Today’s readings.. (1 Samuel 17), (Isaiah 61), (Matthew 6)

What are our priorities in life?  Do we only find time to think about and do anything in the service of God and our Saviour Jesus in our spare time?   Of course, Sunday’s would be at least partly an exception.
Matthew 6, which we read today, has many challenging words from Jesus.  It’s final verses see Jesus challenging his disciples, “ … O you of little faith … do not be anxious saying ‘What shall we eat? Or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Therefore do not be anxious …” [v.30-34]
How do we “seek first the kingdom’?  By giving it priority in our thinking!  So many who say they believe in the God of the Bible believe there is an eternal future for them in heaven!  Such are ‘blind’ to the meaning of the words of the Lord’s prayer which is also in today’s chapter (v.9-13) which Jesus taught his disciples “ … your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”   So many who say these words are ‘blind’ to what these words mean.
In watching the Diamond Anniversary of the Queen’s reign recently we saw St. Paul’s Cathedral full of people – all saying this prayer and wondered how many understood what they were praying for.  It is still used in the opening of our Parliament.  Again we wondered – but, the far greater need is to ask ourselves what the ‘sermon’ that Jesus gave to his disciples means to us? Do we “seek … his righteousness?”
Jesus tells them 6 times in 10 verses (v.25-34) not to be “anxious” (AV ‘take no thought’). We live in a world that is full of worrying thoughts about the future, anxieties are increasing.  Our faith must be genuine; we must think through each day’s troubles, true faith will see them disappear like steam, if we are constant in our relationship with Jesus.
Today’s chapter ends, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow … Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  David’s Psalms are wonderful examples,  as you read them note how many start as a prayer for help and end up with praise to God. Psalm 35 is a good example.  “Contend O LORD, with those who contend with me … rise for my help” [v.1,2] – climaxing with the words, “ ‘Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!’  Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.” [v.27,28]
May we be able to echo David’s words. Today’s chapter (1 Sam.17) illustrates the supreme conviction of his mind as he went to confront Goliath.  If we should be confronted by any ‘Goliath’s’ may his actions and words inspire us.

 

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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