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More to life than money

December 7, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Luke 12:23-34

23 There is more to life than food and more to the body than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither plant nor harvest, they have no silo or barn, yet God feeds them. You are worth so much more than birds! 25 Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life [Or eighteen inches to your height]? 26 If you can’t do such a small thing, why worry about the rest? 27 Notice how the lilies grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. 28 If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, how much more will God do for you, you people of weak faith! 29 Don’t chase after what you will eat and what you will drink. Stop worrying. 30 All the nations of the world long for these things. Your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, desire his kingdom and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights in giving you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to those in need. Make for yourselves wallets that don’t wear out—a treasure in heaven that never runs out. No thief comes near there, and no moth destroys. 34 Where your treasure is, there your heart will be too.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus’ spoke these words to both a man who apparently wanted even more than he already had (cf. Luke 12:13) and to his disciples (cf. Luke 12:22), who were far from wealthy. He urged both rich and poor to worry less about earthly wealth, but to make “treasure in heaven” their top priority. It’s a Wonderful Life posed, on film and without specific reference to Jesus’ teaching, the question: are Jesus’ words naïve nonsense or eternal truth?

  • Scholar N. T. Wright said “This wasn’t just good advice on how to live a happy, carefree life. This was a challenge to the very centre of his [and our] world.” * The core question Jesus posed was, “Do you really trust that God is your great ‘Father,’ who will love and care for you not just now, but through all eternity?” How is your mindset different when you deeply trust in that truth than it is when you just kind of hope maybe it’s true?
  • In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey cried, “You sit around here and spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money! Well, it doesn’t, Mr. Potter!” ** Still today, as when Frank Capra made the film, headlines often imply that the whole world DOES revolve around money, and the people who have lots of it. How do you measure and evaluate your own and others’ value? Are your measures more like Mr. Potter’s, or the ones Jesus taught?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, no matter how much money I have, it often feels like it’s not enough. Shape my life’s focus around your values, teaching me to value the security of treasure in heaven that you offer. Amen.

GPS Insights

Gwyn Thomas

Gwyn Thomas

Gwyn Thomas joined the Resurrection staff in 2021 and serves in Donor Relations. She’s a Boston native and moved to Kansas City in 2020 when her husband Blake accepted a call at Resurrection West to lead their student ministries! Her favorite pastimes include pottery, hiking, frisbee, trying new restaurants, and spending time with Blake and their large orange cat, Tuna.

Today’s GPS scripture (Luke 12:23-24) is a favorite of mine. I have gone back to it through all different seasons of life. Some of the time it centers me, sometimes I give myself a pat on the back for practicing Jesus’s teachings, and sometimes it’s a really challenging call. Have you ever read this passage in The Message translation? I’d love to share the verse that made my jaw drop.

Verse 28 in The Message translation says, “If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?” I think reading this just about changed my life in a moment. Imagine all the fields and natural gardens across the world that are filled with God’s handiwork. The attention to detail with colorful wildflowers that attract beautiful bees, and maybe a stream that runs through it. And these are spaces never seen. Our God just loves to create and is perfect at it. It’s our silly humanness that sometimes mistakes God’s handiwork as a method of our enjoyment. And I do think God intends for most of creation to be enjoyed by his beloved daughters and sons, but some of it just remains unseen.

And what does that mean about the attention to detail that God puts into us? Our unique smiles, the color of our skins, the diversity of God’s creation. But this creation we get the opportunity to marvel at! We were intended to be in awe of each other and to believe with our whole heart that God’s done his best work in each of us.

It can be so easy to put our personal value into things like money, success or the next big thing. But Scripture always draws us back into relationship and trust. I pray today you marvel at the beauty and value of God’s creation, which includes you!

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Wright, N. T., Luke for Everyone (New Testament for Everyone) (p. 152). SPCK. Kindle Edition.

** From https://www.quotes.net/movies/it%27s_a_wonderful_life_5869.