20th May 2023

  John Piper says


'all of life is to be worship'

32  Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly
    to give you the kingdom.
33  Sell your possessions and give to charity;
    make yourselves money belts which do not wear out,
    an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near
    nor moth destroys.
34  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

.....Luke 12:32-34

The inner essence of worship is the treasuring of God
as infinitely valuable above everything.

The outer forms of worship are the acts that show how much we
treasure God. Therefore, all of life is meant to be worship because
God said whether you eat or drink or whatever you do - all of life -
do it all to show how valuable the glory of God is to you
(1 Corinthians 10:31).

Money and things are a big part of life, and therefore God intends them
to be a big part of worship - since all of life is to be worship.

This text is really a text about worship.

"The essence of worship is the inner treasuring of God as infinitely valuable."

The first point of the text is that God commands us not to fear
when it comes to money and things. Don't worry, don't be afraid.
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly
to give you the kingdom."

First, not being afraid shows that we treasure God as our Shepherd.
We are his flock and he is our Shepherd. And if he is our Shepherd,
then Psalm 23 applies:
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want" - that is,
I shall not lack anything I really need.
Not fearing magnifies the preciousness of our Shepherd.

Second, not being afraid shows that we treasure God as our Father.
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly
to give you the kingdom."
We are not only his little flock;
we are also his children, and he is our Father.

Your Father really cares and really knows what you need and
will work for you to be sure that you have what you need.
(Beware of dictating to God what you think "need" is
instead of learning what he thinks "need" is!)

Third, not being afraid shows that we treasure God as King.
He can give us the "kingdom" because he is the King.
This adds a tremendous element of power to the one who provides for us.

"Shepherd" connotes protection and provision.
"Father" connotes love and tenderness and authority and
provision and guidance.
"King" connotes power and sovereignty and wealth.

So if we will trust God as Shepherd and Father and King,
and not be afraid about money and things, then we will show how
real and precious God is to us in all these ways.
God will be worshiped.

Fourth, not being afraid shows how free and generous God is.
Notice, he gives the kingdom.
He doesn't sell the kingdom or rent the kingdom or lease the kingdom.
He gives it.

He is infinitely wealthy and does not need our payments.
Anything we would try to give him would already be his anyway.
"What do you have that you did not receive?" (1 Corinthians 4:7).

So God is generous and free with his bounty.
And this is what we magnify about him when we are not afraid but
trust him with our needs.

Finally, not being afraid shows that we treasure God as happy
It is "good pleasure."
It "pleases" him to give you the kingdom. He wants to do this.
It makes him glad to do it.

Not all of us had fathers like this - who loved to give us things,
who were made happy by giving instead of getting.
But that does not matter, because now you can have such a Father,
and Shepherd, and King.

Trust him as your Father through the reconciling work of Jesus,
and you will find him to be your Father.

So the first point from this text is that we should treasure God
as our Shepherd and Father and King who is generous and happy
to give us the kingdom of God - to give us heaven,
to give us eternal life and joy,
and everything we need to get there.

If we treasure God in this way - if we trust him -
we will be fearless and God will be worshiped.

What is coming is possible because of this promise.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of and
chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary.
For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God:
Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most recently
Come, Lord Jesus.