Matthew 6, 31-33
Something to read
Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
New Revised Standard Version
To read the King James Version, click here
Something to think about
Whenever I read this passage about these most basic needs – clothing, food and water, I am struck by the following questions:
What about those people in certain parts of the world who don’t have these basics? What about the people who are naked through poverty? What about the people dying of drought and starvation?
It’s important to remember the context here. Jesus wasn’t preaching into a culture with welfare and benefit systems. He was speaking to an occupied people who were being taxed so heavily that many were living below the poverty line. To contextualise it today, it would be like Jesus preaching these words in poverty-stricken slums.
Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t always mean that life will be easy or that everything will work out materially.
Jesus suffered and in following him we are promised difficult times. But whereas the pagans chase after material things, we are commanded to seek first God’s Kingdom. When we seek first the King, we discover His peace.
Despite horrific circumstances, throughout the ages Christians have known this peace that surpasses understanding.
Just think of Stephen in Acts as he is stoned to death and Paul as he is imprisoned for his faith. Jesus tells us that the Father knows our needs. Ultimately our needs are not met in material things but in Him, our Creator.
I still find this very difficult. I wish God would intervene miraculously more often but, as I have travelled and met people who have very little, I am reminded again and again that it is not what we have that brings us joy.
Instead it is knowing who we belong to. When we seek first His Kingdom, He provides us with all that we need, sometimes materially and sometimes just the joy and peace to carry on regardless.
Something to do
Look back over the last week. How have you spent your time and money? Does the way in which you have spent these things reflect a seeking of the Kingdom of God?
Something to pray
Today I choose to seek first Your Kingdom!
No matter what my circumstances…
I seek your ways
I seek your vision
I seek your plan
I seek You.
Today's contributor is Andy Frost, Director of Share Jesus International (SJI). Visit the SJI website.