Summary: The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of security. We live in a world of turmoil and stress. The end result of living in this world is often worry. But Jesus tells us not to worry instead we pray.
We are continuing in our series RED: Teachings From The Words of Christ. Today we will be looking at how Jesus teaches us that in His kingdom we have security and therefore do not need to worry.
We are going to read Matthew 6:19-34. If you do not have a Bible you can look inside your bulletin where the passages have been printed for you.
I tend to be w worrier. I try not to do it. I work hard to put my faith and trust in God but there are times when I let worry kind of drag me down.
The positive side of this however is that when I worry we get a very clean house! Yes, it’s true. Whenever I am trying to think through something or am worried about a situation I tend to clean or do laundry. I can tell that this week we have a very clean house and I even spent time cleaning the platform here at church!
I suppose some of you ladies wish that your husband would do a little more worrying! Well, for me it is an exercise where I can occupy my hands, think and talk to the Lord. I have done a lot of mental processing of situations and received a lot of vision while standing behind a vacuum cleaner.
I know this week has been a time of national worry. The government has shut down all “non-essential” programs and a lot of people are out of work. People all around our nation are worried. They are worried about the future security of a nation that is deep in debt and vulnerable to attack from within and without.
It seems, however, that we Americans do a lot of worry. Recent studies show an increase in the number of calls to mental health providers because of stress and anxiety. Listen to what Sara McDonnell wrote about the nature of worry in America today.
What if there’s no more oil? What if my wife leaves me? Will there be more terrorist attacks? My cholesterol is too high. How am I going to pay the mortgage this month? Have I wasted my life? What if I have to declare bankruptcy?
For worrywarts, this is the soundtrack to our lives. But given the current state of economic and political affairs, worry has become a national anthem. Economic and mental health statistics reveal a growing plague of worry and anxiety in the U.S.
(TRANSITION) Folks, we live in a world that induces a state of fear and panic and worry. So, what are we to do about it? What does Jesus teach us about worry?
As I studied Matthew 6 I began to see how “Treasures In Heaven” and “Do Not Worry” are really two sides of the same coin.
Earlier in Matthew 6 Jesus tells us to pray, give and fast – as acts of righteousness AND AS ACTS OF DECLARING OUR DEPENDENCE ON GOD.
When we pray we are telling God we trust He will hear and answer. When we give we are telling God we trust He will provide. When we fast we are telling God that we depend on Him to reveal to us a broken world and we trust Him to use us to help be part of the repair and restoration.
Jesus follows this up by telling us not to store up treasures on earth but to store up treasures in Heaven. How?
Through prayer, giving and fasting we are laying up for ourselves treasures that cannot be stolen or corrupted by the decay that happens in the earth.
ILLUSTRATION: Years ago the United States Treasury would ship millions of dollar bills (and 5’s, 10’s 20’s) to the African country of Liberia. Liberia had been founded as a refuge for freed American slaves and they used the US dollar as their currency. So when paper notes were taken out of circulation in the US they would send some of them to Liberia. The notes were so old and worn that you could see through them. They had holes and were generally a mess. All those millions of dollars that had paid for so many things and had been deposited in numerous banks eventually became unusable to the very ones who printed them.
Jesus then goes on to tell us by storing up heavenly treasures we can gage what our heart is truly fixed on.
We tend to guard the things we treasure most. Are we more careful about our car than our prayer life? Are we more protective of our new furniture than our call to give into the Kingdom of God?