Tree roots are how we grow deep in God’s provision.
Be rooted in God’s righteous rule first. Pursue practical needs from a position of security with God.
6:25 Anxiety does not create what we need; the Creator has.
6:26-30 If birds and flowers rely on the Creator, shouldn’t people made in his image rely on Him?
6:31-32 The worldly default in a difficult world is anxious pursuit to grab.
6:33-34 The Kingdom perspective realizes that trouble is part of a world fallen into rebellion that will only be fully resolved when God’s ways are completely established.
The Story ensures individual verses present a realistic picture of life. Yes, health and wealth issues are real challenges. Yes, the natural pursuit of the world is to get as much health and wealth as possible. Yes, God cares about our needs and does bless us. No, God does not promise to bless his children in this age with the kind of blessing he will at the end of the age. Miraculous provision sometimes happens, but so does hardship and suffering. It did for Jesus, as well as a history of faithful prophets before him, and for a history of sanctified children of God after him, including his own disciples.
Romans 8 describes a hurting world in which God’s Spirit groans, we groan, even the creation itself groans. Why? We are waiting with confidence for the day Christ and his people will be revealed. Trusting God is wise and right, regardless of whether it temporarily makes life easier or harder. Regardless, we need to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. Don't worry.
Be rooted in God’s relational ways is your priority, not only toward God, but toward people.
7:1-2 Fixing other people is not our job.
7:3-5 If we cannot fix ourselves, why do we think we even can fix faults in others?
7:6 Just because we see something as valuable does not mean someone else is ready to value it.
7:7-8 Asking, seeking, knocking is relational. We do not presume, we request and learn.
7:9-12 Even rebels give good when people ask them relationally. That is the way personhood works, all the way up to the Father.
7:13 The point God makes clear in all he teaches is giving and receiving appropriate love, as persons to persons.
All the complex teachings of existence, spiritual beings, ancient history, complicated religious codes, cryptic prophecies... they are all to elevate the hope of appropriate loving relationships. People see this through detailed study, or just intuitively, and Jesus makes it clear more than once. Life is about healthy, appropriate, loving relationships.
Be rooted in who you actually are in God, and what you produce will follow.
7:13-14 The blessed life of the Kingdom is possible if we follow the way God has provided.
7:15-20 False guides use false fronts to hide their fruitless character.
7:21-23 Claiming you know Jesus is Lord is more than what you say or how others see you act. Jesus’ view of the relationship is the one that counts.
This life, and the life to come, is shaped by our relationships. If we relate to God through the way He provides, we can experience the King’s wise rule now and in the life to come. If we follow anyone other than Christ himself we will easily go astray.
Although we should say “Jesus is Lord”, words alone do not make it so. Although we should follow Jesus’ example, trying to imitate him, or others who claim to follow him, does not make us his. Something personal, between God revealed in Jesus and our own heart and soul, needs to happen. When we trust in him and surrender ourselves to him, he changes us, from the inside out.