Matthew 46 Reading

Matthew 6:24-34

24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

A few thoughts for meditation:

1) “Isn’t life more than food?” Think about that. What is life really all about? What is the chief end of man? It is only to eat and drink and dress? Or are these things merely basic means to a much higher purpose?

2) Notice the argument from lesser to greater in the way that Jesus explained the “value” the Father has for his people. He appealed twice to examples in nature. God provides food to birds who do not labor at all in the food growing process, and clothes the seasonal grass with beautiful lilies. These are examples of what some might call divine inefficiency or wastefulness on God’s part since he devotes such detailed attention and provision to seemingly insignificant creatures. And if God can lavishly provide for such minor creatures, how much more will he care for those he has chosen to redeem and adopt into his own family and give up his own Son to save?

3) Three times, Jesus said, “do not be anxious”. After reading these promises of Jesus, are you still anxious about basic needs? Why or why not?

4) If God is a caring “Father” committed to giving his adopted children exactly what their bodies need when they need it, shouldn’t this liberate us to work for a higher calling than just the need of our bodies? Confident that God will meed our basic needs, we can plunge ourselves into seeking “his kingdom and his righteousness”, seeking to advance his saving power in our souls, and working to advance his saving power into the lives of others. Our minds can only focus on one thing at a time. The more time we waste on “anxious” thoughts about things God has already taken care of, the less time we have to focus on his kingdom and our higher priorities.