Summary: Matthew 6:25-34 Anxiety
Last Sunday we looked at investments. We looked at Matthew 6:19-20.
Matthew 619 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
That sermon couldn’t have been timed better, what with the global financial turmoil we’ve seen the last week. Stocks down, talks of a double dip recession, talks of a new GFC. Will America default? Will Greece default? And the latest – will France default? These things are on the other side of the world but have the potential to affect us all - not the least is our super – plummeting in value. And if the economy does go down well things will be tighter than they already are. How timely that we reached Matthew 6:19-20 which tells us to focus our our time, effort and money on heavenly investments rather than the fleeting riches of earthly investments. And we also looked at verse 21:
Matthew 621 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
and verse 24
Matthew 624 “No one can serve two masters, for 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 God and money.
Last week we saw two things: Firstly, that laying up treasures in heaven, or we could say, heavenly investments, which last for eternity, are a much better investment that laying up treasures on earth - earthly investments, which only last for our lifetime at the most, and might not even last our lifetime if they are lost through moths and rust, or in our case – GFCs, falling stockmarkets and global panic. But even if we do manage to hold onto to our earthly investments through to the end of this life, no matter how much we accumulate here, we can’t take any of it with us into the next life. The only investments worth anything in the next life are the ones heavenly ones we invest in.
And the second thing we learnt from last week was that this is not just good investment advice from Jesus, but that Jesus told us that where we invest now - what we do with our time, effort and money - that shows plain and clear to Jesus whether He is our Lord and master, or whether wealth is our Lord and Master.
Now, very well you might say. That’s all very well to say I should be putting my time, effort and money into kingdom of God stuff, but what about real everyday life? Very well to say that we cannot serve both God and money, but money is a fact of life. I need to eat – it costs me money to buy food. I need to buy clothes – it costs me money. I need a roof over my head, so I’ve either got to pay rent or pay off my mortgage. And one day when I get older I won’t be able to work anymore like I used to, and so I need to be putting money aside to live on for when that day comes. So, what about our everyday needs? And especially in this time of global uncertainty we tend to worry about our needs more. What if there is another GFC? Will I lose my job? If so, how will I pay my bills and keep my family off the street? And if I’m struggling to find work now, it will be even harder if the economy gets worse. What about my super? We’ve probably all seen those super calculators and maybe used them - we need to put aside a certain amount, but they are all based on a reasonable rate of return, and if that rate of return doesn’t happen, what will I live on when I retire? Or if you are retired, you may be worrying about what the events of the last week or two mean to your current income. It certainly is a worrying time to be alive. And it’s true, we need money to survive. So how do we deal with money? How do we deal with these needs of life and yet not let money be the master of our life? Well they are good questions and Jesus goes onto answer those questions in the passage we are looking at today - Matthew 6:25-34.
Matthew 625a “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.
So that’s Jesus’ answer about the financial worries that we may have. We tend to worry, and Jesus’ advice – actually, it’s not advice – in the Greek it is in the imperative, which means it is a command. Jesus’ command to us is, don’t be anxious about these things! Don’t worry about what you will eat or drink or about what you will put on - that is, your clothes. Don’t worry about these things! Now we might say, very easy to say don’t worry! Much harder to do!