Resting in the care of your heavenly Father
A daily devotion to help you navigate lockdown
"Open Our Eyes Lord To See Wonderful Things In Your Word, Open Our Hearts To Receive Them and Live Them Out, And Open Our Mouths To Give You the Praise That Is Your Due - This Day - Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen."
"But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" Matthew 6:33-34
The school round the corner from my home has a nice sign up at the moment saying "You are doing so well. Just go a day at a time". And it's a wise word, since we need to avoid the idea that yesterday was a waste of a day and tomorrow is a worry of a day - and just concentrate on the things of today.
Is this school message what Jesus is saying in the verses above from the "Sermon on the Mount"? Is He just saying "Go a day at a time"? The fact is that He is saying something more wonderful.
He tells His disciples not to worry about having enough food or clothes and He points out that the birds have enough food and the flowers have enough 'clothes'. Why does this help us - and what good is it to tell us to stop worrying? Does Jesus really expect us to just switch off our worries like a light switch?
His point is that the birds and the flowers have a GOD looking after them but the disciples of Jesus have a FATHER looking after them. If God the Creator takes an interest every day in His creation then will not God the FATHER take an interest every day in His children?
So Christians (who have come to the Father through Jesus the Son) need to Balancing profit keep saying to themselves "all those birds and flowers are sustained by God and preservation and since this God is now my FATHER could He fail to care about me? is difficult, Impossible! Will He look after me? Absolutely".
Jesus is not torturing us with an impossible request to "stop worrying". He is win-win for all. not even putting up a sign to say "go one day at a time". He is teaching us an unbeatable truth that "WE MUST NOT WORRY AS IF WE HAVE NO FATHER!". Or to put this positively, we must live in the knowledge of a FATHER.
Think of the parent listening out for the cry of a baby, working out what food to prepare, eventually what school they should go to, what games can be played, what help should be given, what props should be removed - this is a mini version of the Fatherhood of God. He is looking after His children.
And then Jesus says in this section (of Matthew 6:25-34) "you cannot shoulder everything (like the length of your life - 6:27) so learn to leave some things to your Heavenly FATHER - but as for you - seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness - concentrate on shouldering these things - one day at a time".
To 'seek first His Kingdom' (if you're not sure of your salvation) means humbly asking Him to help you ENTER His Kingdom and family. But if you are already sure of your salvation then to 'seek first His Kingdom' means humbly asking Him to help you to EXTEND it. It means you want His 'Kingdom rule' to be seen in your life and in the lives of others too.
So, here is Jesus' message to disciples today who easily forget their privileges and His carefulness. Remember that 'faith in Jesus' means 'Father in heaven' and remember that 'Father in heaven' means (a) 'Fatherly care' from Him and (b) 'first the Kingdom' from you.
"Heavenly Father - please write the truths of your Fatherly care on our minds and hearts and set us free to be your Kingdom people today - in Jesus' Name. Amen"
God bless you today and every day
PS Joining the Zoom meeting on Sunday at 10am is a nice way of loving the member of ASW. It's not the easiest few minutes (because Zoom is strange and clunky) but it's best we have at the moment and it is so encouraging to see those who join. Try this Sunday and lift our hearts.