Memorise: (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. – Matthew 6:32
Read: Matthew 6:24-33 (KJV)
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Bible in One Year: Mark 1-2, Isaiah 11:6-12:6
HYMN 7: O JESUS, I HAVE PROMISED.
1. O Jesus, I have promised,
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my Guide.
2. Oh, let me hear Thee speaking,
In accents clear and still,
I dare not trust my judgment:
Thy way shall be my will;
Oh, speak to reassure me,
To hasten or control;
Oh, speak, and make me listen,
Thou Guardian of my soul.
3. O Jesus, Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory
There shall Thy servant be;
And Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Oh, give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend.
4. Oh, let me see Thy footmarks,
And in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone.
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
Uphold me to the end;
And then in Heav'n receive me,
My Savior and my Friend.
God's design for you as His child is not for you to pursue material things; He rather wants material things to pursue you (Deuteronomy 28:2, Psalm 23:6, Isaiah 60). When you pursue material things, you will use up so much effort, strength, wisdom and resources. Even after realising your goals, you might still not be satisfied. Do you know that if God is not behind your pursuit, time and again the goal posts can be shifted, thereby making the realisation of your dreams a mirage? There is a user of this devotional in this very situation. Every year, you have continued to pursue a particular goal without success. Sometimes it appears within your reach, but before long, it becomes unattainable. Your goal keeps eluding you because you forsook your relationship with God to pursue your personal desire. If you can return fully to God today and remain with Him, you will suddenly realise that what you have been pursuing all these years is already in your hands.
A look at today's Bible reading reveals to us certain truths. First, God knows your needs. He does not need you to tell Him before He realises what you need. When God brings you into a new year, He definitely knows you and your family need food for 365 days, a roof over your head, clothing, transportation, energy and water, etc. He even knows the needs that you yourself have not yet identified. He does not just take a global but an eternal view over you and all that is yours. Also, He is interested in how you meet those needs. Those who do not know God have a way of meeting their own needs which is at variance with God's plans. The godless pursue material things at the expense of a personal relationship with God. If you are a bona fide child of God yet pursuing material things, then you are living like the godless. To simplify things for His people, God designed that we should pursue Him, and not things. He wants us to make Him our first priority in all that we do. As we seek Him, He will cause those things the godless are busy chasing after to come effortlessly to us. This year, stop being wise in your own eyes! Seek God as never before. Put Him first. Give Him time every day. Thank Him, praise Him, worship Him and obey Him. When you do all these, you will realise at the end of the year that your achievements have exceeded your expectations.
Key Point: Whenever you pursue material things, God is sidelined and unhappy that such things have taken His place in your life.