Sell the Treasure That Will Not Last

Luke 12:32–34, Part 1

Principle for Bible Reading

Many people are afraid to give because they’re afraid they won’t have enough themselves or that they’ll miss out on something in the future. In this lab, John Piper highlights the liberating promise that God is a providing shepherd, father, and king. Therefore, we can give freely and generously.

View the outline.


Introduction/Prayer (00:00–01:01)

God Knows Your Needs (01:01–03:59)

  1. What should you not be afraid of (Luke 12:32)? You are not to fear the consequences of giving.
  2. You are not to fear being without our basic necessities. God knows everything you need. (Luke 12:29–31)
  3. Jesus overcomes this fear by reminding us that we have a good Shepherd, a good Father, and a good King.
  4. Therefore, give. Be generous.

Sell Your Possessions (03:59–07:35)

  1. If you don’t have cash to give, sell your possessions to get some. (Luke 12:33)
  2. Jesus is not against possessions. We know this because Jesus is simply putting your possessions into someone else’s hands. He’s not prohibiting possessions. (Luke 12:33)
  3. We should hold our possessions so loosely that we are willing to let them go if others are in need.
  4. Being a generous and compassionate person is what shows you are a member of this flock, this family, and this kingdom. And that is because this Shepherd, this Father, and this King delights to give. (Luke 12:32)
  5. If you have a God like this, you can afford to live simply and generously. (Luke 12:32–33)

Closing Prayer and Commission (07:35–08:02)

God, make us the kind of people that prove by our giving that we are sheep of such a shepherd, children of such a father, subjects of such a king. I pray this through Christ, Amen.

Study Questions

  1. In the context of Luke 12, what specifically are Jesus’s disciples not to fear (Luke 12:32)?
  2. How does Jesus try and overcome the disciples’ fear? What promise(s) does he give them?
  3. What lesson is Jesus teaching about possessions in Luke 12:32–34? Is it bad to have possessions? Why or why not?
Piper: “If we have a God like ours, we can afford to live simply and generously.”