Bible Top 1000

Divine Reasonings Of Faith
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"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
(Matthew 6:33)

Immediately as we look at these words of Jesus, we find them the most revolutionary statement human ears ever listened to. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." We argue in exactly the opposite way, even the most spiritually-minded of us---"But I must live; I must make so much money; I must be clothed; I must be fed." The great concern of our lives isn't the kingdom of God, but how we're to fit ourselves to live. Jesus reverses the order: Get rightly related to God first, maintain that as the great care of your life, and never put the concern of your care on the other things.

"Take no thought for your life. . ." Our Lord points out the utter unreasonableness from His standpoint of being so anxious over the means of living. Jesus isn't saying that the man who takes thought for nothing is blessed---that man's thinking is foolish. Jesus taught that a disciple has to make his relationship to God the dominating concentration of his life, and to be carefully careless about everything else in comparison to that. Jesus is saying---"Don't make the ruling factor of your life what you shall eat and what you shall drink, but be concentrated absolutely on God." Some people are careless over what they eat and drink, and they suffer for it; they're careless about what they wear, and they look as "they have no business to look"; they're careless about their earthly affairs, and God holds them responsible. Jesus is saying that the great care of the life is to put the relationship to God first, and everything else second. It's one of the severest disciplines of the Christian allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into harmony with the teaching of Jesus in these verses.

Careful Infidelity

"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body what ye shall put on."
(Matthew 6:25)

Jesus sums up common-sense carefulness in a disciple as infidelity. If we've received the Spirit of God, He'll press through and say---Now where does God come in in this relationship, in this "mapped out holiday", "in these new books"? He always presses the point until we learn to make Him our first consideration. Whenever we put other things first, there's confusion.

"Take no thought . . ." let's not take the pressure of forethought upon ourselves. It's not only wrong to worry, it's infidelity, because worrying means that we don't think that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it's never anything else that worries us. Have we ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the word He puts in? The devil? No, the cares of this world. It's the little worries always. We won't trust where we can't see---that's where infidelity begins. The only cure for infidelity is obedience to the Spirit. The great word of Jesus to His disciples is abandon.

A Deadly Substitute

Let's Consider the Pharisees and scribes of Jesus' day. No one has ever had a greater zeal toward God and the scriptures than they. Paul, once one of them, acknowledges their zeal in Rom. 10:2, but also points out that their zeal was "not according to knowledge." What they "knew" was not knowledge at all. It was a deadly substitute. It was so deadly that Jesus spoke of one who would be converted to their religion as "twofold more the child of hell" than they themselves were! Matt. 23:15.

What they believed did not come from God, but from other men. Matt. 15:1-14. Is. 29:9-14. They thought they were honoring the scriptures. Instead they were honoring traditional interpretations of the scriptures. Their beliefs had become a substitute for the Word that had effectively closed their ears to truth that could have saved them.

This is easily illustrated from John 5:45-47 where Jesus unmasked their supposed belief in Moses and his writings: "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" They were certain that they were Bible-believers, whereas what they actually believed was a diabolically clever substitute embedded in their brains and backed up by centuries of repetition.

Part of that tradition included the belief in a coming Messiah. As a result, this belief was "common knowledge" among the Jews. Even the Samaritan woman (John 4:25) had her own belief concerning the coming Messiah.

This belief of the Jews embodied some truth. For example, when the wise men came to Jerusalem seeking the young "King of the Jews," the chief priests and scribes knew to send them to Bethlehem! Why didn't they go themselves? Why didn't they recognize Christ later on? For one thing, they may have had the scriptures and their traditions, but God was not communicating with them.

That's the tragic result of walking in tradition. Tradition, by its very nature, excludes the present tense voice of God.

There were, however, a scattered few in Israel that God was communicating with, for example: Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zacharias, the shepherds, Simeon, Anna (Luke 1, 2). In every case, God revealed something to them concerning His Son. They had true knowledge. What they knew, while firmly anchored in the scriptures, was the direct result of revelation by the Author. Knowing that the scriptures foretold a Messiah to come was one thing; recognizing him when he came was quite another.