Our Lord's Warnings About Worry
by Carlton Pruitt
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Let us look at some verses which forbid our worrying about the things of this world.
And He (Jesus)said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
During dangerous and stressful times, such as those in which we now live, we are apt to be fretful, discouraged, and full of worry (anxiety) but the Christian is forbidden to have this temper of mind because we are of another world and this present evil world is not our home. Our help is not in ourselves but in the God who made us. (Ps. 124:8) Sometimes we forget this and seek comfort and security in the creature rather than the Creator.
Recently I took a trip to visit my brother in Turlock, CA which is in northern California and I inquired of a park nearby where I might preach. After finding this park that we both had visited many years before (back around 1994 when we took my dogs for a run) I spoke forth some words of our Lord and commented on them as I walked around a pond of water centered within the park. Dozens of ducks were waddling here and there, back and forth, foraging for food and I was reminded of how our Lord Jesus provides for the birds of the field and that we are much greater than they.
Let us now ponder the precious words which fell from our Lord's lips.
How instructive is nature, God's creation, in teaching us the Lord's bountiful Providence.
Christ exhorts us to consider the ravens. "They neither sow nor reap. They have neither storehouse nor barn. But God feeds them." Now if the Creator of heaven and earth provides for the needs of birds, and orders things so that they have a daily supply of food, we certainly shouldn't fear that He will let us starve.
Christ exhorts us look at the lilies. "They toil not, they spin not; Yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Now if God every year provides these flowers with a fresh supply of living leaves and blossoms, we surely ought not to doubt His power and willingness to furnish His believing servants with all needful clothing.
Christ exhorts us to remember that a Christian should not act like a man without Christian faith. He should be ashamed of being as anxious as an unbeliever. The "pagan world" may well be anxious about food, and clothing. They are likely to think about little else but what concerns them in the here and now. The carnal mind is enmity with God and does not want to consider the relative unimportance of this temporal life and so he worries continually about the mundane things of this life what he shall eat, drink or wear but the godly man who can say of God, "He is my Father," and of Christ, "He is my Savior, ought surely to be above such anxieties and cares. A strong and genuine faith should produce a pure heart.
At last Christ exhorts us to consider His omniscience, that is, His perfect knowledge of God. "Our Father knows that we have need" of food and clothing. That thought alone ought to make us content. All our needs are perfectly known to the Lord of heaven and earth. He can relieve those needs, whenever He sees fit. He will relieve them, whenever it is good for our souls.
Let these words of our Lords make an indelible impression on our minds as they find a restful place in our hearts. May they bring forth a sweet frame of character and consciousness. The wise soul has learned to trust in the Lord with all his heart and to realize that God knows how to give us what we need and not always what we want.
It is very common to find people from all walks of life troubled by the unpleasant worries around them. Such people are not only a burden to themselves but also to others who must hear their endless complaints. A graceful soul will be a joy to oneself and to others because of how God is manifesting His power and provision freely given according to His own good pleasure.
The world of the ungodly can often see the demonstration of God's providence in the life of the believer and this commends our Christianity, and makes it beautiful in the eyes of men. Faith, and only faith, will produce this happy frame of mind. The man who can say with some audacity, "The Lord is my shepherd," is the man who will be able to add, "I shall not lack." (Psalm. 23:1.)
Many people today are concerned with having a high standard of living. They want more earnings so they can enjoy more of this world but what did Jesus say about such matters?
"Seek the kingdom of God."
Herein is the highest standard of living if we can but obtain it. Before we obtain it we must first seek it. We are not to mind earthly things or be preoccupied with the things of this world. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
We are not so to live as if we had nothing but a body. Those that are given to carnal things are void of the Spirit and are walking according to the course of this world which lies in darkness.
We are to live like beings whose souls will either be lost or saved. There is a judgment after death and a Holy God to reckon with. (Heb 9:27) Where will we go when we die? We must die for every cemetery bears testimony to the fact of death.
What may we ask is this seeking of God and His Kingdom? In other words, how can we be said to "seek the kingdom of God?"
We are told in Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."
We may be said to be seeking God when we make it the chief business of our life to secure a place among the number of God's pardoned people--to have our sins forgiven, our hearts made pure, by faith and ourselves made fit for the inheritance of the saints. We may be said to be seeking God when we give a primary place in our minds to the interests of God's kingdom by avoiding that which God hates and promoting that which God loves. God hates sin of every kind and so must we. God loves His law and He loves to have His word proclaimed throughout the universe. In such a way the glory of God is exalted.
The kingdom of God is the only kingdom worth laboring for. All other kingdoms shall eventually pass away. The politicians or businessmen who build for the future without God in mind are like the Tower of Babel builders whose earthly treasures are all that concern them. The great wealth which these men covet and strive for is short lived like the vapor on a flower during a hot spring day.
On the other hand the kingdom of God is the only kingdom which shall last forever. Yes, God's kingdom is an eternal kingdom. It is not limited to a thousand years as some theologians mistakenly surmise. Happy are all those who belong to this kingdom. The children of God will love this kingdom and live for it, pray for it, and labor for its increase and prosperity. Their labor shall not be in vain because it is in the Lord and it is by faith for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Rom. 14:23
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Cor. 15:58
May we give all diligence to make our calling into this kingdom sure! May it be our constant advice to children, relatives, friends, servants, neighbors, "Seek the kingdom!" Whatever else you seek, "Seek first the kingdom of God!"
We have, lastly, in these verse, a marvelous promise held out to those who seek the kingdom of God. Our Lord Jesus declares, "All these things shall be added unto you."
We must take heed that we do not misunderstand the meaning of this passage. We have no right to expect that the Christian tradesman, who neglects his business under pretense of zeal for God's kingdom, will find his trade prosper, and his affairs do well. To place such a sense upon the promise would be nothing less than fanaticism and enthusiasm. It would encourage slothfulness in business, and give occasion to the enemies of God to blaspheme.
A Christian man must not neglect his worldly affairs as if they were of no importance but he regards them as much less important than the requirements of God. His mind is set on things above where God dwells and the saints in glory. This earth is quickly passing away and death will soon claim the best of earth's inhabitants. Neglect not the concerns of God's kingdom or else you show your real self to be but a carnal, unregenerate sinner whose life consists of the pleasures of sin rather than the things of God. A Christian purposes to put God first and the world second--to give the second place to the things of his body, and the first place to the things of his soul. This is the man to whom Jesus says, "All these things shall be added unto you."
But how is the promise fulfilled? The answer is short and simple. The man who seeks first God's kingdom shall never lack anything that is for his good. You may not have very good health. You may not have ObamaCare or Affordable Health Care. You may not have much wealth as do others but why are you comparing yourself to others? In doing so you are not wise. Your standard of living may seem small in comparison to your relatives or neighbors but remember you shall always have enough.
"Bread shall be given him. His water shall be sure." (Isaiah 33:16.)
"All things shall work together for good to those who love God." (Rom. 8:28.)
"No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11.)
"I have been young," said David, "and now am old, yet never have I seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread." (Psalm 37:25.)
Believer in Jesus Christ fret not yourself because of your seeming lack of earthly provisions but trust in your Creator and delight yourself in His spiritual abundance.
The apostle Paul said With food and clothing to be therewith content.
Carlton Pruitt ministers the gospel to the Los Angeles area.
Formerly a Hollywood actor (SAG member) and junk removal expert he now spends most of his time studying the scriptures, writing articles, hymns and poems and doing street preaching.
See all his videos on https://www.YouTube.com/user/LAStreetPreacher
CONTACT at Carlton2061@gmail.com
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