One of the messages that the Lord has repeatedly put on my spirit of late, for a good while now, is Jesus cares for each of us, and all of us.
"Look at the birds of the air they neither toil or spin, yet the Lord cares for them." (Matthew6,26)
So how much more each of us, who share his Spiritual dominion and victory over the world, the devil, and the flesh.
1Peter5,7 is a verse that most of us have heard some time or another: "Cast all your cares on him [the Lord], because he cares for you."
Jesus also cares enough to know our voice and listen to it (John10). Enough to care about the things we care about. Enough to stick closer than a brother.
As I first preached this message I sensed that some thought it too obvious, sort of like teenagers rolling their eyes thinking they have 'been there and done that.'
Yet I know from personal experience that a lot of us ignore obvious matters of our faith, just the ones we should not. Like we are all sinners in need of a savior. Like before we can even remotely care for others, we have to allow Jesus to care for us.
Like before we can love our neighbor, we need to love ourselves. Like there's no good way to do our Christian faith in our own strength.
We could chalk up missing these 'too obvious' truths to infant baptism, or original sin, or too many stars on our Sunday school-catechism homework.
But the fact is we often miss obvious matters about our faith. Instead, we gladly and quickly move to our own philosophies and doctrines that make our religion so efficient, so groupy, so socio economic based. These sometimes keep us safely beyond Jesus' care for us, and just beyond learning from Him how to care for others like He does.
Have you ever talked to or seen somebody who makes a public show out "caring"? Mayby they do, praise God. But, the fact of the matter is Jesus does care, always, publicly and privately. No doubt about it. In season and out of season. He is actively is listening to our voices and our cares, at all times. We don't even have to stand in line, or make an appointment.
And he knows just what we need at any given moment of our lives.
Let's take a broad view of God's ability and provision in caring for us for a moment. God gave his word to Israel, and then to all humanity, because he cared for all of us. He developed patriarchs of old and all manner of leaders for his people throughout the ages because he cares for the protection of all his people.
In turn, Jesus expects us to respond to his care, to "put on my yoke and learn from me, for I am meek and humble and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew11,29)
Our caring for him and for others begins with Him caring for us. It begins with the peace of being forgiven by him. How can we be careless with others when he has cared enough to shed his blood for each of us and them too?
Jesus cares really well, and he shows each of us how to care for our neighbor. Calling them back. Saying thank you. Listening once in awhile. Showing kindness, not just to strangers, even to folks in our families and those we see every day. Forgiving others their trespasses.
We can't care about people we haven't forgiven.
Thus, caring about others is part of how we work our our salvation. It's something we learn to do. Caring is part of his yoke. It is the solidarity of of civilization. It is the Spiritual mortar that binds us as living stones in his faith temple. We agree to care for Him and others, we put caring on so to speak, when we come to him for salvation.
This matter of caring is so obvious.
Yet Moses got careless and struck the rock for water rather than spoke to it (Numbers20,12c). This kept him out of the promised land:
"Yes I am to die in this country; I shall not cross the Jordan; you will go over and take possession of that rich land. Be careful not to forget the covenant which Yahweh your God has made with you.."
King Saul got careless, and lost his mind and His kingship.
King David got careless, and took another's man wife, and never got to build the Temple for his Lord.
We Christians are in the business of caring. Our faith is built on his care for us and our care for Him and neighbor. But just because this is soooo obvious is no reason to get glib about it.
As Moses said:
"if you listen carefully to the voice of Yahweh your God and do what he regards as right, if you pay attention to his commandments and keep all his laws, I shall never inflict on your any of the diseases I inflicted on the Egyptians for I am Yahweh your healer." (Exodus 15,26)
As Jesus said:
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil of treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment." (Matthew12,35-36)
Carelessness is no joke.
It might rob us, even the "best" of us, of some or all, of the blessings of salvation
So, "Lord teach us to care like you. And give us the strength to care like you, and the faith and discipline not to get careless, in any way. In Your Holy NAME Jesus we pray."
Para un mensaje similar en espanol: http://www.zionpentecostmission.com/jesus-tiene-cuidado.html
(first Aug. '11)
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...