Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Jesus, in Matthew 6:25-34)
These words from Jesus have centered our prayers as we “remembered the Lord” in response to the financial challenge we faced. The astute reader will notice that the verb “faced” is in the past tense! I am grateful to report that our Father, who knows what we need even before we ask him (Matthew 6:8), yet again has guided us into a place of provision. Alan, our Senior Warden, will share more on Sunday.
As we’ve prayed during these past two weeks, here are the ways the Lord has called us to respond, with accompanying Scriptures:
· Seek the Father, seek his kingdom, seek his righteousness.
· (Matthew 6:25-34; Jeremiah 29:11-14; 2 Chronicles 20: 3-4, 17-23)
· Let go of fearful control. Trust, be patient, and wait on the Lord.
· Release our past. Receive our Father’s future.
· Turn from complaining, criticizing, and grudge-holding. Turn toward each other to listen, forgive, and reconcile.
· (Psalm 130; Matthew 5:21-26; Philippians 2:1-11; 4:4-7)
· …our calling: “God with us…for the sake of others.”
· …people need Jesus, and we are to go out and tell them.
· …we need the Holy Spirit.
· (Isaiah 61:1-4/Luke 4:14-21; Luke 1:35-38; 11:9-13; Matthew 28:16-20)
One additional Scripture was shared: “If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of God in Christ?” (Romans 8:31-39; Listen to it sung.) The woman who shared this passage then commented:
Our greatest and recurring mistake we make as believers is forgetting what God did in our last time of need…and the time before that…and the time before that. We forget what He’s actively doing when it doesn’t happen the way we envision it or in the time limit we set. This Word serves as not only a reminder, but a promise. We’re victorious…even when bank statements don’t say it.
During my sermon this Sunday, I’ll briefly unpack each of the above “words,” and we’ll take some time to respond to the Lord together. All of them are captured in the words Jesus spoke to us at the beginning of 2023 — ”You are loved: Abide. Invite. Welcome.”
Your Pastor in Christ,