Do Not Be Afraid – Week of August 8, 2022
“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.
Kevin Henkes is one of my favorite children’s authors. In one of his classic “mouse” books, a character named Wemberley worries about, well, everything. She worries about big things, like whether or not her parents are still there and little things, like spilling juice on her doll, Petal.
In last week’s devotion, we talked about the importance of focusing on things above, rather than on earthly things. This text flows right along with that same theme, because as we ponder the many things our hearts often become distracted about, we realize that the root cause of that distraction is often worry. For example, we might fixate on purchasing something new because we worry over having enough or the right kind of enough. We concern our hearts with earning the praise of coworkers because we worry about being liked or fitting in. We aggressively check off items on our to-do list because we worry that our worth is tied up in what we are able to accomplish.
Jesus addresses all of these concerns in his words today from the book of Luke, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen to give you the kingdom.” Let’s unpack that sentence just a little more and think about the awesome promises tied up within it. First, the ending: “your Father has chosen to give you the kingdom.” Your Father! The King of heaven and earth! The one with power over absolutely everything is looking out for you, his child! And what has he been pleased to give you? Nothing less than the kingdom! In sending his Son, Jesus, to be our Savior and the Holy Spirit to work faith in our hearts to believe in that Savior, God has made us heirs of his heavenly kingdom. We have nothing less than the best!
And so, Jesus says, “Do not be afraid.” All of the things that we think we need in order to be happy? All of the feel-goods? All of the goals reached? We need not worry about any of these things. The kingdom is already ours, through Jesus. We can rest in our Father’s loving care about all of the things that we need for this life. He promises that he knows we need them.
Heavenly Father, you know how easily our hearts worry after the things of this world. Forgive us for our lack of trust in you. Help us to rest in you, just as a dear child rests in the arms of her dad, with absolutely nothing to fear. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A Question to Consider:
Think more about what it means to have been given the kingdom. What blessings come along with being an heir to the Ruler of all?