Summary: Here in the Sermon On The Mount Jesus says, "Do not worry" and in doing so He is establishing the proper eternal priorities for His followers. Living in the kingdom of God and in His righteousness comes first. While the needs of this life are in His hands
If you would, please stand as we say together our memory Scripture for this quarter:
“Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
And our memory refresher Scripture is …
“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot disown Himself.”
Please open your Bibles to Matthew 6:25-34
Are you ever worried that you are not worried enough?
Let’s do a little exercise, OK.
I might be beneficial to close your eyes for this exercise but it is not absolutely necessary …
Imagine you can have any home you want.
- Where would it be located? In the country? In the suburbs? In a small village? In a large city? Would it be by a lake or brook?
- What type would it be? A single story ranch home? A cottage? Would it be a mansion? Or perhaps an old farm house?
- How many bedrooms would it have?
- How many baths?
- What color would it be?
- Does it have a large yard or a small one?
- You can decorate the yard any way you like
o Lots of trees or Flower Gardens or Shrubs
- Yes, this is the house you have always dreamed of …
- It feels pretty good, doesn’t it? The place you’ve always wanted …
(Pause for a few seconds)
OK … now the house is on fire and there is nothing you can do to save it!
How does it feel now?
Now remember … that’s just your imaginary house burning down … how do you feel?
I don’t know how you felt when your imaginary house burned down but that’s what worry is like.
“Worry is the misuse of imagination.”
We imagined having a wonderful home and it felt great!
We imagined it burning down and it did not feel so great!
Let’s look again at our memory Scripture:
“Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’”
Here Jesus is not talking about any luxuries like a dream home.
These are basic survival needs; food, water, clothing, shelter, surviving extreme heat or cold. If you don’t have these things you will die!
The land we live in is an anomaly; a place that is different from almost any other country or place or time in history.
This is also true of what we would call modern Western Civilization over the past century.
When Jesus is talking to these people there is no welfare. If you are able to work and refuse to do so, no one will take care of you, not even your family.
There are no food pantries handing out food. There are no soup kitchens.
Work equaled the ability to purchase food. You might receive pay with which you could purchase food or you might receive food as your payment.
You couldn’t sign up for disability or workers compensation or food stamps or welfare or any kind of assistance.
Social security was non-existent as well as retirement plans.
When you got too old to work or too injured or too diseased either your family took care of you or else you died!
And yet, Jesus is says, “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’”.
And, the situation with water was not much better. It might have been fine in Jerusalem and other large cities and most communities would spring up around a well or a small brook or river that may or may not have any water in it.
And yet, Jesus is says, “Do not worry, saying … ‘What shall we drink?’”.
Finally Jesus says, “Do not worry, saying … ‘What shall we wear?’”.
We think of clothing like what we see in Walmart; racks and racks of clothing all segregated into boys, girls, men and women’s departments and those departments getting changed out every three months for the next season months in advance.
Just try to find a pair of insulated winter gloves in a store in March.
And, if you can’t afford Walmart there’s always Goodwill or the Salvation Army or a local mission like the Trading Post. Some churches have used clothing supplies as well to give to those in need.
Heavens! I remember a family who had adopted five children who would get $3,500 from the government each year for school clothing and would spend all of it. Why? Because … Why not?