Living and Giving
Wednesday - November 10th
Scripture to Read Today: Matthew 6:25-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
After telling us not to store up earthly things (Matthew 6:19–24), Jesus expected someone to object to His teaching. It is relatively easy to encourage us not to seek earthly wealth. Still, we all face the reality of needing our basic daily needs met. After all, without money, how would we be able to eat, buy clothes, and so on? Jesus addresses how we can experience God's provision and peace in our daily needs while actively engaging in His kingdom work.
"Do not be troubled about your life, what you will eat or drink, nor about your body, what you will put on," our Savior says simply in response to this unspoken objection (v. 25). It's essential to understand that Christ is not endorsing a carefree or careless attitude toward life. He is not suggesting that we do nothing, or we anticipate everything will simply fall into our laps. His teaching does not absolve us of the responsibility of feeding our families.
Scripture makes it clear that Christians, like ants, should be hardworking (Proverbs 6:6–11). Paul goes so far as to say that any follower of Christ who does not provide for his or her family is worse than the unbeliever who does (1 Timothy 5:8). Toiling away out of worry for the future, however, is not the same as God-glorifying labor.
The stresses of life tempt us to obsess over the future - what might happen. However, Christ claims that divine providence renders this fear futile. Birds are unconcerned and find food every day without sowing or reaping. They have no barns or Tupperware with which to store food supplies. As God's image-bearers, we are of greater value than they are, and we can be even more confident that He will feed us (Matthew 6:26).
"The lilies of the field" do not toil or spin in any way. Their ultimate value and worth are so limited that they serve as fuel for our fires, but their glory surpasses King Solomon's. Solomon was the most successful of all of Israel's kings (in terms of wealth and luxury). He and his father David before Him worked hard to achieve such success. The flowers do nothing to be clothed with beauty by God. The Father will provide for us, His beloved people, just as He has provided for them (Matthew 6:28–30).
Worry finds relief in making God's kingdom the center of our lives rather than piling on more of life's concerns. If we first seek His kingdom, He will provide for all our needs (v. 33). Those who serve Him sincerely and live out His kingdom values and priorities will share all they have to advance His kingdom and help others (Matthew 5:42; 6:1–4). As a result of generous living and giving, our Heavenly Father will supply our needs.
Worry affects some of us more than others. Persistent worry, however, is not our Christian calling. If we serve Jesus and give to the advancement of His Kingdom, we don't have to worry about tomorrow. While we may not get all of our wants, God will certainly provide for all of our needs. So take your gaze away from yourself and your concerns in life today if you're suffering from worry. Instead, do a good deed for someone else. Give something to someone.
Generous, Christ-like living and giving serve as the antidote for life-paralyzing worry!