Summary: Seeking after
Outline of Sermon:
Introduction: Priorities, Worries, Kingdom of God, Focus
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:25-34
Focus on verse 33
Reference Missions Moment
Reference Missions Anniversary Date
Focus on verses 25-27
Spiritual Advice and Logic
Focus on verses 28-31
Reference Children’s Moment
Focus on verse 32
Focus on verses 33-34
What else will you not be able to do if you spend time worrying?
Conclusion: Personal Priorities, Vision / Church Priorities
(Purple Slide 1 - Opening / Title Slide)
We have all lived in the world for a long time. Even the youngest of us are quite aware that there are a lot of different and competing priorities in the world and even in the same family. So let’s have a little congregational participation this morning to start this morning’s message. Give me a list of priorities. Not just yours but everyone’s. (Repeat them back, add some, ask for more) Now how in the world are we supposed to live together if we have such different priorities. How about the example of politics: Do you think everyone of our leaders and representatives in Washington DC have the same priorities? And what is the result of all of those different priorities? (Gridlock, govt. shut down, and more.) How about families? Do you think everyone in your and other peoples families have the same priorities? So let’s have a little congregational participation again. What are some priorities of people of all ages in families? (Repeat them back, add some, ask for more.) (Personal examples: Olivia’s definition of “fun places,” Emma’s love of food and time with her mom and dad.)
Just like there are a lot of priorities, there are also a lot of things you could worry about. I don’t recommend worrying at all, you will find out why in the scripture we will read today. The word worry is starting to have a different meaning over time. It used to be thought of in more of worry’s negative sense. For example you would be thought to have a mental problem if you constantly 24/7 were to worry about a tidal wave crashing across the whole of America or that we were about to be under an alien attack. But now it is considered loving to be a worrier about the environment, or your children’s future, or the economy. I disagree with anyone who believes that worry is good.
Then there is the Kingdom of God. Does the Kingdom of God, the spiritual future of each and every person, the eternal future, do they even make it on your top ten list of priorities? If it doesn’t then no wonder that missions and the good new outreach to your world is not something you focus on. No wonder that our giving is small. Mission giving, local and international account for about 5% of what we give to this church in tithes. So all special offerings combined like World Missions offering, Camp Judson and Deacon’s fund are given $1 in envelopes for every $19 that we give to the ministries of this church. Now in addition to that $1 out of 20 that we give in offerings the church budget also gives $2 more directly to missions. So all together our church gives about $10,000 to others and about $65,000 to the ministries of our church. But don’t pat yourselves on the back too quickly. Even though the giving of this church is good, if the Kingdom was REALLY a priority it would be much greater. And not only that, if the Kingdom of God was REALLY a priority of the church then our personal evangelism to our community, our personal witness to those who still need Christ would also result in this church being much more full. Then those new who would come would also learn to prioritize the Kingdom and there would be no stopping us!
Each of us, when we focus on our priorities, naturally make those priorities important. In the same way, we cannot say that something is a priority of ours if we do not keep it in our focus, in our line of vision, and in front of us. Like we started out this morning by saying, there are a lot of priorities in the world today. This is not so different from the world in which Jesus taught. In the Matthew 6 passage that we will read today food, water or drink, clothes, length of life are mentioned as major worries or priorities. In India a record cyclone is currently raging where winds are so strong you cannot even stand up these are priorities today as well. So let’s learn from scripture.
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 than food, and the body more 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? (Green Slide 3 – Matthew 6:27-28) 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (Maroon Slide 4 – Matthew 6:29-30) 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—you of little faith? (Blue Slide 5 – Matthew 6:31-32) 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. (Brown Slide 6 – Matthew 6:33-34) 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.