First Things First PII

Matthew 6: 25-34

Jesus calls us to “do not worry!So why do you worry? Have you ever considered that worry is also a matter of stewardship, that of your attitude, emotions, time and effectiveness? This was a popular teaching and saying in Jesus time, He is pointing them once again to some of their good insights, while challenging them to not see it as academic, but something to practice!

Conceder these biblical thoughts:

  • God is sovereign, and He watches over and sustains all of His creation, including the personal needs of humanity. (Psalm 104:27). Thus, if God is caring for His minor creatures…
  •  “How much more” for you, this was a contemporary Jewish argument to understand that God is in control.
  • God delights in meeting our needs! He is not a killjoy, seeking our suffering and sacrifice for His pleasure or entertainment (Matt. 6:8).
  • Worry is a lack of trust! It shows a pointless disregard to our Lord who cares and provides for us (Prov. 16:33)!
  • The word worry means “distracted.” Do not let stress about food and clothing distract you from the more important things in life (Martha vs. Mary in Luke 10: 38-42).
  • Stature from the Greek is a figure of speech meaning our lifespan, thus that is in God’s control and not ours (Luke 12:25-26).
  • Neither, adult birds are not idle. They do not plant or cultivate what they eat, nor, do they sit around waiting for their food as the baby birds do. Birds do not worry. They are diligent, working to gather food, preparing nests, caring for their young, entraining my cat, and other bird things. So, the inference to us is, we are still to do all we can to work using our talents, abilities, and gifts, trusting that He will guide and provide.

Most scholars believe the flowers that Jesus is pointing to are the purple anemones, where they got the purple dye for royal robes. And, these same flowers, when dried, along with weeds were used in fireplaces to heat their homes. This is an image of our mortality and even the best of goods are being merely temporary, eventually rotting and decaying (Psalm 103:15-16; Isa. 40:6-8).

If we act as baby birds and do not work, we are as the fool spoken of in Proverbs (Prov. 10:8-23)! But they do not gather more than they need or can use, like the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21)

Jesus reminds His listeners then, as well as we who live now, that we can trust in God. He will provide.

The cultures around the Jews would gratify themselves with as much pleasure as they could find and endure. And, they would pray to their gods, seeking favors by making contracts of services to them in turn, thinking they would get what they wanted. Yet, as with people who do this today, just create more dysfunction and misery to themselves and those around them.

What we need to know: The Christian is called to seek God and His Will, not our gratification, which will lead us nowhere. We do not need to bargain with God, or make promises that we know we cannot or will not keep. All we need to do is trust Him, and seek His Will, which is what is best for us.

How can we counteract worry? How can you prevent worry?

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