Take No Thought For The Morrow: Matthew 6:34

Donald R. Cooper

A part of the Lord’s sermon on the mount included some instruction concerning the need to learn more dependence on God and less on self. Bible students are familiar with the text which actually begins at verse 24 and reminds us of how mindful God is of all of His creatures, especially man. He said that we need not be fretful about what we shall wear, drink, or eat. We should remember how God cares for the fowl of the air, the lilies of the field, even the grass. He said, “Are ye not much better than they?” (vs 26b). “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (vs 27). How many times we who preach have quoted the thirty-third verse, “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Yet, many of us do, indeed, worry and fret over such matters, sometimes to the detriment of our body and soul. I fear that Christ might say of us, “O ye of little faith” (vs 30b).

James wrote some similar admonitions in his epistle, chapter 4:13-15. He warns of making our plans for tomorrow too definite, saying, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (vs 14). Forgive me for using a personal experience as an example, but I think I appreciate this statement by James a little better now than before. My wife and I usually spend the Thanksgiving holidays with our family in Tennessee. It has become an annual tradition with us. We had planned our trip this past November and were looking forward to it very much. However, on Friday the 13th I became so ill that I had to be taken to the ER of our local hospital. At 2:30 A.M. the following morning, I became an in-patient, where I would remain for the next six days, undergo all kinds of tests, and be on pain medication as seven different doctors tried to determine the cause of my illness. 

Obviously, all of this drastically changed our plans for the holidays. For the first time in many years, the family gathered for Thanksgiving Day without our being present. We regretted it deeply but had to resign ourselves to the idea. I think I learned to appreciate James’ admonition a little more than I had in the past, even though I have fully known in my years as a Christian that I must not take life for granted, but must realize that we are to recognize that our plans do not always materialize as we might like for them to do. Thus, he wrote, “… ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (vs 15).

I hope that all of us who are members of the Kingdom of God understand and appreciate the fact that we must be subject to God and His ways in all things. We are dependent on Him. Without Him, we can do nothing, we are nothing, and shall gain nothing. Our eternal destiny is determined by how we receive His will and practice it during our lifetime. We must not take too much for granted in this life. God will provide for us if we put Him first (Matthew 6:33). We must allow Him to have His way with us (James 4:15). –95 Lynn Dr., Mansfield, OH 44906. 

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