Wednesday Word 10.24.2018

Matthew 6:25-34 New International Version

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Right there in black and white, Jesus is telling us to put God front and center in our lives. He is telling us to strive to be the kind of person God wants us to be. He says that if we follow this plan, everything else will fall into place. That sounds so simplistic. I used to think that way. I don’t anymore. Jesus would never tell us so if it wasn’t true. The plain truth is that we will spend a lifetime learning to do just this.

I have been actively trying to follow this directive for almost twenty years. I have so much more to learn. But, believe me, dear brothers and sisters, it has changed me. Just like the song says, “ …grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved…”. The more I learn, the more love I feel. The more I know I need to do better. Through it all, no matter what happens, I now know to whom I belong. That has changed the way I feel every day of my life. The good days are sweeter. The bad days don’t seem to last as long. When I am being really, really foolish, I usually realize it sooner than I used to (emphasis on the usually!). God is good.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.” How do you actually do it? How do you know what the Kingdom is? What is righteousness? You need to find out for yourself. Where do you go? The Bible. Period. Don’t be like I was! I thought I knew what it said. I was so wrong! You simply have to study it for yourself. We are so blessed in this day and age to have many tools. Find a version you like. Go to an online source (I use www.biblegateway.com) and compare versions. It is free. The publishing arm of the UMC is great, www.upperroom.org. They have daily devotionals that you can have e-mailed to you that will walk you through the Scriptures over time, even some for teens. You can purchase or subscribe to print versions of many guides and devotionals. You don’t even have to read, you can listen to it online! We have a wonderful resource right here. Pastor Joe leads a study on Sunday mornings before the service that is really great. You can come and listen and never say a word. Or, you can express your thoughts and hear others’ perspectives. The very best part of that study, is that we are doing it together.

I love how Jesus asked if worrying could add even one hour to our lives. Of course it will not. I contend that it will steal hours, days, months from you. If you fixate on these issues, your life will pass you by before you know it. If you focus on God, your life will take on more meaning than you could have imagined on your own…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki

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