Luke 12:22-23 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.

Following the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:15), Christ ordered his disciples to beware of covetousness since the meaning of life encompasses more than an abundance of “things.” Contrasting the greedy man who God had blessed, Jesus prompted his followers to consider the livelihood of the common crow, “Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (vs. 24-25) Unlike the lowly creatures, the indulgent farmer had unsuccessfully done all these things; sowing, harvesting, and building. But in spite of his tedious effort, his selfish agenda was unexpectedly ruined.

By planting and harvesting a teeming crop, the rich man actually created a crisis of overabundance for himself when trying to decide where to store what he was unable to easily use. Consequently, he determined to tear down his old barns, which had been sufficient the previous year, to build immense new warehouses for hoarding his increase. Afterwards, he falsely assumed that he would have years to enjoy his immeasurable wealth in riotous living. Sadly, before any of his plans were realized, the man died that very evening in his sleep. (Luke 12:17-20)

Ending His example of the ravens, Christ picked a wildflower growing in a field as God intended, “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.” (vs. 27)

In the comparison, the Lord wisely mentioned Solomon, who had also written, “Better is a handful with quietness, than both hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.” Eccl. 4:6 Here is the meaning of Solomon’s proverb, “Items held in one hand can be easily protected by the other empty hand. However, when both hands are piled high with ‘stuff,’ there is absolutely no way to manage what might accidentally fall.” Thus, it simply makes sense to be satisfied with what God knowingly provides rather than spending our entire life devoted to amassing meaningless clutter, which might actually shorten our existence due to worry and frustration.

Like the ravens and the lilies, God already knows what we need to live. Rather than being consumed by self-centered greed, we should focus our attention on the Kingdom of Heaven that God intends to give us. (vs. 31-32) Thus, Jesus admonished, “Do not obsess about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own problems. Today’s trouble is enough for you to handle now.” Matthew 6:34

Edwin Woolsey’s family has lived in Shannon, Texas, and Howell counties since 1860. He taught 31 years at Missouri public schools and is currently the pastor of a small country congregation at Pilgrim Rest Community Church. Follow him on Twitter at @edwinwoolsey.

“Tragically, our kids are going to hell… because we have irresponsibly allowed them to drift in that direction without any input or restraint on our part, trusting in the damnable doctrine of “Age of Accountability.”

-Edwin Woolsey

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