June 14, Sunday 

UPDATED Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, written by Pastor Sam Lee who leads Catalyst Agape Church in Northern New Jersey, is an updated version of his blog first posted on October 27, 2013.  He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin (BA) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“The Call to Discipleship in the Real World”

Matt. 10:28-31 (NIV)

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

johannes-krupinski-QKyIsJdDomo-unsplashIn our everyday living, we are preoccupied with such things as financial security, safety, and even having a good time.  For instance, if we lose our job tomorrow and have no savings, all of us will be very worried.  If our cars were to suddenly break down in the middle of a very rough neighborhood, fear would creep in and we will be praying for God’s protection.  We also know that “God has “richly provide[d] us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim. 6:17); nevertheless, if we are not mindful, the cares of this world would consume us, thereby losing sight of eternal things.  This is all the more so today as we find ourselves amid major crises that can easily make us feel stressed, even fearful.

One day, Jesus sent out His disciples, instructing them not to carry any money or extra clothes; he, then, told them not to worry about their lives.  Why did Jesus seemingly make it harder for his men in their travel through unfamiliar places, especially when needy and dangerous situations were likely lurking?  He was creating an opportunity for them to put their trust in God.  The Lord wanted them to know that the whole universe is created, operated, and sustained by the Almighty, who considers our life more valuable than that of a sparrow.  In short, God is mindful of us and will care for us.

So how can we change in order to worry less—even in a time like this—and depend more on God?  My prayer is that we sustain earnest efforts to know who God is and His character through the Holy Spirit rather than trying to change with our own strength.  The truth is, we will never bear lasting fruits of the Spirit by our efforts; this can only be done when we remain and abide in Him (John 15) and keep in step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25).

So, pray with a deep yearning for Christ; read God’s word with hunger; worship God with passion; and stay humble.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, always remind me that You are in control; strengthen my resolve, through the empowerment of the Spirit, so that I place my trust only in You.  Lord, whenever I worry, I shall look to You and be comforted.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 56