First Presbyterian Church of Olney

An evangelical church in urban Philadelphia

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First Presbyterian Church of Olney Philadelphia PA


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Holy Week Devotions 2016
Monday, March 21, 2016 - John Dodds


25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]? 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.
Matthew 6:25-33 NIV

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This passage is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  He preached the sermon on a mountainside to a large crowd.  The Lord spoke of how to lead a life worthy of God.  He told us how to lead such a life, to love our enemies, follow the law, speak only kind words, to be modest in our actions and in our giving to the poor.
 
This is where Jesus gave us what are known as the Beatitudes.  He called blessed those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemaker, and those who are persecuted because of righteousness.
 
Jesus told us not to “store up treasures on earth” which can be lost and stolen and to not lust after wealth and possessions.
 
In the passage of Mathew 6: 25-32 Jesus encourages not to worry.  He tells us that as God feeds the birds of the air and clothes the grasses of the field, so he will take care of his children, who are dearer to him than all else in nature.
 
Jesus told us not to covet material things, but to lead a life of love for the Father. He says that worrying about such things will not do us any good or prolong our lives. However, if you lead a life of justice and mercy the things you need will be provided for you.
 
We live in a world of great disparities in wealth and too much poverty.  We have a need to struggle for justice for the poor and the vulnerable.  But Jesus wants to do our best without anxiety and care.  We are to know that the Heavenly Father knows of our needs. 
 
Being anxious will not allow us to be at our best.  It will often cause destructive behaviors if we battle anxiety and depression. 
 
Jesus says we should seek the kingdom of heaven and the solace of a loving Father if things are difficult.  We may still have problems with unmet needs, but the calmness that comes with the knowledge that we are loved by God will ease our cares.  It will allow us to be at our best, as we work to secure the things we need for our families and ourselves.
 
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,” said Jesus.



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5435 N. Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19120
215-424-6809