I thought I would finish this series today but I may have to do one more post for the very last verse but let's see what happens here...
Friends, for the last 7 weeks or so, the church I serve in Atlanta, GA has been going through a Season of Simplicity. The theme has been to " SIMPLIFY your life so that you can AMPLIFY your living!" We have used this time to recommit ourselves to spending more time with God, minimizing social media and other digital distractions, streamlining our wardrobe options, and utilizing our finances to only cover life’s most basic necessities. It has been an intentionally quiet time in my life, necessary for staying in tune and in the center of God's will for my life in this season. I have done my best to follow as much of the plan as I could, especially those parts that I felt were most impactful to my own personal journey with God. I have also experienced the amazing grace of God as God has revealed and concealed and confirmed and restored. I can honestly say that I am in a different place, a better place, and I agree with the words of our Lord in Matthew 6 as a "norm" that I embrace because of the ways I have been challenged to keep things simple.
31 So [I] do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and ALL these things will be given to you as well. [Matthew 6:31-33]
Friends, I have been quick to speak the words of verse 33 on many occasions but when I look in the mirror today, I realize that the Kingdom of God is all encompassing and the righteousness of God is thoroughly pervasive and the provision of God is altogether sufficient and more than enough at the same time. I am reminded that God's Kingdom is the place where our very human and our deeply spiritual needs are met. God knows our every need and is well able to feed, refresh, clothe us in every way. We do not have to run after these things because the knowledge our heavenly Father has of our need is at the same time a clue that provision has already been made. This is such GREAT news! And even when it appears that our life's most basic needs are being neglected, I truly believe that God is speaking through one of His vessels in the earth to share so that we all have what we need.
In fact, perhaps that is the revelation that we must truly get. I mean, how often do you consider yourself a conduit for providing the needs of others on behalf of the Almighty who has provided an overflow for you? How often do you think of yourself as the one through whom the blessings of the kingdom must flow so that prayers of those in need can be answered because of your patience, your generosity, your compassion? Isn't this what it really means to be righteous? Isn't this the kind of addition we really need to experience in our homes and schools and communities and churches? The kind of addition that realizes that we increase our own lives and build the kingdom by sharing what already belongs to God.
I am in awe of how God will use these vessels of clay to bring hope and model righteous ways of doing and being in the world. And in light of all of the recent events of mass murder and ongoing poverty, hunger, domestic violence, cancer, HIV/AIDS, orphans, widows, and every other social ill or injustice, why wouldn't we want to be the kind of people who embody the answers to the questions in the passage? Friends, we are to offer bread and drink and clothes, hope, help, and healing by being kingdom minded and letting our light shine, and doing what is right and just at all times. For when we keep this kind of mindset and allow this kind of heart shift, we can all declare in full confidence...
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. [Matthew 6:34] AND as the children of the Most High, we will receive and we will share so that no one has to worry, because we will meet each other's needs as God gives us opportunity in this world. For truly, THIS is God's Best Practice... TGBTG!!!
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings! Glory! Sunshine!
PS - I guess we finished Matthew 6 after all LOL! LOVE YOU!