Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Confident in the Care of the Father - Matt 6:25-31

In our first post, we looked at the Challenge of the Teachings of Jesus. Jesus teaches us saying, and I paraphrase, "Do not store up treasures on earth", "Do not seek these things like the pagans do", and "Do not worry about them". These sayings are quite literal and quite challenging. How can we meet the challenge Jesus and voluntarily live a materially vulnerable life? How can we live in a world filled with uncertainty and not store up our own own safety net of financial "security"? This challenge is truly the road less traveled. It is all extremely challenging.  

How to Meet the Challenge
We can meet this challenge of Jesus only if we are confident in the care of the Father. 
In this passage, Matt 6:25-31, Jesus teaches us saying, 
25"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to 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, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28"And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30"But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31"Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'
Jesus teaches us that the only way to live a life unbuffered with wealth is to be aware of the fact that the Father cares for lesser creatures and that, by comparison, we are exponentially more valuable than a bird or a flower to Him. "If your heavenly Father cares for them, will He not MUCH MORE care for you"
In order to know of the Father, we must accept that we are valuable, important, and precious to the Father. All humans see a regal mountain or an awesome sunset and our whole being responds with "Wow, that is beautiful". By comparison, Jesus teaches us that we are far more wonderful and valuable and beautiful that these things. It is hard to say, "I am beautiful", when throughout our whole life we have been conditioned to criticize ourselves and to live in fear of other people's opinions of us. But the fact is the Father clothes us with more beauty and majesty than Solomon was able to cloth Himself.
Not only does God value us, but He is aware of our every need. Jesus teaches in Matt 10:29-31,
29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
We are to fear nothing because our Father is aware of every hair that falls from our heads. He thinks we are precious and valuable and He is aware of us and conscious of every scratch or bruise we might experience to both our bodies or our emotions.

Only if we understand these truths can we live as Jesus challenges us to live. Is it possible to live with no wealth stored in a bank or without any unnecessary luxury items as Jesus teaches us? Following Jesus in this way is the only way to live in a manner that displays our faith in the care and power of the Father. If we trust in wealth like the world, what distinction do we have? Our religions is impotent to glorify God. But if we  give wisely to the needy and if we give when we behold our brother in need, then the world will see the good works of Christ through us to the glory of God.

We can only meet this challenge if we are, by the Holy Spirit, aware and confident in the care of the Father.

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