If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
We’re starting a new series today on some of God’s promises that have been particularly meaningful to me. I hope to make them more meaningful to you also. All quotations throughout this series are from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.
Although several promises from the Old Covenant, or Old Testament, may be more basic to Christianity overall, today’s passage is the single most comforting promise in the word for me personally. That’s saying a lot, because, as we will see in this series, there are a number of promises I rely upon daily.
Matthew 6:33 says, “. . . seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
This is a continuation of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, started in Matthew 5. In this passage, starting with verse 19, He talks about priorities. He starts out admonishing the people not to concentrate on amassing treasures here on earth. Then he talks about the birds of the air and the lilies of the field and how the Father takes care of them, and He says not to worry about things of this world.
Then He makes the promise in verse 33. Have you ever seriously thought about that promise and its ramifications?
He doesn’t say you’ll have clothes to wear, or you’ll have food to eat, or you’ll have this or that. He says ALL these things will be added unto you. This is an all-inclusive promise. If we seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, He will see to it that our needs are met. Period. Food, clothing, shelter . . . whatever our needs are.
Unlike the prosperity-preaching televangelists who have become so popular in recent years, I don’t interpret this to mean God promises us riches. I don’t believe He does. But I do believe this promise means He will take care of ALL of our legitimate needs.
My wife is a retired educator. She draws a pension from the Texas Teachers’ Retirement System. The amount of her benefit is deposited in her account the first of every month. She doesn’t have to do anything to get it. It’s just there.
As a lifelong self-employed independent contractor, I have no such pension. Many times during our marriage, she has rued the fact that I don’t have a pension like hers. Each time she says that, I reply that I have a better pension than hers. My pension is the promise that God will see that my needs are met.
This is not to denigrate anybody’s retirement program. If you are drawing a pension or work for an employer that provides a defined benefit pension plan, more power to you. There are fewer and fewer people who have such things. I wish more did.
But at the same time, I’m glad that my sustenance comes from my heavenly Father and not from a government or private sector employer. How many people in this country in the last decade or so have seen the pensions they counted on their entire careers go out the window or be weakened. You almost can’t name an industry where this has not been a problem.
In my wife’s case, she’s not at the mercy of a company that might go bankrupt. The State of Texas ought to be a pretty stable entity, able to meet the promises made to educators. So far, there’s been no talk about canceling pensions because of insufficient funds. However, in the eleven years she’s been retired there has never been a cost-of-living adjustment. She draws exactly the same monthly benefit today that she did eleven years ago, and the dollar amount is worth 35% to 40% less than it was then.
God’s promise, on the other hand, is not subject to cancelation. It will be as sufficient eleven years from now—or fifty years from now—as it is today.
What plans have you made for your retirement?
What has God shown you about this promise?
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He has just e-pubbed his devotional, Heaven Sent: 67 Stories of Godly Thoughts and Inspiration (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008CRL82M). His new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880 is underway. The first one is in the editing process, and he’s currently writing the second one.
Contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx