By: Rob Genin
This year at YBL, we have been exploring the meaning of courage. We have foundationally said courage is “obeying Jesus when it is hard”. However, there are a lot of different situations in life where we are called to trust and obey God, and they do not always look the same. We can overlook the courage needed in showing kindness, or engaging in a situation we are not comfortable in, or even listening when we would normally speak. It can take great courage to share when we have limited resources.
A great illustration of this comes from Luke 12:32-34, where Jesus is teaching his disciples about priorities and where to put their focus. In the course of that, he discusses wealth and our mindset with our resources:
“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 that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be, also.”
There are a lot of things to see in these four short sentences, but there are a few things in particular that God gives us to help us be more courageously generous:
Fear keeps us from sharing. Jesus speaks gently to us – “fear not little flock….” He knows that we are often afraid we cannot live without money or possessions, and so we hoard them. It is an attempt to fight fear.
God’s generosity delivers us from fear. “For your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” We do not serve a God who gives sparingly to us. In fact, He has given us all the resources of heaven as we need. A recognition of God’s abundance and His heart of love toward His children is a better way to fight fear than hoarding.
God’s generosity frees us to share. “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” This command to give comes directly after the assurance that we have received the full kingdom of the God of the universe. We do not need to hold on to what we have, and we can move toward the needs around us.
Courageous sharing generates an imperishable reward. “Provide purses that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” This is a gentle reminder that what you give away today is of a sort that is always limited, disappearing and decaying before our very eyes. We have the opportunity to trade these perishing assets for permanent ones in God’s kingdom.
Courageous sharing protects your heart from the despair of loss. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be, also.” Our hearts become bound up with those things we treasure. When our treasure is lost, it hurts our hearts. If we choose to treasure things that are constantly rusting or being stolen or simply taxed away, we will be plagued by disappointment and the creeping fear that it is all going to be lost one day. Thankfully, the opposite is also true. If we treasure God’s imperishable kingdom, if we love God and people -who will live forever – then we will have a heart that is protected from loss.
We all face different circumstances. Today as you face the situations God brings to you, I pray He will give you the courage to share freely, trust Him fully, and to rest in the hope of a reward which God has freely given to all who follow King Jesus.