Friday, February 25, 2011

Do Not Worry


Matthew 6: 25-34

Story & Lessons

Anxiety may make a child of God weak and prayerless.

We may not heap up riches for ourselves, but we can still be over-anxious about providing for our basic needs.

What is the answer to such worry?

Jesus says, "Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things" (32).

Life is more than food, drink and clothes.

Will not God who has given us a body, provide for its needs?

God knows exactly what we need and He is not indifferent to our problems.

The unbeliever often shrugs his shoulder when perplexed and carelessly utters, "God knows!"

But the Christian can rejoice that his heavenly Father really does know and that He loves him and cares for him.

Reflection...

God did not spare His beloved Son but gave Him up to die a terrible death to meet our greatest need which is forgiveness of sin and peace with God.

Do we really think that He will let us down?

Worrying will not improve our circumstances but will so distract us that we may turn our eyes away from our heavenly Father.

Are you beset by fears and care?

Turn your care into prayer.

Trust your Father in heaven.

He will never fail you!

The Lord Jesus warns us not to be preoccupied with our bodily needs.

Such behavior is typical of those who do not have God as their heavenly Father.

We must be first and foremost concerned for our souls and the interests of God’s kingdom.

The tragedy is that so many of us are so materialistic and worldly that our souls are unhealthy through spiritual impoverishment while our bodies are unhealthy through over-indulgence.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (33)

Have you got your priorities right?

Friday, February 18, 2011

No One Can Serve Two Masters


Matthew 6: 22-24

Story & Lessons

Where would we be without our eyes?

A healthy eyesight is necessary in the spiritual and physical realm.

The unhealthy spiritual eye is focused on worldly things rather than the Lord and it will bring darkness into our lives.

When Jesus conducts His diagnosis of our condition, He also has questions: “Where is your treasure? On what is your spiritual vision focused? Who is your Master?”

Our answers to these questions tell us a great deal about our spiritual well-being.

Jesus warns us, “No one can serve two masters” (24).

If we live for riches, they will eventually master us!

If we make an idol of money, we will soon despise God!

Reflection...

The word of God is quite clear – You cannot serve God and mammon.

Are we restless and uncomfortable in our Christian life?

Could it be that we are trying to serve two masters, that we are trying to please God and man, that we are trying to serve Christ and the world?

— It does not work!

We must get our priorities right!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Where Is Your Treasure?


Matthew 6: 19-21

Story & Lessons

Anxiety is caused by having our treasures in the wrong place. We are either storing up treasures on earth or in heaven.

But treasures on earth are not secure. They may perish through decay or be snatched from us.

If we set our minds on obtaining earthly riches, we are asking for trouble. It will choke the word of God in our lives and make us unfruitful.

Should we then provide for our future?

There is a difference between saving to meet anticipated needs and living for money!

God led Joseph to lay up grain to provide for future years of famine in Egypt and he calls us to be prudent.

Reflection...

Let us watch and pray against an earthly spirit.

It is foolish to set our minds on earthly possessions when we have a glorious inheritance in heaven.

We cannot take our worldly possessions with us when we die, but our heavenly treasure is forever!

So where is your treasure?

It is where your thoughts and affections are found!

Take time to think about this because Jesus warns us, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (21).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

When You Fast


Matthew 6: 16-18

Story & Lessons

The Jews were commanded to fast on the Day of Atonement.

Christians do not observe the Day of Atonement, but the practice of fasting is taken for granted — “When you fast” (16).

When a church has a period of fasting and prayer, it should be an expression of humiliation before God and of an urgent desire to see needs met.

The leaders in the church at Antioch fasted and prayed before sending Paul and Barnabas away on missionary service (Acts 13:3).

Reflection...

There are times when we should give ourselves to fasting and prayer.

The hypocrites (the scribe and Pharisees) wanted everyone to observe how pious they were as they looked sorry for their sins when they ‘afflicted their souls’ by fasting. The glum appearance was designed to win the esteem of men.

When we fast, do not let everyone know about it! Get on with your private fasting and prayer in secret!

Are you prepared to miss a few meals and give yourself to prayer and fasting?

Let us remember that our heavenly Father sees all that we do.

When we give to the needy; when we pray; when we fast, He sees in secret but He will reward us openly.