Summary: In series on the Sermon on the Mount (Christians are Abnormal). Addresses priorities in the Christian life. Suitable for graduations.
CHRISTIANS ARE ABNORMAL IN HOW THEY VIEW THE WORLD 6 12 Matthew 6:19-34
This time of year we have our young people graduating from high school and college, while others are finishing one grade and moving on to the next. Sarah McDaniel will be graduating this afternoon. It’s part of growing up, part of maturing, part of moving ahead in life.
Think back for a minute, what was your opinion of school? How do you remember it?
I have an aunt who reminiscences about her high school days. Those were her glory days and I believe she would like to go back to those days. I have another friend whose mom and step dad kicked him out when he was in school and he spent the last year or two on his own with little to eat. He would never want to go back to those days.
I am somewhere in the middle I guess. I never liked school. I did well but never liked it. To me, school was something you had to finish in order to get on with life. I wanted to get all I could out of it, but would be happy when it was behind me. When I would say that, my mom would often tell me to enjoy the time because school was part of life; to which I’d always respond, “No. This is something you have to go through before you start living.”
Some of our young people look forward to school and moving up in grades. They love it. Others fear what lies ahead, and the uncertainties that lie before them.
What is true of school is also true of life and this world. There are those who love this world and the things here and there are others who fear it and who are often looking for what’s hiding in the shadows. They worry about what tomorrow holds. Jesus addresses both of these situations in Matthew chapter 6, in the center part of what we call the Sermon on the Mount.
Now, in the beginning of chapter 6, Jesus addresses our relationship to our Heavenly Father. He talks about the difference between truly religious folks and folks who are only pretending. In the second half of chapter 6, He talks about our relationship to the world and it’s goods. Before I start talking about storing up treasures and God’s provision, and worry, and the other items covered in this passage, there are several items we need to address.
1. God does not say that Christians cannot own stuff – If that was true He would not have made it a commandment that we are not to steal.
2. God does not say that we cannot save for a rainy day – In fact, He says exactly the opposite.
> 1 Timothy 5:8 Now if anyone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially for his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
3. God does not say that we cannot enjoy the things He gives us in this life –
> 1 Timothy 4:3-4 They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
God allows us to have and enjoy things in this life.
4. Just because God loves us, watches over us and will provide for us, does not mean we can be lazy and just wait for stuff to fall out of the sky.
> Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. 7 Without leader, administrator, or ruler, 8 it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest. 9 How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, 11 and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit.
> 2 Thessalonians 3:10 In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat.”
5. Sometimes God provides through us – We have a responsibility to help those in need …
Folks who helped me while I was in seminary. Hungry around the world.
6. Just because God provides and protects, doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen to God’s children – They happened to Paul. They happened to the disciples. We still live in a fallen world, among sinful people …
Now, with those things in mind, what is Jesus addressing here?
II. JESUS FORBIDS: