Welcome to Wednesday’s Foundation Podcast.
This week, we’ve been looking at Jesus’ teaching in Luke’s Gospel and we’ve been asking the question –what does growing in God look like? On Monday, we looked at how open we are about our faith. Yesterday we considered what it means to live generously. Today – we are thinking about what it means to trust.
It was recently our Naomi’s 3rd birthday and I took her, at her request, to one of her favourite places – Hillsborough Leisure Centre. That girl knows how to roll! She loves to swim. We’ve got her pink arm bands which she’s a huge fan off – partly because of the colour but also mainly because they mean she can float around without us holding her the whole time. When we first got them, she used to try to clamp herself on me the moment I’d try to let go of her. It took quite a few attempts but eventually we got there. Just kicking and floating on her own across a tiny gap. Now she’s at the point where she can travel across the whole pool and takes great delight in racing around the entire thing. She doesn’t even think twice about letting go anymore.
Today’s passage is Luke 12: 22-48. Here’s what Jesus says in verse 29-31:
And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
This passage is Jesus’ famous teaching on what it means to not worry and at the heart of it is this word: trust. What does it mean to trust someone? It’s something to do with the confidence we place in something. It’s a choice we make. It’s who or what we look to.
God asks us to trust him. In this passage, Jesus is effectively saying to his disciples – the world tells you to focus on the material things – clothes, food, money, possessions. To look to yourselves – what I need. What I can sort myself. To look inwards. God’s desire is that we would trust him. That we look to him. Why? Because as we saw yesterday, when we are too busy focusing inwards; it’s difficult for us to look outwards. When we are consumed with worry about me, about my life, my needs, we find it difficult to serve God, to share his love, his hope with those around us.
The question God asks us this day is: Where are you looking? Verse 31 says this: Seek first his kingdom and the rest will be added to you. Jesus says this – Look to me. Look to God. How often though is it that before we look to God, we look to me, to us. We focus on things we need rather than one who meets our need. This inhibits our ability to grow, to live like Jesus.
Hebrews 12:1-2 say this: Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Whenever we go swimming, I notice how Naomi – as confident as she is with her arm bands on – keeps needing to look around, to look back, to look to me for reassurance, to check I’m still there. That I haven’t left her. And then confidently she kicks on.
Each day, we have a choice. We can choose to look to ourselves or we can choose to trust Jesus. What we find is that as we look to him, as we read his word, as we turn to him in prayer, as we choose to live for Him, our trust in him grows and we can begin to throw off all the things that weigh us down, hold us back and run after the things God has for us this day knowing that he is with us and we can trust him.
God, thank you that we can trust you. That you are a good good father and that we are your children. Help us to trust you this day Lord whatever it is we need, whatever it is that we face at this moment, what we really need is you. Help us to fix our eyes on you Jesus, so that we may run with perseverance the race that you have marked out for us today, to do the things you are calling us to. We trust you for all that this new day will bring God. Amen.
READING: Luke 12:22-48
Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
‘Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you – you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
‘Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will make them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or towards daybreak. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.’
Peter asked, ‘Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?’
The Lord answered, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, “My master is taking a long time in coming,” and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
‘The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.