This week we’re beginning a short 3-week series called the Generosity of the King. We’ll be looking at three passages from the gospel of Luke that focus on Jesus' teaching about money, wealth, and generosity. In these teachings and throughout the New Testament, Jesus is very clear that one of the great marks of his new counter-cultural community is radical, sacrificial generosity.
In our passage this week, Jesus teaches us about why his new community can have the power to be generous. He focuses first on the fact that we have a new security, knowing that we are not orphans left to secure our futures in the world but are children that are loved and cared for by a father who is good. The more we are confident in knowing the security of the father’s care, the more free we are to be generous with our possessions.
Jesus also teaches in this passage about the new priorities that we are given as members of his community. As part of his new kingdom, we live with a different set of priorities then we did as part of the kingdom of this world.
Ultimately Jesus points to grace, and that we are recipients of the grace of God. We are given a new father and a new kingdom and a new way of approaching our , all by grace. And now that grace becomes the engine that produces our generosity for others in the world.
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22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 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! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?
27 “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. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.