“O you of Little Faith”     (Matthew 6:30)

"For your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these
things."  (Matthew 6:32b)

Even among those select few of the masses to whom the Sermon on the
Mount was and is delivered, among those who strive to keep service for Christ
at the center of their life and living {the Christian philosophy of life and living},
we cringe in the midst of our weekly battles to prevent our faith and awareness
of the Word from being choked out by “the cares of the world and the
deceitfulness of riches” (Matthew 13:22).  Where we notable cringe as we
worry or fret about food to eat, clothes to wear, and a place to live, is not so
much about those thoughts that like birds often fly over our heads, come as
fiery darts of the evil one, and through our human frailties, especially “the spirit
within us that lusts to envy”, we covet more--not so much out of needs,
although that is possible also, but out of WANTS; but we cringe as we hear
Jesus says to us, “Oh, you of little faith”.  The verse context of these words
from Jesus, more from the Sermon on the Mount to the masses, is Matthew 6:
30, “O you of little faith”, being a small part of the verse, but one which must
have jolted the thinking of the masses, including the apostles and other
followers of Jesus, when it came like a bolt of lightning out of the more calm
words”
“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 6:30)
5-1:  At least we know to whom this section of Matthew 6:25-34 is
addressed, those who worry because of little faith in HIM, God, the He of
Matthew 6:30 above.  To know who we are, “If you worry and fret about
food, clothing, and a place to live, then you are automatically according
to Jesus among those of “little faith”.
1.  “God will clothe you”, that is the point in verse 6:30 at which we have a
problem with faith.  Some depending on Pennys, Sears, or more expensive
brands, did not realize that God is in the clothing business.
“So why do you worry about clothing?  consider the lilies of the field, how they
grow, they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all
his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”  (6:28,29)
2.  God will feed you!
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’  or ‘What shall we
drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  
3.  “For all these things the Gentiles seek”.  (6:32a)
a.  We come here in 6:32a to see more specifically who is being addressed as
being of “little faith”:  it is the Jews, the chosen people of God and not the
Gentiles of no faith.  Certainly in the mass of the crowd there were Gentile
believers like the father of the convulsive son who said, “Lord I believe, help
thou my unbelief”  (Matthew 9:24), and later after Jesus, but as an apostle of
Jesus born out of due time, Paul would write in Ephesians to Gentile Christians
of faith there, encouraging them to better “learn Christ” so that they would “not
live as other Gentiles live”  (Ephesians 4:20-21).
b.  In fact one way, according to Jesus and the rest of the Bible, to tell the
difference between a Gentile of faith, or from any of God’s real “chosen as well
as called people is by the extent to which THEY SEEK AFTER THINGS.          
However, worldly or no faith Gentiles or Jews, are more famous in the seeking
“for all these things” of a material nature, in going for boats, cars, comfort living
in fancy homes, and you know the rest of “these things” of the world and of no
faith.  Christians who sense little guilt on the 2 out of 3 forbidden lusts of the
flesh and of the world of I John 2:15-17--that is the “lust of the flesh, the lust of
the eyes, and the pride of life”--just will not consider “pride of life” as worldly
and as a lust not of the Father, but of the world.  Even churches now have
fallen into this pride of life of their church buildings which they have bought with
their millions, advertising on TV with views of beautiful academic structures;
and I think you know that almost all ads, TV or radio, appeal to this very
natural, without the help of the Holy Spirit to overcome, lust of the pride of life.
4.  NEEDS versus WANTS.  
“For your heavenly Father knows that you
need all these things”  (6:32b).  
Namely, what God knows that you really
need is food, clothing, and a place to live.  {Most Bible scholars believe
“raiment”, the original word in the Bible for clothing includes a place to live.}  It
is not that God underestimates your need for houses and land, for He tells us in
Matthew 19:29--
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or
mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a
hundredfold, and {the big fringe benefit} inherit eternal life.”  (Matthew
19:29)
NOTES:  The temptation was to name this session “WANTS versus
NEEDS”, because so many, especially of the Osteen substitute faith of
the gospel of prosperity, confuse a little faith for wants with a little faith
for needs.  In fact most often, if you listen carefully or read the best
sellers that appeal to the lusts of the world and the pride of life, you will
hear more of faith in wants than of in needs.  Yes, immediately, it comes
to your mind to “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you
the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4), but how few have learned like
Job, or Elijah, or Jonah to delight themselves and their hearts fully in the
LORD God the Father of this universe and in the Lord Jesus Christ His
Son.  However, the NOWs of walking so close to God that the desires of
the heart become desires from the Spirit of God is worthy of more
discussion, and will come later!  Would that all of us had overcome a
little faith to jump into the high faith category of a Job who had all his
lost possessions and family restored, to have the faith of an Elijah that
could pray for rain and keep relief from drought, or to have the faith of
an Enoch, “who walked with God”, and had so much faith that he was
transferred and transfigured to heaven without passing through death.
5-2:  A first step to boosting little faith so as not to fret or worry is to
separate your NEEDS from your WANTS.  You see this first step in some
teachings from Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount that came before the
challenge to not worry by increased faith in God and what He is willing to
do for you.
1.  For example in the model prayer given by Jesus previously in the Sermon
on the Mount, specifically in 6:5-15, Jesus teaches to pray to God the Father
daily, and to “give us this day our daily bread”  {the equivalent of daily needs}  
(Matthew 6:11)
2.  Then in Matthew 6:19-21), the NEEDS for treasure in heaven, where moth
and rust does not corrupt and where thieves can not break through and steal,
is stressed by Jesus over the WANTS for the treasures of this earth; with
encouragements that where your treasures of WANTS are is where your heart
will also be.  {Already you see the similarity between delights of your heart that
you are given and the treasures of heaven that are put into your heart by the
Spirit.}
“For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.”  (Matthew 6:
21)
 
If you spend your life working hard to amass beautiful buildings or money and
stock and houses and lands and boats and cars, then naturally, Jesus says,
that is where your heart with the treasures of your heart is going to be instead
of heaven.
3.  It is the focus of the spiritual eye, what it looks at and for and what it lusts
after, that determines how much light really gets into a soul; and ultimately
separates the real Christians of faith from the chaff in churches.  (Matthew 6:
22,23)
4.  Then finally, before the challenge of 6:30 to more faith and less fretting, is
the separation between the master of mammon and Master God, a lesson that
so many men of wealth and that desire wealth, or well to do, never are able to
learn--
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love
the other; or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other...
5.  “You cannot serve God and mammon.”  (Matthew 6:24)
5-3:  How much did we overlook in our preliminary exegesis on the
challenge not to worry by boosting “little faith” of Matthew 6:33-34?  
Well, primarily the advice of Jesus in this passage on HOW TO
INCREASE OUR FAITH!
At least above, we have WANTS out of the way, from Jesus, with (1) the
correct way to prayer to God for daily NEEDS; (2) with a focus of treasures
needed in heaven more than wanted on this earth; (3) with a single eye of light
and not darkness that provides a focus on light in the total body and soul over
darkness of the world and the world’s wanted treasures; and (4) a call to
question the real delights of your heart and real needs to have God master
your life through the Lord Jesus Christ, and faith in Him as the Son of God,
over mastered by this world’s mammon things.
1.  How to increase our faith to hamper worry?  Daily awareness and prayer
that
“your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things”  
(Matthew 6:32b)
2.  How to increase our faith?  Primary focus on the kingdom of God and His
righteousness.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things
shall be added unto you.”  (Matthew 6:33)
3.  How to increase faith and stop fretting?  Focus on today, and one day at a
time instead of trying to take all the future on at one time.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about
its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  (6:34)
4.  As always if you are a church member and/or claim to be a Christian, then
read Ephesians 4:17-24 on how both not to learn Christ and how to learn Christ.
Christians are to “walk” or live differently from the other Gentiles around them,
any place other Gentiles are in America and in any country.  {Christians are
certainly to walk differently from the unbelieving Jews around them.}
“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk
{there has to be a difference in the life and living of a Christian as compared to
other Gentiles around him} as other Gentiles walk...”  (Ephesians 4:17a)
a.  How not to live like Gentiles around you?
(1).  Not to have a life and living (called “walk” in the Bible} “in the futility of their
mind”  (Ephesians 4:17b)
(2).  Not to walk or live “having their understanding darkened because”:  they
are alienated from the life of God; because of the ignorance that is in them;
and because of the blindness of their heart.
NOTE:  Actually in the typical writing style of the Apostle Paul to repeat
with different words, the no-no of “the futility of their mind”, and the
darkened understanding are almost equivalents unless you expand the
concept of understanding being more than just in the brain.  And in the 3
because’s it is clear what causes this futility and lack of understanding
of the other Gentiles brain:  alienation from God, ignorance, and
blindness.
b.  How to properly Learn Christ?
NOTE:  One would have to say that the reason so many churches and
denominations look so bad today, the reason that continue in the 5
stages of the final Falling Away, and the reason that so many Americans
are now shunning churches and denominations, seeking only Christ and
the Bible and the kingdom of Christ; is that Christ has not been learned
properly, or the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches has
chocked out the seed of faith.
“But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and been
taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus.”  (Ephesians 4:20,21)
(1). Put off your former pre-Christian conduct and the old man you were which
naturally grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts {you see the part plays in
non Christian life and living, “lusts of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the
generally overlooked but forbidden pride of life”.  (4:22)
(2).  REFRESHING EVANGELISM:“be renewed in the spirit of your mind”  (4:
23)
(3).  Put on the new man created in you by God, a new spirit of real and true
righteousness and real and true holiness (4:24)
5-4:  We do our Christian youth unjustly when we cater to their every
WANT, when the example method of God through Christ is to care for
NEEDs.  Alias, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these
things.”  (Matthew 6:32)
Christian youth are just as Christian as mature adults, in some cases without as
much maturity in the faith, but don’t forget that as far as faith in God and Christ,
all are to become as little children, adults or youth.  Youth, just as all
Christians, especially in the teens and beyond, are likewise to “take up a cross
daily and follow Christ”; to provide Christian service for others more than the
“me, me, me”; to start storing up treasure in heaven more than on earth at an
earlier age as part of faith.  We cheat them if we become great enablers to
their wants instead of their needs, and likewise if we do not set examples on
how God provides on a need basis instead of on a want basis.
No one can have the faith Jesus did in God the Father to provide all His needs
and as needed, no sooner and no later; but like in all matters of the Christian
life, Jesus “the author and finisher of the Christian faith” is the example for
which we strive; and if as in the ALL Scripture method and movement of II
Timothy 3:16,17 such Bible as this session profits us to doctrine, reproof,
correction, and instruction in righteousness, then we and our youth yearly
increase toward the complete maturity in Christ of a man or woman of God.
Rather than question the Father, question that you are a child of the King, or
question that your faith needs development through much more Bible and
prayer and good works.
September 2013 Newsletter

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