Remember the Bible Series, #8
First: Seek God
Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
~ Matthew 6:25, 33
We have had several Memory Verses that emphasized how the Christian must willingly face the possibility of poverty, suffering, and even death. I thought it was time to bolster our morale with one of the promises that alleviates and even eliminates the grimness that one might feel, looking too long at the radical commandments of the Sermon on the Mount, and the lifestyle sacrifices they imply. When Paul tells us that “joy” is one of the fruits of the spirit, he means us to take him literally.
The New Testament tells us, in ten or twenty different ways, to seek God and serve Him with our whole hearts. 100%. Our order of priorities are to be: First, love God. Second, love and serve others. Third, everything else.
But when we take our eye away from taking care of ourselves and put others first, are we simply going to stop eating and die of starvation? Sleep in the street? Walk around naked in the rain and snow? No, God gave us life and intends for us, for the most part, to have what we need to live and, usually, in some basic degree of comfort.
There are certainly great men and women of God who have utterly rejected earthly comfort. John the Baptist and Saint Francis, to name two outstanding examples. Yet we may follow the example of Christ, here, if we are not called to greater daily sacrifice. By all accounts, Jesus lived simply, but (at least often) enjoyed the basic comforts of life.
Nevertheless, the Bible tells us just the opposite of what the “wise” men of earth tell us. They tell us, “Plan for the future.” God tells us, “Live this day for me, and let me plan for your future.” And then, He makes us a promise. If we seek Him, He will provide for us. He will make sure that we have food, and water, and clothing, and a place to sleep, unless He has a reason for us to suffer deprivation.
There are several accounts of Christ sending out the first disciples to spread the Good News, and in all of them the disciples are told pretty much what this verse tells us. They hit the road with no money, no food, not even a spare set of sandals; they put their lives completely into God’s hands. We are not told how they fared, but we know the apostles all returned alive, and we might suppose if any other disciples died, we would have known of it.
Think about it. You believe that God gave you life. You believe that God can give or take away anything and everything in your life. He has promised that, if you serve Him, He will take care of your daily needs. Do you think He’s incapable of doing it? Do you think He’s lying? God is going to do whatever is best for you, and the more you seek His kingdom, the more control of your life you turn over to His will, the more fully He will fill you with the abundance of His joy.
Lord, I pray that my complete faith in you will grow every day. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer