Friday, March 8, 2013

Luke 12:22-34

I have not posted due to being sick so I'm on the road to recovery and I am glad to be back. 

v. 22-28 Jesus said to the disciples "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?  Consider how the lilies grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you, 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, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith.

I think this is one of the biggest problems that block our faith.  If you give over to worry then you are not giving it to God to handle.  Yes we are supposed to be concerned about matters here on earth, but to worry and stress over things especially those that we have no control over is pointless.  I believe worry is a sin, anything out of balance can be a sin.  By now we know that stress can cause great damage to our bodies yet we keep doing it.  I have seen so many that worry until they are physically sick.  I also worry, but I try to give it to God when I know that I've been thinking about something too long, realize that I have no control over the situation and really see that I am not letting my Father take care of me.  Jesus tells us that we can not add a single hour to our life by worrying, I believe there are many that take hours away due to the stress they put their minds through.  Don't let the cares of this world weigh you down.  The devil knows that if all your attention is on worry then none of it will be on God. 

How to overcome worry:
  • Simple trust in God, this is shown by praying instead of worrying
  • Your perspective on your problems and how they match up to God's kingdom
  • A support team, surround yourself with other people who will pray for you and not join in on your worry party.
v. 31 "But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.  Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor.  Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Do you give God every part of your life or do you keep certain things from Him?  If there is anything you are hiding from Him I pray that you will give it over to Him.  Many want God in their lives yet will keep areas off limits to Him.  He wants to be involved in every area of your life especially the deep dark parts that you don't want anyone to see.  When you release everything to Him it takes it off your shoulders and you feel free.  He does not criticize, demean or make fun of you.  He will show you love, peace and acceptance that the world would never give you. 

I think for most people God doesn't want you to sell everything you own to give to the poor because then how would you be able to help others after that?  I believe helping others is a life long duty that Christians are supposed to do to honor God.  Do you use your money wisely?  Are you willing to give more than just what is asked at the Christmas offering at church?  The Barna Group did a study in 2008 that said that 24% of Evangelicals in the US tithed which was the highest group in that study.  I am not surprised, our country is so ridiculously wealthy and only 1 out of 4 gives back to the church.  That was the same time as our economic crash in the US so the percentage probably dropped after that study.  Can you imagine what we could do if every Christian tithed?  I challenge all of us to give back to the church, charity or someone in need.  If 10% is not an option, then give what you can.  Have you thought of doing any of these: paying for someone's food in the drive-thru line behind you, taking a dinner to someone who has had surgery, dropping off food to your local food bank.  Don't worry that the money will be misused.  Once it leaves you and is given to another you are not responsible for the outcome.  If you give with good intentions, He knows.  I think God is perfectly capable of taking care of those that misrepresent Him for their own gain. 

Growing up my mom would tithe and when my dad did not want to she would give from their total income from her paycheck.  That made for not much take home pay for her, but I have seen God do amazing things because she made a point to give back to Him all those years.  God took care of her when dad died and she was able to sell her house in 2008 in only seven weeks.  The house down the street that was similar took several years to sell.  Back then the market was not that great, but God can amazing things if only we will believe and have faith.

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