Faith or Fear

A lot of what I’m sharing today I got from a sermon from my pastor Mike Erre called “Faith in an age of Fear”.  I was so impressed by it that I decided to share it and my thoughts on it with you my readers.

Matthew 6:19-34 are our verses for today.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moths and vermin do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body if your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light but if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you to much more valuable tan they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers in the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans fun after all these things, and you heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The passage starts about storing up our treasures in heaven.  This is more than just talking about money but where your heart is.  What is your main focus on things of this earth which will decay or the things of God which will never decay?

Then Jesus puts it another way talking about the eye being the lamp of the body.  During Jesus day an unhealthy eye was one who was greedy and cheap and miserly.  The healthy eye was generous, helpful and thought of as good.  The healthy eye would be carrying out God’s will while the unhealthy would not.  One is storing up treasures in heaven the other on earth.

Then He talks about the serving of only one masters either God or money.  How we can’t have it both ways it’s either or.  Either your heart is with God and that is where your treasure is or your heart is elsewhere with some other idol here on earth where moth and vermin destroy and thieves can steal.  Since we can’t take it with us it is important we make the right choice.

Mike Erre made a very good point that in America we see the don’t worry passage and think God is going to give us good things and supply all that we need.  But there are Christians who love the LORD that don’t have food or drink or clothes what do we do about that?

He believes and I agree with him that the don’t worry follows the other passages in the same train of thought.  Let me try and explain the grass of the field is thrown in the fire it is not all good for the grass.  In that day and age the birds of the air were used for sacrifice again not all good for the birds.  What they do have in common is that they don’t worry about their food or death or anything they just exist as God intended them to.

Verse 33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Could this verse in the light that bad things do happen to those that love God, actually mean by seeking his kingdom and righteousness that the things of the kingdom, peace in the midst of turmoil, faith in the face of fear, and joy in the midst of mourning are all ours to have?  Could it mean that there is an even more fulfilling and abundant life to be had than what we are told on this earth via commercials and peer pressure?  I believe the answer to be “Yes!”

I look with new eyes at the do not worry verses and realize that my hope is in God alone and whatever He has in-store for me His grace and mercy will be sufficient for me.

Lord God, let me walk boldly in faith and keep these scriptures ever present in my mind when I am tempted to fall away from a bold walk with you in my journey of faith.  I want to stand confident in Your power, grace, mercy and unchanging will. Lord help me to do just that and confront me when I falter.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 5

Today I’m grateful for my old pastor Pastor Gary Richmond.  He came back to speak to us last night at evening chapel and as always it was wonderful!

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”  –  Romans 1:20

He showed how throughout nature and God’s creation all sorts of different animals and insects, birds and fish, that there is not really a difference in us emotionally, socially, governing, & intellectually it is only in a matter of degrees between us and them.

Two bobcats showing love.

The mothering instinct.

I learned that as for mazes the dolphin does far better than us.

As the scripture says, all of creation show God’s divine power and nature.  All we have to do is be observant.  What a blessing from God to open up all this to us.

He made the point that the arabian horse must be one of God’s favorites because in Revelation it talks about Christ’s return on a white horse and he figures that could very well mean a white arabian has the honor.

“I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.”  – Revelation 6:2

“11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.  With justice he judges and makes war.  12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.  He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.  13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.  14The armies of heaven were following him, on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.  15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.  ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’  He treads the winepress of the fury o the wrath of  God Almighty.  16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”

–  Revelation 19:11-16

Whatever horse gets the honor of charging our Lord in the second coming that too is something to look forward to with gratitude.

I love when God peaks through to show His power in the storm and darkness.  All through nature there are so many lessons to be learned.  Thank You Lord.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

The Bottom Line

I can’t say it any better than Jesus puts it so I’ll just leave Matthew 6:25-34 to Him.

Here is the bottom line: do not worry about your life. Don’t worry about your life.  Don’t worry about what you will eat or what yo will drink.  Don’t worry about how you clothe your body.  Living is about more than merely eating, and the body is about more than dressing up.  Look at the birds in the sky.

They do not store food for winter.  They don’t plant gardens.  They do not sow or reap – and yet, they are always fed because your heavenly Father feeds them.  And you are even more precious to Him than a beautiful bird.

If He looks after the them, of course He will look after you.  Worrying does not do any good;  who here can claim to add even an hour to his life by worrying?

Nor should you worry about your clothes.  Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow.

They do not work or weave or sew, and yet their garments are stunning.

 Even King Solomon, dressed in his most regal garb, was not as lovely as these lilies.  And think about the grassy fields – the grasses are here now, but they will be dead by winter.

An yet God adorns them so radiantly.  How much more will He clothe you, you of little faith, you who have no trust?

So do not consume yourselves with questions:  What will we eat?  What will we drink?  What will we wear?  Outsiders make themselves frantic over such questions; they don’t realize that your heavenly Father knows exactly what you need.  Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too.  So don’t worry about tomorrow.  Let tomorrow worry about itself.  Living faithfully is a large enough task for today.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!