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Things Jesus Said #27 - "Seek First the Kingdom of God"
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012
Posted by: Providence PCA Church | more..
54,450+ views | 100+ clicks
"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)

Commentary: "I'm sometimes amazed at how much time and effort and money is consumed by something as mundane as clothing. We devote Magazines and TV shows to it, clothes are the centerpiece for every shopping mall, parents can easily go bankrupt just trying to keep up with their kids peer-pressure generated clothing "needs" and the entire system is geared to ensure that we are constantly supposed to be shopping.

This whole fashion thing means that even if you were to finally assemble a complete wardrobe, you still aren't allowed to stop buying new clothes. You see as soon as you have enough ties, without coffee stains that is, somebody will suddenly decide they are suddenly supposed to be wide instead of narrow like the ones you own or vice versa.

Jesus gives a double argument here against worldliness and a lack of trust in God in the matter of clothing. He points out that a) If God can provide simple flowers with apparel that not even Solomon, the richest of the ancient rulers could how difficult will it be for him to provide you with clothes? And b) if he so gloriously provides for grass which is literally here today and gone tomorrow, will he not provide for his own beloved children?

What good is worry in any event? Worry is one of those things that are uniformly bad for you. Let's look at some of the ways that that is true, going from the less serious to the more serious:

1) Worry is simply bad for your health and happiness: Jesus asks in verse 25 "which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" Now here stature is not the best translation, the word there is helikia and it can mean either stature as it does Luke 19:3 Zaccheus "was small in helikia - stature" but far more commonly it means age or life-span so we read in Heb 11:11 that Sarah "bore a child when she was past the helikia – age." What is meant in this verse is that you can't add even a cubit – that is the distance between your elbow and the tips of your fingers - to the total length of your age by worrying. Indeed, you may well end up worrying yourself to death. Worrying leads to sleeplessness, nail-biting, ulcers, heart attacks, gray hair, ill health, premature aging, and a host of other things. A worried man is seldom happy, and when he is it is seldom for long. He has no peace and no contentment.

2) Worrying leads to sin. Because he was worried that Samuel would not come in time to offer the sacrifice and that the army would scatter before the battle with the Philistines, Saul disobeyed the Lord's commands and offered a sacrifice himself. Because they were worried they might lose again to the Philistines, the army of Israel disobeyed the commands of the Lord and brought the Ark of the Covenant to the battlefield and it was lost. Because he was worried Uriah would find out his wife was pregnant with his child, David had him murdered. Because he was worried that a newborn king would take his place, Herod had all the male children in Bethlehem two and under slain, because he was worried about the strength of the storm and size of the waves Peter began to sink – and so on. Then because he was worried he would be found out, he betrayed his master, we could go on and on. Worry is one of the most common causes for sin and spiritual disasters.

3) Worrying is totally incompatible with the faith. In the parable of the sower, Jesus points out that worries and desires for riches and material things choke the faith. Luke 8:14 "Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. The word for cares there is memnia which literally means worries.

Worrying then is ultimately senseless for believers: Does your father in heaven know you have need of these things, food, drink, clothing, money? Of Course! But he desires to give you so much more than that. By fixing your attention on these common and mundane things and worrying about them, you are in effect drawing you attention away from the true and lasting treasure he desires to give you!

Your father in heaven desires to give you an inheritance that only his Son Jesus merited, he wants to give you the very kingdom of heaven. He has made you co-heir with Jesus! These treasures are treasures that are incorruptible! Eternal Life! Freedom from Sin, and pain, and sorrow, and want forever! Will you then turn your eyes away from the pursuit of heaven and fix them on a vain quest after dust? Will you leave the wedding feast of the lamb in order to grasp after a tiny piece of forbidden fruit you can never enjoy?

Be willing therefore to sell or part with anything that might be a stumbling block to your faith, for as you do you are storing up treasure in heaven. Think first of the kingdom in all things, for it is not the possessions that you have that are the problem, it is when they become your hearts first delight that is the problem. Yes it is easier to walk in the broad way, and there is a reason the Good Shepherd call his flock little for truly "the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." But to join the many who choose the broad way is to decide to walk a road that leads away from Christ and inevitably down to destruction. It is also to choose a path that is filled with worry and care and pain, the pleasures of that path are fleeting and the sorrows are never ending.

Choose the narrow path, enter in by faith in Jesus Christ! Friend do not be concerned if you do not have as much as others, remember you are following a savior who while he was on earth confessed that "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." And who had only one simple garment to be divided amongst his crucifiers."

Category:  Encouragement

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