Friday, July 29, 2011

The Source of Your Supply

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. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:21-34)

The way the economy is looking, with the unemployment rate, and the housing market, and the continuing debt crisis, many people are getting more and more worried. “What shall we eat?” “What shall we drink?” “What shall we wear?” “Where shall we live?” “How shall we pay the bills, the mortgage, the debt?”

You can tell what people are worrying about by what they say. It is heavy on their hearts, and it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. Do not worry about these things, Jesus says. Do not let them become your focus and fill your heart. Do not speak them over and over to yourself.

The Gentiles, that is, the surrounding nations, who had no covenant with the God of Israel, sought after these things. But Jesus speaks of God as the “heavenly Father” who “knows you have need of all these things.” Not only knows but has the means to take care of all those needs.

Jesus’ answer to these questions, then, is “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.” The kingdom of God is His rule and reign in all the world, which had long been promised in the Old Testament. It is what Jesus came to announce in the good news of the gospel: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). The righteousness of God is His goodness, the faithfulness of God to His people and to keep His covenant promises. Jesus the Messiah came not only to announce the kingdom of God but to institute a new covenant based on even better promises (Hebrews 8:6), a covenant cut with His own blood (Luke 22:20).

Many people, even many Christians, look to the world, to the government, to their jobs, their bank accounts and their credit cards as their source and supply. But Jesus did not say, “Seek first the government check,” or “Seek first a good job,” or “Seek first a sound investment or a solid bank.” If we put our trust in these, we will always be let down. They may be viable channels but do not look to them as your source.

Jesus calls us to something radically different: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Look to your Father in heaven as your source. He has all kinds of ways of getting your supply to you, ways you can’t even imagine.

Everything you need is not a goal but a by-product. Search for them and you will come up short. But seek out God’s kingdom and righteousness — His rule and reign, His goodness and faithfulness, His way of doing and being — and everything you need will “be added to you,” thrown into the bargain. “My God,” Paul says, “shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

In this time of financial crisis it is vitally important to understand who your source is and where your supply comes from. Seek God and His kingdom in everything you do, watch for His faithfulness and His provision, and He will take care of you in every way.

(See also Not to Worry.)