Both Christians and others seem to be so disappointed with the church’s “performance” mainly because of intolerance of the moral and social disparity between Christ and those who claim to follow His way. Many recognize our LORD’s standards are perfect despite worldly attempts to defy His Deity. While many may not wish to yield their innate soulful cravings or desires to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, people in general are familiar with the principles that govern a follower of Christ. The truth is, the Church is comprised of humans in the transformation process – and – we clearly fail from time to time just as non-believers; the distinction is nonbelievers do not pledge any allegiance to God’s Word. Oh – but there is a way to rightly soar to great heights in holiness, steadfastness, victory, peace and joy!
While I desire to let my light shine (Matthew 5:16), my motivation for doing so is because Christ commands it; He is my first love and my strength. When love is based on obedience, it moves the act of love out of the realm of our works and emotions which are inconsistent. Our obedience is the consequence of the LORD’s love and Priestly Ministry to His Church through His authority and intercession; it is not a result of our effort. When our relationship with the LORD develops to a point where we trust His nature despite what we see in the natural, the leading of His Spirit will lift us up above the effects of this world and allow us to rest in His current.
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
When we learn more of Christ’s nature, we will understand our true identity for we were created in His image for Him with extraordinary purpose. Hang on to your seats. We are about to journey through: (1) your identity; (2) where strength comes from; (3) the impact; and, (4) the process to walking in authority.
The Believer’s Identity: Royal Priesthood Created by Love for Devotion
I don’t think it’s wrong for people to expect more from believers especially since we claim to live by faith. They know Jesus Christ willingly laid down His life (which is the greatest love expressed) to fulfill the will of God. They also know the LORD consistently required His people to be Holy (Leviticus 20:7; 1 Peter 1:16), set apart, a peculiar people. The King James version of Scripture states:
- Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. – Titus 2:14 KJV
- But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: – 1 Peter 2:9 KJV
We are a royal priesthood. We are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ…. – 1 Peter 1:2 NKJV”. This election does not devalue any individual in the world for every soul is the LORD’s (Ezekiel 18:4) and every human being is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). God loved the world (John 3:16). The election is the right of God to choose a royal priesthood for Himself. Does being royalty and part of a priesthood, impact our daily lives, priorities, and decorum? Don’t we expect much from earthly leaders? How much more should we expect of those appointed to roles within God’s Kingdom?
Jesus taught the world would recognize us by our love (John 13:34-35 ) because the law of God is the law of love (Romans 13:8-10). It is essential for believers to maintain lives that express love and that are worthy of our calling because living this way: (1) determines the depth of our relationship with God, and (2) it impacts the world around us. No-one is able to fulfill this high calling without the power of the Holy Spirit. It is His Spirit in us that leads and teaches by applying God’s knowledge to our understanding through His Word (Logos and Rhema – these two will never disagree).
Important reminder about rhema words: ensure any impression in your spirit it is not one sent by the enemy trying to misapply God’s Word as he tried to do with Jesus before He started His earthly ministry (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus overcame the enemy by quoting from the book of the law because He knew it, He wrote it as Jehovah, we study it. The witness in prayer (through His Spirit), the written word (Scripture) and the body of believers (the Church) will help confirm a matter of spiritual utterance.
THE WORD OF GOD
λόγος lógos, log’-os; from G3004; something said (including the thought); by implication, a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension, a computation; specially, (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ):—account, cause, communication (John 1:14; 1 John 1:2; Revelation 19:13)
ῥῆμα rhēma, hray’-mah; from G4483; an utterance (Matthew 4:4; Matthew 18:16; John 8:47; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 17:17)
Since Scripture informs us that we are a royal priesthood, we should seek to understand what that means. Revelation contains a passage that speaks of our future.
- John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. – Revelation 1:4-6 NKJV
Wow! Just think of that. The Apostle John was writing the seven Churches (in Turkey with gentile and Jewish congregants) because he was told by the resurrected and glorified Christ to issue words of (1) encouragement, (2) correction and (3) to provide the prophecy that culminates with the fulfillment of the plan of the ages. Consider that the opening remarks to the Church includes the positional statement that He has made them to be kings and priests to God. This is applicable to the entire body of Christ. Remarkable especially when you consider the faults of those Churches which are types and evident in the Church across the world (Revelation 2:1 – Revelation 3:21). Throughout Revelation, we see the Church described as kings and priests (examples Revelation 5:10; Revelation 20:6; also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Timothy 1:9).
Paul had given instruction to send the letter addressed to the Colossians to the Chruch at Ladocia which is later corrected by the LORD in Revelation because they were lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-22).
- Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. – Colossians 4:16 NKJV
When considering it is the LORD’s work in us that sanctifies us, I am relieved because I have total confidence in Him and wavering faith in my own abilities (rightfully). Yet, when I read Colossians 3, I see there is a role for the believer. The beautiful design of the LORD’s call is that we needn’t be frustrated with our rate development because we are reliant on the Holy Spirit – AND – we CAN NOT make excuses for our decisions to disobey the Holy Spirit. We fulfill the call together and we are accountable to Him . Scripture states: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. – Colossians 3:1 NKJV”. This one verse is so very powerful.
When The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians, he was addressing those who (being very much alive physically) had experienced the death of the old nature and were raised to the new life in Christ. These believers were the target of heretical teaching and Paul wanted to encourage them that Christ is completely sufficient: (1) to save; (2) for spiritual freedom; (3) for Godly living; and (4) for relationships.
RAISED – G4891 matches the Greek συνεγείρω (synegeirō), which occurs 3 times in 3 verses (one of which is Col 3:1, the remaining 2 below) in the Greek concordance of the KJV means to rouse (from death) in company with, i.e. (figuratively) to revivify (spiritually) in resemblance to: —raise up together, rise with.: to a new and blessed life devoted to God: (risen from the dead, because the ground of the new Christian life lies in Christ’s resurrection)
- and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, – Ephesians 2:6 NKJV
- buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. – Colossians 2:12 NKJV
This new nature we received when we were born again by the Holy Spirit, makes us capable to be faithful, fruitful and worthy. Now making us capable does not mean He forces our individual wills to surrender. That would not be love. It means, our indwelling God who is our teacher and comforter enables us by giving us strength to walk out our earthly existence by the power of His Word. The only way to accomplish this is to seek those things above. Jesus Christ our LORD tells us every thing we need to achieve a Holy life will be added to us (Matthew 6:33, Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV) if we seek the kingdom of God as first priority, and in contrast, He also warns about seeking to save this mortal life as the chief priority.
- “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. – Luke 17:33 NKJV
- He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. “Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ … “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. – Luke 13:6-7, 24 NKJV
Colossians 3:3-4 states that with the death of our old natures, we are now hidden with Christ in God. This means we remain in Him renewing our minds in the increasing knowledge of our Creator. The LORD has provided Scripture as a way for a our minds to begin to understand Him in our limited linear experience of reality (time and width, length, height – depth being a product of the former). The source of this knowledge is The Word of God and the Holy Spirit unpacks it for us as we read and think/meditate on Scripture. The Holy Spirit brings Scripture into remembrance in every situation. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. – John 14:26 NKJV.
The Location: Hidden in Our Great High Priest
Scripture says we are now hidden with Christ in God, and Christ is at the right hand of the Father. So what exactly does that mean? Do we know where that is? We can be somewhere and fail to: (1) take old of something; (2) rest securely with all peace; (3) exercise authority over something; or (4) enjoy our position. Have you ever been somewhere and not realized you could have accessed, seen, or experienced something?
- Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” – Mark 14:62 NKJV
- So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. – Mark 16:19 NKJV
- who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. – 1 Peter 3:22 NKJV
Scripture emphasises that when Christ ascended, He not only went to the right hand of the Father, He sat down.
- Looking at word “sit” from Colossians 3:1 from the Strong’s Definitions G2521 matches the Greek κάθημαι (kathēmai) means (to sit; akin to the base of G1476); to sit down; figuratively, to remain, reside: —dwell, sit (by, down).
- Looking at the base of G2521, Strong’s Number G1476 matches the Greek ἑδραῖος hedraîos; from a derivative of ἕζομαι hézomai (to sit); sedentary, i.e. (by implication) immovable: —settled, steadfast which occurs 3 times in 3 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV
Sit (G2521) at right hand – Authority
- “For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ‘ – Mark 12:36 NKJV.
- Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” – Mark 14:62 NKJV
- Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. … Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: – Revelation 4:2-4, 9-10 NKJV
Sit Down (G1476) – Immovable
- Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so determined in his heart that he will keep his virgin, does well. – 1 Corinthians 7:37 NKJV
- Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. – 1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV
- if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven…. – Colossians 1:23 NKJV
We know that Christ physically ascended 40 days after His resurrection because of the eye witness accounts of the disciples and more than 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6-7; Luke 24:44-51; Acts 1:3-8). So, our glorified LORD, the GOD-Man (completely God and completely human yet without sin) is “sitting” at the right hand of the Father physically and continually making intercession for us prior to our glorification and rewards at the Judgement Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10; Psalms 9:7-8; Psalms 50:4-6; Matthew 25:34; Galatians 6:7-8; Colossians 3:24-25’ Revelation 22:12). The Judgement Seat of Christ is another great study that transformed my life.
- Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. – Romans 8:34 NKJV.
- Further reading on Christ’s Intercession for us – Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 10:19-22; Hebrews 12:2; Revelation 1:18; Hebrews 8:1-2; Romans 8:27; Isaiah 53:12; John 16:23, 26-27; John 17:20-24; Hebrews 4:14-15; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2.
John personally witnessed Jesus Christ’s death and ascension and he received the Revelation of Jesus Christ which provides great insight into future (and past) events. Having written the Gospel of John, the 3 Epistles of John, and Revelation, the consistency in the message about our resurrected Saviour adds much clarity. John wrote this testimony by the Holy Spirit:
- “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” And again, another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” – John 19:34-37 NKJV”.
He wrote again in 1 John about what he bore witness to on earth and he said the Holy Spirit in you will verify it is true:
- This is He who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. – 1 John 5:6-13 NKJV.
John also wrote about the revelation Jesus gave him about the culmination of the end of human history and the beginning of our eternity with Him. In Revelation he solidified the risen Jesus Christ returns physically to end evil. Praise God!
- He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. … And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. – Revelation 19:13, 16 NKJV
The disciples were willing to die for what they saw and experienced. They understood their families would at minimum also endure reputational impact for these very bold public assertions that were documented shortly after the resurrection to ensure survivorship of the message. Would you be willing to die, or expose your family to harm for something you did not have 100% surety? In fact, you could be absolutely sure of something yet still be unwilling to die for it, unless you had more to lose (such denying Christ and being lost). The disciples were confident because they witnessed the earthly miracles of Christ, they had the inward assurance from the Holy Spirit, they had the Word of God (Old Testament prophesy that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Messianic prophesies); and they saw the resurrected Jesus Christ. They knew that their deaths were just the beginning of eternal life (Hebrews 7:22).
Above Chart created using data from number of sources including Zondervan Bible Publishers and Rose Publishing and serves primarily as a pictorial representation on the testimonial validity of New Testament Scripture from eyewitness accounts.
Consider how comforting and empowering it is to know that we have a perfect representative of humanity in the Godhead who ever lives to make intercession for us! The Godhead consults about us to ensure we have what we need to achieve His purpose and destiny for us. Oh, praise God! The One who petitions our case is both our Judge and our High Priest who made atonement for us with His own Blood.
Intercession in Strong’s Definitions G1793 matches the Greek ἐντυγχάνω (entygchanō) and means confer with; by extension to entreat (in favor or against): —deal with, make intercession and it occurs 5 times in 5 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV (Acts 25:24; Romans 8:27, 34; Romans 11:2; Hebrews 7:25)
Jesus’s Priestly Ministry physically provides intercession for the Church He established (Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:17). Our mission on earth is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ; our purpose eternally is to be kings and priests to His God and Father to give Him Glory. We are created for His pleasure. (Revelation 1:4-6; Psalms 115:1; Psalms 29:1-2; Psalms 30:12; Psalms 96:7-8; Isaiah 48:11). Jesus is the Head of the Church, and we (the church) are His body on earth filled by His Spirit individually – and – we will be filled completely for eternal communion with God (just as Jesus was and is).
- and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. – Ephesians 1:19-23 NKJV
- who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, – Hebrews 1:3 NKJV
- Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. – Hebrews 7:25 NKJV
The Impact: Christ’s Priestly Ministry Makes the Church Capable
- Jesus is by God’s Authority our High Priest. All authority has been given to Him. This authority is the power of justice and judgement over everything; it is the execution of the Father’s will in everything. Amazingly exciting: We are hidden in Him positionally and have the authorization to use His Name to accomplish His Will. We are ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).
- Jesus is approved by God. God stated He was well pleased with the God-Man Jesus Christ and God exalted Him above every name that is named. He is above all principality, all power, all authority, all thrones, dominions, everything. Incredibly humbling: We are hidden in Him positionally right now despite our failures. When God sees Jesus’ blood atonement covering us, He gives us His approval. (Galatians 4:6-7)
- Jesus is ever living in His accomplishment. When Christ said “it is finished”, He ceased His earthly ministry (Luke 23:34; John 17:20; Hebrews 5:7) and ended the need for a sacrificial system of atonement. He Himself became our atonement and it was a “once and for all” sufficient atonement which brought reconciliation to the Father. We approach life from a position of guaranteed victory eternally despite temporal happenings. If the worst thing that could happen to us in this life is die – we have won! Yet, God has designed us to desire to fulfill our earthly missions and not wish to depart prematurely.
- For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:26 NKJV
- Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, – Ephesians 2:19 NKJV
- and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. – Colossians 2:10 NKJV
- You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4 NKJV
- Jesus is praying for us as the Second Adam. As the GOD-Man, Jesus is the perfect mediator between the Father and Man (Hebrews 8:4-6; Exodus 25:40; Acts 7:44; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 9:15). The Son of Man bore our infirmities and suffered for our transgressions, iniquities, sickness (Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:3-6; 1 Peter 2:24). He intercedes within the Godhead on our behalf concerning every detail of our lives (1 John 2:1; John 17:24) and He understands our very nature (Psalms 103:14). When you have something so personal that you feel you can not share it with anyone, please know you have the perfect prayer partner who understands you and is committed to praying for you. Your His.
- The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. – 1 Corinthians 15:47-49 NKJV
- For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. – Hebrews 4:15 NKJV
- but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. – Philippians 2:7-8 NKJV
- Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. – Hebrews 2:17-18 NKJV
- being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. – Luke 4:2 NKJV
- For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – 2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
- Jesus grants us access to God: Holy God can not dwell among sin (Psalms 5:4-5; Psalms 11:5; Psalms 34:16; 1 Peter 1:15-16) and as such since we are hidden in Christ, we have access to God through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:9-13).
- For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. – Ephesians 2:18 NKJV
- in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. – Ephesians 3:12 NKJV
- “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” – Revelation 7:17 NKJV
The Process: Prioritize the LORD as Preeminent in Daily Life
The Word of God tells us to be holy and to set our minds on things above. What is above? The LORD is above and our heavenly abode is above. By having an eternal perspective and focused devotion in mind and heart to the LORD, we are capable of overcoming life’s tests and distractions. While we live in this world, we base our lives on Christ, the Word of God. By making His Word and prayer a priority, we cooperate with the Holy Spirit who will guide us. If Jesus Christ needed to leave His disciples to have separate communion and devotion to His God and Father, we not only need it – it is expected of us. He understands we have “things” that demand our time, but He promises a better life here and now when we prioritize Him. Its a matter of what/who you love the most. He is patient and will do what He needs to do with circumstances until you are willing to persevere doing life His way.
- So Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. – Colossians 3:2 NKJV
- For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. – Romans 8:5 NKJV
There may be times when we feel that study and prayer is unfruitful. Like any relationship, invested time leads to better understanding and better communion. He has promised to teach us, and our hearts can not be divided with competing interests or demands. Making the time to read and pray as your highest priority in your daily life – then meditating on what you have read while you go about your day will in time produce a harvest. It is first seed, then time……………………. and then harvest. (Matthew 13:3-9, 12; Matthew 25:14-30 – the talents is the word).
Our LORD’s grace is so incredible, we can never satisfy the worship due to His name for His unfailing sacrificial love for His Church. He has made an everlasting covenant to us and He will join Himself to us as His Bride (Revelation 19:7; Revelation 21:2, 9; Isaiah 62:5; Hosea 2:19-20; Matthew 22:2; Matthew 25:1; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:9). Love is a decision and so is what we choose to think about. With the Word, and the Holy Spirit, we have everything needed to change what we are focusing on moment by moment. He is committed to our eternal union and tells us in His Word to participate in our sanctification by setting our minds (which is the seat of affections) on Christ as preeminent. Preeminent means holding first place.
Mind/Affections – Strong’s Number G5426 matches the Greek φρονέω (phroneō),which occurs 29 times in 21 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV; from G5424; to exercise the mind, i.e. entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication, to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensively, to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience):—set the affection on, (be) care(-ful), (be like-, + be of one, + be of the same, + let this) mind(-ed), regard, savour, think.
Extra Reading – Undervaluing the Kingdom of God
And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. “And he thought within himself…. ‘ “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? “And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? … “If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. … your Father knows that you need these things. “But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. …For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; “and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. “And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” … “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. “Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. “But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. – Luke 12:15-26, 28-48 NKJV