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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.timeintheword.org

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Friday, September 23, 2005

Seeking First: The Moral of the Story

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." - Matthew 6:33-34

(this concludes our devotional look this week at the topic of worry from Matthew 6)

Jesus truly laid the foundation for this verse back in verses 19-24. He told us there to have ONE treasure (eternal things), ONE eye (a singleness of heart), and ONE Master (OUR LORD). If we have those things then we are commanded not to be sidetracked into the realm of worry and fear. Indeed, if we are living by faith, focused on spiritual things and serving God, then we can't worry!

Now, after giving us 7 reasons not to worry (can you recite them?), He tells us what we are to do. He told us the NOT and the WHY NOT. Now He tells us WHAT to seek. Instead of seeking after daily needs (food, clothing, etc.) we are to seek 2 things - His Kingdom and His Righteousness!

BUT - or rather - seek first (singularly, or only) His Kingdom and His Righteousness, then all these other things will be provided anyway. The lesson here is that when we seek the proper things and live by faith in Jesus and obedience to the Word of God, then He has already promised to give us all that we need on a daily basis. Remember, we can trust Him, because if we are walking with Him, He is our Provider and Redeemer. He will take care of us!

Interestingly, at times He may withhold provision at times or for a time! If He doesn't provide our needs NOW, know that He will provide! And He is never late!! He may want us to trust Him, He may want to stretch our faith and grow it a bit, He may be giving another believer an opportunity to be obedient and be used as His resource to meet our need! But the point is this - if we seek Him above all else, cast out worry and fear with faith, them we will see His provision in our lives - He will provide even the most basic things we need day to day!

But the life of obedience is described in the first part of the verse - seek His Kingdom and His righteousness. What all does that mean? Simple. First we are to seek His Kingdom. This refers to His authority and rule. We seek His Kingdom when we seek to obey Him (ONE Master) and find His will for our lives. His Kingdom here alludes to His sovereignty. We must live day by day understanding His will and striving above all else to be obedient slaves of Jesus Christ. So the first point is that rather than worry, we are to live daily seeking to find and obey His will for our lives!

Secondly, we are told to seek His Righteousness. This refers to present and practical holiness - a state of being right with God. As we live and walk in obedience, we must be holy! It is a command just as not worrying is a command - it is expected of the Believer that we be HOLY! Present holiness alludes to here and now, daily as opposed to waiting for some future time when we hope to live as we ought. Practical holiness means it works in our daily lives.

When we strive to be like Christ, laying up eternal treasures, having singleness of heart, and obeying ONE Master (HIM not self), and when we learn to trust Him with everything - down to our most basic daily needs - then we can walk by faith and see His care and provision despite our circumstances.

Jesus concludes this thought in his sermon by summing it all up. The moral of the story He has been telling is NOT TO WORRY!! As we look at the lessons here it is plain that Jesus told us not worry about the provisions for today! So inevitably there will be those who will do all they can not to worry about today and its needs - but what about tomorrow?

The point Jesus has made is that it is still sin if we worry. Period. If we worry about our past (which has been forgiven), if we worry about our present needs (which He promises to meet), and if we worry about what might happen tomorrow (isn't He still God, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow?), then indeed we fail to trust Him completely.

John MacArthur has said it this way, "Making reasonable provisions for tomorrow is sensible, but to be anxious for tomorrow is foolish and unfaithful." We are NOT told here not to give thought for tomorrow, or not to plan for our future. We are commanded in Scripture to be faithful stewards of all that God has given us. We are told that we are to be like the ant, who prepares for winter by harvesting diligently all summer. We are to be prepared, but we are not to worry. There is a great deal of difference between facing our future with peace and confidence and facing it with fear and trepidation.

Trust Him - tomorrow will have more than its share of trouble. Troublesome things happen, they happen every day. Things go wrong. Circumstances change. People suffer - and yet through it all we are told to trust Him and not to worry. Anxiety on our part can't change today, why would we think it can change tomorrow? We must learn to trust completely and to love without exception. He is LORD and He is going to provide what we need on a daily basis.

When He says, "tomorrow will worry about its own things" He is teaching us that tomorrow will take care of itself. We are not to worry at all, ever, about anything, because just as tomorrow takes care of itself, every problem, obstacle, trial, and tribulation we face has already been prepared by God to be turned to His glory and our good! ALL OF IT! Nothing slips through His fingers or gets by. Let the worry take care of itself - have faith. Believe God. He can overcome the waves – and if He doesn't then He is more than able to make it possible for us to walk on them!

Today, listen to the lesson He reiterates - trust Him, have faith - know that there will be trouble every day but He can and will and has overcome the trouble by the blood of His Son. And now He promises us that we won't just overcome - but we are more than overcomers! We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. God will provide. He is faithful. He can be trusted. He wants us to enjoy fellowship with Him. And when we walk by faith (not by sight), then we will see Him work ALL for His glory and our good.

He is SOVEREIGN!
HE REIGNS!
HE RULES!
HE ALONE IS WORTHY OF HONOR AND GLORY AND PRAISE FOREVER!

So we should SEEK HIS WILL.
LIVE IN OBEDIENCE TO HIM.
SEEK HOLINESS IN EVERYTHING WE DO - DAILY.
BASK IN HIS LOVE!

He loves you and cares for you. He will meet every need – look to Him with expectation today. Instead of asking if God will provide - ask how God will provide! Because He will. He promised. And He cannot lie!

The final lesson in this chapter is simple -" have faith in God, He's on His throne; have faith in God, He watches o'er His own. He cannot fail, He must prevail - have faith in God, have faith in God!"

Isaiah 9:6-7
Psalm 11:7; 17:15; 23:3; 27:10; 89:14; 95:7; 145:13-15
Proverbs 6:6-8; 10:2-3; 11:4-6; 21:21; 22:19-21; 27:1

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