Why Words Matter

Words matter, for sheep and Bereans alike.

Recently I saw someone posting a passage of Scripture online.
I’m sure it was very inspirational to many and the idea conveys is a warm and encouraging thought:

Your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well what you need and He will give it to you if you give Him first place in your life and live as He wants you to. Matthew 6:33Matthew 6:33
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  

WP-Bible plugin
, The Living Bible

It’s a fine sentiment. It’s also absolutely wrong.

The perils of paraphrasing, of massaging Scriptures to give “the gist,” of “using contemporary religious idioms” (such as “perfectly well” and “first place in your life”) all may find immediate sympathy with the listener, but it has very little in common with what the actual passage SAYS. And if it adds or removes from the Book, it leads sheep astray and puts one in danger of the curses of God (Revelation 22:18-19Revelation 22:18-19
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. out of the book...: or, from the tree of life  

WP-Bible plugin
)

Don’t be a Sheep – be a Berean!!

Hear the Word of the LORD!

Matthew 6:32-33Matthew 6:32-33
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

32 for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  

WP-Bible plugin
in the Greek:

32  For <gar> after <epizeteo> all <pas> these things <tauta> do the Gentiles <ethnos> seek <epizeteo>:  for <gar> your <humon> heavenly <ouranios> Father <pater> knoweth <eido> that <hoti> ye have need <chrezo> of all <hapas> these things <touton>.

33 But <de> seek ye <zeteo> first <proton> the kingdom <basileia> of God <theos>, and <kai> his <autos> righteousness <dikaiosune>; and <kai> all <pas> these things <tauta> shall be added <prostithemi> unto you <humin>.

In verse 32, we see “epizeteo” (“to search for intensely, to crave”) is the Greek for our translation of “Seek.”

But in verse 33, the word translated “seek” is not “epizeteo” but “zeteo” –
which according to Strong’s (2212) can mean “seek desperately,” but is also a “Hebraism” that the Jews used in a special context to mean “worshipping God.”

Christ may well have been engaging in some wordplay with His audience, who – being Jerusalem Jews familiar with Temple phrases – would “get” the double-reference.

The passage is not about God “waiting for you to put him first among all your priorities in your life and actions” so he can then fill your lack and meet your wants.
God is not an ATM.
He does NOT cut deals.
He makes covenants and then He fulfills them.
Himself. (Genesis 15:17-18Genesis 15:17-18
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. a burning...: Heb. a lamp of fire 18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:  

WP-Bible plugin
)

See the difference?

You are not to go around thinking that, if you’re God’s cheerleader, He’s going to remove all your problems. That’s not what Christ said. It’s not a “You Do (A-B-C) and God Must Do (X-Y-Z)” kind of situation.

What Christ DID say was this.

“You are not to be (command, active tense, imperative, with the negative: You are ordered to not:) anxious (merimnao: to be troubled with cares, to seek to promote one’s interest,) saying (lego: to affirm, exhort, call out) “What shall we eat? What shall we drink? With what shall we be clothed?” The heathen desperately chase (epizeteo) after all these things. For your celestial Father knows that you have need of all these things. But. First worship the royalty of God, and also *His* Righteousness; and all these shall be added additionally unto you.”

Luke 10:38-42Luke 10:38-42
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.  

WP-Bible plugin
has Martha bustling and going crazy with all this action and service to the church, who was meeting in her house. Mary was sitting at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He said.

Martha got bent out of shape and said “Lord, don’t you care that I’m doing all this work for you and she sits there just loafing? Tell her to help me!”

She was so busy that Jesus had to call her TWICE.

He said “Martha. MARTHA.”

(Can you imagine her stopping short in a doorway, arms piled high with cups and plates as He says this?)

(Another fun note – “Martha” means “She was rebellious” according to Strong’s Greek 3136.)

“You’re anxious (yup, merimnao again) and disturbed (thorybazo, troubled in mind) because of many things. But one thing is a duty (5532: chreia) and Mary has chosen the good (agathos: useful, excellent) portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”

If this isn’t ringing in your ears, may I recommend a trip to Matthew 7:22-23Matthew 7:22-23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  

WP-Bible plugin
:

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Your works can not save you – even if they are for Him!

Your works will not save you – even if they are mighty and powerful!

Stop running around like the heathen!

Cast aside your works, beat on your chest with downcast head and cry out:

“Lord! Make reconciliation for me, a sinner!”  (Luke 18:13Luke 18:13
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  

WP-Bible plugin
)

Only He can do it!

Only sinners can receive it!

Only the saved will cherish it!

Do you cherish your salvation… or are you washing the dishes?
Check yourself……