Sitting with the Shepherd
"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? (Matthew 6:25 NKJV)
For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:32-33 NKJV)
This is Jesus speaking directly to you and I through the inspired Word of God. He is basically telling us that we need to get our priorities straight. He knows. He actually knows us better than we know ourselves. He understands the world that we live in. He lived here Himself. We are by nature, fearful people. We get anxious. That is why the admonition, "Fear not," is written so frequently in so many books of the bible. That is also probably why we are identified as sheep. Sheep are by nature very skittish and unsettled. They won't even lay down to rest unless they know everything is ok. Jesus is saying to us here, "It is ok." I know the Father personally, and He has got all of this taken care of." When was the last time you worried about whether the sun was going to come up in the morning or not? He is the same One that takes care of that. Or as a child raised in a reasonably stable home, when did you worry about if you were going to have anything to eat for breakfast, or clothes to wear for the day? Most likely you never did. Why? Because your parents took care of these things. They knew what you needed. What Jesus is saying here is simply, "My Father is greater than all of them and He's got it!
All of this is so simple that it shouldn't be an issue. And yet it is. We get so caught up in the insignificant issues that we lose our focus and miss the most important issue of all. Jesus is in the process of gathering together a select group of people to live with Him forever in an eternal paradise. And He is not doing it alone. He has invited us to be a part of it. He is coming back to get us, and when He does all of the insignificant things that seemed so important really won't even matter anymore. They won't matter at all!
So what shall we spend the time and measure of health on that we have today? We have a choice. It's called free will. We need to make the decision to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and live for His glory. If we keep our priorities straight, our lives will be full of purpose and value.
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7 NKJV)
Questions for Personal Reflection or Discussion
1. Why is Jesus qualified to tell us to live our lives, other than the fact that He is God?
2. What are the seemingly pressing matters that are occupying your thoughts right now?
3. How would God like to use you to further Kingdom interests today?
My Father in heaven, my God, You are the giver of every good and perfect gift from above. You have created us and even chosen us before the foundation of the world. You have promised us that one day all of this will be over and that You will be back to get us. What a glorious day that will be! I confess that too often I forget that and get caught up in the things that are really irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Help me, I pray by Your grace to seek first the Kingdom of God and Your righteousness knowing that my Father will handle all of the rest of it just fine. Amen