July 16, 2007

Filling in again

Posted in Christian Life, Christianity, Eternity, God, God's Sovreignty, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Mission, Personal, Prayer, Religion, sermons, The Church, Thoughts at 7:58 pm by Dan Barnett

Sorry I’ve been absent for so long.  Things have been hectic.  Today, I got my second opportunity to preach at our church.

My pastor is in Chicago with his wife as she recovers.  For some reason my emotions were way out of wack today.  I told the church I was having a bi-polar morning.  I don’t have a typed out version of my sermon, but you can download the audio at this site.   Also, if you look at the upper right corner of my site, there is a link to all the sermons in the series we are doing at Calvary.  For now here are the points:

Matthew 6:25-34

Do Not Be Anxious

25 “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? 26 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? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [1] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 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? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Jesus starts out with “Therefore” showing that he is concluding something from earlier.  He is preaching to a vast crowd of people who have seen his miracles and heard his teaching.  Like the runners in Forrest Gump, they have left everything to go with him and see what he’s all about.  They have chosen to follow him. 

Back in verse 24 Jesus gives an ultimatum, I guess you could call it.  It seems like a clever and wise statement, but he is saying the same thing that Joshua said.  “Choose you this day whom you will serve.  Jesus phrases it, “You cannot serve God and mammon(earthly wealth).”  He is calling us to a decision.  Choose now whom you will serve, God or mammon.

Now, in the final verses of Matthew 6, Jesus shows us, based upon our assumed decision to follow him over mammon, how our attitude should shape our priorities and concerns.  He starts off with a simple piece of instruction.  “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 put on.”  This statement leads to a common question.  “Why not?  Look at all I have to accomplish today.  Where is my next paycheck coming from?  Will I have enough money to pay the bills?  How can you tell me not to worry?”

I see four answers from Jesus in this passage that address that simple question of why. 

1.  You are more valuable than the animals, the flowers, the grass, etc.

    –In Genesis 1:26 it tells us that God made man in His own image and likeness.  Nothing else is said to be in His image.  He gives man dominion over all the animals.  Man is his prize creation. 

    –In Psalm 139:13-16 we see the famous quote of David of how God knit him together in secret in his mother’s womb.  He says that he is fearfully and wonderfully made.  All of his days were numbered before he ever was.

    –Of course the ultimate display of how much God values us as his children is his penal substitution for our sins. 

2.  Worrying does absolutely no good for us whatsoever. 

    — verse 27 says, “and which of you, by worrying, can add a single span to his life?”

    — A few years ago I heard on the radio that worm farmers have the longest life expectancy.  What stress is involved in worm farming?  Get some dirt and some worms.  Make sure you give the your biodegratable trash, and let them poop.  It’s no coincidence that the lower the stress level the longer the life span.  This doesn’t mean you can lengthen the days laid out for you by becoming a worm farmer, but what good does it do to let the anxiety of your day consume your mind.

3.  Worrying shows our lack of faith.

    — Verse 30, at the end, says, “…will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”  This is one sentence.  He is telling the people who are consuming their minds with anxiety that they have no faith.

    — When we focus on these things that God himself has promised to provide we forget what he has done for us. 

    — If you forget everything in your life that he has ever provided for you, you cannot ever forget that he provided his son.  Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

4.  Worrying makes itself our master rather than God.

    — He just told us to choose him or mammon.  When we are anxious about these things, they steal our focus. 

    — He says that the world craves these things that we are so worried about, but God knows that we need them all.  We need to seek to see his kingdom furthered and seek his honor, and he will do the rest.

    ——————Love God, love people.  He will do the rest.  It’s so simple to say.  What an opportunity to be able to live it.

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