Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Seeking God

Jesus:  19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (riches, possession, or whatever is trusted in).”

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious (worried) about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious (worried) can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious (worrying) about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious (worry), saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles (unbelievers, heathens) seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But SEEK FIRST (aim and strive after) the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (live righteously), and all these things will be added to you (God will give you everything you need). 34 Therefore do not be anxious (worry) about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself (take one day at a time). Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:19-34 (ESV)

Jesus’ focus with this teaching from the Sermon on the Mount is wholehearted devotion to God and practicing righteousness (good deeds) in the world. In other words, Jesus wants God to be our Master and not money (Matthew 6:24). Jesus wanted everyone to live solely for the honor and glory of God while trusting Him for all our daily needs (Matthew 6:8). Only God provides our secure and everlasting treasure. The Holy Scriptures repeatedly teaches that God will provide all that we need (Matthew 6:8, 32-33; see also Psalm 23:1; Psalm 34:9-10; Philippians 4:19). God is loving, faithful, and good (see e.g., Exodus 34:6-7; Psalm 145:9; Nahum 1:7), and He graciously gives us all things we NEED if we will ask in faith (Matthew 7:11; see also Romans 8:32).

Thus, Jesus teaches that believers must not fret and worry about “What shall we eat, what shall we drink, or what shall we wear?” because our good Heavenly Father knows all our daily needs (Matthew 6:31-32; see also Philippians 4:5-7). In other words, Jesus wants wholehearted faith in God and not worrying and fretting (Matthew 6:25-34; see also 1 Peter 5:7). Our worrying and fear demonstrate our lack of faith and trust in God. Jesus calls everyone to live not focused on material treasures and comforts of life but to live focused on wholeheartedly loving and obeying God and living righteous (good) lives (Matthew 6:33; see also Matthew 5:6, 10, 20; Matthew 6:1). Seeking God and living righteously (good) must be at the center of our lives. We can safely trust in God.

Nevertheless, these verses do not mean God wants everyone to live passive, inactive, and irresponsible lives while doing nothing to care for ourselves and others (2 Thessalonians 3:6-12). God wants His people to be diligent and hard workers as they provide for themselves, their families, and others in need (see e.g., Proverbs 10:4; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008).
Zondervan NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).
Ross, Mark E. Let’s Study Matthew (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009).

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