Friday, March 8

Friday, March 8 

Scripture: Matthew 6:25-34

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Some thoughts:

     Did you ever notice how as the last week of Jesus’ life approached; he remained locked in on the events immediately before him? He did not get pushed off course or rush or delay. He was in completely tuned to his Father’s will, rock solid. Isaiah records the Messiah “set his face like flint” and Luke picks up the same idea (Isa 50:7, Lk 9:51). Jesus did not shrink from what was before him. As the Passover neared, he told the disciples “the Son of Man would be handed over to be crucified.” He remained calm with a heavy heart, even as he washed the feet of the one who would betray him and the feet of his disciples who would run away at his arrest. He was composed in the present because he was connected intimately to the will of his Father and to God’s overall plan for restoring the whole created order.

     Jesus was always realistic as he dealt with “the day’s troubles.” Make no mistake. Jesus had daily troubles! For example: Mary and Martha being mad at him for not coming sooner when Lazarus was sick or Peter telling him not to ever die. The local people from the synagogue where he grew up getting mad him and even trying to kill him when he told them who he was. The Pharisees calling him a liar and accusing him of being possessed by the devil! Yes, Jesus faced significant troubles from people who did not understand his mission.

     His trust was not a “God will work everything out” or a “whatever happens, happens” mindset. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed earnestly hoping there might be another way. There wasn’t, and the Father sent an angel to minister and strengthen Jesus for the ordeal that lay ahead (Luke 22:43). One of the reasons I love and trust the Bible so much is that the Holy Spirit covered nothing up in guiding the writers as they wrote. Nothing is sugar-coated!

     In this Lenten season, rather than being overwhelmed by the daily worries and all the things in our lives that need attention, trust the Lord one day at a time as we walk with the Savior through these days leading to the cross. Jesus bowed and submitted trusting everything to his Father’s care and will. Do you see how beautifully Jesus lived out in all circumstances what he preached in his Sermon on the Mount? We are to journey with Jesus in the same way. Set your “face like flint” and stay the course of faith in the Father.

Music: “Rock of Ages” James Ward (a beautiful different tune)

Prayer:  Who can tell what a day may bring forth? Cause me therefore, gracious God, to live every day as if it were to be my last, for I know not but that it may be such. Cause me to live now as I shall wish I had done when I come to die. O grant that I may not die with any guilt on my conscience or any known sin unrepented of, but that I may be found in Christ, who is my only Savior and Redeemer.   —Thomas á Kempis, (1380-1471) 

 (In case you thought written out prayers from centuries ago were irrelevant!)