One thing is certain, in this life there are many tests and trials. All over the country people are worried about the economy, for example. $4.00 for a gallon of gasoline? Food costs are rising so fast that mothers wonder how they are going to feed their families. Major corporations are announcing layoffs daily on the news. Several airlines are on the verge of bankruptcy. American Airlines has announced that it will be grounding many airplanes in the near future. That means much less maintenance work to be done. American Airlines' maintenance facility is the largest employer in Tulsa. Many of their employees are wondering if they will be laid off due to the downsizing that is occurring because of excessive jet fuel prices. Layoffs at American Airlines will have an adverse effect on the rest of the local economy.
At age 61 now, I have seen good times come and go. Although I never lived through a depression like my parents, I have lived through many recessions. No matter what country a person lives in, there will be ups and downs, good times and bad, plenty of opportunities to let worry begin to fill our hearts and minds. But what did Jesus say?
Mat 6:24-34 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Is Jesus saying we should be irresponsible, not having a job or a savings account? Absolutely not! The subject matter here is … who are we serving: God or mammon? Of course most Christians would answer, “I am serving God alone!” But Jesus doesn’t let us off the hook so easily. How can we know whom we are serving? That’s why he gives us this teaching about “take no thought.” He is not saying; don’t act responsibly. He is saying, “Don’t worry!” How does a person spend his life serving mammon? By habitually worrying about the circumstances!
Why give the examples of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field? Because neither of them worries, yet God provides for them. What reason do we have not to worry? We are not alone! God is our Father! Fathers provide for their children! There are ups and downs in every economy. There are good times and hard times. No doubt there will be recessions and layoffs. The attitude we must keep is, "My heavenly Father will make a way of provision for me. He provides for the lilies. He provides for the birds. I am His child and I am much more valuable than they are. There is absolutely no need for me to worry!"
Let's take a severe case and say you are notified you will be laid off in a week. There are only two choices … Worry or Trust! Fear or Faith! Whining or Worship! When Jesus said we are not to be like the unbelievers who seek after these things, what he meant was … from the birth to the grave, most people are consumed their whole life with questions like, "What will we eat? What will we drink? What kind of house will we live in? How will we educate our children?" None of those are bad questions and the Lord says he knows we have need of all these things? But He doesn't want those things to so consume our thought patterns that we never spend time seeking FIRST the kingdom of God for our lives.
The devil's plan is to keep every Christian so preoccupied with the "cares of this world" that we never settle down, get quiet in worship and prayer, seeking what it is the Lord would have us do in His kingdom. I wonder how many people will stand before Him on that day and not be able to answer when He asks, "Why didn't you do the things I called you to do for my kingdom?" The only answer for many will be, "Lord, the circumstances were constantly changing my whole life and I had to give my full attention to them first. There was no time to pray and seek your will for my life." None of us want to have that answer on judgment day, Amen?
What is the point of this letter? REFUSE TO WORRY! If you lose your job, trust that He has a better one for you. If the economy is bad, your Father will make a way for you no matter what the circumstances may be. As long as we seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, "all these things shall be added unto us."
Psa 37:23-25 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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P.O. Box 9667, Tulsa, OK 74157