VIDEO Do Not Worry

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

The theme of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:25-34 is sometimes misunderstood. The theme is not, “God will provide everything you need according to your timetable”; the theme is, “Do not worry” (verses 25, 31, 34). Why would He exhort us not to worry if there would never be an occasion (temptation) to worry—a time when our needs seemed not to be met?

God made similar promises of provision to His covenant people, Israel (Deuteronomy 15:4-6). But at the same time, He said, “For the poor will never cease from the land” (verse 11). How could there be poor in the midst of promises of plenty? Because we live in a fallen world; things happen; crops fail. In such cases, the Israelites were to meet the needs of their poor brethren (verses 7-10), just as the Church would later do (Acts 4:32-37). God’s provision comes in many ways.

Jesus said, in essence, “Don’t worry. Trust in God. Seek Him and He will care for you” (Matthew 6:33-34).

Our behavior in times of need, difficulty and of crisis really proclaims what we are. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones


Should I Be Worried? – Matthew 6:25-34 – Skip Heitzig

Singing Over Us

[He] will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

A young father held his baby boy in his arms, singing to him and rocking him in soothing rhythm. The baby was hearing-impaired, unable to hear the melody or the words. Yet the father sang anyway, in a beautiful, tender act of love toward his son. And his efforts were rewarded with a delightful smile from his little boy. 

The imagery of the father-son exchange bears a striking resemblance to the words of Zephaniah. The Old Testament prophet says that God will joyfully sing over His daughter, the people of Jerusalem (Zephaniah 3:17). God enjoys doing good things for His beloved people, such as taking away their punishment and turning back their enemies (v. 15). Zephaniah says they no longer have any reason for fear and instead have cause for rejoicing.

We, as God’s children redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, sometimes are hard of hearing—unable, or perhaps unwilling, to tune our ears to the exuberant love God sings over us. His adoration of us is like that of the young father, who lovingly sang to his son despite his inability to hear. He has taken away our punishment too, giving us further reason to rejoice. Perhaps we might try to listen more closely to hear the joy ringing loudly in His voice. Father, help us to hear Your loving melody and savor being held safely in Your arms.

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

What keeps you from hearing God? How can you tune your ears to hear His delight in you?

Thank You, God, for taking great delight in me. May I always listen to your voice as You joyfully sing over me.

To learn more about Zephaniah, visit ChristianUniversity.org/OT226

Letting Go of Baggage

Hebrews 12:1-3

If you’ve ever had to carry luggage while running to catch a flight or the bus, you know how difficult and exhausting it can be. Have you considered that the same could be said about carrying baggage from your past into your Christian life? 

Sometimes the burdens we carry have been with us since childhood—painful experiences during those formative years can have a profound impact, even into adulthood. And things we saw, heard, or felt could negatively affect our spiritual life today. In fact, it’s possible to be unaware of the load because after bearing it for so long, we may have become accustomed to the weight and bulk. Perhaps it even feels normal, but it’s not what the heavenly Father wants for His children.

To run with endurance the course God has set for your life, you must lay aside these encumbrances. He can break any lingering unhealthy pattern and replace it with hope and deep satisfaction in Him. As you consider your background and childhood experiences, ask God to reveal the truth clearly. When you recognize ways in which others have had a negative influence, pray the He will give you a forgiving spirit and healing for any wounds that remain.

Jesus Is the Word

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 14)

Most of us would be familiar with the Greek term used by God to convey this unique title of the Lord Jesus: logos. Its basic meaning is “that which can be communicated.” Sometimes it is used to embrace a collection of ideas expressed in a speech, or a thought in the sense of an idea, or the logic behind a concept.

Jesus is all of that: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). Not only did the Lord Jesus declare what the Father said but what the Father was like. It is obvious that Jesus was the Spokesperson: “Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:50). “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Much of the active ministry of the Lord Jesus was doing what God would do. His healing, His preaching, His gracious ministry to the poor and needy were all a picture of what God was like. But the miracles, the works of creation, were absolutely the “declaration” of God. Turning water into wine, feeding the 5,000, creating a new hand and new eyes—only the Creator could do that. In fact, Jesus said, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake” (John 14:11).

Jesus is the Word of God in every sense that can be spoken, understood, seen, and experienced (Colossians 2:9). HMM III

“According to Your Faith”

Matthew 9:27-29

AFTER the raising of Jairus’ daughter, our Lord on His departure was followed by two blind men crying for mercy (Matt. 9:27-34). He asked them, “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” And they answered, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it unto you,” and their eyes were opened.

A simple story, so simple that we pass over it and overlook its tremendous revelation. Here is the key to a life of blessing: “According to your faith.” But, mind you, faith in the Lord Jesus, for He had just asked, “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” The value of faith depends upon the object of faith, and when Christ is the object, faith never fails. All things are possible to the person who believes, if he believes in Him with whom all things are possible.

Back of all the misery of the world today lies unbelief in Christ. We will not come unto Him that we might have life. Sinners miss life here and hereafter because they believe not, and Christians live meager and defeated lives because they believe so little. In the midst of it all stands Jesus, the answer to every problem; but we do not believe like the blind men that He is able to do wonders in our lives or, if we believe it theoretically, we do not believe it practically, so our eyes are not opened. Some seek special experiences, signs and wonders, but will not live daily by faith, looking unto Jesus.

Here is the measure of blessing: According to your faith. If there is much faith, there is much blessing. If there is little faith, there is little blessing. There is no other way. Simple faith in Jesus Christ is the key to every problem, the answer to every issue from the smallest to the greatest. He Himself said so: how long will it take us to learn it?

After this miracle, the Lord healed a dumb demoniac and the Pharisees attributed His miracle to the devil. Alas, there are religious people today who deny a God of miracles and ascribe works of healing to the devil! It is to the everlasting shame of the church that we have lost sight of Christ the Healer and stand almost in the place of the Pharisees, ridiculing those who have the gift of healing, plainly taught in the New Testament, and almost ascribing the work of God to Beelzebub.

Our Lord went next to Nazareth, and there what struck Him was unfaith. His townspeople were offended in Him, and He could do no mighty works there because of their unbelief. He marveled at the centurions faith (Matt. 8:10), but here He marveled at their unbelief (Mark 6:6). So we read that He went around about the village, teaching. He was restricted to a teaching ministry here—and so He is today in most places, for we believe not. What wonders might come to pass if we only believed!

The Divine Example

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.“—Luke 23:34

We can only ask God to forgive us our sins when we are willing to forgive those who have sinned against us.

Does this mean that before we can be converted to Christ and have our sins forgiven, we have to search our hearts in order to make sure that we hold no bitterness or resentment against anyone? No. There is nothing in the Scripture that states that a non-Christian receives forgiveness from God on the basis of claiming to forgive everyone else. Jesus is referring here, so I believe, to those who are already His followers. They have been forgiven for their sins, but they now need a principle by which they can deal with guilt that arises, subsequent to conversion, through the violation of some biblical standard. Paul says in Ephesians 1:7: “We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” Grace—that’s the basis of our forgiveness when we first come to Christ. But although we have received that forgiveness, we can never enjoy freedom from defilement in our Christian walk unless we are ready to extend the forgiveness God has given us to those who have hurt us.

This is an extremely important issue, for if we fail to forgive those who have offended us, we break the bridge over which God’s forgiveness flows into us.

Prayer

Blessed Lord Jesus, You who hung upon a cross, tortured in every nerve, yet prayed, “Father, forgive them,” help me this day to forgive all those who have wronged me in a lesser way. For Your own dear name’s sake. Amen.

Further Study

Lk 17:1-10; Mk 11:25; Col 3:13; Eph 4:32

What did Jesus teach on forgiveness?

What was the disciples’ response?

Homeless

Matthew 25:40

He has no home except this grimy street

Which wears the winter like a shapeless shroud.

He has not friend, except the witless one

Who walks beside him through the thoughtless crowd.

He has not food but what his fingers find

Among the garbage which the dogs disdain.

He has not hope to help him through the day,

No one to ease the lonely night of pain.

Does no one care? Is not one moved enough

To throw a blanket round his bony form?

Will no one put some bread into his hand,

Protect his head against the stinging storm?

I care!… says Christ. I know what “homeless” means.

I’m with the hungry in the line for beans!

I know the pitted pavement of the street,

And Skid Row bears the imprint of My feet.

I’ve often had no place to lay My head;

At Bethlehem they borrowed Me a bed!

You want to find Me? Then you’d better come

And face the stinking of the slum,

Where men live daily wishing they were dead,

And give away their dignity for bread.

You have the gall to ask Me if I care?

Come down to Desp’rate Street, you’ll find Me there!

And grasp this truth, for it could set you free:

All that you do for them, you do for me.

John Gowans, O Lord Not More Verse!