Tag Archives: New Testament

Do Not Worry

Copyright 2017 by R.A. Robbins

25 “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? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 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? 31 So 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. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” — Teaching of Jesus from the Bible, Matthew 6:  25-28 NIV, accessed through Biblegateway.com

This should be so easy, but it is so difficult, isn’t it?  From an early age we are taught we must provide for ourselves.  And society tells us we are a “failure” if we do not provide not only the basic needs, but are also not wealthy in the eyes of the world. 

How often do we say “I need that” when we really don’t?  Wanting something because of what it represents in terms of power or prestige is not the same as needing it.  When you look at our country, the United States, how much suffering do we create in other parts of the world by our greed?

Trusting that “God will provide” is not easy.  This is something I know about. I have worried and fretted over not having enough and wondering how we would just survive.  I have tried and tried to find ways to bring in more money, but those attempts only made matters worse.  But I have also seen provision in the form of needs being met in the most unlikely of ways. When I lost enough weight that my clothes no longer fit I worried about being able to afford new clothes.  Then friends started showing up with bags full of clothes.  Let me tell you, God does have a sense of humor.

We have been notified by a state we haven’t lived in for 20 years about “lost money” the Treasurer’s office had been holding for us.  When the grocery budget has been tight sales and discounts have been plentiful. A doctor waved his fee with no mention being made of financial hardship.  I’m sure you have stories like these. These are all ways God provides, but how many times do we overlook them?

Worry is hard on the body and the mind.  It makes us sick. So, isn’t it time to heed the words of Jesus, “do not worry about your life?”

 

Dig a Little Deeper: 

How has God provided for you?

 

A Den of Thieves?

Today we are looking at the account of Jesus driving the money changers out of the Temple.  I chose the version of this story from John 2:13-17, New International Version, accessed from Bible Gateway.com.

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”[c

John 2:13-17, New International Version,  accessed from BibleGateway.com

 

I chose the story of this incident from the book of John because it clearly shows that Jesus was angry, to put it mildly.  How does this apply today? Have we turned our churches into markets? Or as accounts from other Gospels say “a den of thieves?”

Are you saddened when you see churches being run as big businesses?  Do you know of churches where the Senior pastor has the title of CEO or functions as one?   Have you ever attended a church that charged for everything from Sunday School literature, to classes, to church dinners, to children’s Vacation Bible School?  Doesn’t this exclude certain people? Does your church operate a bookstore where books and other religious merchandise are sold? Do you know that some churches charge for prayer or spiritual guidance? 

Dig a Little Deeper:   

What do you think Jesus would think about our big buildings with even bigger budgets?  Would Jesus come into our churches today and start turning things upside down?

 

 

:) Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Copyright 2017 by R.A. Robbins

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” —  Jesus, Matthew 5:3, NIV (New International Version), accessed from BibleGateway.com

So who are the poor in spirit?  The version of this in Luke 6:20 says simply blessed are the poor.

Those poor in the material things of this world have a special place in God’s heart?  Why?  Because they must recognize their dependence on God for their sustenance.

The poor in spirit are hungry for the things of God.  We are blessed when we seek after God for not only our physical sustenance but our spiritual sustenance as well.

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_5

https://www.catholic.com/qa/who-are-the-poor-in-spirit

https://blog/biblesforamerica.org/blessed-are-the-poor-in-spirit

 

Dig a Little Deeper:

Do you hunger for God?  

Think on These Things

Image Copyright 2017 by R.A. Robbins

 

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,

whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just,

whatsoever things are pure,

whatsoever things are lovely,

whatsoever things are of good report;

if there be any virtue,

and if there be any praise,

think on these things.”

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It is so important to think about the good things in life.  But it is so much easier to get caught up in all the bad stuff that seems to be going on around us isn’t it?
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We create our own reality with our thoughts.  What are you creating?
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This month we will be focusing on creating good by thinking about all things:
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  • Truth
  • Honesty
  • Justice
  • Purity 
  • Loveliness
  • Good Reports or admiration
  • Virtuousness
  • Praiseworthiness