My take: Wow, so much wisdom packed in these 7 verses.
First, we see psalmist being ‘teachable‘. He knows he doesn’t know it all but knows Who does. Amen? Amen!
Second, he asks for the ‘why‘. He asks for understanding to observe from his whole heart. I love that. He wants it intellectually and emotionally, his whole capacity.
Then he wants to be led by God to His precious commandments and rules for life. He delights in them! Why for they are good!
Fourth, he requests help from God to incline his heart to be a giver, learning from God testimonies, His history. He realizes God loves a cheerful giver. Givers gain!
Fifth, he wants help to avoid the negative, bad, evil and worthless things in life and look toward the life, the overcoming, zestflilled, prosperous life God gives.
Sixth, he looks for confirmation that God not be taken for granted, grow complacent, or belittle but that he have a holy, healthy fear and respect for God and all his awesomeness knowing that he is prone to wonder and dreads the results of waywardness should he not keep the proper perspective. He remains respectful of God’s glory.
Last and seventh, he says to God, ‘behold‘ look at me I am trying and ‘long for Your precepts’ because and again in God’s righteousness, His ways, His character is LIFE!
My prayer: LORD, indeed some of Your widsom is revealed here. Help me learn, apply and retain these truths!
Matthew 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?
Matthew 6:28 And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin.
Matthew 6:31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.
Luke 10:41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord replied, “you are worried and upset about many things.
Luke 12:22 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. 1st Corinthians 7:33
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life,…. Since ye cannot serve both God and “mammon”, obey one, and neglect the other. Christ does not forbid labour to maintain, support, and preserve, this animal life; nor does he forbid all thought and care about it, but all anxious, immoderate, perplexing, and distressing thoughts and cares; such as arise from diffidence and unbelief, and tend to despair; which are dishonourable to God, as the God of nature and providence, and uncomfortable to men:
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. The several and the only things, which are necessary for the support and comfort of human life, are mentioned; as meat, drink, and clothing; Eating and drinking are necessary to preserve life; and raiment, to cover and defend the body, from the injuries of the heavens: and having these, men have everything necessary, and ought herewith to be content; nor should they be anxiously thoughtful about these: for
is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? And yet, God has given these without man’s thought: and since these are better, and much more excellent, than food and raiment, as all must and will acknowledge; and God has given these the greater gifts, it may be depended upon, that he will give the lesser; that he will give meat and drink; to uphold that valuable life, which he is the author of; and raiment to clothe that body, which he, with so much wisdom and power, has accurately and wonderfully made.
Elliot (25) Take no thought.–The Greek word some times thus translated, and sometimes by “care” or “be careful” (1Corinthians 7:32-34; Philippians 2:20; Philippians 4:6), expresses anxiety, literally, the care which distracts us.
The changing fortune of words has now made it weaker, and it would be better to substitute “over-careful” or “over-anxious.” The temper against which our Lord warns His disciples is not that of foresight, which merely provides for the future, but the allowing ourselves to be harassed and vexed with its uncertainties. To “take thought” in the modern sense is often the most effectual safeguard (next to the higher defence of trust in God) against “taking thought” in the older.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary In Luke (Lu 12:29) our Lord adds, “neither be ye unsettled”—not “of doubtful mind,” as in our version. When “careful (or ‘full of care’) about nothing,” but committing all in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving unto God, the apostle assures us that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Php 4:6, 7); that is, shall guard both our feelings and our thoughts from undue agitation, and keep them in a holy calm. But when we commit our whole temporal condition to the wit of our own minds, we get into that “unsettled” state against which our Lord exhorts His disciples.
Matthew Henry Commentary 6:25-34 There is scarcely any sin against which our Lord Jesus more warns his disciples, than disquieting, distracting, distrustful cares about the things of this life. This often insnares the poor as much as the love of wealth does the rich. But there is a carefulness about temporal things which is a duty, though we must not carry these lawful cares too far. Take no thought for your life. Not about the length of it; but refer it to God to lengthen or shorten it as he pleases; our times are in his hand, and they are in a good hand. Not about the comforts of this life; but leave it to God to make it bitter or sweet as he pleases. Food and raiment God has promised, therefore we may expect them. Take no thought for the morrow, for the time to come. Be not anxious for the future, how you shall live next year, or when you are old, or what you shall leave behind you. As we must not boast of tomorrow, so we must not care for to-morrow, or the events of it. God has given us life, and has given us the body. And what can he not do for us, who did that? If we take care about our souls and for eternity, which are more than the body and its life, we may leave it to God to provide for us food and raiment, which are less. Improve this as an encouragement to trust in God. We must reconcile ourselves to our worldly estate, as we do to our stature. We cannot alter the disposals of Providence, therefore we must submit and resign ourselves to them. Thoughtfulness for our souls is the best cure of thoughtfulness for the world. Seek first the kingdom of God, and make religion your business: say not that this is the way to starve; no, it is the way to be well provided for, even in this world. The conclusion of the whole matter is, that it is the will and command of the Lord Jesus, that by daily prayers we may get strength to bear us up under our daily troubles, and to arm us against the temptations that attend them, and then let none of these things move us. Happy are those who take the Lord for their God, and make full proof of it by trusting themselves wholly to his wise disposal. Let thy Spirit convince us of sin in the want of this disposition, and take away the worldliness of our hearts.
There is a fine balance to almost everything in life. I am fully persuaded one if the principles of success is keeping the major areas of life in proper balance. To do this, we need a Godly perspective beyond our own finite view.
We need to realize that we are not the center of the universe. It’s understandable when a 3 yr old thinks that not a 23, 33, 43 or anyone of full maturity to hold this worldview yet it is easy to slip into the me first movement. Preferences are one thing while petty demands and scarcity thinking are another.
Jesus, His Father and the Holy Spirit are a Godhead of abundance yet see the need to test their creations at times with trials (that’s you and I).
What Christ is sharing here, from my perspective, is that we error when we major on the minors. We waste precious time and mental resources by worrying about simple stuff. The most important things aren’t things, they are invisible. Let’s be about that.
God is faithful and going to provide so long as we are about living for Him, working diligently and serving others. No doubt. His promises are true. This is first because He loves and cares for us and second because they are fundamental principles He embedded into the DNA of nature. We reap what we sow and He so loves His own.
The wise Paul give us some awesome council here in Philippines 4:11-13 , “I am not saying this out of need, for I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances. I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation—to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
When strive to find proper perspective, maintain a sense of balance in the key areas if life, apply His principles, go with the flow and speed of God, rest in the peace of His abundant love, courageously use our gifts, develop our skills and wrap it all in prayer…we need not worry for we shall prosper
It’s s definitely not healthy nor productive as Jesus tells us herein to worry. I believe its okay not to be satisfied and we good ti strive for more and better. Regardless we need to always be content while counting it all joy. We are content if we have the bare essentials and He will see to that.. especially when we look to Him.
Life is much more than food and clothing.
LORD, You reign sovereign yet give us space to create, prosper or fail. We can trust or not. We can worry or not. Help me be the faithful and trusting sort.
My take: Indeed. Tommorow is nothing but hope and yesterday is old news but today is a present. This day ‘all I can do is all I can do but ALL I can do is enough’ (the title of the first sales / motivational book by AL Williams). I like to add a little caveat to make is complete ‘…the good LORD willing’ because like the psalmist says, ‘the LORD has made’. This is not my day but rather God’s that He has graciously shared with you and I.
So what should our response be each and every day we have life?
The writer says, “let us rejoice and be glad in it”. Let us make the most of the time, talent and treasure God has made available. Let us be good stewards, love and attempt to glorify our Creator while leaving this world a better place.
When I reflect on this, a passage comes to mind where Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
True Honorable Just Pure Lovely Commendable Excellent
Think on these
God gave us the cognitive ability to choose our thoughts. Let’s do that today!
My prayer: LORD, help me be a victor and overcomer this day. Help my old man in me decrease and partner with my new man to be better and better. There is no way I can be a true success without Thee with me.
My take: This is big picture, out of this world thinking. This is a great power of being a believer. We are aren’t living and bound to this world first and foremost. We are pilgrims; citizens of Heaven. Second, until God Almighty permits and says, ‘fine’ all of man’s endeavors are futile.
The apostle Paul exemplified this so succinctly when he said, ‘kill me and I will rejoice with my Maker, let me live and I will continue to serve him’. 11 of the 12 original disciples suffered greatly and I believe all but 1 where killed (John) but live forever, in a much better place.
My prayer: Help me Lord see from Your perspective and keep a Heavenly mindset.
My take: Yes! Yes, I am in accord with the psalmist here, thank God and Pastor Ken Trautman. On three days back in September of 1995 my life as I knew fell apart. On Wednesday I my car blew a head gasket, then Thursday I was fired and Friday my wife was entertaining a stranger and walked out our recent marriage. I was floored. Yet, I borrowed a car and found a temporary job and ran a sales appointment Saturday morning. It was a divine appointment unbeknownst to me. God had broken my pride and used a pastor to expose His mighty sharp Word to my soul. That was the morning I accepted Christ, nearly 21 years ago. So I can and did relate to, “O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!” and He did exactly that!
Though I am far from perfect and prone to sin all too much, I am different. There is a new man inside me and I shall call upon the LORD as long as I live.
I hope you think and feel the same way. Can I get an amen?
My prayer: God, You are truly the difference maker and sustainer. Thank You for being there and reaching out to me on September 9, 1995. You took a imperfect mess and are making it into a perfect mess. Love You and Yours truly! Kirk.
P.S. Though I may have been a half-in semi cultural Christian for my first 28 years, I has no clue about what it meant to have a relationship with the living God until I was born again on 9/9/95 (my spiritual birthday – see John 3:1-15). I since have discovered my name, Kirk, means ‘from the Church’. I am joyful that resonates with me. Sweet Jesus!
Psalm 33:18 Surely the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His loving devotion
Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are inclined to their cry.
Psalm 34:16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to sever their memory from the earth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ground of the promised present and eternal life of blessedness to the meek (1Pe 3:10). The Lord’s eyes are ever over them for good.
ears … unto their prayers—(1Jo 5:14, 15).
face … against—The eyes imply favorable regard; the face of the Lord upon (not as English Version, “against”) them that do evil, implies that He narrowly observes them, so as not to let them really and lastingly hurt His people (compare 1Pe 3:13). Matthew Henry Commentary
3:8-13 Though Christians cannot always be exactly of the same mind, yet they should have compassion one of another, and love as brethren. If any man desires to live comfortably on earth, or to possess eternal life in heaven, he must bridle his tongue from wicked, abusive, or deceitful words. He must forsake and keep far from evil actions, do all the good he can, and seek peace with all men. For God, all-wise and everywhere present, watches over the righteous, and takes care of them. None could or should harm those who copied the example of Christ, who is perfect goodness, and did good to others as his followers.
God certainly has the ultimate surveillance system with omnipresence and unlimited capacity. He knows more about each of us than we do ourselves. Think about that for a minute. Yet, He still loves those who seek a relationship with Him.
The righteous here aren’t perfect, holy angelic like but those whose motivations are right; right after God in the physical sense. Yet are 100% pure when viewed thru Christ’s clean cloak veiled upon His friends.
Holy fear is a good fear as it enables and corrects.
We see here that when we do evil, God goes against us. What goes around, comes around. Some less informed people call this Karma. Some say the abstract ‘Universe’ causes good or bad to happen. No, it is God Himself and the principles He created. He controls and regulates all of nature and what happens within God’s universe of creation. Whether directly or indirect, our sovereign and almighty God can and does step in whenever He pleases by dreams, influence of emotion, angels unaware, other people, or circumstance itself. We read in Scripture often times He steps away and turns His face against His foes and they become their own worst enemies.
LORD, please be merciful and patient. Great are you and your love, grace and mercy are mighty and abundant to the humble. You are good.
My Pondering: What amazing grace and love God has imparted to each of us. Everyone born since the glorious mighty act of our precious dear Saviour intentionally being crucified there for collective behalf of all of us who may read or hear the Holy Scripture.
Christ is all. “I am that I AM.”
Pleasing and emulating His character, teaching and example needs to be our paramount goal of life. And becoming like Him, after we shed our fleshly bodies like the lowly caterpillar, is our main prize, reward and gift. I encourage to read the 1st part of this chapter. Amazing!
Matthew Henry nicely comments on this subject: 5:9-15 The apostle quickens himself and others to acts of duty. Well-grounded hopes of heaven will not encourage sloth and sinful security. Let all consider the judgment to come, which is called, The terror of the Lord. Knowing what terrible vengeance the Lord would execute upon the workers of iniquity, the apostle and his brethren used every argument and persuasion, to lead men to believe in the Lord Jesus, and to act as his disciples. Their zeal and diligence were for the glory of God and the good of the church. Christ’s love to us will have a like effect upon us, if duly considered and rightly judged. All were lost and undone, dead and ruined, slaves to sin, having no power to deliver themselves, and must have remained thus miserable for ever, if Christ had not died. We should not make ourselves, but Christ, the end of our living and actions. A Christian’s life should be devoted to Christ. Alas, how many show the worthlessness of their professed faith and love, by living to themselves and to the world!
Yes, God’s love is compelling. Yes, sin’s allure and evil roots run deep. Jesus calls. Satan calls. By default, we are cursed due to Adam and Eve’s terrible choice. But rejoice and embrace the noble deed of the 2nd Adam, Jesus the Christ, who ‘died of all’.
Therefore God’s love compels me and has enabled me to join in and resoundingly echo and embrace this wonderful truth: ”I, Kirk Alexander Booher, live and shall should no longer live for myself but for Him who died for me and thee and was raised again.”
My prayer: All that who have read this devotional shall whole heartily insert their name into the forementioned statement for it is of utmost importance of eternity, which is a long time. God, You know my heart desires and flaws. Your grace is abundant and much appreciated.
Matthew 13:21 But since he has no root, he remains for only a season. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will remain–so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.
Jesus the True Vine …4Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 5I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned
Pulpit Commentary Verse 5. – Christ returns to the main theme of the previous verse, but here discriminates more forcibly the vine from the branches, and yet holds and binds them into a unity. I am the vine, ye are the branches; which shows that he treated the disciples themselves as the organs of his earthly fruit-bearing; and then draws a larger circle and makes a complete and comprehensive statement on which the very existence of the “true vine,” the “body of Christ, including the Head,” depends, viz. He that abideth in me, and I in him – i.e. whenever the conditions of which I have spoken to you are fulfilled; wherever there are human souls deriving from their connection with me the full advantage of the life ever streaming forth from me – the same beareth much fruit; the entire end of their new life is secured. He beareth “much fruit.” In other words, many of those blessed fruits of the supernatural life appear, which the great Husbandman desires to receive. And this strengthens the position of the previous verse, which threatened excision from the vine to such as bear no fruit. Such, though in one sense “in the Vine,” do not abide in him. Because apart from – severed from – me ye can do nothing. The ὅτι suggests the question – Can the negative result justify the positive assertion? It does in this way. There are two premises: the first is,” I am the Vine, and ye are the branches,” and the second is, “Severed front me a branch can effect nothing,” having no independent fruitfulness or stability. All its powers are derived from this supernatural source, and depend on Christ’s faithfulness to his own nature and functions; therefore, “He that abideth in me, and I in him, bringeth forth much fruit.” The language here does not repress the endeavor of the human will after righteousness, nor pronounce a judgment on the great controversy between Augustinians and Pelagians. These words are not addressed to unconverted men, but to disciples, who have to learn their constant need of spiritual contact with their invisible Lord. Let a believer, let an apostle, sever himself from Christ, and live on his own past reputation or his supposed strength, on the clearness of his intellect, the vigor of his body, the eminence of his position, he can and will do nothing.
Matthew Henry Commentary 15:1-8 Jesus Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of the human and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that is in him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by the moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up. The Father is the Husbandman. Never was any husbandman so wise, so watchful, about his vineyard, as God is about his church, which therefore must prosper. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temper, disposition, and life. We must honour God, and do good; this is bearing fruit. The unfruitful are taken away. And even fruitful branches need pruning; for the best have notions, passions, and humours, that require to be taken away, which Christ has promised to forward the sanctification of believers, they will be thankful, for them. The word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we bring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more our Lord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with him by faith. It is the great concern of all Christ’s disciples, constantly to keep up dependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those who abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in outward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittest place for withered branches; they are good for nothing else. Let us seek to live more simply on the fulness of Christ, and to grow more fruitful in every good word and work, so may our joy in Him and in his salvation be full.
This is an wonderful analogy Christ teaches us here. The requirement of abiding and connection is paramount for any lasting and true spiritual success. We also get a glimpse of the God’s amazing sovereign power along with our limited yet free will.
We see herein the choice to abide or not.
On our own, we can do nothing eternal. Yet, if we do not participate and feed off the root we are in serious jeopardy of being pruned and destroyed. That certainly isn’t a pleasing nor popular thought but is a stern warning not doubt. No sane branch wants to be kindling for the fire as the next verse warns in 6.
There is only one God and just one trunk of a tree. That tree trunk is God’s manifestation in the world in none other than Jesus Christ. He is it. Some ignore Jesus thinking God is little ivy or a bush. They feel and may look like all is okay but can not possible withstand the great storm of death. That, my reader, is the great differentiator of all other religions not connected to Christ. It is close and resembles the true thing but is not the same, nor connected to the true Tree of life.
Jesus’s words are stark and clear here. Our work is not easy but simple; abide, remain connected and produce good fruit.
LORD, You chose me first. Please keep me and allow me to flourish. Apart from Thee, i am hopeless.
This tree represented is the true one, basking in God’s love. Big and strong with mostly healthy branches and leaves. The ivy isn’t abiding or even connected to the right tree.
The greatest transformational leader in history is Jesus of Nazareth, bar none. Who else has the entire modern world calendar starting with one’a physical death? Only He!
If you ignored His just proclamation as the Son of God and the Son of Man along with humanity’s long-awaited Messiah, the life of Jesus still produced numerous attributes for leaders, especially servant leaders, to imitate.
Below are 12 of these attributes which we can implement starting today:
Recruiting team members after thought and prayer with a strong purpose statement and strong call to action. Character, commitment and attitude were more important to Him than an impressive resume and previous experience
Investing quality time and energy into your inner circle of people
Taking personal care and keen interest with each individual
Being serendipitous when exciting opportunities yet remaining highly focused on the primary purpose
Carving out regular alone time to think, pray and meditate
Entrusting and empowering your company of people to execute main mission
Leading by example from the front
Eagerly serving others while always seeking their welfare
Engaging a wide variety of people by various means
Understanding the proper place for legitimate authority, seeking to please and fufill your higher authority yet not letting false authority stop you
Using what you have on hand to make things bigger and better by innovating and creatively solving problems, often tapping into your Higher Power
Surrendering your selfish will for a higher purpose while sacrificing short term pain for long term gain; Loving always and finding joy in doing God’s will by making His will – yours.