As I sat pondering these verses, I wondered just how many hours of my life I’ve frittered away worrying over things I had absolutely no control over? Jesus wanted His disciples to take on a eternal perspective of their temporal lives here on earth. In other words, He was telling them to look at their human bodies and worldly possessions through the lens or view of eternity. And besides, Jesus continued, worrying is a waste of time and can’t add a single hour to our lives. (Matthew 6:27)
Every time I start a new work for the Lord, I hope and pray that it will grow and prosper…but I don’t know if it truly will. That’s because it’s up to God if it will bear fruit, not me. What He’s asking from me is simply obedience and to do it with all my heart, as working for the Lord. (Colossians 3:23) In Ecclesiastes 9:10, it repeats this idea that whatever our hands find to do, we need to do it with all our might, for life is fleeting and we don’t get do-overs…so we should work diligently while we have the opportunity…always striving to please God.
My husband and I pray together every night, and I’ve noticed that we’ve seemed to have gotten into a rut. Our prayers are the same old thing…same concerns…same people…same old same old. So when I read the verse this morning I was convicted of my mindless, almost robotic prayers. God doesn’t want my monotonous prayers where I’m only reciting the same words over and over…He wants something fresh, new and different, where I am celebrating and exalting Him with joy and glorifying His name. He wants me engaged and mindful of what I’m praying…not repeating words verbatim.
Paul’s letter to the Church in Thessalonica encouraged them to love each other by following the example of Jesus. For the past year we have been part of a brand new Church plant…bringing people together from several Churches to form a new one. And today was our second service, with many new faces among us. So as I look at this verse, I’m reminded that for the past six months we’ve bonded together as a small group, but now the time has come that we must turn ourselves from our tight circle to welcome those coming in through the doors. For the agape love of Jesus can only be demonstrated by His Believers when we love others. And we can only be His hands and feet when our caring shows.
It was back in II Samuel 7 that David first considered all he had and how the Ark of the Covenant was still residing in a tent. But from the start, the Lord told him it would not be him to do the actual construction of the Temple. (II Samuel 7:12-13) What God did permit David to do was preparation, planning, and stockpiling of materials. Now David could of been offended by this…but he wasn’t. He understood that he was a warrior with blood on his hands and that Jerusalem wasn’t yet secure enough to begin construction. What it all boiled down to was appropriateness and proper timing. All during our Christian life there will be times when we’ll plow the hard ground…someplace else we may plant seed…and another time will find us watering the seedbed. All these things are vitally important for a harvest…but it is only God that brings it about, for only He can make it grow at the perfect time. (I Corinthians 3: 6-9) We all want to see immediate results in people’s lives, but we also need to be content in whatever the Lord gives us to do…for at the proper time He will make it happen.
One of the biggest differences between children and adults is the ability to control our thoughts, attitudes, and emotions as grownups. We rarely see a 40 year-old having a temper-tantrum! Yet in this verse, Paul is exhorting us to be child-like regarding evil. Now he doesn’t mean that we should be ignorant, naive or easily exploited by evil, but rather, we should be innocent in our motives and thinking about it…not allowing rationalization or deception to creep into our mindset. This comes, Paul says, from growing up into spiritual maturity and taking all of our thoughts captive to make them obedient to Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5)