Jesus told His disciples that they shouldn't worry about what to eat or drink or wear for clothing. "Your Father in Heaven knows what you need. But seek first His Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you..." (Luke 12:30-31) I think that we are prone to think at this point "scam!" Someone is out to get our money. All this talk about storing up treasure in heaven is simply code words for "give your money to the church"! But listen to what Jesus says: "Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven..." Jesus is not advocating the supporting of any particular organization or contributing to the upkeep or renovation of some cherished building (not that either of those things are necessarily bad
choices in giving). Jesus seems to be more concerned with the fact that one gives than whom one gives too. Though, we should be sure that our giving is without strings attached. We ought not be seeking to profit from a supposed "free" gift or giving our gifts to those who will repay us with gifts in the future. We ought to give gifts to those who do not have the means to pay us back. Jesus isn't saying, "money is bad so give it to me" as we imagine many con artists to be saying. No. Jesus is offering an antidote for the dehumanizing disease of greed. Jesus offers this solution based on the fact that we have a Father in heaven who loves us and will take care of our needs. This is a reality that Jesus appeals too and it is the reality in which He Himself lives. Jesus walks in the peace of trusting His Father in Heaven and Jesus' disciples ought to walk this way too. This is an act that requires faith. Do believe that God is a good Father? If you do, than you can trust Him. If you are right, you will be provided for. If you are wrong, you will be in a spot. But the only other alternative is to indulge our greedy impulses and gather as much stuff to ourselves before the other people can. "It's a dog eat dog world" we say. So I guess we have to eat each other... This is part of the challenge of the Gospel of God's Kingdom arriving on earth as it is in heaven. Are we willing to risk our own material well being for the sake of the chance to recover our humanity? Is that maybe part of what Jesus meant when He said that if we want to keep our lives, we will have to lose them? (Luke 17:33) Can we and should we believe this Jesus who said that we should trust in God as though He is a good Father? (That is very difficult for folks who did not have good earthly fathers!) Jesus Himself said that if we wanted to gain what He was offering, we would have to lose our lives to do it. Trusting God to be our provider does indeed sound like risking our lives. What if He fails us?! I can say from personal experience: He will not fail us! And we should remember the alternative: dogs eating dogs...I'd rather learn to be a real human. Jesus, I believe and trust in You as Father. Help my unbelief!