“Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” Luke 12.33 NRSV
Lately, on Sunday mornings, we’ve been talking a lot about our possessions. Of course I have expanded the term possessions to stuff. Stuff can include anything and everything. Stuff can range from our physical belongings, through our desires, to our relationships. So how can we sell our stuff especially considering that stuff includes relationships and stuff of our desires?
As a Wesleyan, I view scripture as having primary importance. Reason, tradition, and experience help me to understand the meaning of the scriptures and apply them to my life. (The Wesleyan Quadrilateral.) Therefore I do not believe that the Bible is the word by word dictation of God but rather written with inspiration. That is the Bible contains the truth but may or may not be literal. It is very important to take verses of the Bible in context so as to uncover or unpack the meaning meant for us at a given place and time. With this being said I believe that this verse is literal. We are to sell our possessions and give alms.
But we need to put the verse in context. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12.32-34. Now we see that we are being given the kingdom of God and that we must store up our treasure in the kingdom because that is where our heart will lead us. The stuff we must sell are those possessions that have some to possess and control us. We must rid ourselves of all the stuff that interferes with our walk with the Lord. We must drop physical possessions, earthly desires, and even relationships that hinder our relationship with God.
In addition we must be good stewards of our remaining stuff to make sure we are using it to give alms. We are to use our stuff to do the work of the kingdom or to be the Body of Christ to a lost and hurting world. God doesn’t care if we have ten dollars or ten million dollars. God cares how we help and love people. God doesn’t care what kind of car we drive. God cares how we help and love people. God doesn’t care where we are. God wants us to use the blessings that have been provided through the Trinity of God (our stuff) to help and love people no matter where we find ourselves.
Imagine how great the world could be if everyone used their stuff and abilities to make other people’s lives happier and more blessed! Let’s reach out into the mission field that surrounds us and do good deeds for the sake of the kingdom.
This rant has been this pastor’s opinion. What’s yours?