Summary: We make Christ known when our faith comes to life in our experiences and we learn to trust GOd in and for all things, i.e., we make Christ known by the way we respond to our adversities.
Title: Don’t Worry, Be Sustained
Text: Matthew 6:24-34
Thesis: We make Christ known when our faith comes to life in our experiences and we learn to trust God in and for all things. (We make Christ known by the way we respond to our adversities…)
Epiphany Series: Encountering Christ in Epiphany
• On the Eighth Sunday after Epiphany Jesus teaches his followers that one of the ways we make him known is by seeking Him and His Kingdom and by demonstrating trust in His ability to meet all our needs.
Faith does not fall from the sky. It comes to life in our experiences as we learn to trust God for all things.
Statistically, one of the things we worry about most is our health.
A man was running down the hall of the hospital just before his operation. A security guard stopped him before he could leave the hospital and asked, “What’s the matter?” The man said, “The nurse said, ‘It’s a very simple operation, don’t worry, I’m sure it will be all right.’”
“She was just trying to comfort you,” said the security guard. “What’s so frightening about that?”
“She wasn’t talking to me,” exclaimed the man. “She was talking to my surgeon!”
Of course, if not the greatest worry, right up there at the top of things we worry about is money. Alan Alda, who is known for making amusing quips said, “It isn’t necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It is only necessary to be rich.”
Whether it is matters of health or money, we often have reason to be concerned about things but when we obsess over our concerns and live in an anxious state we probably are not finding our security in God.
I. When we worry we have chosen to serve the wrong master.
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Material things.” Matthew 6:24
You may be wondering how I managed to weave the subject of worry into a text that makes no mention of it. However, note the first word of the verse that follows. Jesus begins his next thought saying, “Therefore, I tell you do not worry about your life…”
What happens in our hearts and minds in verse 25 directly impacts how we deal with life in verse 26.
A thoughtful look into verse 24 suggests we hear Jesus speaking in much stronger language than appears in the text.
A. When Jesus spoke of serving the intent is that we understand that to serve is to essentially be a slave to a master.
B. When Jesus spoke of the impossibility of serving or being a slave to two masters the understanding was that a master is not just a boss. A master is an owner.
In the culture into which Jesus spoke a slave was not a person. A slave was a thing. A slave was essentially a tool. And as a tool at the disposal of its owner, a slave had no time. We may think we work like slaves for merciless masters but in our culture we may be tools in the hands of our masters but when the 5 o’clock whistle blows it is happy hour for us and we can go and do whatever we want with the remaining 16 hours of our day. And on Friday we chant TGIF! TGIF! And we cut loose like young calves in springtime, frolicking and kicking up our heels as we dash off into the weekend.
Jesus says that material things are a powerful influence in our lives. It is easy to rest in the security money and material things provide. Money has the power to make us feel safe. However with that security there is a sense of independence and self-sufficiency. We do not need anyone or even God when we have enough money.
I do not leave much to chance when we travel. I would not think of heading off to Chicago without the means to get there and get home. We leave with some cash, a debit card, a credit card and a AAA card in case we need it. The car is in ship-shape or it doesn’t leave the city limits. We know the location of every Holiday Inn Express and every Hampton Inn along the way and we belong to the Hilton Honors and the Preferred Travelers clubs. I even prepare toll way envelopes before I leave knowing I will need four envelopes with $1.80 in them for the I-88 toll way in Illinois, four envelopes with $.80 for when I get to Chicago and two envelopes with $.30 in each for when I exit the 88 upon arrival and when I enter it on our return.