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Luke 12:32-34

Sunday Morning Bible Study

May 15, 2016


Truth project

Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Luke was a doctor and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

Jesus has been talking about money and the dangers of greed.

When a man from the crowd (not a disciple) asked Jesus to divide his father’s inheritance with he and his brother, Jesus rebuked the man and then said to the crowd,

(Luke 12:15 NKJV) …“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Then He told His disciples,

(Luke 12:22 NKJV) …“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.
He went on to encourage the disciples to look at the birds and the flowers and see how God has taken care of them.

Then He said,

(Luke 12:31 NKJV) But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
If we will put God’s priorities first, if we will seek God’s kingdom over everything else, then God will take care of the rest.

12:32-34 Treasures

:32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

:32 Do not fear, little flock

fearphobeo – to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away); to fear, be afraid; to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm

little flock – Jesus is referring to His disciples, whom He is talking with (Luke 12:22)

littlemikros – small, little
flock poimnion - a flock (esp.) of sheep; group of disciples; church

The little flock He’s talking about is His own disciples.

Jesus had been addressing the bigger crowd earlier when He was talking to the man with the inheritance issue.
But He has been narrowing His focus to us, those of us who have made a choice to follow Him.

The disciples in Jesus’ day had plenty of things to be anxious about, whether it was worrying where their next meal was going to come from, or how they were going to be able to afford clothes to wear.

We too have plenty of things that cause us anxiety as well.
Jesus says we don’t need to be afraid.  Why?

:32 it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom

good pleasureeudokeo (“well” + “to think”) – it seems good to one, is one’s good pleasure; think it good; to do willingly; to be well pleased with, take pleasure in, to be favorably inclined towards one

God isn’t reluctant to give us the kingdom.  He wants to do it.  It pleases Him.

Remember, He has just said,

(Luke 12:31 NKJV) But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
And now He tells us that God really wants to give us this “kingdom”.


He’s for you

God is not dangling this promise of a heavenly kingdom in front of you, only to snatch it out of your hands as soon as you get close.
God fully intends to bring His kingdom on earth and to give it to us.
He’s on your side.
Paul wrote,
(Romans 8:32 NKJV) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

God loves you so much that He gave His Son to die on a cross in order to pay for our sin.

If you want eternal life instead of paying for your sins in hell, all you need to do is to ask God for help and trust Him.

If God did that for you, how can you think that He’s against you?

Some of us form our ideas of whether or not God loves us by whether or not life is going easy.
If life is easy, God must love me.  If life is tough, God must hate me.

That’s a pretty shallow idea of love.

God doesn’t promise to make your circumstances better, He promises to make you better.

He wants to form you, shape you, mold you into the image of His Son.

Sometimes that requires that we go through difficult times.

(1 Peter 1:6–7 NKJV) —6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

(James 1:2–4 NKJV) —2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

:32 to give you the kingdom

Just what is “the kingdom”?

Ultimately, it’s heaven.

For now, it’s a spiritual kingdom that we live in, while living in this current fallen world.

(Romans 14:17 NKJV) for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

:33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.

what you havehuparchonta – possessions, goods, wealth, property

almseleemosune – mercy, pity; esp. as exhibited in giving alms, charity; the benefaction itself, a donation to the poor, alms

providepoieo – to make; to do

bagsbalantion – a money bag, purse

grow oldpalaioo – to make ancient or old; to become old, to be worn out; of things worn out by time and use

a treasurethesauros – the place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up; a treasury; storehouse, repository, magazine; the things laid up in a treasury, collected treasures

does not failanekleiptos – unfailing

:33 Sell what you have and give alms

Giving alms means to give money to the poor.

Is Jesus telling all of us to sell everything we have and give it all away?

The early church in Jerusalem did something similar to this

(Acts 2:44–45 NKJV) —44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
I think you might be able to make the case that they went too far.
It seems that they all went broke.
The Apostle Paul even made it a point to raise funds to help bail out the church in Jerusalem because of their financial condition. (Rom. 15:25-26; 1Cor. 16:3; 2Cor. 8:4)

(Romans 15:25–26 NKJV) But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.

(1 Corinthians 16:3 NKJV) And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.

(2 Corinthians 8:4 NKJV) imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

(2 Corinthians 9:1 NKJV) Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you;



sellpoleo – to barter, to sell
I like that idea of “bartering”

Use what God has given you to “barter” with others.

I think Jesus’ point is that we learn to use the things we own here on earth and leverage them for the good of the kingdom.
(Luke 16:1–11 NKJV) —1 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ 3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’ 5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

Jesus is not advocating that we do illegal things.  This steward is simply using what was lawfully under his control.

8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. 9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

In other words, God has given to each of us an amount of “resources” over which we are stewards, managers.

God wants us to leverage the resources that He has given us to further the kingdom of God.

That might mean that you support a church that God would direct you to support.

It might be that you need to be investing in a missionary that God is using to spread the gospel.

It might also mean that you buy friend lunch every once in a while to build up your friendship with them in order to share with them what God has been doing in your life.

It might mean that you guy a few extra tickets to the Angels’ game when the church goes this summer and invite a friend to come along with you.

:33 where no thief approaches nor moth destroys


It will all burn

Ultimately, every material thing on this planet will burn and be replaced with a New Heaven and New Earth.  Peter wrote,
(2 Peter 3:12 NLT) looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames.

All the stuff you own will one day be gone.

So learn to send it ahead.

Even in the present, the things that you value the most can be lost.
Things get stolen.
Things break down.
Stock markets crash and a 401k is gone.
Thomas Hart Benton, U.S. statesman, was a Democratic senator from Missouri for thirty years (1821-51) and ardently promoted the opening up of the West.  Benton accurately foresaw the dangers into which the slavery question was leading the Union.
When Benton’s house in Washington was destroyed by fire, he was summoned from Congress to view the ruin.  He gazed at it for a while, then said, “It makes dying easier.  There’s so much less to leave.”

-- The Little Brown Book Of Anecdotes, Ed. Clifton Fadiman, (Boston: Little Brown & Co., 1985), p. 55.

Suppose your home is in France and you’re visiting America for three months, living in a hotel.  You’re told that you can’t bring anything back to France on your flight home.  But you can earn money and mail deposits to your bank in France.  Would you fill your hotel room with expensive furniture and wall hangings?  Or course not.  You’d send your money where your home is.  You would spend only what you needed on the temporary residence, sending your treasures ahead so they’d be waiting for you when you got home.

Randy Alcorn, “The Treasure Principle”, pg. 45

Borden vs. King Tut
Randy Alcorn, in his book, “The Treasure Principle” (pgs. 34-36) writes,
The streets of Cairo were hot and dusty.  Pat and Rakel Thurman took us down an alley.  We drove past Arabic signs to a gate that opened to a plot of overgrown grass.  It was a graveyard for American missionaries.
As my family and I followed, Pat pointed to a sun-scorched tombstone that read: “William Borden, 1887-1913.”
Borden, a Yale graduate and heir to great wealth, rejected a life of ease in order to bring the gospel to Muslims.  Refusing even to buy himself a car, Borden gave away hundreds of thousands of dollars to missions.  After only four months of zealous ministry in Egypt, he contracted spinal meningitis and died at the age of twenty-five.
I dusted off the epitaph on Borden’s grave.  After describing his love and sacrifices for the kingdom of God and for Muslim people, the epitaph ended with a phrase I’ve never forgotten: “Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation for such a life.”
The Thurmans took us straight from Borden’s grave to the Egyptian National Museum.  The King Tut exhibit was mind-boggling.
Tutankhamen, the boy king, was only seventeen when he died.  He was buried with solid gold chariots and thousands of golden artifacts.  His gold coffin was found within gold tombs within gold tombs within gold tombs.  The burial site was filled with tons of gold.
The Egyptians believed in an afterlife – one where they could take earthly treasures.  But all the treasures intended for King Tut’s eternal enjoyment stayed right where they were until Howard Carter discovered the burial chamber in 1922.  They hadn’t been touched for more than three thousand years.
I was struck by the contrast between these two graves.  Borden’s was obscure, dusty, and hidden off the back alley of a street littered with garbage.  Tutankhamen’s tomb glittered with unimaginable wealth.  Yet where were these two young men now?  One, who lived in opulence and called himself king, was in the misery of a Christ-less eternity.  The other, who lived a modest life on earth in service of the one true King, is enjoying his everlasting reward in the presence of his Lord.
Tut’s life was tragic because of an awful truth discovered too late – he couldn’t take his treasures with him.  William Borden’s life was triumphant.  Why?  Because instead of leaving behind his treasures, he sent them on ahead.

:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

treasurethesauros – the place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up; a treasury; storehouse, repository, magazine; the things laid up in a treasury, collected treasures

heartkardia – the heart; the center and seat of spiritual life; the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors; of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence; of the will and character; of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions

:34 where your treasure is …


Finding your heart

Yesterday I read a small little book I had on my shelf titled, “The Treasure Principle” by Randy Alcorn.  I highly recommend you get and read this book.  It’s a quick read.  Here’s one of the key principles laid out in the book:
The heart follows the money

You might not like this idea.  You might say to me, “My heart has nothing to do with money.  I’m not a money oriented person”.

I’ll say to you, “But you still buy things with your money.”

The kinds of things you buy shows where your heart is at.

Randy Alcorn writes (pg. 42),

Suppose you buy shares of General Motors.  What happens?  You suddenly develop interest in GM.  You check the financial pages.  You see a magazine article about GM and read every word, even though a month ago you would have passed right over it.

Suppose you’re giving to help African children with AIDS.  When you see an article on the subject, you’re hooked.  If you’re sending money to plant churches in India and an earthquake hits India, you watch the news and fervently pray.

My wife and I have apps on our phones (“Find Friends”) so we can find each other.
When she’s on her way home from work in Newport Beach I will often track her progress on the Freeway.  She says I’m “stalking” her J
If she ever wonders where I am or why I’m taking so long to get home, she can always find me.

Pretty cool.

What if there was a “Find Heart” app on your phone, an app that showed you just where your heart was at?

Would it show that your heart is in love with the things of God and you can hardly wait until the day you get to heaven?

Would it show that you are so in love with this world that you’re not really all that excited about heaven?

There actually is an “app” like that.  It may not be on your phone.  It’s your check register.

If some of us were honest, we’d have to admit we’re not too excited about leaving all this stuff behind…


John Wesley toured a vast estate with a proud plantation owner.  They rode their horses for hours and saw only a fraction of the man’s property.  At the end of the day they sat down to dinner.  The plantation owner eagerly asked, “Well, Mr. Wesley, what do you think?”  Wesley replied, “I think you’re going to have a hard time leaving all this.”

Randy Alcorn, “The Treasure Principle”, pgs.40-41

Do you want more of a heart for the things of God?  Do you want a heart for missions?  Do you want to care more for eternal things?
The answer is easy.

Then invest some money in it, and your heart will follow.

This is one of many things I take into consideration when I ask someone to be an elder of the church.

If I think a man has the heart and character to be on the board, I will ask our accounting folks a simple question – “Does this person appear to be a tither?”

I know that if he is a tither, he will have a heart for the church.

Personally, I believe this is one of the underlying reasons why so many people drift from church to church.

They don’t have a heart for that church because they don’t invest in that church.  They have no “skin” in the game so it’s easy to quit and move on to the next place.

I’m not telling you to start giving more money next week.  You need to check your heart and ask God where you need to invest.

I’m not saying these things because we are hurting financially as a church.  We actually aren’t.

I’m telling you the hard cold truth.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you have a great heart for God when you can’t back it up with your check register.

You can tell a lot about where your heart is by what you spend your money on.

Imagine you’re alive at the end of the Civil War.  You’re living in the South, but you are a Northerner.  You plan to move home as soon as the war is over.  While in the South you’ve accumulated lots of Confederate currency.  Now suppose you know for a fact that the North is going to win the war and the end is imminent.  What will you do with your Confederate money?
If you’re smart, there’s only one answer.  You should immediately cash in your Confederate currency for U.S. currency – the only money that will have value once the war is over.  Keep only enough Confederate currency to meet your short-term needs.

- Randy Alcorn, “The Treasure Principle”, pg. 13

We are stewards, not owners.
The stuff we have doesn’t actually belong to us, it belongs to God.
God has entrusted that stuff to us to be “stewards” or “managers” of His assets.
There will be a day when He returns and wants to see what we did with His assets.
As managers over God’s wealth, God entrusts us to set our own salaries.

“Wait!” you tell me, “My boss is the one who sets my salary!”

Actually, your boss only sets the amount that God has entrusted you with.  How much you keep for yourself is what ought to be considered your actual salary.

Once you begin to realize that everything you put on your earthly balance sheet actually belongs to God, then the question is, where are you investing God’s money?
I’m not talking about the absolute essentials in life necessary for survival – food, clothing, housing, even though some of us may tend to spend far more in these areas than we need to.
Where you invest God’s money is where your heart will gravitate towards.
It might be in things that have an eternal component to them: 

Investing in missions, helping the poor, supporting your church.

It might be things that don’t survive beyond this life:

Buying all the latest gadgets, a bigger mansion, a bigger boat, a faster car, or things that trap you in sin – alcohol, drugs, sex.

You can tell a lot about where a person’s heart is by looking at their checkbook.