Matthew 6:24-34: “YOU’LL NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MONEY AGAIN”
“You’ll never have to worry about money again, if...” if what? How would you finish that sentence? You’ll never have to worry about money again, if – you win the lottery? That’s a common one. If you could get a better job? If you inherit a large estate? If… what?
Jesus would say to each one of you, right now, that you’ll never have to worry about money again. The time for worrying about money is over, Jesus says to us today in our Gospel lesson. Today we’re going to look at that section of Scripture, but before we do, when was the last time you worried about money? There are lots of things that cause us to worry. Most of the time, the “what if’s” make us worry.
What if you’re suddenly unable to work? What if you get sick, and you don’t have the kind of job that will pay you while you’re down. What if you lose your job, and you have no income, and that measly unemployment or disability check really isn’t really cutting it. Would that get you worried? What if you get so sick that your medical bills go through the ceiling, and your health insurance can only cover so much. What if you can’t make payments on your house or apartment, and you lose everything. What if what if what if.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could never worry about money again? Jesus says you can start living that way right now. And it has nothing to do with how much money you have. It has everything to do with how much faith you have. You’ll never have to worry about money again, Jesus says today, and he’ll tell you how in these 11 verses from Matthew.
Jesus starts out by telling us why we often worry so much about money. It’s because money sometimes becomes our master. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” This is something we Christians sometimes fall into – we try to serve two masters in our lives. Master number one is God: “I love God, I’m thankful that he has sent his Son to die for my sins of the cross, I trust him, and my goal in life is to serve him and share him with others. God is number one.” But then, there’s a second master…
At the same time, we also love and trust in Money. “I love God, but I also love money. Whenever I get money, I’m always very excited. I trust that money will solve all of the problems in my life. My goal in life is to get as much money as I possibly can. When it comes to my time, my focus and my energy – yes, I love God. But I also love money.” Is that you?
Jesus tells us today that this approach to life just doesn’t work. You can’t love and trust and serve both. Eventually, one of them has to give. Either you’ll love God and despise the greedy pursuit of money, or you’ll be devoted to making money, and push God out of your life. You can’t love and be committed to both. And this may be why you sometimes have a problem with worrying about money. You’re trying to serve two masters, and it just isn’t working out for you. Loving and being committed to money makes you worry about it. You know that life is fragile. You know that, for whatever reason, you could be out of work tomorrow, or your pension fund could go belly up, or unexpected bills could start coming in. If you trusted in God, you wouldn’t worry. But you’re trusting in money, and that’s what’s causing the problem.
And if that is you, even just a little bit, then Jesus says here, it doesn’t have to be that way. Put your faith in God, and trust that God will take care of your needs. “Do not worry about your life” Jesus says in verse 25. Now wait a minute. Jesus isn’t saying, “Don’t plan for the future” or “Don’t save” or “Don’t buy food and clothes” or “Don’t work.” Jesus wants us to earn our money. But do that without worrying. Don’t be nervous about your financial future. Don’t be obsessed with whether or not you’ll have enough money when you retire. Don’t get all stressed out every time you hear that the economy might take another tumble. Don’t let yourself get annoyed or disturbed when you see the cost of living going up up up, and your income staying the same. Do not worry Jesus says.
And here’s why: “Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” Don’t you think that the God who gave you your life, will also make sure that you have enough food to sustain the life he gave you? Don’t you think that the God who gave you your body, will also make sure that you have enough clothes to keep that body warm? “Look at the birds of the air,” Jesus says. They don’t sow or reap. They don’t really do anything for a living. They don’t save for the future. If anything should die of starvation, it should be the birds. But, look at verse 26: “Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” What’s the answer to that question? The answer is yes, you are more valuable than they. You are a human being with a soul! In the eyes of God, humans are more valuable than birds. God didn’t become a bird and sacrifice his life to save the birds. But he did become a human being, and sacrificed his life for you. You are valuable in the eyes of God. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” If God takes care of birds, he will certainly take care of you.
What’s the answer to that question in verse 27? “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” The answer is – nobody. In fact, most of the time, the opposite is true – the worry-warts die first – the stress of worrying kills them. Being nervous and obsessed with your financial future won’t help you, Jesus says – not one bit.
“And why do you worry about clothes?” Jesus says. They had different styles back then, but people back then were just as obsessed with clothes and style as people today. Don’t worry about that, Jesus says. Then Jesus points out a grassy field, covered with beautiful flowers. Isn’t that beautiful, Jesus says? God did that. And when you compare that to King Solomon, dressed in all of his fancy royal robes – the field of flowers is actually more beautiful. Verse 30: “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith.” If God makes the grass beautiful, won’t he also make sure that you have what you need too?
Notice how Jesus talks about having “little faith.” That’s the other cause of worry though, isn’t it. Cause number one was having Money as your master. Cause number two is having “little faith.” You believe that God will take care of you, but that belief is weak and shaky. The Devil is always trying to shake up your faith in God. “Do you really think God will take care of you?” the Devil says. “That’s not going to happen. You’re not going to have enough to retire on. You’re not going to have enough to pay your medical bills. You’re not going to be able to pay your rent or mortgage. You’re not going to be able to provide for your family. Everything is going to fall apart for you, very very soon. Life is unstable, the economy is unstable, and you’re unstable – God is not going to take care of you.”
Don’t believe the Devil’s lies, Jesus says. Verse 31: “Don’t worry saying, ‘What shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things.” Isn’t that true? The unbelieving world is obsessed with money money money. You can never have enough. You always have to have more. Make more. Spend more. Have more. The pagans run after all these things, Jesus says. “And your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”
Isn’t that comforting? God knows what you’re going to need. He knows what your financial situation is right now, and what your life will be like ten years from now. He knows what you need now, and what you will need in the future. And look at this wonderful promise God gives to you in verse 33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Don’t seek first man’s kingdom, the kingdom of money and stuff. Seek first God’s kingdom.
And what a wonderful kingdom that is. You can find God’s kingdom here, in his Word. And you can find God’s kingdom here, in your heart. Jesus says, “The kingdom of God is within you.” God’s kingdom is where God is king, and not money. And instead of you stressing and worrying and obsessing, you can be calm and relaxed in God’s kingdom. If you have any guilt in your life about any sins you have committed – let’s say that you have been honest with yourself this last half hour, and in your mind you have admitted, yes, I’ve been worshiping money a little bit in my life lately. Yes, I’ve been worrying. My faith that God will take care of me financially is a little shaky. Yes, I’m guilty of those sins.”
In God’s kingdom, there’s something called “forgiveness.” Instead of feeling guilty, you can give your sins to God, and let him wash them away with the blood of Jesus Christ. You can be comforted in knowing that Christ has paid for your sins by his death on the cross. I forgive you, God says, and I will help you trust me.
That’s God’s kingdom. “Seek first (that) kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” All that stuff that you need – a home, food in the refrigerator, health care, clothes to wear, transportation. I’ll take care of all those things for you, God says. Yes, he wants us to work hard, to plan, to save, to be careful with the material things he has given to us. God isn’t telling us here to sit at home and wait for money to fall out of the sky. But he is encouraging us here, to make his kingdom a priority in our lives, to let our spiritual lives be at the top of our to-do list, to seek first his kingdom, and to believe his promise that he will take care of all the other things that we need.
So you have two choices. Choice number one is to seek God first. Trust him. Don’t worry. And you are guaranteed that you’ll get all the material stuff you need. That’s choice number one. Choice number two is to seek “stuff first.” Put God to the side and focus on getting your material stuff. As you do that, you can worry, and nervously think about your future, as you depend on yourself. That’s choice number two. And with that choice, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually get everything you need. I like choice number one better, seeking God first, and being guaranteed that everything else will be taken care of.
Therefore, Jesus says: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” There’s always something in the future you can worry about. Don’t worry about that – God’s in charge of what happens tomorrow, not you.
And so we work hard. We plan. We save. We try to be careful. But we do these things remembering to seek God’s kingdom first. We do all these things trusting that God will take care of our futures. Remember – the pressure is not on you, the pressure is on God. And he promises that he will come through for you. So today, with faith in Jesus, it really is true, that you “will never have to worry about money again.” Amen.