Summary: When we commit ourselves to God, He commits Himself to us.
Games People Play: “Hungry Hungry Hippos”
INTRODUCTION: Hungry Hungry Hippos is the game of get all you can while the getting is good. [Demonstrate game] My kids love to play Hungry Hungry Hippos; unfortunately, so do most Americans as we play for all the "marbles" we can.
[READ Matthew 6:25-34]
It is a pity this passage is often read on its own in church, isolated from what has gone before. The significance of the phrase “so I tell you” is missed unless we look at what Jesus has said right before—that “no one can serve two masters” and “you cannot serve both God and money.” Remember last week we saw how some people choose to serve God and use money, but others choose to serve money, and try to use God. If you choose to serve money, you will worry about life.
I. IF WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO MONEY, WE WILL WORRY ABOUT LIFE.
A. Do you worry? Worry can literally make us sick. It may even be possible to worry ourselves to death.
1. When we worry, we don’t worry with our minds, we worry with our organs. And if we worry long enough and hard enough, we will get ulcers and make ourselves vulnerable to all kinds of other sicknesses.
2. Worry can sometimes lead people to commit suicide.
B. The way we look at life, Jesus said, has a lot to do with how much we worry.
1. If we focus our attention on temporal things, such as bank accounts, careers, and physical appearance, we have reasons to worry. We can never get enough to keep us from worrying. Hungry Hippo marbles can represent our wardrobe, bank account, house, possessions.
2. People in Jesus’ day had just as much anxiety about life as we do.
a. Some may think life was easier in the first century because times were simpler and people didn’t have as much to worry about.
b. But most of the people in the ancient world lived like people in the third world today.
1) Workers were paid every day because they needed the money to live the next day.
2) Taxes were high, but there was no social security or safety net. Times were tough, but to people then and now, Jesus says “Don’t worry.”
C. Worry distorts our perspective on life.
1. According to our nation’s Bureau of Standards, a dense fog covering seven city blocks to a depth of a hundred feet contains less than one glass of water. All of that fog, if it could be condensed into water, wouldn’t quite fill a drinking glass. Compare this to the things we often worry about. Like fog our worries can thoroughly block our vision of the light of God, but the fact is, they have little substance to them.
2. What do you worry about most? Job? Family? Money? Health? Future?
3. ILLUSTRATION: If Danny Simpson had known more about guns, he might not have needed to rob the bank. But in 1990, in Ottawa, Canada, this 24-year-old went to jail, and his gun went to a museum. He was arrested for robbing a bank of $6,000 and then sent to jail for six years. He had used a .45 caliber Colt semi-automatic, which turned out to be an antique made by the Ross Rifle Company, Quebec City, in 1918. The pistol is worth up to $100,000—much more than Danny Simpson had stolen. If he had just known what he carried in his hand, he wouldn’t have robbed the bank. In other words, Danny already had what he needed.