(Disclaimer: Sometimes blogging is more about revealing something to the writer -and it can get lengthy – than informing the reader … nevertheless, welcome to my journey. I look forward to hearing from you.)
Consider Jesus’ teaching on worry …
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34 (NASB)
There are several questions prompted by this teaching that I am mulling over …
- Is not life more than food?
- Is the body more than clothing?
- Who can add a single hour to his life?
- Why seek His kingdom first?
- Why not worry about tomorrow?
So here we go … Is not life more than food?
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NASB)
The fact that God gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes IN Him shall have eternal life … well, that in and of itself answers the first question. When tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread Jesus replied; “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4) Yes, life is so much more than food (also note the opening of the next passage of Scripture)!
Is the body more than clothing?
Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:13-20 (NASB)
Let’s look at some answers regarding the second question: Our bodies are members of Christ. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells IN us. Our bodies are not our own … Christ Jesus paid the ultimate price for us. In our bodies, we are to glorify God … not ourselves (as clothing frequently does). Yes, the body is far more than clothing.
Who can add a single hour to his life?
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. Psalm 139:16 (NASB)
All our days were ordained for us by God in His book before we had experienced our first breath or heart beat … no man or doctor (or worry) can add a single hour or day to a life … and cancer and disease does not shorten the number of days in a life that God has already appointed … take confidence in the truth that you will live the exact number of days that God has ordained for you.
Why seek His kingdom first?
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:1-8 (NASB)
Jesus revealed that no man can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again … born of water and the Spirit. And the one who sees … who enters into the kingdom of God must live and walk according to the leading of the Holy Spirit … and that requires a great deal of faith since we do not know where He is taking us. Seeking His kingdom first brings us into relationship with God first … and He loves His children, knows their needs and provides for their needs.
Why not worry about tomorrow?
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:13-15 (NASB)
The bottom line on this fifth and final question … we do not know what our lives will be like tomorrow … venturing into a new day requires a tremendous amount of faith in what the Lord wills every day. Much like all of worry … worrying about tomorrow reveals a faith issue and suggests that our faith lays in our own plans and control … not God’s.
Having gone through this exercise, it seems like Jesus made some subtle points regarding the things we worry about. When we worry about food, drink and clothing, we are really worrying about the minor things where the kingdom of God is concerned … our focus is like that of the world (Luke 12:30). Yet behind our worry about each of these minor things, are greater kingdom questions we should be considering … and answers we should be seeking to understand and keep in our hearts.
Thank you for opening the eyes of my heart Lord!