March 1, 2024

How Much is Enough?

Written by Boyd Bailey

Fear says there is never enough, but faith says the Lord’s provision is enough.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 1, 2024

But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God. Luke 12:20-21

Over the years, I struggled with this elusive equation, so much so that I discovered with the Lord’s help that I needed another more helpful question. “Is God big enough to provide for what’s enough for me?” And like many answers for those of us who desire to fully follow Jesus in his plan for our lives, the answer to the rhetorical question is yes, yes, of course, the Creator of the universe is large and in charge! My needs are a penny of provision in God’s economy. My Creator is certainly big enough to provide enough for me and my family. Since this is for sure, why do I still waver and, at times, doubt my heavenly Father’s intentions and capacity to totally care for my needs?

To help us unpack our motivation and means to answer, How much is enough, Jesus tells of the parable of the man who builds a bigger barn, which is a parable packed full of emotion, wisdom, and warning. Jesus calls out a prosperous man for his foolishness: shortsightedness, self-indulgence, and self-deception. The productive man deceptively thought he owned his possessions: “my crops, my barns, my grain, myself.” The farmer even missed stating the obvious: Almighty God was the Creator of the soil, his soul, and the harvest. This foolish man failed to be rich toward God by living for himself. 

Part of the tension is my lifelong struggle to know what my part is and discern God’s part. In God’s equation of being a responsible adult, I am to plan and provide and not strive, but trust in the Holy Spirit to lead me through discovering the divine plan for me to seek God’s kingdom first, knowing all of the other necessities in life will follow. As Jesus says, since He cares for the birds and flowers, He will surely care for me and my family. Yet, growing up, I became self-reliant to work hard and benefit from the fruits of diligent labor. Of course, as I later learned, there is nothing wrong with working hard as long as my work is unto the Lord.

It seems that whatever season I find myself in, the lurking fear of not having enough is background noise in my responsible adult thinking. When we had small children, my wife Rita and I worked hard to provide our four daughters with food, clothing, and quality education. As teenagers, we struggled to save and prepare for their college and potentially four weddings. How would we pay for four weddings? Fortunately, God provided me with extra work to complement my minister’s salary, and we lived off a strict budget. I did learn the role of the father of the bride was to show up, shut up, and shell out, ha! And stunningly, each wedding was less formal and more expensive. I never imagined the barn I stacked hay in as a young man would be a major revenue stream for aspiring entrepreneurs who repurposed the dull and rustic site for weddings. The barn is now available to cater barbeque and provide a DJ to dance the night away with the smell of hay. The concern/fear of having enough to live life and for the end of life is a legitimate human desire. And now, in our empty nest season, we still spend time discussing and planning our future needs. 

However, as followers of Jesus Christ, we have a higher call than just surviving, even thriving on earth. The sole focus of a committed Christ follower is to seek first the Kingdom of God. And in the process of seeking a purpose larger than life, our life’s needs are cared for by our heavenly Caregiver. The Shepherd of our soul is more than capable as the Shepherd of our stuff. 

How much is enough? The Holy Spirit will lead his beloved ones to God’s heart so they can answer this question. Fear says there is never enough, but faith says the Lord’s provision is enough. This doesn’t mean we don’t plan well, but it does mean that we do not obsess over “building bigger barns.” Instead, we place our trust in our generous Lord…Jesus Christ. 

 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, KJV).


Heavenly Father, show me the part I am responsible for and the part I can trust you for, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.


How is the Lord leading you to be generous with your time and resources?

Related Reading

2 Corinthians 9:8; 1 Timothy 5:8; Hebrews 13:5; 2 Peter 1:3

Matthew 6:26, Colossians 3:23-24

Worship Resource

Cade Thompson: Provider


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