Daily Devotions: “A Kingdom-Giving God” Luke 12:22-34

Daily Devotions: “A Kingdom-Giving God” Luke 12:22-34

And He (Jesus) said to His disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious
about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they
have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of
how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you
by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If
then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you
anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they
neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the
grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown
into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little
faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to
drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after
these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to
you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to
give you the kingdom.”

As I write this, the cathedral of Notre Dame is burning.

People in my office are whispering and grieving. It seems
impossible that something so beautiful, so famous, so old,
should be destroyed. The first stone was laid in 1160—how
could 2019 see it fall? Eight centuries of beauty gone in a day—
no wonder we feel shaken. And we remember our own
mortality—that we, too, have a time limit. We, too, must die.

Against this background, it is odd to hear Jesus saying,
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you
will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. … Which of
you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
Anxious? Yes, indeed, we are anxious! We worry about our
children, our jobs, our health. We grow anxious when a spouse
is angry, an election draws near, a major bill comes in the mail.
Our world is burning. Who can help us?

Against all of this, Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be
anxious …. All the nations of the world seek after these things,
and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek His
kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little
flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the
kingdom.”

The cathedral may be burning, but the cathedral’s Lord is still
with us. Our lives may be full of stress, but Jesus is with us as
He has always been—walking with us, holding us in His hands,
keeping us in His care. Nothing can take God’s love away from
us. Nothing, not even death—not even death on a cross!—can
keep Jesus from the people He came to save. He has risen from
the dead, and He promises to be with us forever. He will never
leave us alone—not in this life, and not in the life to come.

THE PRAYER: Dear Father, when we are shaken, help us to
trust in Your Son Jesus, who is always with us. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are you most anxious about in life? How long has this
    been a stressor for you?
  2. Does the natural world (lilies, birds, etc.) make you think of
    God’s care?
  3. What do you/can you do to “seek His kingdom” in your life?
    ?????????????????????????????????????
    Stewardship Bulletin Sentences – Generosity Thoughts
    Luke 12:15 – “And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’ ”
    Coveting is the opposite of being
    content with what God has given us. And the cure for coveting is twofold
    – thankfulness to God and generosity toward God’s purposes. So be on
    guard against all covetousness. Acknowledge that your Father has given
    you all you need, and therefore be free and confident in directing the
    mammon of this world toward godly purposes. • www.lcms.org
    Lutherans for Life – Life Thoughts in the Church Year
    Pentecost VIII
    – Some folks are so poor that they only have money. This
    seems the case with Jesus’s rich fool (Luke 12:20). But who needs bigger
    barns when you’ve got neighbors? Sure, giving birth and raising children
    costs a lot. Caring for incapacitated persons also has a high price. Yet
    what better place to invest our energies and abundances than in priceless
    human lives like God does? We already own what rich folks are still
    saving for—community! • www.lutheransforlife.org
    Lutherans for Life – Life Quotes
    August 4 “[L]et us consider how we can encourage one another, how we
    can help one another in these times in which we are overcome, how we
    can spur one another on to love and to good works, how we can gather
    together, not neglecting one another in meeting together but instead
    gathering in the presence of God, encouraging one another as we wait for
    that Day to finally appear.” Rev. Dr. Tony Cook, Lutheran Hour Ministries
    – A Life Quote from Lutherans For Life • www.lutheransforlife.org