Encounter: Read Matthew 6:23-34, Jeremiah 6:16, and Proverbs 3:5-6 in New International Reader's Version and another version of your choice. Think about your life now. Are you prone to worry about things? Think about your past. What were the crossroads on your path that led you to where you are today?
In God We Trust. We’re familiar with this phrase because it is on our coins and our currency, and sometimes on our license plates. Do we, as a country, trust God? More importantly, do we, you and I, trust God? Do I trust God? What do I trust God for? For everything? For just spiritual things? What does it mean to trust God?
In God we trust. It says so right on our money. The first coin to have these words was a 2 cent piece in 1864. Some might say they left the L out. In Gold we trust. For some, that might be a more accurate motto. Have you ever seen a sign like this? In God we trust, all others pay cash. Do we as a nation trust God? I wonder.
But whatever the state of the nation is, I want to focus on a more personal level. Do you and I trust God? And what does that mean? Our scripture reading today put it this way: “But put God’s kingdom first. Do what he wants you to do.” But do I trust God?
Do I trust God with my life?
I don’t remember ever not believing in God. From before I can remember, we went to Morris Chapel Methodist Church regularly. By regularly, I mean if you weren't dead, you went to church on Sunday morning. Like most kids, I naturally absorbed the beliefs of my parents.
I also learned the hymns at a young age. Like Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of his Spirit, washed in His blood
My mother’s favorite was The Old Rugged Cross by George Bennard.
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain
My father's favorite was What A Friend by Joseph M. Scriven.
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
The hymns I learned when I was young have had a significant impact on me over the years. I think the songs we sing today will have a similar significance for our kids. For example, We Believe by Newsboys.
We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He’s given us new life
We believe in the Crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the resurrection
And He’s coming back again
Thank you Matt and the praise team. What you do will change lives beyond what we can know or imagine.
When I was in 7th grade I was challenged with something like this: “You believe in the God of the Bible because your parents do. If you were born in India, you would be a Hindu.” I don’t remember for sure where this challenge came from, but I remember when because of what happened the next year. After thinking about this, I realized that it was true: I believed in God because my parents did.
I think about our Eden kids, about the kids in Spark and ESU. They all naturally pick up the beliefs of their parents and other adults in their lives. At some point they will be faced with a question: What do I believe? Not my parents. Me. How will they answer that question?
Even though I believed first because my parents did, I also realized that that didn’t mean Christianity was false. It wasn’t just my parents. It was my church. It was the hymns. It was the Bible. But I had to decide for myself if I really believed. When I started 8th grade, I also started a confirmation class. I realized that I did believe. That Jesus was my savior. At the end of the class, I was baptized and joined the church. I trust God with my life.
Trusting God together
Reflect: Think about your life now. Are you prone to worry about things? Think about your past. What were the crossroads on your path that led you to where you are today?
Encourage: Planning for the future and worry are not the same thing. Has worry ever made a positive difference? But we all benefit from planning, even when things don’t turn out the way we planned. Start your planning by planning to trust God. He will make your paths straight.
Gather: As we gather together for worship or service or small groups, at work or at play, trust God to be with you. Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am with them.