To Think or Not to Think
We are often told, by those who do not believe the Bible, that there are contradictions in it. Many Bible believers then rush to say, oh no, there are no contradictions. Which of them is right? Both of them. Now I have just contradicted myself, have I not? Well, let's take a look at this passage. Jesus told them not to think in verse 31. This was not a prohibition of care to work. See 2 Thess. 3:10, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.". I once heard a black preacher on this verse. He was preaching on Building a Nation. In it he said, "What are you going to do with welfare? Abolish it from top to bottom. If a man won't work break his plate." How do you like that for saying it like it is? Our Lord's concern was that we not despair, but that we seek the Lord :33. He encourages us with the fact that He knows our cares and our needs.
Then in verse 33 He told them to think or to seek the Kingdom of God. It was to be their and our first thought rather than even the necessities of life. We must know that we cannot serve God and mammon at the same time. He commanded us to think beyond the physical limitations of birds, lilies, and grass :26, 28, 30. He also commanded us through the Apostle, Paul, that we should think on pure thoughts. See Phil. 4:8 :"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Let us consider the instruction. We are taught to care more for the clothing of righteousness than even our physical clothing. We are to remember His Promise to those who seek first His Kingdom. Let us also remember that His compassions are new every day Lam. 3:22, 23 "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
Yes, there are contradictions, but our Lord is the Solution to them all. For instance He told a man with a withered hand to stretch forth his hand. It was impossible; the hand was withered. The man obeyed the Lord and stretched forth his hand, and it was healed. There are real contradictions that we face. We are commanded every man everywhere to repent, Act_17:30 "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" Now doesn't the Lord know that men in their natural life are spiritually dead, and dead men can't do anything? Yet He also commands that we believe the gospel and be saved, Mark16:15, 16 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." He is so explicit here that He states that those who do not believe shall be damned. Now again doesn't the Lord know that unbelievers are dead in trespasses and sins, and dead people cannot do anything even believe. They are dead. I said Jesus is the Solution. We do not break the commandment and say you are dead so you don't need to repent or you are dead so you don't need to believe. Instead we command the sinner to repent and believe knowing he can't do it. Neverthe less he is responsible. The Solution is that Jesus gives us repentance, Act_11:18 "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
It is the same with faith. The Lord knows that depraved men cannot believe, but He commands that we do it making us responsible. Once again He is the Solution. He gives faith. Eph. 2 8-10 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Verse 8 speaks of a gift. He has spoken of salvation, grace, and faith. Which one is the gift of God? All three are. God acts in grace to save men to whom He gives faith. Let us not demean the word of the Lord by excusing men because of their spiritual death. God still holds them responsible. Rather let us preach the gospel of salvation by the grace of God through the faith that He gives graciously.
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