Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY JULY 21, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“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? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to your stature?”

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” Matthew 6.25-30

Something To Consider:
Jesus was and still is totally aware of the fact that worry has caused an early exit of this life for many. “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life…” Jesus also understands that worry leads to undue stress, which if often unchecked leads to an early and unnecessary departure from this life through pre-mature death.

Jesus, concerned about our spiritual and physical well-being declared, “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?” Therefore, according to Jesus, do not worry!

The apostle Paul, writing in 1 Timothy 6.7-8, sharing with Timothy concerning godliness and contentment proclaimed; “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” Paul follows up with a strict warning in verse 9 by stating, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men [women and young people] in destruction and perdition.”

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus also said, “Do not worry…Look at the birds of the air…Do not worry…Look at the lilies of the field…” Go ahead, look at the lovely lilies of the field. You do not see lilies laboring to clothe themselves in vivid and vibrant colors that are more than able to light up any valley, meadow, or mountainside, simply by their mere existence. Consider the birds, consider the lilies, and consider the peace and tranquility that can flood over a life that is no longer overcome with worry and or anxiety. Therefore, do not worry!

But, if we rather choose to foolishly worry about our food, clothing, or whatever else we humans worry over, where does our worrying lead us? Whatever choices we make in life, we should always look to the future to see where a choice will eventually lead us. Jesus, in our text today offers two totally different life paths to pursue. We can follow after a life of worry over the cares of this life, or we can follow a narrower path and a more biblical approach but extremely and eternally rewarding path of faith, even if of little faith.

If we prefer to reject Christ’s instruction and to worry rather than walking in faith, we will ultimately run headlong into the false realization that more money is the answer to our worrisome dilemma. And where does our seeking more money lead us rather than seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness which will eventually gain us more and much stronger faith?

Paul continued his admonishment to young Timothy in 1 Timothy 6.10, by his declaring boldly; “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” This is where the love of money, riches, and the wealth of this world leads a person, a family, a church, and entire nations!

Something More To Consider:
All one needs to do is to consider for a brief moment how much more valuable we are in God’s eye as His crowning creation, than all the birds no matter how breathtakingly beautiful they might be. The same could be said as we consider the most fragrant flowers of a thousand fields. Jesus Himself declared, “Are you not of more value than they?”

Just the fleeting thought of God’s great love and everlasting concern for humanity should be enough to brush away any and all fleshly fondness for our wasteful fretting over life. And as we maintain an eye on eternity, things of this life such as food and clothing will no longer fill our hearts with worry or anxiety, but rather fill each of us with wonder when God simply and surprisingly supplies our every need.

Therefore, do not worry! For worry leads to discontentment, which leads some to stray or to depart from their faith in Jesus as the apostle Paul described in 1 Timothy 6.10. Though the message of one-time Christians departing from the faith is opposed by those falsely promoting a once saved always saved false gospel, New Testament writers on other occasions declare the truth as the Spirit of God inspires them to do so.

Earlier in 1 Timothy 4.1 Paul wrote, “Now the Spirit [Holy Spirit of God] expressly says that in latter times [in the end times in which we live] some will depart from the faith…” Why will some depart from their one-time faith in Christ? Paul continued his end time warning, by stating for the biblical record; “…some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving [evil seducing] spirits and doctrines of demons [promoted by men].”

And so, how can established religious leaders propose a faith in Christ that can never be departed from when that whole demonic concept is absolutely contrary to the Word of God? For if whole denominations of individuals past, present, and future are deceived or sadly seduced by these kinds of demonic false doctrines, the eternal ramifications are endless and horrific for the majority of Christendom. And yet, those who are among the few of whom believe by faith in the Word of God as preserved, if we pray fervently, there is hope God will hear our pleas and send a revival of true biblical faith in God’s Word.

A Few Final Words:
But what is true biblical faith? Hebrews 11.1 states the biblical definition of faith as; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Then the writer spends an entire chapter expounding on his definition of faith by naming seventeen [17] Old Testament individuals and their by faith accounts of their present tense and enduring to the end overcoming faith for our spiritual benefit and for our encouragement.

And then the Holy Spirit inspired writer spent the next nine [9] verses describing the enduring to the end biblical faith of untold and unnamed bible characters who subdued kingdoms, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were tortured, not accepting deliverance, imprisoned for their faith, stoned, sawn in two, afflicted, tormented, and many wandered homeless and destitute.

They had all chosen to be found keeping the faith of their creator and Savior Jesus Christ. They chose not to worry about food, clothing, possessions, a place to call home. Rather, Hebrews 11.39-40 proclaims what it was they did choose. “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith [true biblical faith], did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”

In other words, keeping in mind that faith is the substance of things not yet seen, all these looked forward to the end of their faith and their receiving the end result of God’s promise of salvation. Peter, in his first letter explained this concept of the future end result to the promise of salvation to those who indeed keep the faith. Peter explains the timing of our receiving this gift of God we call salvation and it is extremely revealing and also a contradiction of much false teaching of many false prophets.

Beginning in verse 8 of 1 Peter 1, we are enlightened by these words of Peter; “Though now you [present tense enduring to the end believer in Jesus] do not see Him [Christ Jesus], yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith [not at the beginning], the salvation of your souls.” And finally, Peter reminds us all, by stating; “But as He [God] who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written [in Leviticus chapter 11, 19, and 20], ‘Be holy, for I [God] am holy.’”

Our Father in heaven, may our focus turn from things that cause us to worry, and may we focus our attention on eternal considerations. In Him Always, Amen!

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