Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday April 9, 2014 Matthew 6:25-34

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV)
Jesus is telling us that too often, we get caught up in the cares of this world and allow ourselves to forget that God not only is going to provide for our needs, but He wants us to open our hearts to be receptive to the Blessings He wants us to have- We often look at difficult situations, and feel there is no solution, and expect the worst- When we put those concerns into His Hands, we may not get the results we're looking for at that time, but God knows that what He is providing us is what is best for what we need- It is a matter of building our Trust in His Promises, and to know that what we're actually doing is building a greater reliance on Him- That will bring us through every situation we face on this Earth, maybe not what we want, but what coincides w/ His Will- And when that Trust is built, and our Faith increases, down the road, we have Blessings awaiting us that we can't begin to imagine- Jesus is saying that God provides a way for even the birds of the air to have the provisions they need, and they don't have a way to honor Him- But, as His Children, we have every opportunity to bring him Honor and Glory- The birds of the air get His Blessings, why shouldn't those who have the chance to Honor Him every day of their lives ??--John Cochran


Tracy said...

These verses make my heart sing! What a blessed reminder of God's love and provision! The birds that neither sow nor reap and the lilies that neither toil nor spin are abundantly provided for. And we who are of MUCH greater value to God ( so we are told here) will we not be provided for at least as abundantly? And not because of what we can DO for God, but simply for seeking Him first and foremost. In a world that treasures and even idolizes work and accomplishment and celebrates the same with gross excess of material goods, we find so many people that are dry and empty in their souls. But once again, Jesus shows us the more excellent way: be still and seek The Lord. Then ALL our needs will be provided for and as our hearts are aligned with His, we may well find our new kingdom-inspired desires our also fulfilled.AMEN!

Gladys said...

John--I appreciate the way you highlighted Blessings and Trust. By capitalizing these words, we see them as part of God and the way He has distributed Himself throughout not only what is visible--the lilies and the birds--but the spiritual.


Henry McCarter said...

What will God clothe you with? More accurately, what has God clothed you with? We are all clothed in God's love and grace. Anything else, everything else, is just gilding the lily.

A young woman posted a link to very fashionable very expensive shoes, and said that she will die if she doesn't get them.

I recalled showing a picture of Mozambican school children running laps outside the school building. The podiatrist checked it out and remarked about how all the feet looked very healthy. I knew the kids were barefoot, but never diagnosed them.

Are we worried about adorning our bodies? Filling ourselves with fancy food? Filling our minds with worldly pursuits?

We need to see how we can use what God has given us to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

We are already dressed in our work clothes!

Linda W said...

This passage challenges me! Especially this verse: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." It's really hard in middle class America to seek Jesus first. I want my Jesus and I want my American dream. If I'm honest with myself, at some level these 2 things are not compatible really.

I know Jesus wants me to be far more generous with my money, time, talent, home, car, etc. than I am naturally inclined to be. Plus, it's my tendency to view "blessings" through the lens of the world-- comfort, financial security, a nice home, good health, rewarding job, material blessings, etc.

These things are not bad in and of themselves. In fact many of them are gifts. And needs really are needs. They're real and God knows them. We all have them.

So the questions I must ask myself constantly are this: If all of my material blessings evaporated overnight, would Jesus still be Lord in my life? Are "Blessings" my end? If they are, then I've turned God into my means. That's idol worship. Rev Timothy Keller says the surest way to detect idols in our life is to honestly admit those things that we deem so essential to life that if we lost them, we wouldn't want to go on.

But if God is my end--the ultimate blessing -- then all other blessings are merely tools--tools I can use to share His love and serve this world. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 that this is the only life worth having:

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."

I'm not writing this as someone who has eliminated all idols from my life--far from it. I'm writing this as a sinner in need of constant grace that's grown tired of a culturally acceptable "American" Jesus. I want the "life that is truly life".

If I'm really honest, this "One Master" life scares me some. I LIKE Pottery Barn... a lot. Seriously, I think God's OK with me shopping at Pottery Barn. But He wants to be first in my heart and mind. Seeking God first isn't a matter of will as much as it is a matter of love. It's reality for all of us, that everyday we must seek to love God more than we love ourselves. Who is Jesus to me?