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—And!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Pastor Cecil Thompson
Pastor
Cecil Thompson

Matthew 6:31-33

"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you have need of them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

I can vividly recall my ordeal as I attended graduate school while serving full-time as an Air Force officer. My major professor, Dr. Joseph Maloof, was a stickler for the meaning of words. It became readily evident to me that I had better know what a word meant before I used it in his hearing. I can still hear his words; "Have you looked up the definition of that word?"

As I read and pray about the words in today’s Scripture I am struck by such a small word as "AND." We use it so much that we hardly ever stop to think of the meaning. I looked up the definition of the word "AND." I must confess that I felt a little silly as I started my review, but was delighted with the results. I feel that the definition(s) have a direct application to spiritual understanding. I jotted down a few notes to direct my thoughts.

One aspect of the definition is the joining together of two things—for instance, oranges AND apples. There is a sense of the uniting together of things. We hear so much talk these days about unity it appears that godliness, holiness, righteousness are attained by unity. Not so!

Unity is a worthy goal. But all too often unity has been achieved by compromise of the Word of God. Standards established in God's Word have been ridiculed as being prudish and dated, so we are prone to compromise and unite with those who have little or no moral righteousness.

Whenever our "AND" causes us to move further away from God, we should immediately stop and ask ourselves, "What would Jesus do in this situation?" When we ask that question and take the time to carefully ponder the answer, our path will be quite clear to us.

Another aspect of the word "AND" is that of a result of or the consequence of our action. People do not like to consider the consequences of their actions in many cases. All too often we refuse to assume the results that one action will have on what follows.

In today's Scripture, Jesus is teaching on the mountainside. His words have come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount. The wonderful words He gave still remain today as the hallmark of Christian discipleship.

Jesus teaches at least two lessons in this passage. One is well-known, while the other seems to be overlooked. The first lesson in this passage instructs us not to worry about the necessities of life such as food and clothing. Why? Because our heavenly Father knows our needs and will provide them.

Immediately we should stop and ask ourselves whether we are guilty of worry instead of acting in the faith that the Lord wants us to have. Worry and fret will cripple us and limit our ministry. Worry focuses our attention on ourselves instead of keeping our focus on God, where it should be.

The second and more popular lesson is the answer to worry. We are told to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. That is our assignment. Seek Him—His kingdom—His right way of living. Now we encounter the big "AND."

The result of our putting Him first in all we do or say is wrapped up in that word "AND." Jesus says that when we put Him first, all of these things shall be given to us as well. We have the joy of worship and adoration, and the Lord supplies all of our needs as well. Praise the Lord!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

- - - Pastor Cecil

 

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