God’s Favor for the Flock

What is the best thing that you have read in the Bible? Was it "God is love?" (1 John 4:16) or "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble?" (Psalm 46:1), or my personal favorite, "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new?" (2 Corinthians 5:17)

There is another reading that I think is one of the best things I have read in the Bible, found in Luke 12:32, it quotes Jesus saying, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." If you understand that this verse is referring to God wanting to give the followers of God (the flock), the wealth that God has at God's disposal as a favor because of God's love for them.

That verse is enough to make me not simply happy in a temporal sense because I feel good about receiving that great gift in this life, but also full of joy knowing that God's pleasure is to give everyone who follows God's will, God's immense wealth which is eternal, and both spiritual and material in nature.

That brings about joy, which means experiencing radiant affection, honor, peacefulness, and appreciation for God's gift. Joy comes from God's love, and it leaves those who experience it with a deeper sense of satisfaction in every part of their lives, more than merely a momentary happiness that when it fades, we try replicating with diminishing returns.

Many people do not think that God wants to give us good things from God's wealth, but only believe God wants to judge us for what we did against God's will.

God does want the best for us, human history is filled with how God has been leading humanity back into a close relationship and away from selfish pursuits. God is mainly a loving and affectionate God, not a condemning and punishing God.

Our scripture this week, Luke 12:32-40, relates a core teaching that Jesus gave to those who want to be followers of God, as Jesus affectionately referred to them saying, "Do not be afraid, little flock." If God is just a harsh and condemning judge, Jesus would not be speaking soothing words to calm the fears of the people who want to follow him telling them not to be afraid. That means love is God's main characteristic, not judgment.

With that understanding of the loving nature of God, please read the entire section of Luke 12:32-40. Find out how Jesus leads the "little flock" to express their love for God who wants to give them the wealth from the property of God. I have heard it said that "Love begets in the lover the character of the object loved." As you read the chosen section of Luke, try to identify the ways that Jesus' teachings fulfill the meaning of verse 32 and when you do, experience the joy God has for you as part of God's precious "little flock."

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