“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34
The more I look at this world, I have to remind myself “This world is not my home.” I see the political divisions that are caused, and stakes are claimed on the extremes (like comparing people who are in opposition to you to Nazis, for example, especially because most of the comparisons aren’t even close). These divisions are meant to divide us up by political status, party, by skin color, religion, gender (And yes, I define gender as Scripture does), and any other thing they can divide us with. It’s meant to keep us constantly bickering so that those in power can continue carrying on as they always have. The Romans called it “bread and circuses;” Juvenal, a first century satirist said “give the people bread and circuses and they will never revolt.” We’re so glued to entertainment, and for others to serve us that we’re giving away freedom for the sake of entertainment, a full belly, and security.
The more I look at Jesus Christ, I see that He advocated for a heavenly citizenship. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus said things like “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” speaking of taxes (even if they were unfair), but he reminded us that, while we should be good sojourners below, we’re citizens of heaven. And citizens of heaven love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, and their neighbor (which everyone is) as themselves. Citizens of Heaven love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. Good citizens seek to do good to those around them, even if the good is not returned. While the world seeks to divide, to dull our senses, to alienate and devour, Christ tells us to seek unity and love and the welfare of our neighbor.
While the world tells us to do for ourselves, to panic, to worry, and let those in power handle our problems, Christ says “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things” (i.e. food, shelter, clothing, etc.) “will be added to you.” I’m not going to put my hope in this world or anything in it. I’m going to be a good guest, for I am a sojourner, waiting passage to my real home, but I am a citizen of heaven, and I shall seek God’s will in all things.
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.