Our Bible verse for today: “So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:31-33 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be faithful and trust God.”
Matthew 6:25-34 is part of the Sermon on the Mount and it is one of my wife Linda’s favorite passages. In this passage Jesus assures us that we have a loving Father in heaven who loves us deeply, cares for us more than we can know, and who has committed to providing for us. If we will obey and honor Him, we can trust in Him to care for us. He is sovereign over the affairs of our lives, He is all-powerful, and He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
Although I too love that passage and have always been reassured and comforted by it, my personal favorite (especially as I’ve entered the senior years) comes from Isaiah 46:4. This is my personalized translation of it: “Even to your old age and grey hairs, Jim, I am He. I am He who will sustain you. I will sustain you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
Ever since we became Christians almost twenty-nine years ago Linda and I have strived to be faithful to God in acts of service, financial stewardship, and in overall lifestyle. Of course just like you we have been far from perfect, but I think our hearts have been right on the matter. And God has certainly taken care of us. We have never been wealthy, but we’ve also never been homeless and hungry either.
Financial and physical concerns are a common source of worry and anxiety for people. They are also a major joy-stealer. It’s impossible to be joyful and light-hearted if you’re fearful and anxious. Learning to truly trust in the goodness, mercy, and watch-care of your Father in Heaven is the key to breaking free from the bondage of being preoccupied with such matters. It will still be true that God expects you to work hard, earn a good living, be a good steward, make smart money decisions, and give generously to help support His kingdom-building work. But as long as you are doing your part, and as long as you are seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness, He will quietly and subtly take care of the rest for you. You will be provided for.
By the way, I usually end these devotionals about “Laugh Again” with a joke or some funny observation, but today I want to ask you to pray for me. I have an important meeting at a bank later and if everything goes right, I will be debt free and I will own everything I have. I’m so excited I can hardly get my ski mask on!”