Scripture: But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Observation: “But” contrasts this verse with the one before: don’t be like the Gentiles who eagerly seek after “all these things” because God knows what you need. “All these things” includes food, drink, clothes (v. 25); time (v. 27); death (v. 27); nice, high-quality, fashionable clothes (v. 29); and the concerns of tomorrow (v. 34). And the list of “all these things” follows Jesus’ comments on not storing up treasures on earth, keeping your eye clear and your body full of light by not storing up wealth, and not serving the god of wealth. So treasures, wealth, and idolatry must encompass food, drink, clothes, time (workaholism?), death, fashion, and concerns of tomorrow.
Application: What are the things that I’m worried about? How do they relate to this list? I bounce between wanting to give a lot and believing that God will provide everything I need — wanting to give more than I keep and be generous through and through — to being afraid that our needs won’t be covered and so holding back in giving. Ping ponging between the two. Knowing that giving is better, but also realizing that sometimes because of my fear I’m not giving in joy — and that’s not good either. Oh, I wish my fear didn’t stop me, and that I had perfect clarity and wisdom as to whom to give to and how much.
And I’m particularly worried about time — how much time will giving this or that (hospitality, feeding the poor, ministry on campuses) require or me? I want to help, but I’m worried about the time. Where do healthy, God-given boundaries end and idolatry of the clock begin?
Prayer: Lord, help me to see what I’m worrying about — and idolizing, so that I may turn from it. And Lord, help me to trust in You to provide for all my needs. “God as my provider” has been a repeat theme lately. Lord, help me to apply what You’re teaching me.