Summary: The Paradox to worry You have two choices in life 1. Build the kingdom, rest in Christ and leave the rest to God - or 2. Enjoy worrying Be my guest

Sermon on the Mount (4)

The Paradox to Worry - Mt. 6:24-34

Story: A business manager went on holiday to an island in Greece.

One day, while he was on the beach, he was called up on his mobile phone by his secretary, wanting some help.

He gave her some instructions and told her to call him back when she had finished.

As he was pacing up and down waiting for a return phone call, he came across a fisherman, dozing in the shade of his fishing boat, that had been pulled up on the beach.

As the manager passed, the fisherman woke up and the manager decided to talk to him.

“The weather is great and there’s lots of fish. So how come you are sitting about here - when you could be out there - catching more fish?”

Gently, the fisherman replied: “Because I caught enough this morning”

“But just imagine” the manager replied “if you went out twice a day, you could bring home twice as much fish.

And do you know what could happen?

Puzzled, the fisherman shook his head.

“Well” the manager continued - waxing lyrical to his theme “you could buy yourself a motorboat.

And then, after say a couple of years you could buy a second one. Then perhaps after three years you could have a cutter or two.

And just think, one day you might be able to buy a freezing plant.

Then you could go on to get your own helicopter to help you trace shoals of fish for your fishing fleet.

You could then buy your own truck to ship the fish to the capital thereby cutting out the middle man”

“And then what” the fisherman replied.

“And then “ the manager concluded triumphantly “ you wouldn’t have to worry.

You could then sit down calmly on the beach, dozing in the sun and looking at the beautiful ocean.”

“ Well, what do you think I am doing now!” the fisherman replied.

We all worry at some time or other, often about money and the future.

Story: Maddy has this wonderful saying, when I start to worry: “Why pray when you can worry!”

Worry is the scourage of our society.

Story: I just read in the news yesterday how a mother took her life and that of her child due to worry – and she was a good Churchgoer

Why do Christians worry about a lot of things

Our Gospel reading this morning sums it all up – who is in charge of my life

Jesus said:

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. (Mt 6:24)

Because it tell me what is my PRIME MOTIVATOR

And Jesus said in Mt 6:21: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”

So where is my heart.

God tells us in the Book of Proverbs

My son, give me your heart (Pr 23:26)

And so if I worry about accumulating money it tells me which master I am serving!

Or put another way, it tells me which God I am worshipping

Is it the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Or that unholy Trinity of I, Myself and me?

Having said that – let’s be honest we all worry – it is man’s human nature to worry

But the question is “How do we deal with worry?”

May I suggest a couple of antidotes to worry this morning?

1. The first antidote to worry is to get our ambition right

Or put it another way - focus away from our problems

It sounds strange doesn’t it – but the Christian life is full of paradoxes.

We heard a couple in the Gospel reading last week

Love your enemies????

Go the Extra mile???

And you might have said ton yourself:

Who are you kidding?

In fact if you think about it, the whole of the Sermon on the Mount is a paradox.

And there is a paradox here about worry

As we focus away from our problems and make God’s Will our goal, we find “he looks after the rest”

Jesus put it more elegantly when he said :

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God gave his Church ONLY one Commission – and that was to go and make disciples.

Do we look for opportunities to do that

Imagine a business where the executives only spent one day a week focused on their core business.

How long would it last?

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