Summary: Encourages us to seek our success not in stuff, but in pursuing God’s Kingdom.
Seek First the Kingdom!
MT 6:24-34 "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 Money. 25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus tells us very clearly how we can find material provision and success.
I. Seek first the kingdom of God.
A. All material provision comes from God.
DT 10:14 To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
The economy changes. Success is fleeting. But when we get success through God, it’s from one who “does not change like shifting shadows.”
Just as the birds’ and the flowers’ provision comes from God, so the best of things for us come from God.
Maslow’s Hierarchy vs. Jesus’ command.
If we attain to our basic needs, but we don’t fulfill our higher purpose—then our life has been a waste (vs 25b)
Example: The Mercedes in the gas station. You may have the nicest car, but you’re so worried about feeding it gas that you never take it out and drive it. We can be the same way if we worry so much about meeting our basic needs, but never leave the gas station and accomplish our higher purpose.
B. We must therefore attain success through God’s prescribed method.
1. God’s method of seeking success is to not seek it at all.
2. We must seek God—not things… and he will give us the things! It’s a matter of trust!
PR 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
a. God is very much interested in our trust for him. If everything he told us to do made sense, then we wouldn’t have to trust him.
b. We can “reason” or “think” together about what would make us successful… but God says that we should not lean on our own understanding. Even when it contradicts our logic, we must trust that his ways are right.
c. In all your ways—the reason so many people don’t find the Christian walk working for them like it should, is they try to go about it half-heartedly. God’s ways work! But only when we follow them completely.
d. We spend so much time in life wondering where to go and what to do… b/c life throws curveballs at us. But God promises that if we trust in him and follow his ways that he will make the way in front of us straight:
No confusing twists and turns…
Making a road straight also meant removing obstacles in the roadway to make it travelable.
C. We cannot hold back from God, in order to attain success. If we do so, we’ll cut ourselves off from the source of our success.
1. Church is important. If you’re too busy for the House of God, you’ll never find success.
Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.