Pt 11 Heart Prep For Ministry

Pt 11 Heart Prep For Ministry

Lights Burning (Heart Prep)

Luke 12:22–40

Before we attend to the MINISTRY of the individual disciple of the Lord, there needed first to be all that has already gone before us as a preparation of the heart.

Jesus addresses his disciples instructing them of where their hearts OUGHT to be before he speaks to them of their “loins being girded about, and your lights burning” in v 35. 

We cannot be servants of the Lord Jesus UNTIL our hearts have their place fully trusting the Lord, SOLD OUT FOR JESUS, rather than the stuff of this perishing life!

Luke 14:26–27 

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple

Luke 14:33 

33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

That is spoken two chapters AFTER our consideration of this one, chapter 12. Jesus doubling down on our need to trust HIM fully. Doubling down on where the state of our heart OUGHT to be for ministry compared to our desires of this life.

The question I desire you might have in your mind as we go through this this morning, is, IF YOU TRUSTED THE BIBLE FOR YOUR SALVATION, and you now KNOW you are saved and have experienced all that pertains to it, why will you not trust the Bible completely everywhere?

In previous messages in this series, we have given to ourselves the consideration of the world and our lives in the giving up of a multitude of idolatriesThe lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life!

We spoke of the greatest of these being MONEY (Mammon) which brother Cody opened with in his sermon on the 10th of December last year, and I concluded in January this year. and I have never heard of so much push back on that topic as I have heard in this church before

People offended of being likened to those God called thieves. 

Offended at direct biblical links to behaviour and heart.

Offended that they ought to give ANYTHING financial for the sake of the Gospel, even excusing the vain notion that the pastor is looking to line his own pockets and hardly thinking for a moment that his motive was to share in the joy of being free from that IDOL and reminding us of our responsibilities.

But it was Jesus who first spoke saying, “ He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 10:39

It is Jesus that speaks here in Luke 12 of where our heart OUGHT to be, and it is evident it wont get there without a fight against the flesh.

Those idolatries of our lives needed first to be vanquished while the preparation in our lives for the work of God would be the ultimate fulfilment of our joy, preparing us for true MINISTRY. 

We ought to be willing to lose our lives before we can find it.

Here in Luke 12 we have Jesus clearly expressing to his disciples that the absolute and perfect gain of their lives, the complete joy of all things is the total giving up of anything seen as valuable in this life for that which is eternal.

The very beginning of our Joy was when we gave our lives to Jesus for the salvation of our souls. 

So real was that, so valuable was that that, like the disciples of old, we were willing to give all for the kingdom of God, we had set our treasure in heaven respecting our souls at the first, that nothing we had in this life could compare to all that we understood was of value in eternity.

But as life goes on and our love begins to wax cold, so too did our affections for eternity begin to shift again to here and now.

The comfort and joy of heaven began to be replaced with the temporal affections of this life and suddenly we began to change storehouses

Little treasure set in heaven, as our heart returned to here.

The responsibilities we were to attend to here for the kingdom of God there, began to become of lesser value, as that which our eyes could see became larger in our hearts than that which “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor 2:9).

Beloved, our lamp dims as our love waxes cold.

But Jesus desires us to let…your lights be burning (v35)

It is a matter of interest that, at the first the disciples forsook their businesses, their jobs and all they had and followed him (Mt 4:20-22, 9:9), for Jesus promised them saying, “Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men” (Mrk 1:17), and the text does not go on to indicate the men questioned among themselves the nature of the deal. 

It doesn’t even indicate they were at all worried about leaving their businesses for Jesus, on the contrary, the passage tells us plainly “and straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him” (Mrk 1:18).

But it was not long into the work that they too began to ask “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee: what shall we have therefore?” (Mat 19:27)

Because It was Jesus after all who said to them, “whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:33). 

It seems Luke 12 and Luke 14 are what 21st Century disciples think is “An hard saying and who can hear it” rather than the 1st century disciples contending with drinking the blood of Christ and eating his flesh in John 6 as the harder, incommunicable saying.

whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:33). 

So, to prepare the heart for ministry in its fullness, Jesus tells his disciples in this passage; “Take no thought for your life”, Take no thought “what ye shall eat”, Take not thought “what ye shall put on”, why?


30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Those who truly believe this to be the case, those who hold God accountable to these very words, those who have first trusted in him to save their souls for eternity and now trust him for their lives here, THEY ALONE HAVE SUCH JOY, WHEN     “all these things shall be added unto you”.


The first preparation of the ministry, the very purpose of your lives, is that of the heart..

Luke 12:33–37

33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

The first preparation for the ministry, is that of the heart.

His Supply

Luke 12:30–33

30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

For our lights to be burning we must be able to trust him for his SUPPLY.

The oil in the lamps of the virgins who awaited for their Lord did not burn out for they had a ready supply with them, in other words, in their waiting for the bridegroom, there was never a point in which they had any fear of lack.

When the people of the Lord were instructed to journey from the relative comforts of Egypt, they may have lacked ‘the leeks and the onions and the garlick’ (Num 11:5), but he “satisfied them with the bread of heaven” (Ps 105:40), “man did eat angels food” (Ps 78:25).

When God has given to us a clear charge to “go and to preach the gospel”, with that also comes the provision of God for the work. God equips his saints with all they have need of to attend to the work, and all that is lacking in man is their willingness to trust him.

In this therefore he encourages his children, telling not to fear any lack in these things,  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew Henry

(2.) It is needless for them to disquiet themselves with care about the necessary supports of life; for they have a Father in heaven who does and will take care for them: “Your Father knows that you have need of these things, and considers it, and will supply your needs according to his riches in glory; for he is your Father, who made you subject to these necessities, and therefore will suit his compassions to them: your Father, who maintainsyou, educates you, and designs an inheritance for you, and therefore will take care that you want no good thing.”[1]

How vital it is for us to decide if we are willing to trust him at all. We say that we trust him, but do we? 

Coming to the world in short order seems to be a manufactured famine by the elites of the world. 

Many of you have heard of it and many of you have seen the farmers rise up all around the world against their governments in protest, knowing that the rules imposed upon them will destroy farming and remove food production for the people.

Elites, purchasing massive allotments of farming properties around the world, to, like Pharaoh, king of Egypt in the Bible, will have control of the food supply to subjugate the people at least by the time Antichrist appears on the scene.

The Weekly Times December, 20, 2023

In Victoria one of the most ridicoulous bills that have ever seen the light of day is being considered that will ONLY motivate farmers to abandon Animal Husbandy for other less risky alternatives. In other words, a ridiculous bill that is based on a former ridiculous bill that the ignorant people of the state did not see coming.

This is what is says in the article;

Victorian farmers face having to comply with legally binding minimum care requirements for their animals for the first time, under a radical new Animal Care and Protection Bill.

The care requirements include, but are not limited to, ensuring animals enjoy “appropriate” exercise, ambient temperatures, noise levels, lighting, air quality, shade and shelter, food and water, as well as rest areas, space to stand, lie, stretch and change position.

The draft bill also demands that animals have “opportunities for appropriate interactions with humans, other animals and the animals environment, including ensuring that the interactions are conducted in a manner that minimises anxiety, fear, pain or distress for the animal”.

Such clauses reinforce one of the founding principles of the new bill: to recognise animal sentience for the first time – ie, the capacity to feel fear, stress and other emotions.

The key concern of this ridiculous bill is not only how impossible it is to afford such levels of “care”, but who it is that decides what is “appropriate”? How is it even measured? 

The article goes on to question how a farmer is able to give a defence to avoid paying the $24,000 fine, or the six months imprisonment or both for each breach.

The owner must prove they “took all reasonable steps to provide the care requirement for the animal”. But WHO decides what is “reasonable”? and how is it to be measured?

Beloved, this world is quickly coming to a close and how will you be able to trust the Lord if you are here while these things build up if you are NOT willing to trust him now?

Matthew Henry

1. “Sit loose to this world, and to all your possessions in it: Sell that ye have, and give alms,” that is, “rather than want wherewith to relieve those that are truly necessitous, sell what you have that is superfluous, all that you can spare from the support of yourselves and families, and give it to the poor. Sell what you have, if you find it a hindrance from, or incumbrance in, the service of Christ. Do not think yourselves undone, if by being fined, imprisoned, or banished, for the testimony of Jesus, you be forced to sell your estates, thought they be the inheritance of your fathers. Do not sell to hoard up the money, or because you can make more of it by usury, but sell and give alms; what is given in alms, in a right manner, is put out to the best interest, upon the best security.”[2]

Our Heart

Luke 12:34

34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

All of this is a matter of the heart. 

If the heart is fixed on this world it will be fearful, it will suffer anxiety and it will be troubled no end.

The ancient Israelites were not without fear even though they had a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day to lead them in the way. 

Not all were originally troubled by fear, but all were sold by the false testimony of a handful of men who went to spy out the land and returned with an evil report.

It took ten men out of two million persons to turn the hearts of a multitude against God (Num 14).

The result was all but Josuah, Kalab and those under twenty years old at the time, perished in the wilderness (Num 32:11-12).


If it is here, there is no good report, no good tale to tell, nothing I can encourage you in that has ANY lasting value. 

If it is heaven, if that is where your treasure is stored, then you provide yourself “bags that wax not old”, secure from thieves and cannot fail.

2. “Set your hearts upon the other world, and your expectations from that world. Provide yourselves bags that wax not old, that wax not empty, not of gold, but of grace in the heart and good works in the life; these are the bags that will last.” 

 It is treasure that will not be exhausted; we may spend upon it to eternity, and it will not be at all the less; there is no danger of seeing the bottom of it. (2.) It is treasure that we are in no danger of being robbed of, for no thief approaches near it; what is laid up in heaven is out of reach of enemies. (3.) It is treasure that will not spoil with keeping, any more than it will waste with spending; the mothdoes not corrupt it, as it does our garments which we now wear. 

Now by this it appears that we have laid up our treasure in heaven if our hearts be there while we are here (v. 34), if we think much of heaven and keep our eye upon it, if we quicken ourselves with the hopes of it and keep ourselves in awe with the fear of falling short of it. But, if your hearts be set upon the earth and the things of it, it is to be feared that you have your treasure and portion in it, and are undone when you leave it.[3]

What a sorrow it is when our lives are entangled with the affairs of this life when we are called not to be!

2 Tim 2:4

4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Either our hearts are deceived by this world, or our eyes lust for the gain of this world. 

But is this right? 

Does our love for the world to whatever degree give us a clue as to where our hearts are at that present time? Is the Bible vague when it comes to the question of where the affections of the heart ought to be? 

Turn to

1 John 2:15-17

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

It’s incredible how we have trusted the clarity of Gods words when it came to our salvation, but when it presents the truth contrary to what we want to believe is true, we think it speaks in riddles.

We have a twisted hermeneutic. 

It is of supreme interest to me to see so many Christians, fighting against the world they know desires to impoverish them, still desire to retain the crumbs of this life, when the full bread of heaven is available to them if they would only prepare their hearts for the work!

Children perish around the world as they get older, never hearing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why? because Christians are far too busy picking the crumbs of this life to sustain themselves. And while they are distracting themselves in vain personal pursuits, the leaders of the world come through with a broom every few years to sweep much of it away.  

In the last 100 years we had WW1 (1914-1918), the stock market crash of 1929, the Great Depression that followed it lasting ten years thanks to the governments of the world to 1939, the Second World War of 1939-1945, The Korean war of 1950-53, Vietnam War that lasted for 20 years from 1955 to 1975, double digit inflation of the 1970’s, then the Stock market crash of 1987 known as Black Monday and the “Recession we had to have” for the next two years till 1990, sweeping away the value of many peoples enforced superannuation at the time. (it began in 1983 and became compulsory in 1992)

The “Dot Com” bust of the year 2000, the same year people had realised they spent a fortune on the greatest financial scam in company history, knowns as the fictitious “millennium Bug”. 

The western world was changed a year later on the 11th of September, 2001. 

But no rest, The Subprime Mortgage Crisis scam in the USA in 2007 that led to the Global Financial crisis of 2007-8, (The net worth of families in the US alone dropped $13 thousand billion dollars ($13T or 20%)).

The last one was 2020-21….that was the disaster that piqued the interest of Christians around the world, and even brought many of you to Christ.

When is the next one? 2030?

Every single so called “Crisis” can be traced back to the Governments of the world that, at the very least, aided and abetted, if not facilitated the extent of every crisis to orchestrate change.

Never let a good crisis go to waste” said Political advisor to Barak Obama, Rahm Emanuel after the 2008 GFC.

They sweep the broom through the crumbs we have worked for, and we sorrow with the world until those same leaders scatter even less crumbs before us, keeping our eyes firmly fixed on where they fell; and there is Jesus in heaven offering the full bread of life if ONLY we would look up.

Luke 12:34

34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The Christians who’s hearts are here distract themselves with a mirage, while the Lost remain LOST.

What on earth are we doing brethren?

The promise of eternity for our souls we ONLY came to believe because it tells us in this book. 

We have now experienced the truth of it and KNOW for certain that the book concerning our souls is true, DO WE REALLY BELIEVE THE REST OF IT IS FALSE????

Where on earth are our hearts? Perhaps the better question is, where is our treasure?

Luke 12:34

34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Lights Burning

Luke 12:35–37

35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

“Let your….lights be burning”

When our hearts are prepared for the ministry we are all called to attend to and do, then and ONLY then will the Lord truly reveal what we are to do.

FIRST: Our hearts OUGHT to be searching for the treasure of heaven.

We hold LOOSLEY to the things of this life, even trusting he should rain down manna from heaven into our back yards and balconies if need be.

THEN being prepared for the work of God with eyes and hearts fixed on heaven, he will show us what we are to do to keep our lights burning.

King David had a heart for the Lord while he cared for the sheep. 

After all his brothers were called to appear before Samuel, David was busy tending his sheep and called in. 

He was anointed King as a ruddy lad, then returned to his sheep until the appointed time years later.

God had much to teach him in this humble work, even though anointed king. Many trials he endured during his time as a shepherd. He was humbled greatly, learning to trust God alone, even to deliver him from the Lion and the Bear.

Be humble before the Lord, his first task is to prepare your hearts before you can be ready to do his work. 

Turn to;

 Isaiah 6:1–8

1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 

5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

The recognition of Isiah of his own nature was pivotal.

“Undone, Undone”, “Woe is me for I am undone”.

Isiah was not a poor man; he was said to have been a man of means and the counsellor of kings. He was in their courts; in chapter one he tells of his service from Uzziah through to King Hezekiah.

So close to God and so far from holiness, Isiah was UNDONE.

He knew exactly where his heart was at, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.

This recognition of the state of our hearts before God is vital, for until this is acknowledged before HIM, he cannot use any of us.

God cleansed him, and he heard the question raised and was willing.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Now he is ready, now he has his heart right and in this trust in God alone, he is ready to endure the hardship of the work until he expires.

Tradition tells us that Isiah was killed in the most barbaric way. For those who desire to look it up, do so. 

But what preparation must have been attended to in the heart for a man to be so willing to commit both his life and his death to the Lord?

Psalm 51:17

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

When this is attended to, you are ready for the Lord to reveal to you what it is that he will send you to do. 

Matthew Henry

 let your hearts be upon your work, and your great care how to do that well, and this will effectually divert your thoughts from inordinate care about things of the world. And let all that have souls to save seek the kingdom of God, in which only they can be safe

Mind the affairs of your souls with diligence and care, and then trust God with all your other affairs.”[4]

Until he comes.


[1]. Henry, M. (1994) Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, p. 1867.

[2]. Henry, M. (1994) Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, p. 1868.

[3]. Henry, M. (1994) Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, p. 1868.

[4]. Henry, M. (1994) Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, p. 1867.


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