"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. ³³Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. ³⁴For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." —Luke 12:32-34
When we open the gospels to study the life of our Lord Jesus, we will certainly find Him in an amazing series of stressful and serious situations: feeding 5,000 hungry people, walking out on stormy waters to rescue His beloved disciples, outwitting the endless traps set for Him by the tenacious and vicious Sanhedrin, spending dawn to dusk preaching and healing, then entering into belabored prayer through the night on behalf of His children. This is all in a normal day for our Lord.
But this portion of Luke is a beautiful exception to that norm. It is total joy! You can almost see Jesus, an arm around each of the two disciples walking closest to him at that moment, His face glowing with delight. The disciples are wondering what could be on His mind to make Him so happy? Let’s listen in to hear what He will tell them: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Had they heard Him right? God wants to give them the kingdom of God? To them—sinners all? And, did Jesus just say that it was giving God good pleasure to give it to them? Amazing! Amazing gift! Amazing Giver! And it is obvious by His excitement and glow that Jesus is just as happy as God, His Father, to tell them what the Father has planned for them!
Then, more! Jesus is about to give His followers a marvelous investment tip—one to put into effect immediately, one that will serve them well when they receive that kingdom. “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.” Their heads jerk around. Did Jesus just change the subject? No, He’s still glowing. Where is He going with this?
“Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.” There’s a quiet moment while they digest this truth. If we sell our possessions and give the proceeds to those who are in need of it, God will honor that kindness and obedience by rewarding us in heaven. And no one can ever take that reward from us.
Are the scales falling from your eyes as they were for the disciples? Jesus has just given them a powerful incentive for doing His will now, on this earth; for thinking of the needs and pain of others. He has also opened the doors of heaven and let them glimpse a place that will be their own, a place where they will belong and have responsibility—and treasure! He is telling them that their work and sacrifices in this present life will influence their future joy in that kingdom.
Now Jesus finishes with this intriguing remark, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” The disciples recognize the wisdom and truth in this statement. And we, too, know this about ourselves, don’t we? What we delight in and hold dear becomes a focal point in our thinking. As such, it demands our time, effort, and often money, to be involved in that activity, or to be with that person, or in that place. We will pay the cost to have our heart’s desire, so it is imperative that we “set our minds on things above.”
Dear ones that Jesus calls “His little flock,” this wisdom that our Lord shared with His disciples on that day long ago belongs to us, too. Is this a good time to not just agree with God that this is a good idea, but to move to action? Last month, my daughter gave away 439 of her possessions. Her decision to do this was based on a desire to de-clutter, but it is startling evidence that most of us have a lot of disposable goods around our homes that we could sell to benefit the needy. Jesus actually wants us to do this.
Speaking of giving treasures or gifts, I’d like to ask you three questions: When we needed the gift of a savior from our sins, who did God give to us to accomplish it? When we needed a godly force and strength in us to enable us to witness and stand true to the gospel, who did God give us? When we needed a delivering assist in life’s problems, who did God give us?
Always, for every need, in every circumstance, doesn’t God give us Himself? Whether it be the Christ, or the Holy Spirit who serves us, God always gives Himself to be the solution to our need. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if this be true, may I agree with you that Jesus Christ Himself is our true Treasure?
Could it be that our Father is stuffing our heavenly moneybags with vouchers entitling us to a deeper love for our Savior, more time spent with Him, His opening up new ideas and truths to us, opportunities to serve and glorify Him?
How I hope so! For isn’t He our greatest Treasure? Isn’t heaven paradise only because Jesus is there? Doesn’t our heart echo the 73rd Psalm, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26). Amen! Today, let’s set our minds on the coming kingdom, and see how Jesus might want us to invest for the future.