Saturday, May 7
Reader: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else,”
Response: “and he will give you everything you need.”
Scripture: Luke 12:29-32
“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
While the similar pericope in Matthew (6:33) may be more familiar, there are nuances in this passage that draw our attention. Notice Jesus does not address the lazy here, but the worried. In this section of Jesus’ teaching he is describing what the mindset of a citizen of God’s Kingdom should be. In reading the first sentence I can’t help but remember the rush on toilet paper several months ago! Fearful, worried people can become hoarders very quickly! Deep within the natural human heart is a desire for more of whatever. What I have isn’t enough, I need and want more. How can I get it? People who are not believers have no relationship with God. They have no conception; they are on their own. No wonder they are fearful.
Jesus describes these thoughts of unbelievers everywhere in the world. Is that your observation? Does it even describe you at times? For the believer, such attitudes reflect a lack of belief, a lack of faith in God and God’s provision. It also makes a statement about our view of God’s character and his lack of love. The definition of worry is living out our true belief that God doesn’t care, know, or do anything about our situation. Jesus’ words make the truth so clear: “your Father already knows your needs.” God is always ahead of you! He sees the big picture―you don’t.
If we are not to worry about the basics, what are we supposed to do? Jesus tells us to seek the Kingdom of God above all else. What does that mean? Seeking God’s Kingdom means embracing God’s value system, God’s perspective―which means studying the Scriptures so the Holy Spirit can teach us what his perspective is on everything. Seeking God’s Kingdom means following his purpose and plan for restoring his creation. Seeking God’s Kingdom means submitting to his authority continuously. Seeking God’s Kingdom means laying aside my kingdom and working for his. Seeking God’s Kingdom means his Kingdom is not my highest priority, it is my only priority. In doing so, he will provide everything I need.
The fact that Jesus calls us his “little flock” cannot but help remind us of Psalm 23 and our Good Shepherd. Notice how Jesus describes the Father in ways that humans can relate to, further underscoring the humanity of the character of God. As glorious as God is far, far above our comprehension, he is also able to relate to the lowest of his children. What we also learn in Jesus’ words here is that it makes the Father happy to give us his Kingdom. He knows it will bring us the greatest joy and fulfillment. Being in communion with God is the greatest joy in the world because that is what you and I were made for. How could it not be our greatest joy? Of course, you can worry if you want to!! If you are worried, (or even if you’re not) listen to today’s music! It will make your day!
Music: “Just a Little Talk with Jesus” Jehovah Shalom
Prayer:O God most high, most glorious, the thought of thine infinite serenity cheers me, for I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed, but thou art forever at perfect peace. Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfillment, they stand fast as the eternal hills. Thy power knows no bond, thy goodness no stint. Thou bringest order out of confusion, and my defeats are thy victories: The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. I come to thee as a sinner with cares and sorrows, to leave every concern entirely to thee, every sin calling for Christ’s precious blood. Revive deep spirituality in my heart; let me live near to the great shepherd, hear his voice, know its tones, follow its calls. Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth, from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit. Give me a growing intensity of faith in the eternal verities, burning into me by experience the things I know; let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel, that I may bear its reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as its essence, know in it the power of the Spirit. Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill; unbelief mars my confidence, sin makes me forget thee. Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to thee, that all else is trifling. Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy. Abide in me, gracious God. Amen. ―from The Valley of Vision, p. 129