What Jesus thinks about your life
By Don Ruhl
What is going to happen to us? Are we going to be able to eat? Will we have clothes to put on? The Sermon on the Mount shows that Jesus knows we worry about such things, and He tells what not to do about it and what to do. In Matthew 6.19–21, Jesus warned against laying up treasures on earth.
Then He warned further that we have to be careful where we set our eye (Matt 6.22, 23).
He said it is impossible to put one eye on the earth and the other eye in heaven (Matt 6.24). Balaam tried to serve both God and money, but it did not work. Money, hence worrying about money, will always win out, because God demands exclusive loyalty, but money does not, persuading us that we can have both, so we gravitate toward money.
Do not reason to yourself that if you live the way Jesus taught in those verses that you will have nothing. That will not happen because of what He thinks about our lives.
Matthew 6.25 Your Life
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matt 6.25).
If we serve God and lay up our treasures in heaven, shall we go hungry and naked? Jesus said resoundingly, no!
When you were small, did you worry about your food and clothing? If you did not, how did you survive to this day? You thought it was your parents or some other loving person, but it was God using your parents. God still uses people to take care of you. He uses the whole earth to provide for you!
Therefore, listen to what Jesus said in verse 25. He said do not worry about your life. If the Son of God says do not worry about your life, do not worry about your life.
Do not excuse your worrying by saying that is just the way you are. Jesus addressed the way you are and said change.
Why should we not worry about eating, drinking, and clothing? He said your life is more than food. He taught that your body is more than clothing. He went on to explain Himself.
Matthew 6.26 Your Food
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matt 6.26).
Think of God’s care of the birds. When was the last time you saw robins operating an earth worm farm? When was the last time you heard of owls building barns to store their mice? You do not see those things, because your heavenly Father feeds them!
Who put the earth worms in your yard?
Who put the mice in your barn?
God did! However, our heavenly Father values us more than all the birds! If He feeds them, do you think He will feed us? Would you feed the birds or your children?
Matthew 6.27 Your Stature
“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matt 6.27).
What good does worrying accomplish? Worriers acknowledge that worrying accomplishes nothing, but still do it.
Some people say that if we can visualize world peace, we can make it happen. That is a noble goal, but it takes more than just thinking about it. I have challenged them to start with something on a smaller scale. For example, visualize a family that is falling apart to come together in peace. It does not work. Do you see the folly of that? How can mere thoughts bring peace between two warring factions?
Does that differ from the disciple of Christ who worries? Worry all you want, and see if it does any good. Worry about adding a cubit to your stature and see what it accomplishes! Instead of going for a whole cubit, 18 inches, try going for 1.8 inches.
Matthew 6.28–30 Your Clothing
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt 6.28–30).
If worrying failed to add 1.8 inches to your height, why do we worry about clothing? Shall we try that experiment again? Can worrying button a shirt sleeve? If not, why do we think worry can put a shirt on?
Let us consider the lilies of the field just as Jesus said. How much do you see them toiling? Do they work and labor to look so beautiful? What a life they lead! They just sit and bask in the sunshine all day long! Can you think of a better way to live?
If they could talk, they would tell us that we have a better life. You see, they are here today and tomorrow you can throw them in the oven.
As beautiful as the lilies of the field are, surely they spin their clothing! If not, how does their natural beauty surpass all the glory of Solomon? God clothes the lilies. If God clothes the lilies of the field, do you think He will clothe us? We give an academic yes to that question, then we go on worrying.
At the end of verse 30, Jesus revealed the problem. Why do we think that if we do not panic we shall starve to death while naked? Jesus, the One who knows our thoughts, revealed that we have little faith, we believe God cannot take care of us.
We gain faith by hearing the word of God. Has He promised to provide for us? “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want [lack]” (Psa 23.1) “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phi 4.19).
Notice how Philippians 4.19 began. “And” Paul said, or “But” in the Old King James Version, or listen to the New Jerusalem Bible, “In return my God will fulfil all your needs…” Paul said something previously that led him to teach that God shall supply all our needs. Verses 10–18 is about supplying the needs of preaching the gospel. Do that and God shall take care of you! Do we know these passages or do we just not trust them?
Matthew 6.31, 32 The Gentile’s Things
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Matt 6.31, 32).
Since the statements of verses 19–30 are true, Jesus taught us not to worry. Do not fret over what you shall eat. Do not agonize over what you shall drink. Do not dwell over what you shall wear.
Why lose sleep over these things? First, the Gentiles seek after those things. However, we are not like them because we have been converted. We now have different purposes for living. Second, your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Jesus continued in the next verse to show what our heavenly Father will do.
Matthew 6.33 God’s Things and Your Things
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt 6.33).
Our concern should be the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Seek those things first in your life, and He shall add to you whatever you need. That is what Paul taught in Philippians 4.10–19. Has our heavenly Father suddenly lost His care for us, or lost His power?
Our Father wants us to learn to be spiritual. What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Here is what it means to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness,
“Think of your mother, your brother, your aunt. Please, Perpetua, think of me, your aging father. But most of all, think of your little baby!”
She and four others…were in jail in Carthage in North Africa. The charge against them: They were Christians. It was around the year 200 AD The Roman emperor Septimus Severus was cracking down on traitors.
Three times Perpetua’s father was allowed in to beg her to change her mind. No decent daughter in this patriarchal society would deny her father’s pleas and cause him public disgrace.
The resolve of the two young women and their friends was unshakable. To deny Christ was worse than death. To follow Him was their first loyalty, no matter what the cost.
“You must all stand fast in the faith and love one another,” she called to the other martyrs, “and do not be weakened by what we have gone through!” When the beasts failed to kill the women, soldiers came to finish them off. But the soldier who came to Perpetua was trembling so much that she had to guide the sword to her throat, indicating that she was giving her life willingly.
After she was thrown to the ground by the heifer, her clothing ripped, Perpetua modestly covered herself and asked if she could have a hairpin. She fixed her hair to avoid an unkempt appearance that might suggest she was in mourning.
Perpetua stunned Roman society when she denied her father’s plea that she renounce her faith. Young women, especially in noble families, were expected to obey their fathers. But Christianity established a new family, the church. Perpetua’s loyalty to the Body of Christ and to her heavenly Father superseded any obligations to her natural family and her human father. The support of their new family, the church, assured both Perpetua and Felicitas that their infants would be cared for (Glimpses of Christian History, “Glimpses #1: Perpetua and Felicitas,” http://www.christianhistorytimeline.com/GLIMPSEF/Glimpses/glmps001.shtml).
Matthew 6.34 Tomorrow’s Things
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt 6.34).
Let us quit getting worked up over things. What shall the economy do tomorrow? We do not know, but we know Someone who does know. Can we trust Him to help us weather the storm?
Leave the problems of tomorrow to tomorrow. Live today and tomorrow can worry about itself. Do we not have enough trouble for today?
So then, what did Jesus teach us?
Birds = $1.00
Barns = $100,000
You = Priceless
Flowers = $10.00
All Solomon’s glory = Billions
You = Priceless
If you were God, which one would you take care of most?
This is why three times in this text Jesus taught, “Do not worry.” Do you understand why Jesus taught us not to worry? Your heavenly Father values you. He loves you. He cares for you.
Worrying only keeps you from enjoying life and irritates your loved ones.
Make time for God and God shall make time for you. Seek the things of God and God shall seek your things.
If you do not worry that does not mean you do not care. Nor does it mean you are reckless. It means you know God shall supply all your needs.
Do you think Perpetua would worry during our so-called, “Economic Hard Times”?
With Jesus hanging on the cross, see Him looking at you as you worry about what you shall eat, what you shall drink, and what you shall put on! He would say that your life is more than food and your body is more than clothing. Trust Him as He trusted His heavenly Father and you shall be where He is now. So trust in Him that you die to yourself and live for Him.