God Makes Jewels

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And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. (Malachi 3:17)

Jewel used here is a metaphor for God’s people. The Bible uses metaphors often to describe God’s people: Sheep, Flock, Vine and the Church as a bride. Jewel indicates how precious God’s people are ( Ex.19:5; Deut. 7:6; 26:17-18; Ps. 135:4; Titus 2:14; 1Pet. 2:9). Though precious in God’s sight, sometimes we take our faith and salvation lightly. But before God, believers are precious and our salvation of great value. Indeed Jesus places a high value on those he saves. He sees a peculiar people. The word peculiar runs through both Testaments indicating our oness as people of faith. There are privileges of been God’s because we are saved.

Jewels Are Created By God

Every precious stone in the natural are created by God. Gold, Diamond, etc are created by God; they didn’t find themselves in the earth by chance. In the same manner, we’re all a creation of God who made us and placed us in this life: “in that day when I make up my jewels.” These natural Jewels are not known till they are unearthed or discovered. In the same manner, before God, we are nothing until he brings us into relationship with him. Also Jewels are earthly. We are also earthly and sometimes earthly minded. But just like when Jewels are “unearthed”, polished and made clean; the believer is also picked from dirt and made clean: polished. The believer is saved and sanctified for holy use.

Jewels Are Buried Till Unearthed

Getting a Jewel from the earth is not an easy process. The process is tedious. This applies to our salvation. Christ came to live on earth, labour and died to save us . Our Lord died for us. There was pain and agony in the process that saved us. Christ sought us out. If he didn’t, we would have been lost. Christ bore pain in seeking us out. We are Jewels because Christ has saved us .

Jewels Are Redeemed

After one acquires a Jewel, they take good care of them. They are washed and cleaned before display. Christ also washed and cleansed us with his blood. William Cowpear’s hymn captures this beautifully:

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

In salvation, we are redeemed and cleansed must not continue in sin again (Rom.6:1). Christ pities and spares sinners. Instead of God’s wrath, we’re spared. We have qcomfort from heaven. We can be grateful for our salvation.

Jewels Are Possessed

When we find precious metals, we own it. It belings to us. When Jesus saves and Redeems us, we are his. He possess us (1 Cor.6:19-20; 7:23; 1Pet. 1:18-19). If you own a something, you care for it. You protect it. In Christ, we are protected and cared for. We are secured in Christ and nobody can lose their salvation.

—These is notes taken from a sermon preached on 31st March 2019 by Pastor Kcofie Ferguson of Truth Missionary Baptist Church Dansoman, Accra. These are my sermon notes and any misrepresentation of doctrine are solely mine from the notes taken.

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Peddling The God Of Mammon

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Mammon …  in the New Testament of the Bible is commonly thought to mean money, material wealth, or any entity that promises wealth, and is associated with the greedy pursuit of gain. “You can not serve both God and mammon [Jesus said].” [Matt. 6:24]. In the Middle Ages it was often personified as a deity and sometimes included in the seven princes of Hell. Mammon in Hebrew… means “money”. Mammon is the god of material things.¹

Strangely, though believers are warned against materialism and love of money in Scripture (Ecc. 5:10; Matt. 6:24; Luke 12:15; 1Pet 5:2-3, 1Tim. 6:17-19; Heb. 13:5), some teach that God’s will for the believer is financial/material prosperity. This is not true. But sadly, it has become the main staple many believers feed on. They have sanctified their greed in the name of Christianity. And many preachers use their pulpits and ministries to promote such falsehood. This week, one of such teachings was brought to my attention from a popular daily devotional in Ghana, Living Word  for 23rd March 2019.

In this article, I will attempt to address some of the troubling teachings taught in the devotional for the day in question: 23rd March, 2019. You can access the full devotional here. But for space I will address only relevant portions of it.

God Is A Financier

God is, has always been, and will always be the best financier. He wants us and our children to be secure in Him so that He can make our finances secure. Matthew 6:33 KJV says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” When His kingdom is our focus, He provides everything we need on earth.

One of the first observation in the devotional is a view of God that is transactional. God is a financier we are told and to benefit from his “finances” you have to give money. That is the whole idea of the devotional which unsurprisingly is titled “Be A Giver“. The idea simply been that, it is in our giving that God blesses us. One may ask: “Can we buy God’s blessings?” The obvious response is no.

Now there are many descriptions the Bible gives about God and Financier is not one of them. This is simply a distorted view of the Sovereign God of the Bible influenced by false teachings about Christianity and money. The popular belief is that it is God’s will for Christians to be materially and financially blessed. And of course there are biblical texts to support that, albeit, distorted. One such commonly distorted texts is Matthew 6:33 and quoted in the devotional. In the context of Matthew 6:33, there are specific things God has promised the believer: food, drink and shelter (Matt 6:31-32); to wit–our basic needs. That puts Matthew 6:33 in proper perspective. The text calls us to trust in God and not be anxious. It doesn’t promise God will provide everything we need on earth.

Secured In God For Financial Security

[God] wants us and our children to be secure in Him so that He can make our finances secure.

The above reflects the mindset of some believers and preachers about God and money. While Paul warns that godliness is not a means to gain, others rather will want us to believe godliness is a means to gain. Indeed, this is popular theology: become a Christian and all your problems–including financial will go away. But that is not a gospel promise. God nowhere in Scripture promises us financial security. It is only those who want to pervert the gospel who tell us God will bless you and make you rich—financially secured.

God’s agenda for the believer is not financial security or any other earthly security. God’s agenda for the believer is conformity to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). It is indeed pathetic to put forward financial security as a consequence of our security in God. In fact, Paul says those who reason thus are depraved in mind and deprived of truth (1Tim. 6:3-5).

Seed Sowing

God wants to give us everything we need and more so that we can give to those around us in need. But we must first give before we receive. We must be willing to part with the seed that is in our hands.

Bear in mind that anytime you hear preachers talk about seed sowing, it is about money. The devotional ends a prayer which points to the idea of what seed is: “Lord, thank you for the principle of sowing and reaping. Let every seed of financial giving I have made yield a harvest of financial prosperity and abundance.” You see what is going on here? There is a seed of financial giving in anticipation of a harvest of financial prosperity.

There is no doubt God blesses our generosity. But to reason we must part with money to gain God’s blessing as portrayed in the devotional is not Christianity. To say “we must first give before we receive” is to make merchandise of Christianity. In this life, everything we will ever receive from God is soley out of his mercies and grace. We cannot buy God’s blessings. We cannot pay for God’s blessing and we cannot do anything to merit God’s blessings than just to have faith in Christ.

Unlocking God’s Storehouse

God has given us and our families the key to unlock His storehouse of provision. It is His Word.

God’s word has been given to us for sanctification, growth and obedience. However, to further advance their agenda, many prosperity preachers want us to believe in God’s word are some “financial principles” to be unlocked. True, the word of God has numerous life lessons to teach us. But the word is no storehouse of provision to be unlocked. When we approach the Bible with such distorted worldview, we only diminish the glory of the word and become materialistic in our thinking.

At all times we must be discerning in what we read and not allow ourselves to be deceived with words without biblical basis.

Notes:

1:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammon

God’s Blessings Are Not For Sale

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Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! (Acts 8:18-20).

Simon–not Peter–we are told in the narrative was a magician. Not only a magician but one held in high repute by the people. Scripture records his “magical exploits thus: “But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.” (Acts 8:9-11).

Here was a magician who has bewildered the people of Samaria with his magic and left them fixated on him for a long time and indeed considered him as somebody from God. But things will change when by the sovereign will of God, the people of Samaria encountered the gospel through the ministry of Philip the evangelist:

But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed (vv.12-13).

The gospel liberates and in the preaching of it lies the power of God to save and liberate from bondage and deception. Now, permit me to consider the activities of Simon and Philip  as a clash of powers, though it is not, for the Sovereign Lord and King, ruler of the heavens and earth has no equal and competitor; but for the sake of argument, we see magic and the power of God through the preaching of the gospel coming face to face. And the power of God prevailed, so that “Even Simon himself believed.”

In response to this great move of God, Peter and John were sent to Samaria to reinforce the faith of the Samaritans so to speak (vv. 14-17). Hands were laid by the apostles on these new Samaritan believers and they received the Holy Spirit. That was when the state of the heart of Simon now an ex-magician was revealed. It appears he had not fully overcome the love for power hence he wanted what the apostles had by offering money. Peter rebuked Simon the magician pointing out to him that the gift of God–the Holy Spirit — cannot be bought with money: “you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!”

Sadly, what Peter rebuked has become the model for many so called Christian ministries. Money has become a conduit for God’s blessings and gifts. People are promised all kinds of blessings from God if only they will sow a seed—give money. It is common these days to hear preachers arrogantly speaking blasphemous words about money and the blessings of God: “If you want my anointing, sow a seed.”  “If you want your ministry to grow like mine, sow a seed.” Everything you want and desire, you are told “sow a seed.” All around us the word of God and his blessings are up for sale by preachers who merchandise the gospel.

It is crucial for us to come to an understanding that God’s blessings cannot be purchased. Everything we receive from God is a result of his grace and mercies. Whatever spiritual gifts we have has been freely given to us by God (Matt.10:5-8; Jn 3:27; Eph. 2:8-9; Jam. 1:5; 1Cor. 12).

What then must be our attitude towards ministers of the gospel and money? Any minister that ties the blessings of God to money must be avoided. He is a false teacher teaching unsound words (1Tim.6:1-10). Does God bless our generosity at all? One may ask. The answer is yes. However, our generosity must not be transactional in our Christian journey. By all means give to support Christian ministry. Give for the cause of the gospel. Give to the poor and needy. However, don’t engage these in a transactional manner because God’s blessings cannot be bought.

Many people give with the hopes of receiving back. It is true that God loves a cheerful giver. But our giving must be influenced by our love for God and the example of Christ that he loved us and he gave himself for us. Amen.

Looking Unto Jesus

Now unless you are not paying attention when reading Hebrews 11, you will certainly admire these mere mortal men and women. However, as is consistent with the intent of the writer of Hebrews, that is, pointing to the superiority of Christ over all, Christ is quickly brought into the picture so we don’t settle our faith on these heroes lined up.

Beautifully, as if it is a distraction from the heroes of faith in Chapter 11, Chapter 12 shifts attention to Jesus Christ. In verse 2, we read the words “Looking unto Jesus:”

The Gospel Network

Biblical characters are some of the greatest sources of spiritual truths for Christians. We glean lessons from both their obedience and disobedience to God. From some of them we learn about courage. From others we pick lessons about parenting. Others teach us about frugality, governance, productivity and excellence in life, marriage, faith  e.t.c. 

In all of the Bible, Hebrews 11 presents us with what I describe as a masterpiece chronicleing the lives of many of these biblical characters and their walk with God. We see a parade of what is commonly called the heroes of faith. They were men and women like us. And succinctly Scripture wraps up all of their lives in these popular words of Scripture: “For by it[Faith] the people of old received their commendation”. (Heb.11:2). 

“The people of old”, or “elders” as the Authorised version calls them are lined up verse after verse with their exploits…

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Paul: The Transforming Power Of God’s Grace

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Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, as he often introduces himself in his epistles is undoubtedly the most influential Christian leader in Christian history. He authored 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament. By his own testimony, he worked more than all the other apostles. He didn’t take glory for that though; he is quick to point to the grace of God undergirding whoever he was and became (1Cor. 15:10).

Paul was simply a great man.

But in our celebration of Paul; perhaps we may overlook his past and which may blur our vision about what made Paul who he was. Charles R. Swindoll captures this well in his book Paul: A Man of Grace And Grit:

The first portrait of Paul’s life painted in Holy Scripture is not of a little baby being lovingly cradled in his mother’s arms. Nor does it depict a Jewish lad leaping and bounding with neighborhood buddies through the narrow streets of Tarsus. The original portrait is not even of a brilliant, young law student sitting faithfully at the feet of Gamaliel. Those images would only mislead us into thinking he enjoyed a storybook past. Instead, we first meet him as simply a “young man named Saul,” party to Stephen’s brutal murder,standing “in hearty agreement with putting him to death” (Acts 7:58; 8:1). That’s the Saul we need to see to appreciate the glorious truths of the New Testament letters he wrote. No wonder he later came to be known as the “apostle of grace.”standing “in hearty agreement with putting him to death” (Acts 7:58; 8:1).¹

Paul our man was a product of God’s grace. Before his conversion, he was Saul: a murderer and hated believers with all zeal. In fact he acknowledges this by calling himself chief of sinners and the least of the apostles because he persecuted the Church ( 1Tim. 1:15; 1 Cor.15:9). One of the most obvious places in Scripture about Paul’s past is the murder of Stephen—the first Christian martyr. Paul himself recounts the story in his defence of the Christian fait:

And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him” (Acts 22:20).

Paul here narrates how he was involved in the martyrdom of Stephen (see Acts 8) . He tells his own story. In our modern day, if you are looking for the equivalent of Saul–prior to the road to Damascus encounter, look at the most gruesome terrorist group around: Saul could be a leader of any one of them. His brutality becomes clearer when we ponder the response of the believers when they heard of Saul’s conversion. They didn’t believe it: “But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?” (Acts 9:21). Even when Jesus appeared to one of the believers then–Ananias—concerning Saul, he was courageous enough to question Jesus’ instructions: “Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.” (Acts 9:13-14).

Paul before his conversion was a terror.

And by any human reasoning, he doesn’t belong in the fold of God’s people. He unleashed terror on God’s people  yet he was a chosen vessel of the Lord. Jesus told Ananias: “... he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:” (Acts 9:15).

Paul was unstoppable, full of hatred for the believers of his day. But when he encountered the Lord Jesus on his way to Damascus; his life was changed. Though a murderer and persecutor  of the church, grace transformed him.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.(Acts 9:3-6).

Saul the terrorist “trembling and astonished”…the rest of his life he became a disciple of the Lord and what a gift he is to the body of Christ. Though a persecutor, nonetheless, he became a product of grace. He encountered the grace of God and was transformed. God’s grace pardons. Irrespective of your history. Pardon and forgiveness of sins are available through the atoning sacrifice of Christ.

Could it be that you are stuck because of something from your past? Perhaps it has pinned you to the ground with embarrassment, shame, and fear. You’re crippled by it. The best you can do is to limp through each day, hoping for a painless end. That way of thinking is the Enemy, Satan. He loves to push your nose in the dirt, hoping to make you miss the marvelous claims of grace. Don’t allow him that power in your life today. Around you are people who have no greater claim on grace than you do, and the Lord mercifully brought them out of their pit of sin. If He could turn a Saul of Tarsus engaged in a murderous rampage into a Paul the apostle who preached and lived the message of grace, He can change your life too.²

Notes:

1. Charles R. Swindoll, Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit ( Nashville: Tennessee, Thomas Nelson, 2002), Kindle edition

2. Swindoll, Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit, Kindle

Silencing False Teachers By Sound Doctrine

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For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake (Titus 1:10-11KJV).

AD. 62-64: the Church in Crete is threathened by false teachers, “teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre’s sake”. Paul writes to Titus instructing these false teachers must be silenced. But how will they be silenced? By sound doctrine. Contrasting the false teachers of the time, Paul tasks Titus to appoint elders/Pastors who will teach sound doctrine: “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”(1:9).

Clearly, the duty of a Pastor most importantly among many other duties is to teach the word and to teach it soundly. Not only in Titus, but in other places in Scripture, the need for a Pastor to teach and teach soundly is expressed. Further, Paul instructs Titus himself to “speak…the things which becomes sound doctrine”(2:1). We see clearly the importance of teaching sound doctrine if anyone identifies as a Pastor.

First, in Acts 20:28, elders are encouraged in the “pastoral” duties of overseeing and shepherding. Second, in 1 Peter 5:1–2, elders are exhorted to “shepherd” the flock of God that is in their charge, which is the role of a pastor. Third, in Ephesians 4:11, the one time that the word pastor occurs in the NT, pastors are treated as one group with teachers. This suggests that the chief role of the pastor is to feed the flock through teaching, which is a primary role of elders (Titus 1:9). Hence, the NT seems to indicate that “pastor” is another name for “elder.” An elder is a pastor, and a pastor is an elder.¹

One may ask, what then is sound doctrine? To answer that, we may first have to define what doctrine is:

The term doctrine refers to that which is taught. The Greek word in the New Testament is didaskalia, and it is variously translated as teaching, instruction, or doctrine. Christians use it to describe the basic theology which is understood to be the teaching of the Bible. In this sense it represents the content of the Christian faith

From this, we can simply say doctrine is what Christians believe as taught by Scriptures. Doctrine regulates Christian living. In Titus 2:2-10, Paul lays down some guidelines on Christian conduct. He spoke about how older men and women must conduct themselves. Then he spoke to young men and women. Further, the Christian is justified by faith alone in the finished work on Calvary.

Doctrine can be sound or unsound. Sound doctrine is any doctrine or teaching consistent with biblical teachings. Unsound doctrine will be the exact opposite of sound doctrine, that is, any doctrine or teaching inconsistent with Scripture.

A.D 2019: today’s Church in the modern world and in Ghana in particular is no different from the Church in Crete Paul wrote about. We have become inundated with unsound doctrine coming from many angles. There are all kinds of blasphemy parading around as gospel preaching and the true gospel—the good news of the death and resurrection of Christ for the salvation of sinners is no more preached. From the prosperity gospel, to health and wealth and various kinds of so called prophecies, many souls are been led astray.

When Paul charged that the mouth of these false teachers be stopped or silenced, he instructed the teaching of sound doctrine. And consistently in the epistle, we see Paul stressing the importance of sound doctrine (vv.9;13, 2:1). This tells us how important sound doctrine is to the life of the church and believer.

The teaching of sound doctrine matters because we are called upon to grow in our knowledge of Christ and not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. It is crucial we pay attention to doctrine because doctrine points us to whether our beliefs are true or not.

Notes:

1. Matt Permann, “What Is The Role of An Elder”, accessed 10th January 2019, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-the-role-of-an-elder.

2. https://www.theopedia.com/doctrine

 

—Originally posted on https://thegospelnetworkgh.com as The Mouths of False Teachers Must Be Stopped by author.

 

A Cure For Worry

Hopelessness

Matthew 6:25-34

All too soon, 2018 has come and gone and we have entered a new year. I trust the past year had its own successes. Undoubtedly, I am sure the year also included its own failures. That said, a new year is here with us and in Paul’s words, let us enter the New Year “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:12).

The New Year presents us with many opportunities to amend and improve on areas of our lives where there were failures and forge ahead with confidence. As humans, it is very likely our past experiences, especially where they are not positive experiences may influence our moving forward and if not checked, may slum us into a state of worry, anxiety and in extreme cases hopelessness. To address this, we turn to a very popular sermon delivered by our Lord himself: the Sermon on the Mount. It is so called because the sermon was delivered on a mountain:

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him (Matthew 5:1).

When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him Matthew 8:1)

The Sermon on the Mount begins from Matthew 5:2 and ends at Matthew 7: 29. It is considered Jesus’ longest speech in all of the New Testament; stretching about 109 verses. If you use a red letter edition Bible, you will appreciate how long the sermon was. And in this sermon, we see some of Jesus’ most popular words recorded. Our focus for this article will be on Chapter 6 especially from verses 25-31. A bird’s eye view of the Chapter presents us with these divisions:

1) Rebuke of Ostentatious Living: A life of Pretence (vv. 1-13)
2) Forgiveness (vv.14-15)
3) Attitude Towards Money (19-24)
4) Worrying (25-34).

As indicated, the focus of this article will be on verses 25-34 from which we will glean four lessons.

Worrying Is Disobedience

Worrying first and foremost is disobedience to God’s commands. The Bible clearly commands against worry and anxiety. Jesus in His sermon on the mount issued some imperatives against worrying. Continuously we hear him saying “Do not be anxious” (vv. 25; 31; 34). These are not suggestions or pieces of advice Jesus was giving with an option for us to heed to or not. “Do not” is a command and Jesus commands us not to worry. “Don’t!” If Christ says “don’t” and you do, it is simply disobedience. And the things that cause us worry often are the very basic necessities of life: food, clothing and shelter.

This may sound too simplistic but for those of us in the developing world, these indeed are our major headaches. Of course there are other issues to worry about, but the crust of Jesus’ discourse is that your life is more important than these. It is an argument from the greater to the lesser: “If I have given you your life, why can’t I take care of you in these basic necessities” Christ seems to be saying. In this New Year one of the ways you can deal with worry is to look at it as disobedience to the commands of Christ and stop it.

Worrying Is Unbelief

Look at the little phrase in verse 30: “O you of little faith”. This is a rebuke of unbelief. God has promised to take care of us and to worry is to not believe He is able to do what he has promised he will do. To worry is to take matters into our own hands rather than leave them in the capable hands of God. When you worry, you live your life like an unbeliever without hope: “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (v.32). God knows your needs and he has promised to take care of us. There are many places in Scripture we are warned to not worry.

Paul says:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

This is very instructive. Whatever will cause you worry and anxiety, Paul says bring it to God. Talk about it with God. And after you have done all that “…the peace of God will guard your hearts” (v. 7). You see where the battle of worry and anxiety takes place? In your heart and mind; and God has promised to calm the storm of worry and anxiety if you will bring your worries to Him in prayer; “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1Peter 5:7).

Your Life is More Precious Than Birds and Flowers

In verses 26-29, Jesus contrasts the worth of human life to that of animals and plants. Though we are all creations of God, human beings are created in the very image of God. And especially as believers, God’s care is upon us. In fact, he calls us beloved in Christ. If God cares for birds and flowers; how much more you who is created in his image?
One of the things that fascinates me about birds is how they perch on electrical wires but are not electrocuted. Did God foresee a time in human civilisation when there will be live electrical wires on which birds will perch? Hence he gave them cells and tissues appropriate for that? He surely knew. And he structured birds with a system to handle that. This is about his divine Providence:

God the great Creator of all things does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy (Westminster Confession of Faith 5.1).

God knows everything. He knows what we need. He has promised to take care of us and we should learn to trust in him. He has promised never to leave or forsake us.

Worrying Changes Nothing

Worrying will not change anything. Worrying will not heal a sickness. Worrying will not put money in our pockets. Worrying does no good to anyone: “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (v.27KJV). In fact worry may rather worsen our lives. It has been proven that worrying has negative medical effects.

Worrying can have a negative effect on your health, making you tired, stressed, speed up the ageing process and sometimes more prone to depression….When you worry, your body responds to your anxiety the same way it would react to physical danger…. Your heart rate increases, your breathing becomes heavier and you may sweat more…. over a prolonged period of time, raised levels of these chemicals can start to have a toxic effect on the glands, nervous system and the heart, eventually leading to heart attacks, increased risk of stroke and stomach ulcers….You may also become more prone to infections. It is widely accepted that stress and anxiety can lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to picking up colds or more serious illnesses… Worry may also make you absent minded or neglectful of your health…. Excessive worry could even lead into depression.¹

We have a Father who cares: a Father who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Whatever we may experience or go through in this New Year, we can be confident of God’s provision.

Notes:

1. Rosalind Ryan, “What Worrying Does To Your Health”, accessed 18th December, 2018, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-97853/What-worrying-does-health.html

—Originally posted on thegospelnetworkgh.com.