August 10, 2016
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Today we will finish with Titedios Amerimnos – the man who didn’t worry! That’s what his name means, translated from the Greek inscription on his second century ossuary burial box. If you review the first four Titedios Amerimnos blogs, you will in the first blog find from Matthew 6:24 the cause of worry (which is serving the wrong thing). Then in blogs two through four there are eight reasons not to worry featured in Matthew 6:25 through 34. I won’t list them here as it will take up too much space.
In this last blog we’ll look at the one sure cure for worry! And that sure cure for worry is summed up in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Seek first these two:
• “Seek first the kingdom of God….” His kingdom stands opposed to “…the kingdoms of the world…” (Luke 4:5), which are now under Satan’s control until the Lord Jesus reclaims them when He returns (see Revelation 11:15). The character of the kingdoms of the world as well as the kingdom of God are represented by the societies within them. And the characteristics of each society is spelled out by Saint Paul very succinctly in Galatians 5.
✞ In Galatians 5:19 through 21 (Modern King James Version), the characteristics of society of the kingdoms of the world are called “…the works of the flesh…”:
Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adul-
tery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds,
fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings,
murders, drunkennesses, revelings, and things like these…
✞ In contrast, in Galatians 5:22 and 23 (English Standard Version), these characteristics are called “…the fruit of the Spirit…,” and they represent the society that inhabits the kingdom of God: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control….”
The titles of these two lists of characteristics identify the origins of them. The works of the flesh are generated from within the deceitful and wicked hearts of the unsaved! (See Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 15:19). And that which is from such an origin will not last! (See Matthew 6:19; II Peter 3:10; I John 2:15-17). That which will not last becomes a source of constant worry for those who generate those works and try to protect them from destruction! The fruit of the Spirit is of divine generation! You don’t produce it – God does through His Holy Spirit residing in you! And you don’t have to worry about keeping it! All you have to do in concentrate on “Seek[ing] first the kingdom of God…”! Paul puts it this way in Colossians 3:1 through 3:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things
above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden
with Christ in God.
• “Seek first…His righteousness….” This could be put even before the kingdom of God. For we stand before God as righteous only when we are wearing the righteousness of Jesus Christ! (See Isaiah 61:10; II Corinthians 5:21). However (and in another sense) we are to daily seek to become more like Christ (see Matthew 10:24, 25; Romans 8:29), and so we will become more righteous in our living out the Christian life!
How do we seek first these two things? How do we set our affections on things above – and keep them there? God has given us what we need in one neat package – the Word of God, the Bible!
• As we “Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly…” (Colossians 3:16), we build our faith! (See Romans 10:17).
• By faith we keep our eyes on Jesus! (See Hebrews 12:2).
• As we behold our Lord, we become more and more like Him! (See II Corinthians 3:18).
This is how we are to “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”!
If we concentrate on these two things – His kingdom and His righteousness – as it says in our featured Scripture, “…all these [other] things [we need in our lives – food, drink, clothes, and all else] shall be added to you.” (See also Philippians 4:19). And this is the sure cure for worry!