Identify Things to Remove

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Spiritual Risk
If we look back at Matthew 6:28-31, we read: “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’" We are meant to trust God with the necessities in our lives, and trust that he’s going to take care of us. If our trust is in our status or in our possessions or in a title, instead of God, then we will find our identity and our self-worth in things that are temporary. Oftentimes, we find that as our wealth goes up, our happiness goes down. We've discovered that more stuff can lead to more stress because your mind is distracted rather than focused.  Jesus says in Luke 12:15, “Watch out be on your guard against all kinds of greed. Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And the word for greed carries with it this idea of discontentment. We, as Christians, need to learn to be content, and change from acquisition mode to a relinquishing mode. If you put Jesus at the center of your life, then there'll be other things that have to move in order to make room for him. And if you look at your priorities and remove things which have no bearing on eternity, would there be anything left in your circle? DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTION: Would you currently describe yourself as being in an acquisition mode or a relinquishing mode? Do the things that you are currently acquiring or investing in have a bearing on eternity?
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Trust in God's Provision
Trusting in God’s provision can be difficult when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope and nothing is seeming to come together like you hoped or prayed that it would. We see Scripture throughout the entire Bible that point us towards the truth of God’s ever-present care and provision for us. Hebrews 13:5 states, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” And Luke 12:24 reads, “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” In a culture and world that are consumed by anxiety and stress, it can become very easy to let those feelings overwhelm us. But when we allow worries about our finances or stress about our home and family to fill our minds on a regular basis, we make them the focus of our lives, instead of Jesus being the focal point. So, what should our response be to worry and stress? Prayer and spending time in Scripture! We continually see that God provides for the needs of his beloved children. We just have to trust him, even when we don’t understand his ways or his timing.  DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTION: When in your life have you had a difficult time trusting God would provide for one of your needs? How did you see God provide in that situation, and how does that encourage you for future situations?