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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Is There a Future in Our Future

Matthew 6:28-34
New Living Translation (NLT)

And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

When we think of the love of parents for their children we think of unconditional love. A parent would gladly expend his/her life to save the life of their child. Unconditional love is therefore translatable into limitless concern over the welfare of the child. Love is of the Kingdom of God and as such unconditional and limitless commitments are appropriate. We must come to the cold realization, however, that such unconditional, limitless commitment can enslave us if misapplied. Jesus was clearly concerned in the above passage with a tendency for human beings to have unlimited concerns for future provisions. That is to say, since I do not know now what will be necessary to sustain me 10 years from now, I therefore tend to set about piling up unlimited resources to protect me from future uncertainties. No amount set aside is ever deemed sufficient. I must sacrifice urgent callings to invest in my present environment to placate my unlimited anxieties about the future. Clearly, Jesus was correct in understanding the danger of denying present needs for future uncertainties. When we deny ourselves or others daily bread in order to hoard up unlimited resources for the specter of towering unlimited future needs, then we paradoxically imperil the future by torpedoing the present welfare necessary to get us there in the first place. Thus, we need to focus on the present and in some sense trust God to supply future needs. We need to seek first the Kingdom and freely follow our conscience in love and concern in meeting today's needs and only then by compassionately focusing on the present will we have a future in our future. The lack of appreciation for this paradox (focus on today provides for a future) causes great mischief in human affairs for otherwise it's a trite truism that responsible people duly sacrifice the present for the future.

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