Friday, 9 March 2018

I am Provided For. Mathew 6:33

  "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." NKJV
  "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." JCB

  It may only be language but I like the older translation because it is an exhortation to seek the kingdom and to seek God's righteousness as opposed to the newer one that tells us to live righteously. That one feels like it's something we have to do as a believer on our own, under our own steam.
  Bear with me for a moment...
  The NKJV translation is a testimony to God's grace, His patience and just how important having a relationship with Him is (that's the seeking part, the choice part, we play in all this). Through relationship, He helps us become better than we are so we can fulfill His command to live righteously. Through a relationship with Him we can't help but want to live His way. A way we could ever hope to accomplish on our own.
  "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Mathew 5:6
  I found this definition of righteousness from the wonderful site
  'The Bible's standard of human righteousness is God's own perfection in every attribute, every attitude, every behaviour and every word.'
  It's humbling to realize how often I fall short. What can I say? I am a work in progress! And my heart swells with gratitude and joy because God is so forgiving when I ask.
  Our church is doing a series, Why Did Jesus Die. In our small group, something came up that ties into today's affirmation. It starts at the beginning.
  Adam and Eve ate the apple, bringing humanity into the knowledge of what good and evil are. They were ashamed of their nakedness so they sewed fig leaves together to hide it.
  Before they had a chance to eat from the Tree of Life (Whew!) and before God cast them out of Eden, He did something amazing.
  God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
  Genesis 3:21 is a short verse but it contains the record of an incredibly loving act.
  God killed His good creations and through their blood, their sacrifice, covered Adam and Eve with clothes to hide their shame. The clothes they'd made on their own weren't sufficient. Never minding that leaves rot quickly and aren't particularly durable.
  It's a profound reminder that nothing we do will ever, ever earn us God's covering of grace, our redemption, our righteousness. They are gifts.
  He hasn't changed since then.
  This has created a mountain of curiosities and imagination wanderings. Were Adam and Eve horrified at the sight of death? Did they feel blessed because of the lengths God went to in covering their shame? What did God feel as the animal's life blood spilled on the ground, the very first sacrifice?
  With Easter coming, I've been reflecting on this story because it is a foreshadowing of Jesus, the Lamb of God who died to cover our sins.

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