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Luke 12:22-31; Philippians 4:6-7

  • Have a look at this list of the world's top ten most common worries. Which of these worries rank highly for you personally?

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  • What are some other things we worry about? Do you have any worries which aren't on this list?

Even in the time of Jesus, people lived lives that were full of worry. Read what he said to reassure his followers:

Read Luke 12:22-31

  • What sorts of worries did the disciples have?

  • How do you imagine these words from Jesus would have been received by them?

  • What is the picture of God the Father that Jesus is painting here? What is His personality, His attitude towards creation and His attitude towards His people? [1]

  • How do you receive these words from Jesus? What do they mean to you?

  • The promise in verse 31 is remarkable. Do you have any examples (from your own life, or someone you know) where God has provided for his followers in remarkable ways?

  • Some have suggested that this teaching from Jesus is a command, and therefore worry is sinful. Do you agree with that interpretation? Why/why not?

  • What if someone is suffering from mental illness that causes them to feel anxious? How do you think these words from Jesus should be applied in that situation?

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Paul summarises Jesus' teaching here when he writes to the Philippians:

Read Philippians 4:6-7

Spend some time bringing your requests to God, and then ask for His peace and spend some time in silent reflection, experiencing the peace.

[1] N.T. Wright describes how God's focus on the 'Kingdom' is at the heart of Jesus teaching here:

The kingdom of God is, at its heart, about God’s sovereignty sweeping the world with love and power, so that human beings, each made in God’s image and each one loved dearly, may relax in the knowledge that God is in control. Reflecting on the birds and the flowers isn’t meant to encourage a kind of romantic nature-mysticism, but to stimulate serious understanding: God, the creator, loves to give good gifts, loves to give you the kingdom — loves, that is, to bring his sovereign care and rescue right to your own door. At the heart of the appeal is the difference that Israel should have recognized, between ‘the nations of the world’ and those who call God ‘Father’ — that is, between Gentile nations and Israel herself. If the gods you worship are distant and removed, or are simply nature-gods without personhood of their own, then of course you will be worried. If your God is the father who calls you his child, what is to stop you trusting him? (Luke for Everyone, p. 152)


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