A New Priority      Luke 12:15-31       November 21, 2004

In Corinthians it says: "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor.5:17) KJV. That verse tells us everything for the Christian takes on newness, and that makes for new priorities. We might do well to ask some friend to evaluate our lives and suggest ways we might better demonstrate a life lived with A New Priority.

1.    The . . Principal Concerning A New Priority. v 15

A.    Principal of . . Awareness. v 15 a
    15 He then told them, "Watch out and be on guard against all greed . . ."

B.    Principal of . . Abundance. v 15 b
    ". . . because one's life is not in the abundance of his possessions."

Many Americans judge people by their wealth, but when we get saved we receive a new set of priorities. Our principals change, and the Lord instructs us to have an awareness of greed, and guard against it. Jesus promises to His followers an abundant life. This life does not center in the abundance of things. The abundant life centers in Christ, and not possessions.

2.    The . . Parable Concerning A New Priority. Vs 16-21

A.    Parable Teaching about . . Earthly Riches. Vs 16-19
    16 Then He told them a parable: "A rich man's land was very productive. 17 He thought
to himself, 'What should I do, since I don't have anywhere to store my crops? 18 I will do this,' he said. 'I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods there. 19 Then I'll say to myself, "You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself"'

B.    Parable Teaching about . . Eternal Riches. Vs 20-21
    20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared--whose will they be?' 21 "That's how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."

Jesus told a parable dealing with a man, and his earthly riches. This man focused all of his life on making it "big" so he could retire, take it easy, and enjoy himself. In the parable the Lord tells the man his life will be taken from him, and all he has worked for will be lost. His focus was only on the earthly, life, and the eternal was neglected. No wonder God said to him " You fool." Do we Christians focus too much on earthly things, and neglect the eternal?

3.    The . . Provisions and A New Priority. Vs 22-28

A.    Provisions and . . Worry. v 22 & 24
    22 Then He said to His disciples: "Therefore I tell you, don't worry about your life, what
you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. 24 Consider the ravens: they don't sow or reap; they don't have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren't you worth much more than the birds?

B.    Provisions and . . Weighing Considerations. Vs 23 - 24 a
    23 For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens:
they don't sow or reap; they don't have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them.

C.    Provisions and . . Worth. v 24 b -26 - 28
    ". . . Aren't you worth much more than the birds? 25 Can any of you add a cubit to his
height by worrying? 26 If then you're not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest? 27 "Consider how the wild flowers grow: they don't labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! 28 If that's how God clothes the grass, which is in the field today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will He do for you--you of little faith?

Birds do not worry about food or clothing, and the Lord cares for them. The simple analogy of these words of Jesus make it ridiculous to worry. Do you know Christians who worry? Do you worry? Those who worry do not believe they are better than the birds. I like this little poem; "said the robin to the sparrow; 'I'd really like to know why these human beings rush about and worry so.' Said the sparrow to the robin 'I think that it must be they have no heavenly Father such as watches over you and me." If we weigh the truth, Jesus spoke we will realize how much He values our life. We are worth more than birds or beautiful flowers. And the key to realizing our worth, and eliminating worry is faith.

4.    The . . Provider A New Priority. Vs 29-31

A.    The . . Negative Action Toward Our Provider. Vs 29 - 30
    29 Don't keep striving for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don't be
anxious. 30 For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.

B.    The . . Positive Action Toward Our Provider. v 31
    31 "But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you.

Jesus teaches us about provisions of our new priorities negatively and positively. He tells us "don't keep striving, and don't be anxious." It should help us to realize the contrast Jesus makes between the Christian and the non Christian. Then positively He commands us to seek the kingdom while promising provisions will follow. The kingdom needs to be our focus, and not provisions because as Christians we have A New Priority. Amen? Amen!