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"He continued the subject with His disciples. 'Don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.'" Luke 12:22-24 (The Message).
How desperately this reassurance from Jesus is needed today. Our faith has become wobbly in today's economic climate. Many of us are feeling the squeeze of unemployment, inflation, and an uncertain world economy. We anxiously watch the fluctuations in the stock market and wonder how long our assets will last. More and more people are joining the lines of the homeless who depend on charities to survive. Do Jesus' words still apply in these circumstances?
A resounding "Yes!" but the secret is to tap into God's resources via His economic system. This is where we often come unstuck. When our stockpile begins to dwindle, we hang on to our money instead of keeping it circulating. The excuse is, 'I can't afford to give.' Wrong! Jesus says, 'You can't afford not to give.' The only way to keep the circulation of resources going is to keep on giving.
There is a law in God's system like the law of gravity. When we respect and stay in line with gravity, we are okay. When we try to defy it, we are in serious trouble. In God's system, everything begins with a seed; plants, trees, people, faith, even new life in Jesus, all begin with the appropriate seed. So it is with God's supply. The Apostle Paul spoke about this in the context of giving. "Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." Galatians 6:6,7 (NIV).
Asking God to meet our needs has its place as we learn from the Lord's Prayer, but tapping into God's supply according to His instruction has already been guaranteed by His promise, "'But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.'"Matthew 6:33 (NIV).
A far more serious reason for mistrusting God when the squeeze is one, is one of identity. We don't really understand how real our relationship with God is. We have been adopted into God's family through Jesus. "In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will..." Ephesians 1:5 (NIV).
Our being the sons of God underlies everything He does for us. He treats us just as He treated Jesus. He loves us just as He loved Jesus. He cares for us just as He cared for Jesus. He listens to us just as He listened to Jesus. In His eyes we are on a par with Jesus. Jesus is His Son and so are we. There is no difference. That doesn't mean that we are God but it does mean that we are His sons and daughters. "'Therefore come out from among them,' says the Lord. 'Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you. I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17,18 (NIV).
This should make all the difference in the world to the way we respond to God's Word. Everything He does in and through us is because we are His sons and daughters. We can trust Him because Daddy will never lie to us.
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