Thursday, January 03, 2019

Devotional: Worshipping God With Our Stuff, Matthew 6:19-34

Outline of Matthew 6.19-34

God has given us this beautiful world, and all the stuff that is in it, to show us that he is our loving Heavenly Father who provides us with everything we need. When we use that “stuff” to serve him and get to know him better and share it so others can know the goodness of God through us, we experience His fullness, peace and joy. But when we love the gifts more than the giver, misuse them and try to grasp them tightly in our selfish little hands we miss out on God’s good gifts and place ourselves in a prison of greed and worry. Possessions are a wonderful gift and tool when Jesus is the master of them but a terrible master when they take Jesus’ place in our lives.This is what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 6:19-34. Possessions are to be used to worship God. They are not a god to be worshipped. When we are single-mindedly devoted to trusting and serving Jesus he can trust us to use our possessions to serve and worship Him.

The “bottom line” (literally!) of worship is making Christ the highest priority in your life (6:33) and how we use our possessions is one of the best indicators of what our highest priority actually is. Jesus commands that we “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” In other words the highest (first) passion (seek) of our life should be relationship with God (righteousness) and service to God (kingdom). Worship always begins with a deep desire to know God and be like him. Real worship is the commitment to revolve all my life around this. With this commitment everything is worship; without it nothing is worship.

In 6:19-24 Jesus describes what this looks like. Real worship involves a heart that values Christ above all, eyes focused right on Jesus and a mind singly devoted to serving Christ. We will invest our lives in the things we really value. Jesus warns us not to place high value on earthly things because they are temporary and can be lost. Instead be urges us to invest in what will last forever: God’s kingdom. Where you put your time, money, and effort betrays what you really worship. When we take our direction from Jesus we can be sure we will go in the right direction. When we know his promises and see his blessings we can live generous, fulfilling lives that impact all those around us. When we make the choice to serve Christ rather than stuff we serve a master that frees us and bears our burdens with us. After all, God’s promise is that, when we prioritize his kingdom, he will supply everything we need,

This is why Jesus commands us not to worry (6:25-34). When are lives are in the hands of the Father we don’t have to worry about what we can’t control. We can enjoy the blessings of each day and then place tomorrow in God’s hands. We don’t have to worry about the basics of life. The God who gave you life and a body; certainly can cover it, house it and feed it He will always provide the resources for what he has called you to do. In fact, God will take care of you far beyond the basics because you are very valuable to him. He has made a tremendous investment in us by giving Jesus Christ His only Son so that we can enjoy him forever. A God who makes beautiful flowers that last just a moment knows how to provide extravagantly for his children. God loves you and knows what you need and revels in your joy. Worry is a denial of his character and accomplishes nothing. So, Instead of worrying, pray about it, make a plan, do what you can, pray about it again and then take a nap and forget about it for a while.

Wealth is not a bad thing, but its use reflects our real devotion to God. Wealthy people should use their wealth, not to gain luxuries for themselves, but to serve God's kingdom by serving and sharing with God's people. Less wealthy people should not worry about their needs or live their lives focused on getting rich but should trust God to meet their needs. We need regular self-examination of our motives for ministry and evaluation of how we use the resources God gives us. A life lived like that has no worries because it is now in the hands of the loving Heavenly Father who loves us enough and is powerful enough to give us all good things. Are you in his hands or has worry got you holding your head in your own hands? You’re better off in his.

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