Tuesday, December 8, 2009

12/9- Seek the kingdom

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

11/25- Matthew 6:28-34 (Luke 12:29-32)
28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Calvin abridged: Believers ought to rely on God’s fatherly care, to expect that he will give them what they feel to be necessary, and not to torment themselves with unnecessary anxiety. Luke tells us the pagan world runs after food and drink. When people do not admit that the protection of the world belongs to God, they fret and tease themselves with never-ending uneasiness. Worry about centuries from now leaves no room for the providence of God. This is a rebuke of excessive curiosity; for it leads us to bring upon ourselves uneasiness to no purpose, and voluntarily make ourselves miserable. “Each day has enough trouble of its own”- means that we should not attempt to carry our foresight beyond the limits of our calling. It does not condemn every kind of care, but just the care beyond limits. Another argument for restraining excessive anxiety about food is that such anxiety shows neglect of the soul and heavenly life. Nothing restrains our excessiveness than meditation on the heavenly life. The kingdom of God consists of newness of spiritual life (righteousness). “all these things will be given to you as well”- indicates that the things of this life are extra additions, and ought to be considered inferior to the kingdom of God. Luke 12:32 says, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” How could God refuse food to those whom he has adopted? “little flock” is a reminder that we are precious to him and do not need to fear running out of food.

Thoughts: God who is King, cares for his kingdom. When we forget this, or do not trust or seek His kingdom- we naturally worry. In our recession, many have lost their jobs, and are cutting back on excesses- especially at Christmas. We had a children’s sermon at our church, and the children were presented a list of things and asked if they were wants or needs. On the list were swimming pools, extra clothes, classes to help them in their after-school activities (like dance classes, football lessons). They all said they were necessities. Unfortunately, we haven’t taught our children the difference between extras and basics, and now that cutbacks have to come for some, they are having a tough time. We can be like Martha and worry about many things when only one thing is needed- that is the seeking of God’s kingdom. We seek the kingdom today in a time in which many do not seek it. For that reason it should be sought even harder and more earnestly by the remnant who do seek it. The kingdom is at hand, Jesus said. But we are still to seek it. The kingdom is in our midst, but we are still to pray, “Thy Kingdom come.” As we seek His kingdom the obsession with the current world fades into the background.

Prayer: Help me to seek and to find your kingdom, Lord. Help me to seek your presence as King of my life.

No comments:

Post a Comment