Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, December 24, 2017
Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 12.24.2017” on Spreaker.
God’s Promises are Sure!
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
“Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:24–33).
Question of Trust
I know I say this a lot but I am very intrigued by our theme text today. It really strips life down to the most basic element – whom do you trust?
Jesus paints an interesting portrait of how nature receives its provisions from Him. Birds don’t have jobs, don’t farm, or anything of the sort, and yet they eat because God feeds them. Flowers of the fields cannot think or try to make themselves beautiful, and yet they are more beautiful than one of the wealthiest, most favored kings of Judah. All of the beautiful grasses are here today and gone tomorrow. They cannot clothe the ground by volition. God ordained it so.
If God sustains nature, beautifies the earth, and provides for His creatures in the animal kingdom, for which Jesus did not give His life, how much more will He provide for those who keep the faith in Him?
I am especially intrigued by Jesus’ allusion to the heathen mindset. Notice He did not say that heathens focus on evil riches. He said that heathens focus on the necessities of life. You should be curious about this. What is so wrong with having concerns about having food and clothing? It’s a matter of trust. Jesus said if we put His agenda above ours, He will take care of us. He will handle all of our needs.
David said it this way: “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing” (Psalm 37:25–26, NLT).
Since Jesus mentioned Solomon, I want to direct your attention to the most pivotal moment in his life: “That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him: “Ask. What should I give you?” And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great and faithful love to my father David, and You have made me king in his place. Lord God, let Your promise to my father David now come true. For You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Now grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people, for who can judge this great people of Yours?”
God said to Solomon, “Since this was in your heart, and you have not requested riches, wealth, or glory, or for the life of those who hate you, and you have not even requested long life, but you have requested for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are given to you. I will also give you riches, wealth, and glory, unlike what was given to the kings who were before you, or will be given to those after you” (2 Chronicles 1:7–12, HCSB).
How God Provides for His People
In that moment, Solomon illustrated Jesus’ teaching on provision for His people. Solomon sought God’s face first, and He received His presence and His provision (His hands). God added abundance to Solomon because he sought God’s will in priority over all.
In conclusion, while it is not a sin to want food and clothing, God is saying that heathens need to be concerned with these things, but you don’t. Why not? God’s people receive honor, provisions, and much more from Him when we put Him first in all things. Seek God’s face first, and He will take care of all your needs. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.—