"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?Matthew 6:25(NASB)
It is one thing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, but it is another thing become a disciple; take up one's cross daily and die to self as we live for Him. The Sermon on the Mount makes it very clear, to both Israel and the Church, that true discipleship demands true righteousness, which is not produced by works of the Law but by faith in Christ.
The Sermon of the Mount was delivered to rectify Israel's incorrect interpretation of the Law and to challenge the traditions of the elders.. and so Jesus began by clarifying the true nature of the Law, so that His listeners would understand the true nature of righteousness. They heard that the only way they could live a victorious life was through power from on high... without which we are defeated, by the world; the flesh and the devil.
It was necessary for Jesus to correct their conventional interpretation of the letter of the Law.. before presenting them with the spirit of the Law; the true significance of God's Word and the need for all disciples to be perfect, just as our heavenly Father is perfect.
After having touched on tangible things like charitable giving; prayer; fasting and one's attitude towards possession, Jesus addressed issues like worry and anxiety and the need to place one's total trust in God for all eventualities of life - "For this reason" Jesus told them, "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?
Do not be anxious! Don't worry! Fear not! Don't be afraid! We have all heard Christ's command not to allow the cares of this world to enter in; choke the word of truth; crowd out the peace of God in our heart, and cause us to become defeated and unfruitful. But anxiety; worry; fears and fretting about the smallest of things, seems second nature to each one of us and we all have asked the question, what if..?
The Lord's extended sermon on the true nature of righteousness, which is produced by faith in Christ.. systematically covers every area of concern any one of us might face, and the principles of living a godly life in Christ Jesus. His victory at the cross, secured for us the power to overcome every anxiety; worry; fear or fret - however large and however small.
Peter tells us in his epistle that God's divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness and in Ephesians we read that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places, because of our faith in Christ. How foolish, therefore, to waste time worrying about any aspect of our life. God knows our need and has promised to supply all we need, according to His riches in glory - but how often we do not trust Him and try to help Him out.. as worry descends upon our soul.
The victory Christ gained at the cross is our victory too, but do we listen to His instructions without believing His word - like the leaders of Israel who listened to His Sermon on the Mount - but did not hear what He said? They were told the true significance of God's Word - and that the only way to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil is by faith in Christ, and not works of the Law.
How important to know God's word, believe His word and apply His word in our life - but too easily we allow the cares of the day to adversely impact our lives, causing anxieties; worries; frets and fear to surface.
Worry is a sin and demonstrates unbelief in God's promises to keep, and His power to save... and worry is one of the greatest hindrances to our spiritual growth, Christian witness and effective ministry, because worry is one step towards unbelief - and for this reason Jesus said, "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?"
May we take to heart the simple truth of this simple command from Christ and live by faith in His promises and not by flawed human reasoning.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may become a true disciple of righteousness, who walks in spirit and truth and live my life as You intended man to live - trusting Your word and relying on You to fulfil all that You have promised for life and godliness and provide for all my needs. Keep me from anxious thoughts or from allowing the worries of life to overwhelm me. Thank You that Christ's victory on the cross is my victory too, which has not only freed me from the penalty of sin but its power over my life. Thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.