The new year 2018

Yesterday morning, January 1, 2018, I was sitting at the table eating breakfast and observed 3 squirrels foraging for food under our maple trees. The sun was shining and it was calm. A beautiful sight, however It was -11 degrees F,
I was reminded of Luke 12:22-34
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.
24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?
25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.
30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.
31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things[a] shall be added to you.
32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

As I began reading this passage it became clear that we need not worry about the little things in life, such as what to wear and what to eat. There are many more important things to be concerned with. I am not suggesting that we do not need to have a source of income or shop for clothes and food, just that it should not be a source of worry. God provides for all of his creatures in all things. Those squirrels I was watching did not have the ability to plant a crop for themselves, but God provides them with ample sources for their food. And those grey fur jackets that they wear, provided by God to keep them warm without the benefit of any worldly devices.
If God cares for these creatures do you ever consider how much more He cares for you?

Does God value you more than these little creatures? YES!!! God values you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to suffer and die on the cross for you. So what does His death and suffering do for me, you may ask. Scripture tells us that the wages (payment) for sin is death, that we have all sinned and are destined to spend eternity in hell for our sins. God is a just God, and demands a penalty for our sins, but He is also a loving God. That is why He sent His Son, Jesus to accept the punishment and pay the price for our sins. The blood of Jesus was shed for our sins. Because of this God sees us a righteous and allows us access to His kingdom.
That is how much God cares for you!
I also see that worrying (vs 25 & 26) does nothing positive for us. It will not resolve anything or fix anything. If we worry about all the possible outcomes of a situation we will probably take the “easiest” path, which may not be what God has in mind for us. We can easily be distracted from seeking God’s direction. If we do seek his direction, He will provide for you.
Proverbs 3:5&6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

We worry about having the proper clothing to wear, however from what I see around me, what is proper seems to be dictated by what is in style, rather than what is appropriate for the conditions. God says that He will clothe us beyond what we can imagine. (vs 27& 28). He will clothe us in righteousness, if we have faith and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
God recognizes our needs and provides them for His children. God is a good Father who looks after His family with tender love and care. There is one condition we must meet. We need to be a part of His family, which can only happen when we put our trust in Jesus, and Jesus alone.
John 14:6
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Verse 31 tells us that if we seek the kingdom of God, all else that we need will be added to us. What a blessing it is to understand this truth. Having the assurance of the Father’s love takes away the worries of this world and puts everything in its place relative to the spending eternity in the kingdom of God!
If we are followers of Christ, we do not need to fear for our future. It is assured, We will live in His kingdom for eternity. Notice that the scripture (verse 32) says “Little flock”. Not all will enter heaven.
Matthew 7:13 & 14
13 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Whenever the Israelite people strayed from God, he judged them and punished them, but He always preserved a remnant. The few were saved, the many defied God and perished. The Father’s good pleasure is to give you the kingdom. All you need to do is let go of this world and seek God. Verse 33 says to stop seeking worldly treasures that become “gods” in your life and distract you from God. Verse 34 says that where your treasures are, there also will be your heart. If worldly possessions are what you seek you will not find God or His kingdom.

It is my prayer for you that 2018 will be the year when you find the peace of God and the assurance of eternal life in his Kingdom.

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