Life today seems to be more complex and complicated than at any other time in history. But is it really? I would propose to you that we continue to worry about the same things that humans have worried about for centuries – health, comfort, tangible success, and family are a few of these timeless topics. Jesus points us in a different direction; actually Jesus points us to the root of faith and joy. God treasures each of us and provides all that we need. When we grasp firmly this truth, then we will begin to treasure God above all other things and live with the joy God intends for us. May these readings and reflections guide you on your journey of discovery this week.
Monday: read Matthew 6:25
Many of us juggle multiple roles in our lives – this causes stress, anxiety, and worry. We are trying to keep up with doing, needing, and seeking. How do you find comfort in Jesus’ words that life is more than food, drink, and clothing? Jesus said “do not worry” as a way of pointing us to God – to treasure God above all things.
Tuesday: read Matthew 6:27
Back in 1988 pop singer Bobby McFerrin recorded a number one hit single that said “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” What we all know is that worry does not add time to our lives; actually worry is costly because we invest precious time in a useless emotion. The reality though is that we cannot cease to worry; but maybe we can overcome it by understanding that time and life are not dependent on us. Jesus tells us not to worry and points us to our God, who is the holder of time and life. So trust God and embrace the time God has given you here.
Wednesday: read Matthew 6:28-30
Fall is approaching and many of us will be planting mums – we love the beauty of the color just like we love the beauty of the spring flowers we plant and tend. We all enjoy the wide array of color in God’s creation. When we look up into the sky we may notice the migration of geese headed south as winter comes. It’s time to find better climate and more provision. If God cares enough to create beautiful flowers and give birds the instinct to thrive, how much more does God treasure you? God cares for creation which includes you and me.
Thursday: read Matthew 6:31-32
What is your greatest treasure? What does it take for you to care for it? Whether it is a possession or a person we know the sacrifice of time, effort, and money needed to care for our treasure. We are God’s greatest treasure – above all things God treasures you and me. This knowledge has the power to sustain us through times of uncertainty and fear. Our faith should be bolstered by the understanding that God knows exactly what we need to thrive. What will it take for us to find comfort and rest in this knowledge?
Friday: read Matthew 6:33-34
Jesus recognizes that there are other things in our lives that demand our attention and they cause us concern. They are important to us; sometimes they become the most important thing to us. Jesus’ objective is to help each of us understand the proper place these things should hold in our hearts. First and foremost should be the things of God; we should treasure them above all else. Could it be that when we prioritize the things of God first then we gain freedom from material pursuits? And this freedom can be redirected to our treasure – our family and community.
Saturday: read Matthew 6:21
So what is it that you treasure most in life? When we align our hearts with Jesus’ invitation we will discover the joy God intends for us. We can live in the power of knowing that God treasures us and we are invited to reciprocate. We will prioritize and serve God first and above all other masters. We will give of our time, talent and treasure to honor God and to participate in something bigger than ourselves. And this new-found life orientation can free us from worrying about all the wrong things. Instead we can live a joyous life because we are aligned with God’s heart and desire for us; we can live in faith knowing that we are God’s greatest treasure.
Prayer focus: acknowledge our worry, anxiety, and stress; assess our ability to control or affect what we worry about; consider and believe that God is the keeper of time and events; have faith that God will care for your needs because you are God’s greatest treasure.