"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!" Psalm 84:11-12 NKJV
Matthew 6:33 Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
What if we truly believed that command of Jesus and lived our lives accordingly. What if we really believed God? What if His word is true?
Was Jesus insane? Many times, the most spiritual of us would claim that we must do otherwise. "I must make a living." "I have to eat, be clothed and care for my family." So, I say that the greatest concern of most is not the things of God, but how we will care for ourselves and make a living. After all, doesn't Scripture say that one who doesn't care for his family is worse than an infidel? I Timothy 5:8.
Jesus applied the truths of heaven in all His teachings. In the Kingdom, down is up, less is more; the first shall be last and many other such sayings. Our Lord was showing that a right relationship with God was the first and most important aspect of our pilgrimage on this earth. Worry, anxiety, and stress are hallmarks of today's carnal church. It ought not to be so. I believe this is the most critical discipline of the Christian's life. A true born of the Spirit relationship with Jesus must be first in our life and everything else second.
Let's look at some concern that we all have as listed in Matthew
Matthew 6:25 "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" Our Lord is not saying these things are not important, for He even clothes the birds and animals, and he adorns the flowers with beautiful coverings. How could He not care for His highest creation that is fearfully and wonderfully made? If we look at John the Baptizer's life, we see that he chose simplicity over the finer things that God also would have given him, and yet, he chose the more simple so that He placed God above all things.. He is called the greatest man ever born of woman by Jesus himself. John's focus was I believe first, last and only about the Kingdom of God. He knew his calling and let nothing deter him from it.
When it comes to food, I admit that I love to eat, and love fine foods, but perhaps if we learned to live on simpler fair, more of our energies could be devoted to God. Certainly our grocery bill would be less.
And what about our clothing? Don't we have to have suitable clothing for where we live, and where we work? Yes, and I also believe we are held accountable for the clothing we do wear. Modesty and appropriate wear, even by church people has gotten out of order. Is it any wonder that we have sects that make a religion out of clothing? Carelessness about our food and drink can lead to sickness and death in our bodies. And if we insist on wearing apparel that is not honoring to a modest and holy lifestyle, we will be held accountable. I am not preaching some new doctrine here. I enjoy a good meal, and nice clothes, but I am still wearing articles that I have had for ten years, and they still cover my body. And it sure cuts down on my clothing bill.
God is not a heavenly kill joy, but He does insist on our placing Him first and foremost above everything and everybody else.
Matthew 6:24 speaks of serving God or serving wealth. Which is more important in your life? I tell you, the flesh is never satisfied. Is it any wonder that Jesus said He came to the poor and outcast? In most cases, they are the ones that truly received Him. The Bible tells us that not many rich will ever enter into the Kingdom. We all know why. Money is their god and they have no time for the things of an eternal nature.
Mat 6:31 "So do not start worrying: 'Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?'
Mat 6:32 (These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. GNB
And stop being overly anxious about tomorrow. Trust God and get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow's concerns are not yours to be fretted over today. All we have is today. Let us be glad and rejoice in it.
Matthew 6:34 So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings. GNB
One final thing about these kinds of worries which have to do with our natural life.
Where will I live if I don't have a good job and am able to pay my mortgage? Do you realize that if we followed God's plan, we would never finance a house for more than 7 years. These 30 year mortgages are not Father's plan. And maybe we don't need every fine thing that our neighbors have. I recall that after Hurricane Katrina, many were so stressed out over losing everything. Elaine and I ministered to many people during the 2 years following the storm. Some almost lost their minds with cares and grief over loss. Not once did my wife, mother in law and myself, nor my brother, sister and parents do without a home. My son took in 13 soula plus a dog after Katrina. My daughter and her new husband lived with my son for a year while he attended medical school in Baton Rouge. Actually this turned out to be a real blessing as the son and daughter got to bond as adults and the son in law got to know his wife's family. God is so faithful, and today most of us have better homes than we had before the storm. I pray that those in Oklahoma will hold on to their faith, and let God show Himself strong in their behalf.
If God's people will place Him absolutely first in their life, He will come and produce a peace and a rest that the world can never know. We can live in peace, in security, and have undisturbed rest. Let me quote from the Douay-Rheims Bible of 1899. I love the way it is worded.
Isaiah 32:18 And my people shall sit in the beauty of peace, and in the tabernacles of confidence, and in wealthy rest. DRB
NOW SPEAKING OF OKLAHOMA. SUN AND SHIELD HAS DEDICATED $500 TO SEND FOR AID TO THOSE IN MOORE, OK. WE WILL FUNNEL THE MONEY THROUGH SAMARITANS PURSE. THESE PEOPLE DID A GREAT SERVICE IN LOUISIANA AFTER THE STORM AND I HAVE GREAT CONFIDENCE IN THEIR CARE MINISTRY. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE WITH US, SEND ASAP YOUR DONATION. MAKE IT TO SUN AND SHIELD MINISTRIES & SEND TO 9033 SARAH STREET, DENHAM SPRINGS, LA 70706. WE WILL ADD EVERY PENNY TO THE AMOUNT WE ARE SENDING, AND OF COURSE, WE WILL FURNISH YOU WITH A TAX-EXEMPT RECEIPT FOR YOUR GIVING. NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL.
Would love to hear from my readers.