Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Discipleship #7: Does Jesus Care?

In  Luke 12:22-28 Jesus continues to warn His disciples and us of materialism and at the same time, encourages us with some wonderful promises if we will heed His warnings.

ENJOY GOD’S MATERIAL WORLD AND ALL THAT IS IN IT

According to II Corinthians 4:4 Satan is the god of this wicked world system.  Christians are warned In I John 2:15-17  to avoid loving it. This world system, (the cosmos)  is passing away and is an evil influence upon us.  However, there is nothing sinful about the material world, nor our appreciation and wise use of it.  Eating and enjoying food is not sinful.  The purchase and use of food, clothing, cars, houses and other things is not of itself sinful.  The interest and appreciation of sports, music, hobbies is not sinful. Our fascination with science, math or anything else that is associated with our physical material world is not sinful,  as long as we do not cross God’s boundary into sin by breaking His Laws in thought or action.  Those laws are found in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20.  They are also found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, as well as in moral principles scattered  throughout the Old and New Testament.   

In fact, there is nothing sinful in being so absorbed in our work,  or in our driving, or in being involved in a game,  or riding a roller coaster at an amusement park, or experiencing some other emotional thrill,  that we go for several hours without a thought of God or the Bible.  God gave us a physical, material body and He does not hold that against us.  Use it wisely and righteously, but don’t abuse it by crossing God’s moral boundaries. That’s sin. Sin is the transgression of God’s Laws. 

BEWARE OF THE SIN OF MATERIALISM

 For us to go for hours and hours, or perhaps a whole day without giving God one thought is a danger signal that our relationship with God is not what it should be. The Psalmist talked to God, morning, noon and night. Psalm 5:3,   55:17  Surely a Christian who is indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit ought to have an almost constant sense of God’s presence.  Like iron is attracted to a magnet, so our souls should be attracted to God continually.  If we can go through Sunday, The Lord’s Day, without a thought of God or a desire to be in His presence and in the fellowship of His family or without a hunger to hear His Word and worship Him;  is evidence  that there is a serious spiritual lack in  our soul.
America is a materialistic nation. Look at the crowded parking lots around the shopping malls.  Sunday is a major shopping day of the week.  My heart aches for our beloved nation that has forgotten God.  Materialism is desiring  anything before God. That includes putting ones own body with its appetites, desires and passions or putting anyone or any earthly interest before God. One can have a covetous heart, whether the thing we covet belongs to us or  whether it belongs to our neighbor.  If we constantly desire things or give them  a higher priority  than God Himself, that is sin.   

Sin is being so enamored with our own wisdom, strength and abilities, that we ignore and despise God.  Israel was warned about this and we should take that warning of Deuteronomy 8 to heart.  

ARE YOU AWARE OF GOD?

If you are a man, you are aware that you are male.  If  you are a  woman, you are aware that you are female.  It’s not that these thoughts are on your mind continually, but you are constantly aware of your gender. If you are an American citizen or a citizen of some other nation,  you are subconsciously aware of that constantly, although you may not consciously think about it for days at a time. 

So every Christian should constantly be aware that he is a Christian. It’s not that we think of  Jesus and the Bible 24 hours a day, but we are always aware in our subconscious that we are Christians and that we belong to God.

  THE PURPOSE OF PAIN

Our problem is that we tend to  forget God and fail to glorify Him as our God. For that reason God has to remind us of our mortality by  allowing pain, sorrow, weakness, crises, or lack of strength and ability to do what we’ve always had strength to do. He desires us to look to Him for His strength and wisdom.  He often reminds us of our weakness and our need to trust Him who is our immortal, loving,  all-wise, almighty Heavenly Father.  The Psalmist reminds us that afflictions are good for us.  Psalm 119:67,71. “Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept Thy Word.  It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Thy statutes.”  Think about that!  In Isaiah 40 we read of God’s almighty power. Then in verse 28-31 we are encouraged by the promise of His limitless strength in our weakness.   In I Peter 5:7-11 we are invited to cast all our cares upon Christ for He cares for us. 

God wants us to be aware of our own weaknesses so we can cast ourselves on His almighty strength. Read all of Isaiah 40 and discover for yourself God’s omnipotence in your weakness.  What a wonderful discovery!    Read and meditate on these great passages of Scripture to discover the power of His strength in your weakness. I Peter 5:7-11,   II Corinthians 12:8-10,  II Chronicles 20:14-22.

  

DOES JESUS REALLY CARE ABOUT OUR PHYSICAL AND MATERIAL NEEDS?  

 We know He cares about our spiritual need.  We know He met that need through the gift of His Son, the Lord Jesus;  but we often doubt that He really cares about our physical or emotional needs. That’s the question Jesus is answering in Luke 12:22-28.  Jesus compares us to the birds who do  nothing to sow, reap or store grain for winter, and yet God meets their needs.   Jesus reminds us that we are more important than the birds.  God is their creator, but He is more than that to us.  He is our Heavenly Father through faith in Christ.  He reminds us in verse 25 that He cares about our stature.  The Greek word translated stature also refers to our length of days.  We can’t add a foot to our stature nor a day to our life.  Our times are in His hands.  Psalm 31:15 Jesus also contrasts our material needs to the lilies of the field with all their glory and beauty.  As God cares for those wild flowers that are here one day and dried up the next,  so He much more cares about our needs for clothing.  How do the flowers grow and how do we grow?  God does it all.  “By Christ,  all things consist.”  Colossians 2:13-19 God devotes Himself to meet all my needs. I need not worry.  That’s God’s business.  My concern should be to live for Him; serving Him with all my  strength and desiring only to glorify Him.  If you are His child through faith in Christ, His promise in Luke 12:22-28 is for you.

September 8, 2006 - Posted by | Discipleship

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