“Enough for Today”

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought (Do not worry) for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body more than raiment (clothing)?

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 you not much better than they? 

Which of you, by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? And why take ye thought (worry about) for raiment?

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (clothed) as one of these.

Wherefore if God so clothed 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?

Therefore take no thought (do not worry) , saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.” Matthew 6:25-34

I love birds, all birds, it fascinates me to no end how God used the dove to bring back the olive branch to Noah to let him know it was now safe to resume life on earth, and that he used the ravens to feed Elijah during the famine. and the Holy Spirit in the bodily form as a dove resting on Jesus, and now forever the world’s symbol of peace, and even the super scary bird supper that takes place as the book of Revelation is fulfilled.

They are simply beautiful and to just listen to their songs in the morning and some even sing at night. 

Today I looked outside and noticed on my steps a darling little brown bird, I have no idea what kind, maybe a sparrow, I know some of them super well but others, not so much 🙂 and this little bird had hanging dried weeds out on both side of its beak, just bouncing on the step, looking around, making sure no predators were watching, quite obviously in the process of making a nest, planning for its future family.

I on the other hand, like most of us, had been pondering the craziness of our government (as I do often) and after reading that it had been recommended to start stockpiling food, I started seriously questioning whether or not people should start buying in bulk and stockpiling food and other items for their families and to have it to share if the worst case scenario should occur.

And then I thought about the literal starvation the world over much thanks to Putin who is determined to go down in history, but he is sure not going to go as he thinks, h evil be remember not, as the Great Czar he so wished to be but as a diabolic monster that destroyed millions, maybe billions of lives by the time all is said and done.

The constant threat of nuclear weapons over our heads, food will be a moot point.

How can we worry about all these things? Jesus said it best, as Gentiles, this is our logic.

We all are worried and concerned, gas prices, food prices, sickness, babies not even having formula in what is supposed as the richest country on earth, and looming threats of biological, chemical, and possible nuclear assaults is trying enough to make the most optimistic person think twice.

Then the scripture hit, “consider the ravens” which is how it is written in Luke 12:24, we worry and we worry, and often as my Mom always said, over things that never even happen.

As Jesus said, tomorrow will take care of itself.

We often buy trouble worrying about tomorrow and worrying about tomorrow causes us to lose the joy, and peace of mind that we could have today.

We can do very little in the natural world to change these things, we can give, and we can try to be an encouragement.

But ultimately, we have to pray and trust God, just like Jesus told us too and remember what he has already done  and be like that little bird and get on with life and get on with making future plans and setting goals and having hope. 

And even though the world may be saying that it would be wise, the moment we start to give in to those voices, and stockpile unnecessary food and supplies, gas, we are setting ourselves up for the worst form of worry and anxiety,

Will it be enough? How much would ever be enough?

What happens will it is all used up? It would eventually be all used up. 

Doesn’t take long to realize why Jesus told us not to fall into this trap. Even if we worried ourselves into having it all, we would then be worried about keeping it!

Because He knows what we all have need of and He will take care of every need, but He commanded us also to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” and that is exactly what he meant!

And of course, I am not talking about if God is leading you to do it, or you are buying up for food banks or anything like that or buying a few extras at a good price and I am talking about the anxiety that tries to sneak into all our minds from time to time.

One of my favorite old sayings is this. “If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.”

We will all know when it breaks and believe me, God will take care of it all then.

ENJOY your day! 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

“Peace in this…”

“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion, and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

And the fruit of peace is sown in peace of them that make peace,” James 3:15-18

Thinking about peace today, and a very specific kind of peace, the peace we find ourselves needing when trying to make certain decisions.

Decisions that truly once made will impact our life forever, we do sometimes have the opportunity to change our minds about something that we had either decided to do or not to do, and sometimes the hottest battle fought is in making a decision period.

As a new Christian, I had always heard the question, ‘Well, do you have peace about it?” as the answer often given to those seeking life choice advice from the “Old Sages” and sometimes my own answer to life’s questions has honestly been, “Maybe… yeah, I think so.”

So how do we know, how do we really know that the choice were about to make is going to be the right choice for this season in life?

And I do say season because as life changes and as the seasons of life change also, what seemed dreadful yesterday could be a blessing today and what seemed the perfect sunshiny path yesterday could be an uphill walk during a hail storm today.

So life changes, we change but the sovereignty of God never changes. As his word teaches us, He is eternal, self existing, and sovereign and nothing about him ever changes.

The same God that created Adam and Eve, and forgave them for their sin and delivered the oppressed and made a way of escape for those enslaved by the Egyptians , and then went on to rescue us all through the blood of his Son,  the promise of eternal life now ours forever if we will only accept it

He is the same and only God and he is the only one who can answer our questions and “lead us in the paths of righteousness” as stated in Psalm 23. He leads us in those good paths for his name’s sake, and not only because we bare his name and are representatives of him and his holiness, but also because he genuinely loves us and wants nothing but the best for us.

That was the hardest struggle for me, the hardest thought that had to be surrendered, like so many, I always felt that while God was awesome and I admired Christians I knew, but in my thinking, they were just born “that way”, they were just “special” people that God adored while I, on the other hand had just been “born bad” and ignorantly thought I had no hope,

That is the big lie that satan tells so many to keep them bound by his lies.

Because through Jesus we all have hope.

But even after you accept Christ, the enemy and this world can still try to steal your joy, your happiness, and most of all your peace by whispering confusion concerning the paths you should travel.

As the thought to write this post came to mind, I wondered what would be the best example of this kind of faith and this kind of peace that we will always need to use as a comparison when choosing those paths and making those decisions.

Now I have used this story before, I have written for eight years, including the two that I wrote for a church,an undertaking that in fact, led to this, so it goes without saying that after that kind of time, usually a Bible account has been used already, but the awesome thing with God is that often he will show you something different in a verse that you maybe feel like you have read hundreds of times, but he always has something else he wants you to “get” if he keeps leading you back to the same one.

But for me, for us, for this post, this is the most perfect example among the many that we are given through the pages and accounts of the Bible.

If you know this story, please bear with me, and if you are not that familiar with it, please as you read, get the mental picture of this, as it happened, in your mind, which will be “blown” when the full image of the kind of faith this lady had is revealed.

We will pick this up as Pharaoh had ordered the midwives to kill all the Hebrew male babies, but as these ladies feared God they would not, and we’ll pick up at Pharaoh’s next move.

“And Pharaoh charged (commanded) all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.

And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.

And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark (basket, little “boat”) of bulrushes, and daubed it with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags (reeds) by the river’s brink.

And his sister stood afar off, to wit (know) what would be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark (basket) among the flags, she sent her maids to fetch it.

And when she had opened it, she saw the child; and the babe wept. And she had compassion on him. and she said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.

Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?

And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.

And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, TAKE THIS CHILD AWAY, AND NURSE IT FOR ME, AND I WILL GIVE THEE THY WAGES. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.

And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses (literally means, Drawn Out); and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 1:22, Exodus 2:1-10

Isn’t that just mind blowing? The hand of God in this was amazing! Now of course we know that because we have read the book… but Jochebed, the Mother of Moses, had no way of knowing how that story would end nor did Miriam, his sister as she watched over him, as this tiny little three month old baby was floating in the Nile River!

But God knew, God knew exactly how this was going to go down and that this little baby he had sent to this earth for the purpose of being drawn out of that river he would one day use to draw his people out of Egypt and just as the Nile did not take him under, neither would the Red Sea, as God’s plan for this child included the literal dividing of that Sea.

Absolutely amazing when you think about it, the fact they did not know, just believing, believing with an incredible faith that it would be well. And we are not told at any point that God spoke to her or that he sent an angel to instruct her, we are only told this…

Hebrews 11:23:” By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of (by) his parents because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.”

God gave them peace that is how they knew, that is why they were not afraid. God had given that knowledge in their heart and soul that everything would be fine, no matter how scary it looked.

And can you imagine, making a basket, by hand, to put your baby in and then putting that baby in a river?

The only way she could have done it at all is for God to have given her peace otherwise she would have been overwhelmed by the “What if’s’… What if the pitch doesn’t hold? What if water seeps in? What if it capsizes?, What if he is eaten alive?

And what about the ‘What if’s” concerning her daughter? “What if someone sees her watching and discovers who put the baby there?, “What if something goes wrong and she is injured trying to save the baby?” “What if Pharaoh’s daughter suspects that this was the family of her tiny foundling?”

You know what she did! She had to have known, especially when a little girl just happened to be there to offer to find someone to help her take care of the baby.

Talk about the right place at the right time, can you imagine if the soldiers or taskmasters had been the ones to find Moses, they would have surely killed him and if they had saw Miriam hiding, they would have killed her also and would have attempted to find the parents so they could kill them too for disobeying Pharaoh’s command, and I don’t know if she just had a completely different heart or if God had softened it, I personally believe she was cut from a different cloth, since God had chosen her in advance for this job, when we are told that she had compassion on him when she heard his cry and you can almost imagine being there as she said “This is one of the Hebrew children”, which to me, reads as if it would have been laced with sadness and regret, because even in her own power, she still would not have had power to stop the slaughter of these babies or change any decision made by Pharaoh.

Either way she would have had to have known that Miriam was related to the baby and that this woman she was going to fetch was actually his Mother, and to me, it is priceless when she tells her to “Take this baby”, she let her keep him, wean him and actually paid her for doing it and when he was old enough she brought him into Pharaoh’s palace as a prince.

That my friends is why of all the stories of miracles and faith we could have read, we read that one, sometimes in life, things can look good but not quite feel right while other times it can look hopeless but somehow feel like it is the perfect place to be.

And those who should be against you are not always your enemy.

It’s all in the peace God gives us and even concerning your own quandary that you may be struggling with today, think of it like this, with our beginning verse, if there is strife, envy, any negative feelings tugging inside of you take that as your answer, no matter how good something seems, if you can’t “get any peace” with that decision than it means that for whatever reason, even if seems like it is a good thing, it is however not going to be a good thing for you.

While another decision may seem like the worst mistake you could ever make but yet you feel peaceful in that decision, than that is the right choice for you.

So whatever you are facing today, life change, career change, moving to a new location, ending or beginning a relationship, seek God, seek his peace for you and then honour his guidance in your life…even if it looks like you will never reach your desired “location” by choosing that path, if God prompts us, choose it, because in reality only he knows the way we should ever go.

God bless you, till next time, with love, mercy, and that peace today and for your tomorrow… and what is that peace?

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson