Summary: We have no reason to worry about chasing after the things of this world when we have a Father who provides everything we really need.
Torn between two Worlds
Have you ever felt like you were getting mixed messages about what makes life worthwhile? What are the things that can make you truly happy?
The world is holding out things like wealth and status and power and popularity and Jesus is telling you that the poor are blessed and to love your neighbour as yourself and that the meek shall inherit the earth and to bless those who persecute you.
Talk about mixed messages. It’s as if we are all living a life that is torn between two worlds. And in fact we are.
Today Jesus is trying to help us distinguish from what is good, better and best about living our lives in this fallen world. He tells us that no one can serve two masters. Have you ever tried doing that? That will stretch you in ways that are not very comfortable. Jesus says that we will either hate the one or hold to the other. Or we will hold to the one and despise the other. When it comes to money you cannot serve God and money. You cannot find fulfilment in God if what you really want are the things money offers.
The world tells us to get things, get more and more things in fact it tells us to extend this thinking to our relationships as well. So we swallow the lie and try to burn the candle at both ends. We convince ourselves that more money will solve our problems. But we discover we create a whole new set of problems when we pursue excess for excess sake. Sometimes we also burn up relationships like that candle and our desires for excess burns and scars everyone involved.
Jesus is warning us about the perils of having a divided heart when it comes to the things of God and the things of this world. Solomon was a man whom God blessed with excess. He was the richest king that ever was. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. I can imagine he had a very, very, large beauty parlour built on to the palace as well.
Solomon had a lot to contend with aside from running a kingdom and dealing with so many family issues. But God blessed Solomon with extraordinary wisdom.
Solomon said this about all the getting we do in this world.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7 King James Version (KJV)
Jesus put it in plain language for us; “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
The people of Jesus time were not that different from you and me. They had bills to pay and taxes to pay. They had aspirations for the children’s future and they wanted a new home and a two chariot garage. Jesus words are meant to untie the knots of their wants and our wants. Jesus explained that our Heavenly Father supplies our needs. The wants are often our own foolish worldly desires. Our wants are all too often unnecessary excesses.
We have no reason to worry about chasing after the things of this world when we have a Father who provides everything we really need. God causes the trees to produce fruit and the ground to produce food. He has given us rivers and streams to drink from. He has covered us with the arms of those who love us. Everything we really need has already been provided for by Him. But many of us are not content with having our needs satisfied we have wants as well. And the world multiplies those wants again and again to pull us away from what God has provided so that we are no longer content having our needs met.
Jesus paints a beautiful word picture for us here as He tells us to consider the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. Jesus tells us that they are provided for and cared for by our Heavenly Father in wonderful ways even though they are unable to reap or sow. The birds still sing and the flowers give up a beautiful fragrance even though they are far more insignificant to our Heavenly Father than us. Jesus says not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed as beautiful as one of these. And if God takes such care and attention to feed the birds and dress the flowers how much more will He care for you?
Oh you of little faith?
So dear ones, Jesus tells us to stop worrying about such things and stop worrying about tomorrow’s problems today. Each day has enough for us to contend with. Walk by faith, trusting God. Our hearts should desire the things of God instead of the things of this world. What things has the world got you caught up in seeking after today?