Two Feet Away from Deeper Intimacy

Reaching-Hand

Christ engaged His disciples in a foot washing ceremony to teach them a few things about how they were to serve each other and to lay a foundation for them to better understand the purpose for His coming. When He prepared to wash the feet of Simon Peter, Peter reacted saying, “You will never wash my feet.” Peter’s reaction reflects a religious mind set based on a lack of understanding. In that moment, Peter was just like the Sadducees and Pharisees of that day who resisted the person and workings of the Savior. Today there are many followers of Christ, just like Peter, which still resist the washing of the Savior. This resistance is due to a lack of understanding and a religious mind set instead of the presence of a relationship with Christ based on trust and intimacy.

YESHUA’s desire to wash His disciple’s feet was a call to a more intimate relationship. Surrendering yourself to include the dirt of your past shows trust and creates intimacy. The resistance to entering the level of intimacy which the Creator is calling us to, creates a barrier between us and the many benefits of His mercy and grace. YESHUA responded to Peter saying, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.” So, Peter allowed the washing, but the understanding of what was happening came much later. YESHUA told Peter, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” We must let Him take away the shame of our dirty past. We must allow Him to take our dirty feet into His pure hands and wash them clean. We must allow the weightiness of His love to break our pride and free us from our independence. We can never clean our own feet because all we have in our possession are filthy rags. The work of Christ is to clean us up and furnish us with white raiment; to empower us to walk in the Spirit, down clean paths. An understanding of His grace assures us, that if we should stumble, He will cleanse us yet again.

YESHUA taught that those who understood the abundance of grace which they had been given through His forgiveness would love Him greatly. In loving Him greatly, they would also forgive one another’s sins, or in other words, wash one another’s feet. Today they call it, “Paying it forward”. The bible calls it “letting grace abound.” However, if we hold on to our own sins, through not understanding how He cleanses us, we will not be able to minister this love correctly to others.

Today the Church still struggles to understand the washing by the Savior. When YESHUA washed Peter’s feet, He was in effect erasing the traces of the earthy places Peter had been before. Symbolic of cleansing him from his past sins. YESHUA also wiped Peter’s feet with His own covering. This symbolizes the extension of His righteousness in place of the removed dirt. Today many saints are still living soiled in the past, because they fail to grasp the understanding of the Savior’s washing. Christians all around the world celebrate the resurrection of Christ and His redeeming blood, but still have not excepted resurrection power into their own lives. Our resurrection to new life becomes possible when we believe He can cleanse and heal our souls. We can be transformed when we believe He can change us from the sinful people we have been in the past into the righteous children of the Father.

It is written in 2nd Corinthians 5:17, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” This teaching is in direct conflict with the consensus I often hear among the confessing Christians of today. I have heard Christians saying of the Church that all have wicked hearts, all continue to be bound by sin, and that there are none righteous, as if Christ failed in His mission to set at liberty the captives, to heal the broken hearted, to give us beauty for ashes, to make us trees of righteousness, to turn us into the plantings of YAHWEH, that He might be glorified. These are things YESHUA said He was anointed to do as in Isaiah chapter 61. YESHUA read this prophecy while standing in a synagogue and then said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:21 KJV) We cannot let the evil one convince us otherwise with his lies and accusations. We cannot fail to lay hold on these blessings through doubt and unbelief.

Don’t confuse old testament references to the children of Israel with the resurrected Church of Christ. We must enter our calling of being the holy and righteous people of GOD. The ones who show forth the righteousness of YAHWEH, by manifesting His good and perfect will through our obedience. YAHWEH sowed a Son that He might get a harvest of righteous children. We are the planting of GOD and should be bringing forth righteous fruit. Now, in this present life! We are the evidence of the Savior’s resurrected life. We are not just sinners that have been forgiven. We are the redeemed of the Lord who have been cleansed from our sins and endowed with power by His spirit to walk in newness of life. We are just two feet away from new life. Let Him take away your shame and give you a glorious new life. Remember what He told Simon Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” (John 13:8 NKJV)

Seeking More Than A Spark

Kiss

It’s easy to find someone who wants to make love, but it is rare to find someone willing to allow Love to make them. The Holy Scripture teaches that GOD is Love. I believe that, and I also believe you can’t make love until you have allowed Love to make you. In the beginning, we are told that GOD breathed into an earthly vessel He had formed, which created a living soul. Our soul was born out of Love, so our soul needs love to flourish. Sex will not cause the soul to flourish. The soul needs love; joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, temperance, discipline, patience, gentleness and virtue. GOD said it was not good for man to be alone. Just like it takes the friction of at least two things together to create a spark, love is manifest through the union of separate beings. Two beings coming together can create a spark, but it takes love to fuel a fire. Sex alone can create a spark, but it takes love for it to become the fire which provides the warmth required by the soul.

I love building fires. There is an art to building a good fire. Positioning the wood so that all the pieces ignite, however leaving space for the air to feed the flames. External heat is needed to start the flame, however the fuel for the fire is already within the wood. As the wood gives its fuel, there is a wonderful display of light and sound. Through the fire, the wood transcends into rising smoke and leaves nothing but ashes. I find it almost hypnotic experiencing the warmth, sounds, and visuals of a good fire. The Creator often teaches us through allegory, and there are a lot of lessens embedded in fire. It is GOD in us which fuels the fire. You take away the air and the fire will die. Air or wind, throughout the bible, symbolizes the Spirit of GOD. To have this glorious fire, which transforms the soul, a relationship must be saturated with Love and the Spirit of GOD.

So remember, the spark is nothing, without all the other components needed to produce a lasting fire.

 

A love more fervent than the sun.

Sun2

This feels a bit like kissing and telling, but I don’t think my Heavenly Father will mind. I noticed while lying in bed this morning that my furnace was struggling to come on. So, I got up, put on some clothes, and started working to resolve the issue. The furnace seemed totally unresponsive to the thermostat. After I had exhausted all I knew to do, I left it alone and started to adjust my thoughts from the frustration and gloom associated with having the furnace go out this holiday season, just a few days into winter.

I thanked GOD that the next few days were forecasted to be unseasonably warm, and sunny. Since the sun was already up and peeking through the blinds, I thought I might as well let a little sun light in to start warming the home. I opened the blinds, and while standing there with my face close to the window, I enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my face. I began to praise my Father in heaven for the wonder of creation, that an object millions of miles away had enough warmth to pleasantly kiss my face. As I was still in that moment, with a grateful heart, enjoying the warmth and splendor of GOD, I heard a soft whoosh over my head. It was the vent over my head blowing warm air. The furnace had come on. It had been 10 or fifteen minutes since I had abandoned my efforts to start the furnace. In that quiet moment of praising and thanking GOD, I felt Him express to me that His love for me was more fervent than the sun, and could reach much further, and penetrate much deeper. With tears trickling down my face, I basked in the awareness that my Heavenly Father was mindful of me and my heart, and He appreciated my being grateful.

This moment blessed me, and even though at times we may not be able to see GOD, and heaven seems trillions of miles away, our GOD is always close enough, and merciful enough, and tender enough, and considerate enough, and gracious enough, to hear the cry of our heart, to give us more than we deserve. I’m stirred by His love today and I pray you feel the warmth of His love. Peace and blessing!

 

A Glimpse at Real Marriage

threefold

People live together, have sex, share finances, have monogamous relationships, and even have children together but do not consider themselves to be married. People go to work dutifully at corporations and places of employment for upwards of 40 and 50 years, but do not consider themselves married to their jobs. So being loyal to the work in a relationship doesn’t make you married. What then sets marriage apart from these other relationships? The terms of the covenant. In the first example, people enter relationships all the time with no real expressed covenant. It’s often understood, even if not spoken, that either of them can split or go their separate way at any time they feel the need. In the second example of employment, there is a covenant, but it is based on work and some form of compensation and normally doesn’t require ordination by a higher authority like GOD, clergy, or a justice of the peace.  Also, who has ever heard of someone taking a vacation from their marriage, or clocking out from being a spouse until the next day? We probably all have, but I would question if those relationships qualify as marriage at all.  Another important difference to recognize is that everyone needs to work, but everyone does not need to be married. People should only enter a marriage covenant as a result of desiring to be joined to another, not because they need food or shelter, or some other necessity of life.

old couple

People are often praised and esteemed highly if they have been in marriage for many years. Many years of marriage used to be 20 or more years, but due to the pervasion of selfishness in recent times, this has been reduced to ten or more. The principle of quality over quantity has never had a more necessary application than that of marriage. One of my early mentors once said, “Marriage can be the closest thing you experience to either heaven or hell, while still on earth.” How many people have lived unhappily, unfulfilled, or miserably in a marriage relationship for many years, but stayed because divorce was considered a worse option? I have found that many people considering divorce really need to be considering remarriage, because the divorce has actually already taken place; it just has not been formalized. True marriage involves pursuing an intimate knowing of one another, but there are people who consider themselves to be married but are actually strangers, because they never share their true heart with one another. True marriage involves unity or becoming one, but there are couples who consider themselves to be married and they can’t agree or unite on hardly anything. True marriage involves sharing an expression of love for one another, which means each seeks to joyfully fulfill the other at the expense of self, but there are those who consider themselves to be married yet perform the necessities of marriage life grudgingly and painstakingly, only because they feel they have too.

bible 2

I am speaking here about basic biblical marriage. If you are either unfamiliar with biblical teaching or do not believe the holy bible has authority, then your idea of marriage can be what ever you imagine. On the other hand, if you want your marriage to have the life-giving blessings of The Creator, The Most High, YAHWEH (the self-existent one), then there are some specific criteria that must be part of the covenant. For the body of Christ, the Church, one of the main misunderstandings leading to missing the mark and unfulfillment, is not understanding their own heart and coming to terms with what they really value. A drug addict looking to remain drug free, focuses on not doing drugs. They are still in bondage to drugs because it is still their main focus. A person not wanting to be a sinner, focuses on not committing sin. They are still in bondage to sin because sin remains their main focus. A person looking to remain married, focuses on avoiding problems and disagreements, to avoid divorce. They are not free to journey into the joyful depths of real marriage because they are focused on the minimums to avoid divorce. This is also bondage. The Apostle Paul talks about being a bondservant to Christ. This means every day, he lives his life thinking, “How can I get closer to Christ? How can I know Christ more? How can I please and be more of a blessing to Christ? How can I love Christ more? This form of bondage leads to indescribable freedom!

So, what is the key to entering real marriage? It is the same key to a fulfilling life with GOD.

SURRENDER, as a result of experiencing TRUE LOVE.

To be clear, I am not speaking of true love with your spouse, I am speaking of true love between a person and GOD. I am also not speaking of surrendering to your spouse but surrendering to GOD. There is a certain amount of mutual submission required between married couples to find harmony, but it will not happen joyfully if surrender to GOD does not come first. GOD is love, so you need union with Him before you can love anyone, including yourself. GOD must be your FIRST love. That is my desire for every human, whether you are considering true marriage or not. It is from the spring of love that flows from GOD that we have the hope, strength, desire, and knowledge to fulfill the covenant of the joyful marriage He has ordained. Only GOD is good. If you want to be a good husband or a good wife, and have a good marriage, don’t focus on your spouse, focus on GOD, and His goodness will permeate your life. It is this same spring that feeds a true civilized society. So then, what is true marriage? It is individuals expressing their relationship with GOD through physical and social intimacy, bound by a covenant, which He has authorized.

Sweet Somethings

bubble

Sweet nothings are like heart-shaped bubbles that float from your heart through the air and pops on your lover’s nose, releasing a fragrant aroma,

They are ebbs that cascade over the cup of your heart from love yearning to be expressed,

They can be shared verbal kisses and caresses which sustain lovers that hunger for one another,

Sweet nothings are like little star stickers that lovers exchange that say, “I think you are fantastic”,

Sweet nothings can really make you feel special,

You know….Sweet nothings really are something!

I believe as love matures, instead of becoming more practical and toned down, it should increase in brilliance, impact, and expression. This doesn’t necessarily mean a huge display, but just the right thing at the right time or something totally unexpected but that hits the heart right were it was needed. I feel in my life at times, the Lord has often blessed me with sweet somethings right when I needed it, in a way that I knew it was only from Him and personal. I could give some examples, but it’s kind of private..you know…between lovers. Yeshua is the greatest Lover of all times. I believe that is what scriptures speak to when it says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. ”Psalm34:8. When scriptures profess, “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”. Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV).

I know I started this post talking about lovers sharing sweet nothings, and I ended up talking about the goodness of GOD. It is because nothing or no one frees the heart to love like knowing that you are loved by GOD. The weights and cares of this life tend to smother the flame of love that is meant to warm one another’s heart, but the Love of GOD has a way of lifting those cares so that the flame can get air and burn fervently.

Just like the many sunsets, sunrises, butterflies, and song birds that can go unnoticed by burdened and busy hearts, so can the sweet somethings from your loved ones if you have not given all your cares to GOD. The scriptures say, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NKJV),

Opening the Gift of the Present

The GIft

Today as I ate my lunch, I decided to do a little research regarding, “How to increase focus and concentration” and I found some nuggets to add to my treasure chest. In my search, I found that what resonated with me more was actually some information on what to focus and concentrate on more so than how to increase focus and concentration.

These days I find it increasingly rare to have someone’s undivided attention. Once upon a time it was considered rude to engage someone without stopping what you were doing to make eye contact. When someone looks directly at you it is a sign that you have their attention. These days you are often forced to share someone’s attention with personal electronics like mobile phones, laptops, and other multimedia devices. There are times when multi-tasking is the best way to be productive and then there are times when giving less than your undivided attention results in time thwarted. Sometimes when you are not fully engaged in something that is occurring, you miss cues and subtleties that give important information causing that time to be less fruitful.

We have been given life by a GOD that is detailed to an infinitesimal degree. He packs so much into every moment we live. The secret to abundant life is learning to be fully aware in every moment we are blessed to live, in order to be mindful of the present goodness. Be sure the things you focus on are worthy of your time, and if anything is worthy of your time, you should make sure you get everything you can out of it. Prudence is one of the truest markers of maturity and enlightenment.

Enjoy these exerts from an article I read from a website called “The Art of Manliness” :

“Modernity has given us a lot of comforts and conveniences, but it has also unleashed a torrent of stimuli competing for our attention. To live a truly flourishing life amidst this cacophony of distractions, mastering your attention is key. At the end of your life, who you’ve become, what you’ve learned and accomplished, and who’s there at the end with you will be the sum total of what you chose to pay attention to each year, day, and hour of your life. Will a series of cat videos flash before your eyes? Or will you look back on the deep conversations you had with your family and friends, the books that changed your life, and the little details you discovered in all the places you visited?”

“Practice attentive listening. Focus isn’t just useful for intellectual endeavors. It’s also an essential interpersonal skill. The ability to be present with a loved one or friend builds your rapport, intimacy, and trust with them. At the same time, making an effort to focus all your energy on someone else strengthens your concentration muscles overall. It’s win-win. So next the time you’re talking with your main squeeze, put away your phone and listen as attentively as possible.”

Practice mindfulness:

“Mindfulness is simply focusing completely on what you’re doing, slowing down, and observing all of the physical and emotional sensations you are experiencing in that moment.”

All the life you have is happening right now, everything beyond this present moment is a matter of faith.

 

Open to Promotion

Are you currently or have you ever been in a relationship that seemed to sputter out or that reached a point of complacency, still well but obviously lacking a zest that was once present? This is often due to the lack of promotion. Promotion is the process of transitioning closer to God’s ideal’s for us. Promotion comes from testing, which happens through adversity, which is the born out of conflict, and conflict is necessary for change because the “new” has to confront the “old”. The carnal nature is more in favor of complacency because change can often come with the cost of work and pain, heated with a degree of uncertainty. Is promotion worth the trouble? Can we even arrive at God’s best for us? We must firmly believe that whatever God has planned for us is worth the effort it takes to realize it and we must firmly believe that God has made His promises obtainable. We have to keep hold on God’s vision for our lives.

 

As uncomfortable as it can be at times, we must bring all things pertaining to our lives into the light of Truth and look at them soberly after the spirit with a willingness to strive for whatever changes are needed to bring us closer to God’s will.

 

God is merciful in that He gives us liberty to work out our change based on His guidelines.  The Lord compels us through scripture to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. Salvation is the process by which we are changed from our current state to a place where we are in the likeness of God. We should be employing all that we know of God to methodically bring every aspect of our lives in to submission to God so that He can transform it. I am not saying we should be focused on what is wrong but that we should be pursuing what we know to be right whole heartedly, without reservation. In relationships, this means asking the tough questions when we have reason to ask them, also revealing the things that have been hid in darkness. It means exposure. The tendency to want to hide can be traced all the way back to the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden, but by the grace of God we have to overcome the shame and fear and be bathed in light. Relationships sputter because the truth that ignites change is seldom sparked in conversation. The tendency to avoid conflict keeps us from the tough talks that create the adversity which leads to testing and promotion.  We have to live and love courageously. It is written that we should love one another “fervently” with a “pure heart”. Love on fire and in truth!

There is a thirst in the soul that will only be satisfied by waters purified through the fire of Holy adversity. Jesus didn’t sugar coat it. We enter the kingdom through much tribulation. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy. God wants to bring our entire lives into His Kingdom. If we will have righteousness, peace, and joy in our relationships then we must subject them to tribulation; tribulation born from suffering the old to be transformed into the new. The “new” is the things God has resurrected in our lives from those things we have sacrificed to Him by faith. Let us move forward in full acceptance of the fact that we will have suffering in this life but let us make sure it is the suffering that Jesus is referring to which comes from bringing forth new life and not the suffering that comes from the afflictions of fear or the stagnancy of complacency. Let’s take the promise land in full confidence knowing that an enemy will not arise that we can’t conquer with the Lord that fight’s for us.

Male and Female Created He Them

Though we are the same, we are different,
The way we contrast brings definition and meaning,
As an artist expresses through imagery with dark lines on white paper,
The lines formed by our differences illustrate the glorious image of God,
When we embrace the differences that are inherent between us,
We allow for bolder lines which enhances the visibility of God’s full image,
The lines our differences form, should not be points of contention toward division,
But equal value must be bestowed on the masculine and the feminine,
Bolstering appreciation in a holistic way towards unity,
When man and woman are united in their true essence, they are glorious and powerful,
Just like God,
In whose image we are made,
Man, to love woman is to love yourself,
Woman, to love man is to love yourself,
Man and Woman, Love each other.

The Comforter

Elightenment 3

My soul longs to drink from the seas of your beauty,

The toils of life have created in me such a deep thirst, my parched soul longs for the nectar of your divine attributes,

The daughters of Eve only offer a shadow of your comfort but I need the fullness of your glory,

Your beauty captivates me and stills my focus,

Your meekness and tenderness draws me in until I am surrounded by your grace,

Your truth and understanding brings peace to a mind perplexed,

Your mercy and compassion is a balm from the memories of battle,

Your revelations of love generate hope and faith, restoring my strength,

The shadows and fears that haunt in darkness vanish at your light,

Caressed in the security and assurance of eternal love, I rest.

I awaken, quickened by your ministry of life to a brighter glory.

I wrote this piece to heighten the awareness of the provision God has given us in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. God has blessed us with visitations in the earth throughout history. In this last dispensation God has come among us in the form of the Holy Spirit in a very intimate way. The desire of God is to dwell within us in the form of the Holy Spirit to impart life throughout our being. He wants to make us His living tabernacle. The holy scriptures tell us that God created mankind in His image and this is true. The Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead and is reflected so clearly in the nature of woman. We see the Holy Spirit illustrated in scripture as a nurturing life giver and teacher, also powerful and discerning, yet meek and sensitive, as light as a dove yet as intense as flaming fire.

These attributes of the Holy Spirit reflected in woman are the reason for the mystique of women. It is why women have been worshiped throughout history. It is why mythology is steeped with goddesses. The role of woman in the world is so vital to its well being that the powers of darkness have assaulted her heart relentlessly. The powers of darkness would love nothing less than to extinguish the radiant love exemplified in the sacrificial, nurturing love of a woman and to have our vision handicapped without the discernment and sensitivity that is inherent to her. We see this in the bombardment of media focused merely on woman’s sexual appeal. Unfortunately, many women have succumbed to this mindset and weigh their self worth with a heavy emphasis on physical appeal.  A woman doesn’t experience true fulfillment until she sees and appreciates the fullness of her “divine” attributes and yields them to the world according to God’s purpose. Our homes, our communities, our governments will languish until we appreciate fully the gifts given to us by God in woman.

On the other hand, because of woman’s divine attributes, she is often abused. Men often look to women too much for the nurture and comfort she can bestow. As men, we have to learn to seek comfort in the Holy Spirit primarily. Many women have been drained physically and emotionally from men leeching on them, instead of recognizing that women are a sign post of the source but not the source itself. Just as children are weaned from the breast, men need to find the true source of comfort beyond woman. That source beyond woman is also the main source, the boundless width and depth of God expressed in the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The beautiful oil painting is by Teresa Wicksteed entitled “Enlightenment 3”

Please visit her site,  See the link below

Welcome

One Step At A Time

I have met men who believed that the right woman could cure them from lust and infidelity. I have also met women that believed if they could be all that a man wanted then he would be faithful and not desire other women. I have known men that adored their wife, cherished their children and were gainfully employed yet their wives had affairs. So what is really going on here? Plenty, but let’s keep it simple. My prognosis, these are symptoms of people out of balance. People that are out of balance stumble. Again, I am going to keep this really simple. There are many dynamics that lead to people being off center and not properly grounded. Like things from the past, anxieties about the future, as well as current circumstances. Most often the imbalance surfaces in the form of an inordinate appetite. The most common inordinate appetites are for food, sex, and leisure (escape).

The problem is that people become fixated on the appetite not realizing that the appetite is the symptom of a much deeper problem. The appetite can never be quenched through feeding it. Many people have become slaves to appetites that are bottomless. Some of the common excessive practices include whoredom, gluttony, drug abuse, excessive TV time, excessive video gaming, and pornography. Thank God that there is a simple fix. All we have to do is take up the cross of Christ daily and concentrate on walking through each day one step at a time. I said the fix was simple not easy. Though the task is not easy God gives us strength sufficient for each day and each step. Let me explain what I mean by taking up the cross of Christ. Taking up your cross daily refers to surrendering the outcome of each day to God through seeking His direction in life’s decisions versus trying to force your own outcome through your own methods. We were never meant to live independent from God. God desires to shepherd us through life.

It is impossible surrender your life unless you are assured of Gods steadfast love for you. He has already offered this assurance in the sacrifice at Calvary. Now you have to exercise your faith in His love by trusting Him with your life. Surrender. Surrender the issues of your past. Surrender the outcome of your tomorrows. Lay aside the weights that are throwing you off balance and causing you to stumble. Now pick up that cross as your balancing pole and walk through your life taking one step at a time. As the piece of God grows in your heart you will find that the bonds of the inordinate appetites have been broken and you will experience true freedom.

I am living what I am writing about. I have been out of work for several months and facing difficult financial times but my soul rest in God’s care. My ability to compose this post is evidence of God’s ability to keep me sober minded and balanced through circumstances that has ripped families apart. Here are some scriptures that are foundational to what I have been sharing. I pray that they increase your faith and empower you to liberty and peace.

Proverbs 3:19-24

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens; By His knowledge the depths were broken up, and clouds drop down the dew. My son, let them not depart from your eyes Keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.

Psalm 37:4-6

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

Luke 12:22-32

Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things[a] shall be added to you. “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.