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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Seek first the Kingdom of God and all things will be given us besides

Seek first the Kingdom of God and all things will be given us besides

Jesus tells us not worry about what to eat, drink or wear. Worrying can never add even a single moment to our lives. To do this, we have to “put all our trust in God. God knows what we need before we ask him.”

He says, “We should seek first the Kingdom of God and God’s justice, and all these things will be given us besides.” (Matt 6:33)

The prophet Isaiah gives us the similar message. We might be tempted to say to ourselves, “The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me. Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget.”

God says, “I will never forget you.”

What an incredible promise God makes to us: “I will never forget you.”

Some quotations about worrying: “Worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” (Unknown)

Thomas Edison once said, “As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”

My favorite: “Worrying about something that may never happen is like paying interest on money you may never borrow.”

Why do people worry? We worry because we don’t see how all the pieces of the puzzle will all fit together. Sometimes when we envision the future, we come up with a worse-case scenario. The puzzle might take a while for everything to come together.

We need to focus on the needs of today, this very moment. When we try to handle too many things on our plate, we worry about how they will all come together.

Jesus tells us that worrying does not solve our problems. It’s counterproductive. Jesus asks, “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” (Matt. 6:27)

The answer, of course, is “no.” Worrying can lead to a nervous breakdown, ulcers, hypertension, heart attacks, etc. All those things decrease a person’s life span.

How do we overcome worry? We overcome worry by living in the present moment, focusing on what we need to do today. We can figure out how to cross tomorrow’s bridge when we get there.

Jesus tells us, “So, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matt 6:34)

Is Jesus teaching us to live a life without plans or not to prepare for the rainy day? No. He is teaching us the basic truth of faith, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)

Our plans for our life, security and welfare in the future must start with our total submission to God. If God cares and provides for lower creatures like the grass of the field and the birds of the air, how much more will he care for us who are made in his own image and likeness?

God who gave us life knows that life needs to be maintained. God who gave us bodies knows that the body needs to be clothed and fed.

The best way to assure that the gifts will keep coming is to develop a good relationship with the giver. This is the only sure prescription to overcome worry in our lives.

Lastly, Jesus sees our desires to become wealthier as an addiction that makes us slaves. Wealth can become our master; it will control us. Yet Jesus says that we cannot serve two masters. We will end up hating one and devoting all our time to the other.

Jesus tells us to choose God over mammon (wealth regarded as an evil influence). All things are transitory and will fade away. God, the One we should serve, takes care of the needs of all creatures. Seeking after wealth, money, drink and clothes will never last.

Trust in God and we will be secure.