22 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. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 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! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[c] 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,[d] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 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! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his[e] kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
What Do You Treasure the Most?
Where is your treasure? What do you value? Can it be taken away? Is that a source of anxiety? If what we treasure can be killed, stolen, be lost or fade, our treasure is the wrong thing. An idol is a good thing that has become the ultimate thing, according to Donald Guthrie my instructor at Trinity. Family is promoted heavily as the ultimate value both inside and outside the church. I wonder sometimes whether Focus on the Family helps Christians find ways for God to help their families or whether it helps families to serve God. Ultimately God is the greatest treasure. God has nothing better to give than himself. That would be a disappointment to many who have bought into a self-serving gospel. We have many times said that people should come to God because God makes their lives better, but define better. Better for many means more comfortable, it means that family becomes more Utopian, that job problems will work themselves out, and that I help myself to become a better ‘me’. God walks with us through real life and sometimes he gives us more of himself by taking away distractions, even distractions on the scale of a child or a spouse. This is only cruel if these other people are of equal or more value with God. If God is holy and transcends all other entities on a scale which we can’t fathom, to give of himself is in reality far in excess of even those people who are most precious to us. The pain of loss and of grief is real, but the healing rests in seeing God has come closer and in healing us he gives us freedom from ourselves. For most of us, the things that we value we don’t value for God’s sake or even for their own sake, we value them for how they provide acceptance, security, and control to us. When we make God our ultimate value and lose ourselves in Him, life’s pain shapes us into the people we should become. People who breathe the breath of the Spirit have a heart set on what the Spirit desires. Their possessions serve different goals than their neighbours. They use their resources for others. In seeing these very resources as God’s resources, although they are handled with care, there is little fear of personal poverty. I see myself more and more as owning nothing, but instead I steward the resources of God. It is God’s resources that people may steal, or mistreat, but then it is up to him to deal with that as he wishes.
I treasure time with you, but you have given me some of your treasures to care for. I love my wife and children, but they are not my ultimate value. I am unaware just how much I still treasure myself, but it is reflected in how much I treasure my space and my time. I pray that I would be more and more free from myself and that I would walk in the Spirit as you lead.
- About what things are disciples not to worry?
- How are anxieties connected to treasures or values?
- How does treasuring God and his Kingdom free a person from anxiety?
- If treasures can be measured by level of anxiety, what do you treasure?
- How can you treasure God more and be anxious about less?