If there are verses in the Bible that dominate my life, they will be found in Matthew 5 and 6.
The verses in chapter 6 about do not worry are of particular importance. I believe this is the key way how to live as we follow Jesus. I am referring to verses 25 to 34.
If we understand these texts well and apply them in our lives, we will never be a nominal Christian.
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry 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, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomMatthew 6:25-34 (NKJV)
I know it is lengthy to read but these verses are pure gold.
Today’s Utmost devotion is referring to these verses. What caught my attention is how it interprets these passages.
“…do not worry about your life…” (Matthew 6:25). Our Lord pointed out that from His standpoint it is absolutely unreasonable for us to be anxious, worrying about how we will live. Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed— no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Don’t make food and drink the controlling factor of your life, but be focused absolutely on God.” Some people are careless about what they eat and drink, and they suffer for it; they are careless about what they wear, having no business looking the way they do; they are careless with their earthly matters, and God holds them responsible. Jesus is saying that the greatest concern of life is to place our relationship with God first, and everything else second.Utmost Devotion: Having God’s Unreasonable Faith
I highlight the part that stood out for me. It seems today we don’t want to be responsible for anything. We blame others, our parents, our country, or our government for whatever circumstances we are in.
Yet, in these passages, God is holding us accountable for our actions. Following Jesus doesn’t mean we don’t care about money or food or clothing. No, Jesus means to say we place Him above all these things. But it doesn’t mean we ignore these things or as Oswald Chambers wrote, be careless. No, we are stewards of money, clothing and food. Stewardship is not idolatry. By this I mean, that if I let money take control of my life where I think about money all the time and worry about not having enough money, then it is controlling my life (aka idol).
As we follow Jesus, He, through the Holy Spirit, will make us right in all things. First, the right order of things we worship and adore with Jesus as the top. Second, the right perspective in understanding that we are responsible for our actions. This includes how we view the other things in life, like food or money or shelter.
Therefore, do not worry about your life does not mean not caring about money or what you have. Rather, it is to take ownership that we are stewards of these things as we worship Jesus.