Our Father’s Provisions

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When I was younger and preparing to graduate high school,  my old man made me an offer.  Actually,  it was two offers one would be to work for his construction company and the other was to go to college.  In regards to the first proposal he took me to work with him long before graduating high school.  I started at the bottom just a typical laborer.  No special treatment and I was basically treated like everyone else but sometimes worse.  On the job site I wasn’t his son but just another hard headed worker making 5.00 an hour.  The work was hard and harsh as I worked in all types of weather and conditions.  The work was back breaking and sometimes the verbal abuse (construction talk) didn’t make things easier for me.  It seems as if everyday I came home wanting to quit but how could I, I lived with the boss.  Those four years of high school were hard and my summers disappeared.  While my friends played during the summers I worked.  I got up at 5am, prepared coffee and headed out to the equipment yard.  Saturdays were spent greasing heavy equipment and making repairs or scoping out Mondays new job site and doing all of the logistics of moving dump trucks, trailers, backhoe tractors, lumber and everything else needed for completing a job.  As I grew and showed my dependability, my responsibilities increased and I was seen as an equal.  Now I was being treated as a co-owner and he taught me how to use the heavy equipment as well as how to run the business and build the business.  He would leave me to run the job sites but the work was still hard.  When everyone else went home; we were still on the job site working.  We begin to do jobs just him and I.  It was during these times only with him that I began to see my father beyond the business and the hard exterior.  I saw a father who just wanted to shape his son and build character within him.  He was preparing me for the future.  I then began to long for the jobs that we could do alone.  I loved being with that man more than the tried worn down one that would be at home.  During these father and son jobs, we talked about life and the Gospel.  During these times of earning earthly food, clothing and shelter I was being feed the spiritual food that would later give birth to eternal life.  Yes, this was the original youth ministry and children church that so many kids miss out on.  But as I got ready to enter college or not; he gave me a choice.

I could continue to work for him or go to college.  Working with him would force me into the world, I would have to get my own place and pay my own bills.  But he said if I was to go to college, I could stay at home and not worry about bills or providing for myself and just focus on my education.  His desire was for me to have what he didn’t which was an education and he laid out the truth for me about the business.  I choose college and studied engineering.  Thinking back on it I see it so much clearer now.  That time working for him actually prepared me for college more than high school did.  Working for him at times put our relationship in danger.  Working for him put life in perspective.  In college I learned about myself and who I was, I learned about other beliefs and what made the Gospel message so different.  In college I learned about Christ and my relationship with Christ and my identity in Christ.  But college also taught me pride, something working with my father decreased.  See my father has no respect of person.  After graduating college, I had been taught that pride gets jobs and I quickly learn that no amount of pride will help because God holds all the cards.  During my seeking in college, he provided for me, not always with the things I wanted but with the things I needed.  See in college I had the safety of home.  I had the safety of being in my father’s presence and being able to run to him quickly.  I thank God for the character building because it came in handy.

Then one day working an hourly job, I ran across a few classmates that I actually help graduate.  With a puzzled look on their faces they asked me; “wow you haven’t found a job yet?”  At that moment my pride finally broke and gave out completely.  I finally saw who holds my life and it’s not me or my abilities nor is it my intelligence.  It’s not all the things the world and universities teach you to have confidence in.  I finally looked at the cross and realized that I wasn’t even smart enough to know I needed a savior so how could I hope to run my own life?  My earthly father taught me that the only certain thing is hard work and the rewards belong to the heavenly Father.  If you live by the standards of men, you are doomed to fail but if you live by God’s standards all of His provisions are yours if you would just humble yourself.

Accessing our Father’s provisions doesn’t have a secret formula, it’s actually very simple.  As simple as my choices, God has presented two options to us. Number one, a life in the world filled with hard work and uncertainty.  A life that will ultimately kill you and forget your name as soon as the funeral is over.  A life of long nights and hard days, a life slaved to sin and the world.  A life without benefits or a retirement plan.  A life that will give you nothing when the rainy days come.  But a life of study, a life of seeking righteousness is a little different.  See the life of study was always the Father’s plan and His provisions are set for you accordingly.  He said to seek me and study my commandments and write my statues on your heart and all of the things the world chase after will be added to you.  It was kind of like my earthly father’s offer but this one can protect me from myself.  This offer has humility built-in because it’s based on a humble cross of conviction and salvation.  Seeking after God leads to a point of realizing that you are a sinner and that you as much as the roman soldiers nailed Christ to the cross. Yet the Father forgave you and Christ justified you and reconciled you back to the Father.  Because of that your name is written in the book of life.  That day when I saw the cross and really understood the Gospel, I was changed.  I realized that I didn’t have to do it all alone.  I realize that my Father was just trying to tell me to just focus on learning of Him and He would take care of the rest.  From that day I trusted in Him.  In the world He has His hands on me and I didn’t even know until now that I have passed out of the valley of the shadow of death.  All that time in the world wondering looking for answers, even in a place were everyone thinks they have the answers I found only fools and I was one of them.  I was wasting a life trying to be a man and God had called me out to be more than just a man but a child of God.  His elected servant and all He wants is for me is to be like His oldest.

God’s provisions are there but He has given us a choice.  Listen, prodigal sons and daughters you can have a life out there having fun with a world heading to destruction and hell or you can go to the Word and study.  You can submit to study of the living God and learning of Him and serving Him.  He said that if you would do that then you can stay at home and abide in Him and Him in you.

Matthew6 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

If we were to break this verse down the greek word for seek means: to seek in order to find [in order to find out] by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into, to seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after, to seek i.e. require, demand, to crave, demand something from someone.  The object of this seeking is God’s kingdom and righteousness which means:  in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God, the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God, integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting, in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due.

Does it make sense now?  Do you know why we are lacking now?  But this seeking should never be in a attempt to gain material things because then you are not seeking God out of the love He has shown you and the love you have for Him.

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