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15 Then He used that opportunity to speak to the crowd.

Jesus: You’d better be on your guard against any type of greed, for a person’s life is not about having a lot of possessions.

16 (then, beginning another parable) A wealthy man owned some land that produced a huge harvest. 17 He often thought to himself, “I have a problem here. I don’t have anywhere to store all my crops. What should I do? 18 I know! I’ll tear down my small barns and build even bigger ones, and then I’ll have plenty of storage space for my grain and all my other goods. 19 Then I’ll be able to say to myself, ‘I have it made! I can relax and take it easy for years! So I’ll just sit back, eat, drink, and have a good time!’”

20 Then God interrupted the man’s conversation with himself. “Excuse Me, Mr. Brilliant, but your time has come. Tonight you will die. Now who will enjoy everything you’ve earned and saved?”

21 This is how it will be for people who accumulate huge assets for themselves but have no assets in relation to God.

22 (then, to His disciples) This is why I keep telling you not to worry about anything in life—about what you’ll eat, about how you’ll clothe your body. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than fancy clothes. 24 Think about those crows flying over there: do they plant and harvest crops? Do they own silos or barns? Look at them fly. It looks like God is taking pretty good care of them, doesn’t it? Remember that you are more precious to God than birds! 25 Which one of you can add a single hour to your life or 18 inches[a] to your height by worrying really hard? 26 If worry can’t change anything, why do you do it so much?

27 Think about those beautiful wild lilies growing over there. They don’t work up a sweat toiling for needs or wants—they don’t worry about clothing. Yet the great King Solomon never had an outfit that was half as glorious as theirs!

28 Look at the grass growing over there. One day it’s thriving in the fields. The next day it’s being used as fuel. If God takes such good care of such transient things, how much more you can depend on God to care for you, weak in faith as you are. 29 Don’t reduce your life to the pursuit of food and drink; don’t let your mind be filled with anxiety. 30 People of the world who don’t know God pursue these things, but you have a Father caring for you, a Father who knows all your needs.

31 Since you don’t need to worry—about security and safety, about food and clothing—then pursue God’s kingdom first and foremost, and these other things will come to you as well.

32 My little flock, don’t be afraid. God is your Father, and your Father’s great joy is to give you His kingdom.

33 That means you can sell your possessions and give generously to the poor. You can have a different kind of savings plan: one that never depreciates, one that never defaults, one that can’t be plundered by crooks or destroyed by natural calamities. 34 Your treasure will be stored in the heavens, and since your treasure is there, your heart will be lodged there as well.

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Footnotes

  1. 12:25 Literally, one cubit