When Anxiety Knocks

When Anxiety Knocks

Matthew 6:25-34

Consider the lilies of the field…

When Jesus spoke about anxiety, He taught us that we are called to trust a very generous God. If God clothes the fields with grass and feeds the birds of the air, how much more will He be generous with us, His image bearers? It’s a lesson that’s not as much about the importance of our level of trust as it is about Who we are trusting and how generous He is with all of His creation.

Jesus also compared the way of the Gentiles, and their gods with them, to the way of the Lord. The Gentiles worry because their gods are ultimately powerless. The people of the Lord don’t need to worry because our God is both Creator and Sustainer. He called everything into existence and by His will we continue to live and breathe and have our being. So why would we fear starvation or worry about having clothes to wear?

It’s likely that none of us are afraid of death by starvation or exposure to the elements. We’re more likely to fear getting a painful diagnosis, being unable to afford our car payment, or needing the money to put our kids through college. Thankfully, God knows about our worries and He has already given us the cure. Instead of worrying, we’re told to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.”

Seeking doesn’t mean we have all the answers. As anxiety knocks on the door of our thoughts over and over, we can quiet those knocks by shifting our focus from needing answers about our own well-being to trusting that God has our best interest at heart. He never stops working for our maximum good.

When we seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, we’re walking in the footsteps of Jesus who “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2) for the sake of the Kingdom that’s not built with hands because Jesus knew the Father is good and His mercy endures forever.

Quieting those anxious thoughts means trusting God so much that we turn from worry about ourselves and turn to wondering how we can honor God and His people.

This video from The Bible Project further explores the biblical concept of Generosity.

Like Arrows

Like Arrows

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth” (Psalm 127:4).

This week Chris, Livi, and I watched a great Christian movie on Netflix called Like Arrows. It’s about Biblical parenting. In this movie about Biblical parenting, the parents realize how critical intentionality and focus are when shaping and molding their kids’ lives. The movie pairs itself with a parenting course called Art of Parenting. The online video series for Art of Parenting is available for free here.

As we look forward to this Sunday’s lesson for the kids, the Israelites crossing the Jordan, we are reminded how crucial our role is as parents to lead our kids daily to the Lord. The Red Sea generation turned from God and sent their kids over the Jordan. in large part, without them. May we be parents so close to Christ that our kids will follow Him as they follow us.

You are doing important work! I pray the Lord gives you the grace and wisdom you need to minister in the lives of each of your children as unto Him.

The Wonder of Waiting

The Wonder of Waiting

Jeremiah 3:26
Waiting. Ugh. Waiting is not on my list of favorite things. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens I’ll take, but you can keep the waiting. Waiting is difficult. Waiting is lonely. Waiting feels like we should be doing something, but we’re often powerless to do anything. But waiting can produce in us a desire for the guidance and comfort of God.
When he saw the destruction of Jerusalem, knowing that God had promised salvation for his people, Jeremiah meditated on the faithfulness of God and wrote: “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” (Jeremiah 3:26). While Jerusalem burned, Jeremiah realized it is better to wait for God to save. A building can be spared, people can live a little longer, but actually being saved for all eternity is a work that only God can do. So Jeremiah, even though he didn’t want to wait for it, knew that waiting for God’s salvation was his only lasting hope.
On Saturday after her dead Master and Teacher was taken off the cross and buried in a tomb, Mary had to wait for the day to pass. She had to wait for Sabbath until she could get to the tomb and anoint the body of the Lord. While the Bible doesn’t describe any events from this day, we can wonder. Did she understand why Jesus had been crucified? Was she imagining ways she could have helped Him escape the city? Did she wonder why Jesus’ disciples ran away? She most likely had a lot of questions to accompany her unimaginable grief. But I also imagine the Holy Spirit comforted her like never before as she waited to visit the body of her Lord on Sunday morning. Like Jeremiah, perhaps she began to realize how good it is to wait on the salvation of the Lord.
And, of course, she didn’t have to wait long.
“Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
Sunday morning revealed what Saturday obscured. Her Lord was alive!
Instead of anointing Him, He would later anoint her with the Holy Spirit and use her story to minister to many throughout the millennia. She wasn’t forgotten. She wasn’t alone. Though she was powerless, she entrusted herself to the One who has all power. Mary’s attempt was to bless Jesus, even in His death, yet He had the power to bless her beyond her wildest imagination. She waited on the Lord through the longest day of waiting in her life. And her joy was unmatched when she saw the resurrected Christ. She got to see Christ, hold Him, and tell others about Him after waiting for Him. The waiting was difficult. The waiting was lonely. But the waiting wasn’t wasted. How to respond? What do you find yourself waiting for at the moment? To what do you cling in periods of waiting? In the midst of times of waiting, it’s important to both look back and look forward. Look back by remembering how God has provided in the past. Look forward to the promises of what is to come.
By Brooke Lambkin
Director of Worship