You Can’t Serve Two Masters, So Don’t Worry.

photo (29)

 

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34

I’d never connected verse 25 to the rest of the chapter until tonight.

And it suddenly makes so much more sense!

Jesus has been talking about prayer and fasting, giving and forgiveness. He’s told us that our Father sees us in secret and will reward us. And then out of nowhere comes this comment about not serving both God and wealth. I’ve heard that discussed, and we’ve certainly all probably heard great teaching on not worrying, but seeking the kingdom first.

“No man can serve two masters.” That makes sense. Jesus continues by insisting he will love one and hate the other. And He very clearly states it: “You cannot serve God and wealth.”

And then there’s the connection I’ve read a zillion times and never seen. Did you catch it?

“FOR THIS REASON I say unto you, Do not be worried about your life … “

In other words, because you can’t serve God and wealth, don’t be worried about your life! Because you would come to love one and hate the other, don’t be worried about your life! Don’t worry about your clothes or your food. Because if you do, you will feel you have to serve wealth. You will become trapped in a cycle of providing for yourself and bearing weights God never meant you to bear. He clothes the grass and feeds the birds and we are worth so much more to Him!

Can we seek His Kingdom instead–instead of our own? Can we spend our time in seeking His righteousness–which He has placed within us, by the way–rather than wasting time running aimlessly in the hamster wheel of worry? When will we truly trust that our Daddy has our best interests at heart and He is trustworthy, and when we focus on Him and what He is doing in the world, He will be faithful to provide for us?

   Do.

           Not.

                   Worry.

                                   About.

                                                Tomorrow.

That’s an order, apparently.

Today at MomHeart:The Ones I’ll Apologize To Most

My two youngest apology recipients

My two youngest apology recipients

 

Here they are.

These two; the last of the bunch; the ones I hope I’ve learned enough to do a better job with! We had such a fun day at our local fair. Giant cows with those chocolate brown eyes framed with long lashes; the best lemonade we’ll find anywhere all year; giant corn dogs on a stick … yup. The fair was the perfect place for my littlest guy’s birthday.

Not sure if that day required too many apologies. Maybe there just weren’t as many as there should have been. Last week someone shared a statement with me about her child that made me stop in my tracks and ponder. I’m sharing a bit about it today at MomHeart Online. Want to join me? Click here for The Ones I Will Apologize to Most. See you there!

Whenever You Fast

perfect chocolate chip cookies

“Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18

Fasting is an amazing spiritual discipline.

Amazing because it very quickly reveals our utter humanity; our typical indulgence; our addiction to food. While I don’t consider myself a major “foodie,” I do love to cook and bake for my family. And I adore a really great chocolate chip cookie, or a perfectly seasoned apple crisp, and the occasional Starbucks Frappucino. Now I’m hungry.

Jesus here certainly implies the opposite of a teaching I’ve heard recently that says since we are under grace, there is no need for fasting. Eeeeek! Since Jesus fasted, I’m not sure where this comes from. Now, the idea of fasting as a way to twist God’s arm, to get Him to do what we want Him to do, or to earn His favor is misdirected at best and straight from the pit at the worst. But fasting does have its place in our lives, else Jesus would not have mentioned it in such a manner! “Whenever you fast …” In other words, it’s expected.

So if we’re not trying to twist God’s arm and we’re not trying to make ourselves more worthy, what in the world is the point?

To me, the answer is that fasting helps us hear the voice of God. My flesh is loud. The desire for food comes upon me often and sometimes insistently. When I deny that desire … oh dear. To be honest, it will usually first get much louder! I think of food more often than I care to admit. It’s awful, really. Extremely humbling. But as I continue to refuse and turn my heart to hear the Lord’s voice, the urges quiet down. My body is weakened and my spirit begins to hear better. I have more clarity and become more heavenly minded (and thereby, MORE earthly good, I might add!)

Yet we aren’t to make a big deal out of our fasting. Mentioning it is okay. Mentioning it repeatedly, groaning about how difficult it is in order to garner sympathy, boasting about our fasting “recipes” and awesome veggie only meals? Ummmm … probably not. Fasting is a way to subdue our flesh so we can better hear the voice of God. And when we do it for that purpose, keeping His voice our primary goal, being so concentrated on that voice that we really would rather hide than advertise what we are doing … ahhhhh, now we are set to be rewarded by God.

Apparently, God likes secrets. He sees all and He knows all, and when we keep secrets with Him, He delights in it. Think about it-when your little one comes to you and wants to tell you something “secret,” don’t you love it? Doesn’t it make you feel special to be allowed into their world? And so I think our Heavenly Father feels when we draw into the secret place of our own heart, whether to pray or to fast or to give.

Doing something for the Lord? Keep it secret. He will see.