Genesis 6 and Matthew 6
We started with some Avril Lavigne – this song set us up pretty well to be honest…
We read through Genesis 6 and I made the following points to generate some discussion:
- v2 – men were already seeing women and property; didn’t take long for men to get wrong how we should view women!!
- v6-7 – thoughts??? our response was that God is perfect and He regretted making people, just as any parent would regret a bad decision from one of their children; God has emotions and as we are made in His image, we have emotions too. Emotions are pretty neutral – it is what we do with them or how we allow them to rule us that becomes the problem: Jesus was emotional too!!
- v18 – were the children-in-law righteous by connection to Noah, or because their were also loved by God?!?
- v19 – a couple, in God’s eyes, is always one male and one female – there is no other standard, whether or animals or God’s children
We read through Matthew 6, but then I re-read v25-34 before we began
Do Not Be Anxious
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
These verse are especially relevant to us, as a family, right now! Unemployed and very much reliant on God to, literally, provide the food and clothing we are unable to provide for ourselves. He certainly knew what we would get worried about and gave us His response right in these verses. As we have come to expect, God points to His nature to show how His plan for us.
- what makes you most worried, right now?!?
- v2 “money/gifts given anonymously is the only standard to attain to” – I read this out and asked if this was too strong, or not strong enough as a statement…you can come to your own conclusions!
- v6 – Joanne and I should pray in our bedroom (our sanctuary) with the door closed…we all need that private prayer time. How can we help our youngest two achieve this, when they share a room?!?
I have always been struck how the Lord’s prayer is read out, with almost no concern as to the content of this most amazing template of how to pray. In itself, it is not a prayer – it is scripture, which is always good to memorise and say! However, it simply holds the keys we need to open the door to prayer. It can not open the door itself. Otherwise, Jesus would not have pointed out that it showed how to pray…He did not say that it is what we should say. Bit of a soap box, but an important one.
As I regularly enjoy doing, we created a prayer using this template. Whilst that is personal to us (so won’t appear here), it is worth trying to take something you are trying to pray for and make sure it fits the template Jesus showed us in these previous verses of scripture. It is always worth the effort, as this small effort always continue to impact our other times of prayer.
- v16 – I also love how fasting is not something we should consider as something to maybe do or not. The bible is really strong here “when you fast”…not …”if you fast”.Perhaps if we spent more time fasting, and less time wondering and worrying whether we are healthy or fit enough to do so, we might be a little closer to God’s plan for us: when we fast we focus our hearts and literally force our body to yield to His, as we suppress hunger in favour of time with our creator.As with any pieces of scripture which we don’t like/don’t want to consider/make us uncomfortable – we should simply ignore our own preferences as we yield to God’s perfect plan for us. Reconciling to Him, is always a much easier route to peace with Him. When we wrestle with what we don’t like, how can we, then, wonder why we are missing that wonderful peace from God.
The best conclusion is always God speaking Himself, for I’ll let Him finish this Family Focus:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”