16 A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous (Psalm 37:16–17, NKJV).
The Scriptures teach the Lord does not measure wealth in dollars and cents. (The poor widow’s two small coins were more than the rich gave, Mark 12:41-44.) People of the world measure riches by the volume of their material possessions. But these are temporal and do not satisfy the soul (Matt. 6:19; Eccl. 5:10-15). Therefore, Christians learn to “be content with such things as you have” because the Lord said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). The Lord’s abiding assurance of His presence and provisions to sustain life secure our trust while teaching us to value the true riches of Today’s text gives additional insight into learning contentment (Phil. 4:11-12). Spiritual riches are received and assured by God to those who practice righteousness (v. 16; Acts 10:34-35; 1 John 2:29-3:3, 7). God upholds the righteous, but He will break the strength of the wicked (v. 17). Here are ways to learn contentment with what we have: (1) Trust and use God’s value system of righteousness over earthly riches. Live by faith, not sight (2 Cor. 5:7). (2) Trust God’s power to sustain the righteous and defeat evil (Matt. 6:33-34). Live for things above, not the things on the earth (Col. 3:1-3). (3) Trust God’s power to know and provide for our needs (Matt. 6:31-32). He is always with the righteous (Heb. 13:5-6; Matt. 7:7-11).
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34, NKJV).
Jesus has given us multiple reasons not to be drawn away from the righteousness of the kingdom in Matthew 6:25-33) by temporal cares, including (1) Our value to the Father (Matt. 6:25-26), (2) Worrying does not improve our condition (Matt. 6:27), (3) God proves He provides for His creation, so trust Him to provide our needs (Matt. 6:28-31); and (4) God knows our needs (so seek first His kingdom and righteousness, unlike the Gentiles who do not know God, Matt. 6:32-33). Finally, today’s passage assigns distracting cares (which take us away from kingdom righteousness) to the uncertainty of tomorrow (Matt. 6:34). We have today, with no promise of tomorrow. Therefore, address today’s problems; Don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow that may not come at all. The answer to anxiety is not detachment from personal responsibility. The resolve to meet daily duties with the focus of faith that relies on Him (“if the Lord wills,” James 4:15) replaces worry with contentment. The most important things to those who follow Jesus are the heavenly treasures that endure long after our physical life with its needs have ended. God provides for our needs on earth. How much more abundant are the eternal treasures He gives us in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Do not worry; Have faith in God. Seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and your reward will be far greater physical goods (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith” (Matthew 6:28–30, NKJV)?
Christ appealed to people’s reasoning ability when He preached the gospel of the kingdom. For instance, reason compels us to understand that life is more valuable than food and the body more important than clothing (Matt. 6:25). In today’s passage, Jesus challenged His audience to think about the world around them. He encouraged them to have greater faith in the presence and provisions of God to care for His world, evidenced by the flowers and grass. To build our faith in God and eliminate doubtful, distracting anxieties, we are to trust God will provide the clothing we need to cover and warm our bodies. See how He clothes the lilies of the field (v. 28-29)! Though short-lived, God arrays the grass with splendor (v. 30). Therefore, He will undoubtedly clothe you and me. Our faith weakens when we become consumed with temporary things. Instead, trust and depend on the living God who made you and sustains your life. Keep your focus on faith and not on things that fade away.
22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.” (Luke 12:22–23, NKJV)
Jesus had just warned against covetousness, by saying that “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). In contrast to materialism’s greed (which prevents being rich toward God, Luke 12:21), disciples of Christ avoid the distracting cares of this life. While we provide for ourselves and others, our faith rests in God, who supplies our material needs. We are tempted to confuse our wants with our needs. Jesus reminds us not to do so. By first seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, our faith rests in God, not in ourselves. By doing so, we are assured that our Father in heaven will provide what we need in this life (Matthew 6:33-34). Do not be deterred from your goal of heaven by putting the material things of life before doing the will of God. Since God cares for our lives and bodies, He will certainly provide our food and clothing. Keep your faith in God, and focus on heavenly things first.