Wow! Reading over Luke 12, you find it is packed with information and teachings! We could probably spend several weeks just on this chapter alone. However, we only have this one week. I can’t wait to see all the different lessons God shows us, and we learn from each other this week in our Facebook Bible study group.
The overarching lessons I see here are first that we need to use whatever we have to serve God. Whether it’s our possessions, our focus, or our time, Jesus is asking us to use it to serve God instead of forgetting God and keeping it all to ourselves.
As women this often times seems like an impossible task. I hardly have enough possessions, focus, and time for my to-do list, and now God is asking me to give him first priority in all these areas?! However, just like the story of the loaves and fish in Luke 9:10-17, when we give to God first, he makes it all enough. He promises this in Luke 12 when he says:
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. ~ Luke 12:29-31, ESV
God even asks us to test this promise by giving to him first:
And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. ~ Malachi 3:10b, ESV
So I have tested him. And you know what, he does keep his promises. When I give him the first part of my day, even on days I really don’t want to get up, my day goes so much better. Days when I don’t give to him first, I crash and burn. The same thing happens with my possessions. When I give to him first, he gives back just what I need. Maybe not what I originally wanted, but always what I need.
The second lesson I find here is closely connected to the first. Throughout this chapter Jesus reminds us to be ready. Since we are 2000+ years from the time Jesus walked the earth, it is so easy to become complacent and forget that He could come at any moment. Often I forget.
But you may be asking, besides the obvious warnings from Jesus, why should I watch and be ready? I have so much on my plate, how can Jesus require that of me, too? During this year and a half of gypsyhood, I’ve found out that being ready and looking toward heaven, something stable, something more, is the only thing that has kept me sane many, many days.
Since our family is being constantly been uprooted and living in various stages of uncomfortable circumstances, God has been our only constant. At other times in my life, when I have walked through dark valleys and times of incredible pain, looking toward heaven has been the only pin prick of light that has kept me from quitting.
The interesting thing, though, is that these two lessons build on each other. When we seek him first and give him our possessions, focus, and time, it helps to give us an attitude of readiness. When we say, “Okay, God, I want what you want for me.” He provides reminders to keep our focus heavenward.
Because, in the end, that’s our goal anyway, right? Not the house, the 401K, or the sports champion kid, but heaven. If those things can be used to help others get to heaven, great. But ultimately our focus should be on our true goal. When it is, then giving to him first seems a natural consequence and not an unrealistic burden.
I know this seems an impossible task at times, but I promise you when you seek him first, he answers. As we learned last week in Luke 11, he deeply desires to give us more of him. I challenge you to seek him this week. Focus on him. Test him. And see if he doesn’t “open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”