“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7)
This passage in Luke comes within an extended exhortation by Jesus about acknowledging Him in our lives and living fearlessly in the face of persecution. Yet right here, in the middle of that bracing word, is a profoundly comforting word about the way God relates to us. The way that God knows us, says Jesus, is with loving care and attention. Like a purchaser paying attention to a group of sparrows he buys or a person trying to count the number of hairs on their head, God’s loving care goes all the way down to the details of you and me. God knows us and God also cares for us. What a wonder!
In comparison to God’s ever-aware care for flighty sparrows and innumerable follicles of hair, as humans made in God’s image we are far more valuable and worthy of care. How valuable? As the gospel story continues, we begin to see just how valuable we are to God and just how far His care will go toward us. The Apostle John summarizes it in bold truth:
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
Today take time to remember the loving care of God. Whether on the mountain peaks of joy or the shadowed valleys of despair, know that God is tenderly present and lovingly caring for you, whether you see it or not.
Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Worry and Faith,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is part of our series “The Kingdom Life.” The text for this week is Luke 12:22-34.
- When have you experienced the greatest worry in your life? How did you deal with it?
- This weekend we continue “The Kingdom Life” series by looking at Luke 12:22-34. After beginning your study in prayer, ask God to speak to you, and then read those passages aloud.
- This teaching from Jesus begins with a strong exhortation not to worry. What does Jesus say not to worry about in 12:22, 29?
- Jesus offers two examples from nature – the birds and the wildflowers – for His disciples. What do these two examples tell us about worry and faith?
- What does Jesus tell us about God’s thoughts and actions on our behalf in relation to our worries (12:24, 30-31)?
- How have you learned to give your worry to God? Take a moment to read Philippians 4:6-7. How does this illustrate the connection between prayer and worry?
- Jesus’ summary statement in 12:31 is well-known. What do you think it means?
- In 12:32-34, Jesus exhorts His disciples to not fear, but to do something else instead. What does He call them to do?
- What do you think it means to live as a reflection of Jesus’ words in 12:34?
- What is one way that God is speaking to you personally through this study? If you’re on your own, write it down and share it with someone later. If you are with a small group, discuss this together.
Daily Reading Plan
To encourage us together in our growth with God, we arranged a daily reading plan through this series. You can also join in with the daily devotional here. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.
Monday, May 8 Luke 12:22-26
Tuesday, May 9 Matthew 6:25-27
Wednesday, May 10 Psalm 147:1-11
Thursday, May 11 Luke 12:27-34
Friday, May 12 Matthew 6:28-34
This past weekend at Eastbrook Church we continued our series “The Kingdom Life” by exploring the topic of worry and faith. My message centered on Jesus’ words in Luke 12:22-34, giving some attention to John 20:19 and Philippians 4:6-7 as well. Here’s my contention: if Jesus opens the doorway to God’s presence through the Cross and the Resurrection, then it is possible to move from a place of fear to fearlessness in our lives.
I started off with the results of the 3rd annual Survey of American Fears. I’m not sure what you’re most afraid of, but you might enjoy looking at the last few entries on the list of all fears Americans have.
You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.
Also, you are welcome to join in with the daily reading plan for this series.
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