Matt 6:25-34, October 19, 2003
25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30 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, O you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Don’t lose hope this young man is not going to tell you not to worry. The first time I told my mother not to worry I was calmly set down and explained how it is Mommy’s job to worry about her baby. The first time I told my wife not to worry, I calmly dodged a pillow. I believe many women see worrying as a spiritual gift.
On the other side of this if you are in the car with a man and he tells you not to worry, it would be wise to get out of the car.
Another way we could go with this passage is I could lay into all of us for how concerned we are with how we look and what we are wearing. How materialism has us chained up, the sin of compulsive consumerism, but I just don’t feel that would do us any good.
What we need to focus on this morning is the BUT [Picture of an animal but]
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
The missing link for the people described in this verse is a desire for God’s kingdom. Before we can seek God’s kingdom we have to know what it looks like. Have you ever tried to describe a place to someone and they don’t get any of your points of reference (and you get the blank stare) I had not been here very long and I needed to get to the hospital. They started off it is right of 12th, oh easier it is right of mission, ok you go out to Silverton Rd. (nod head).
To get a reference point for God’s Kingdom we are going to start with what he intended for the world in Creation.
When Adam came to earth he was in intimate relationship with God, He had a peaceful dominion over the animals and the fruits of the field. He had a partnership with his wife. But he and Eve chose to BE LIKE God in the knowledge of Good and evil. This brought about the corruption of relationships. Hostility takes place between Man and animals, Man and women go from a partnership to a subordinate relationship “your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you.” And both man and women are put out of the Garden and God’s presence. This is the fate of the world. Through Adam we inherit separation from God and Death, and a sinful nature.
Now throughout Jewish history Prophets speak of God bringing about His Everlasting Kingdom.
Isaiah 9:7 He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always.
Daniel 2:44 speaks of a Kingdom that God will establish that never fails.
Then Jesus comes with the undeniable goal of ushers in the beginning of the Kingdom of God. Almost every parable in Matthew describes the Kingdom of God and what it is like.
Paul has an understanding of salvation which describes Jesus as the Second Adam who rights the wrongs, brings us from death to life, and restores our nature that was fallen.
17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Adam had God’s kingdom in the garden, but it got removed
Now Jesus moves us back into the garden from death to life
From fallen sinners to righteous people
He begins to the restoration of God’s Kingdom on earth
I Cor 15:45-49
(rev 3:21) All creation is being restored to its former Glory
As you watch this video clip I want you to think about Jesus work of bringing people from death to life and making them new people.
BACK TO THE FUTURE VIDEO CLIP
Jesus work on earth is about restoring what was lost, and beginning the Kingdom of God. In your life and mine that means we not only have moved from death to life, but our nature is being restored. And every time Matthew uses the word RIGHTEOUSNESS it is in the context of Right relationships: With God, with your employer, with your Spouse. Now that we have a glimpse of the kingdom we are shooting for I want to put it in the context of this verse and how a focus on the kingdom and righteousness can move us away from worry and materialism.
Jesus work is making us new people.
I Peter 1:3
he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
I want to help us thinking about being new people through the illustration of a House. People get exited about new homes. I am excited about getting excited about a new home. Adam started with a beautiful mansion, which had everything, and through sin his house was torn down and he ends up living a dilapidated shed. And everyone after Adam is forced to live in these poor sheds. They look forward to a time when God will invite them into the Kingdom, and they will receive the homes worthy of God’s people.
The first thing you do with a new home is move all your old stuff in. Let me tell you right now even if you are a young person it doesn’t all fit. Just a few weeks ago I helped my Uncle move into his new house, and he had a room in his old house with two chairs, a love seat, a coffee table, an end table, a curio, and a china hutch. The new room was not having it. That is if you wanted to sit in any of the furniture, so some thing had to go.
And things having to go is OK because the longer we look at some of our old stuff the more we realize it doesn’t all belong in the new house. Seeking the Kingdom FIRST is the key. Becoming a new creation is not just another part of our lives, Along with A job, the Family, Exercising. [That is why I am using this illustration of a house, because it is a life change] It brings Change in every part of our lives.
Jesus throws out this big BUT Seek first the Kingdom because it is easy to lose focus. We start to miss the fulfillment relationships bring to our lives and instead of Seeking Right Relationships/righteousness we start looking out the window. Out the window we see the neighbors car, and it is much nicer then our car. We see the neighbors wife and she also seems much nicer then our wife. We leave the house saying we need some new clothes. We are worried about what the neighbors think. We desire intimacy, and we make the mistake of sleeping with the neighbor’s wife, maxing out the credit car with new clothes to make people accept us. We end up in the bars and at the parties because we want to have fellowship with people.
This is not new Jesus was talking about then In Saint Augustine’s Confessions he describes looking out his window at his neighbors pears, and even though he has pear trees of his own he desires to have them. So he jumps the fence and steals the pears. Then when he tastes them they are not as good as his own pears, and he ends up feeding them to the hogs.
We look out the window when we stop seeking first God’s Kingdom and building Right relationships. Your wife or husband, Your children and Jesus are waiting to enjoy your company, but you were to worried about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.
And if you think you are not worried about these things think about this.
When people go to the office they put on a suit to make them feel more powerful. We go to the mall to get the clothes that will help us be cool. We can then transfer this into coming to church to make us righteous. BUT becoming righteous works from the inside out. You become a new person on the inside, it is your nature that is changed, not your clothes, and then you spend the rest of your life seeking what that means as it comes out in your job with your friends, with your family. It takes a moment to be born again, but a life-time to grow up and become a mature Christian.
We know where the Grocery store is, we know where to go shopping.
But do we know how to seek the Kingdom of God.
God has given us a new nature so we can have an intimate relationship with him. So we can have and an intimate Partnership with our Spouse, So that we can love our neighbor.
Is building healthy relationships our desire.
I challenge us this morning to focus our desire on what Adam and Eve Had.
To have intimate conversations with God
To be in a mutual partnership with your husband or wife
To be at peace with the rest of the world, that is care for environment, animals, neighbors.
I am confident that the only way we are going to be released from the bondage of worry and materials is to have this desire for the right relationships of God’s Kingdom.