2.13.2008

Matthew 6

I've been reading Matthew for the last few days.
isn't it funny how you can read the same thing dozens of times, and it still feels new when you read it again?
I love that about the Bible. it never gets old. it's always relevant.

Matt & I have been talking a lot lately about money. about having enough of it or not. about wondering if we're going to be okay.
I think it's something everyone worries about, at least from time to time.
but sometimes, it just gets harder to trust. the Lord brings you to a new level, a level where more is at stake, and it's harder to let go and trust than it was before.
we talked at length about it last night.
then, this morning, I read Matthew 6.

first off, Jesus gives a teaching on how to pray. but before He does that, He says not to make your prayers long and flowery. keep them short and simple, like how I think of a conversation with a friend. personal. and when He gives a reason for keeping your prayers from being like the Pharisees, He says (in verse 8),

"So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."

He knows before we utter a word! how many of us, if we truly believed this simple statement, would worry just a little bit less? about money, but also about anything that's on our hearts.

I think all of us know the Lord's prayer. it follows the pattern that Jesus talked about, simple and to the point. and when it comes to provision, all He says is "Give us this day our daily bread." (vs.11).
this tells me a couple of things. He wants us to ask, and He wants to provide for us. it also tells me that He'll give us enough for today. not tomorrow, or next week, or next year. He'll give us enough for today. and He'll do that everyday. especially if we continue to ask.

moving on in the chapter, we come to verse 19-21:

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

don't worry about building up wealth on earth. worry more about what truly matters, about what will last beyond the end of this earth. love one another.

and finally, the passage so many are familiar with, but I think so few of us fully grasp. it helps me to better understand when reading in context with all the above (and the rest of Matthew). it's not an isolated set of instructions. they interweave with everything that Jesus commanded us. the instructions? do not worry!!!

"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things."

I love the part where He says that you cannot add a single hour to your life by worrying.
isn't the opposite true? medicine tells us that stress can shorten your life. worrying is pretty stressful, if you ask me!
He says He will provide food and clothing according to our needs.
what more do we really need?

instead of seeking after the things that "Gentiles eagerly seek", what are we instructed?

(verse 33) "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

and finally, verse 34, "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I don't know about you, but this will keep me busy for a while. that is, figuring out how to do this.
but I'm willing to try. His promises are greater than anything the world has to offer. of this I am sure!

1 comment:

matt_k said...

I got my bible message for the night! :) Seriously though, when I got my first "nice" Bible at age 12, it would always fall open to Matthew 6. Could've been a crack in the spine, but maybe it was more...:)