bird and was looked down upon by the Jews the raven is provided for by God.
The raven does not even work for his food.
The raven, compared to the ďrich foolĒ does not plant, harvest, or store his food for his future needs, and yet God provides for its daily needs.
Likewise the lilies of the field.
Two things would seem to put them at a disadvantage.
The lilies of the field to not toil, and they do not even ďspinĒ to create the materials of which they are so composed so God is the one that clothes them.
Also, the lilies of the field are with us for just a very short time.
One day they bloom with magnificent beauty, and yet the next day they are cast into the fire as fuel, good only for burning.
Yet the ďclothesĒ of the lily put the man-made garments of Solomon to shame.
God here is telling us of his extravagance even in little things.
Have you ever wondered what the message from God is when he gives us such beauty in the flowers for such a short time.
Just witness the beautiful sunsets that God provides but better be quick about it for they come fast and they leave fast.
The message of Godís beauty is that he has an unending supply of beauty to pass on to us.
God has unending beauty and can shower beauty on flowers and they last but a day but he has an endless supply of beauty in which to cloth his flowers and the firmament.
That is the message of the lily.
If he can so clothe the lily with such magnificent beauty and be so extravagant as to allow it to stay but a day can he not provide for you?
If such unimportant and insignificant things as ravens and lilies receive such generous provisions from God, will not Godís children fare much better?
Of course they will, which should force us to receive our Lordís argument and let his mind in us.
These two illustrations of ravens and lilies are separated by two verses, which gives us another reason why worry about food and clothing is foolish.
Luke 12:25,26, And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
Briefly stated: Anxiety is foolish because it is fruitless and futile.
Worry, Jesus reminds us, is lazy, it does not produce benefit, there is no product provided, worry simply does not work.
Worry does not make me taller, does not make me shorter, does not make me thinner, nor fatter, nor does worry extend my physical life but in fact worry may shorten it.
Worry never put a single meal upon the table.
Worry has not produced a stitch of clothing.
Worry simply hinders anything of which it is concerned.
Another reason that worry is foolish is one on which we have already touched.
It is that anxiety about food and clothing is foolish because it is a lack of faith in God and His promises for His disciples.
Worry disregards Godís care of His creation and disbelieves His love and care, as expressed by His promises.
God speaks to us daily of how he will care for us if we let him.
In verse 28, Jesus sums up His argument.
Luke 12:28, 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?
Every time we see a bird eating, every time we see a lily bloom we are reminded of Godís provision if we have ears to hear and eyes to see.
Worry then is really fear, and its ultimate cause is a lack of faith in God, in Godís goodness, in Godís power, and in Godís promises to provide for all our needs, beginning with the most important need, that of life itself, which is only found in Christ.
The problem with material things is just that, they are material.
They can be seen. Faith is not rooted in what is seen, but in what is not seen.
The things which are eternal are not seen, but the things which are temporal are seen.
When we seek after material things, like food and clothing, we seek after that which we can see, and therefore the natural man lives according to sight, rather than faith.
2 Corinthians 4:18, While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Here again is a prompt in how we are to think biblically.
We are to look upon the things which are not seen.
We are to root ourselves in the Word of God, which is both certain and eternal, not in those things which we see, which soon will find their way into the trash heap of material things for they are doomed by God to pass away.
Every time you take out the trash remember that everything that you own including all the clothes in the closet and Aunt Mabelís treasured china will eventually be taken out to the trash.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but not His word.
Thus, the Word of God is the basis, both for faith and for life.
And it is at this very point that Jesus gives His disciples a sure and certain word:
Luke 12:31. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Fatherís good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The antidote to fear is faith.
The fuel of faith is that which is not material, but is eternal, the Word of God.
His ďflockĒ does not need to fear about food and clothing, or anything else, for His kingdom is assured.
And not only is it certain that His ďflockĒ will be given the kingdom, God has purposed to gladly give it, for it is His good pleasure to give it.
We can be assured that God will do that which gives Him pleasure, and giving us His kingdom will be pleasurable to Him, and so it is sure for us.
So therefore He expects his children to not spend their time on the things that those of the world spend their time, food and clothing and shelter but to spend their time in seeking the kingdom of God.
This is the antidote for materialism.
When God tells us not to do something he also tells us to do something.
Each of us have a certain depth of materialism in our lives.
Each of us are to consider this depth and seek Godís will concerning this depth.
How deep we are into materialism, how deep our treasure is may determine how deep our dedication is to the Lord.
Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and to follow him.
The Lord Jesus knew the rich ruler was deep in material things and those material things hindered him from trusting God.
That which he owned had to go in order for him to follow Christ.
Perhaps you are hindered in your dedication to Christ because of that which is layed up on your behalf and set aside and depended upon which keeps you from depending upon God.
Jesus told us to pray for our daily bread, but we see no reason to pray for daily bread because our pantry has a monthly supply of food.
Our closets are full of clothes, some not worn in years, and yet we are to feel dependant upon God when you have put ourselves in a position where we donít have to depend upon him.
Most people spend a lifetime erecting protective financial walls of abundance around them so they do not have to depend upon God.
Our abundance gets in the way of dependence upon God and Jesus Christ tells us that that is not a good thing.
He tells us to turn those things over and convert them into that which can be used to help others not in such good stead.
There are needs out there which your abundance can supply and if you convert that abundance and meet needs outside of yourself you will end up by keeping what you have in a more secure place.
God will keep what you have in bags which wax not old, He will keep what you have in treasures in the heavens that fail not, where no thief can break though and where moths are confounded.
So we are to move our treasure from earthly vaults to Godís heavenly vaults and when we do our heart will move also.
33Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.