Summary: Today, as we conclude the series on the "Secrets of the kingdom of God" we’re going to look at a portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount that I believe describes one of the greatest impacts the kingdom of God can have on your life.
THE KINGDOM PERSPECTIVE Part 4
John 14:27 (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
I remember some of the activities that would be done to foster the skill of cooperation and reasoning when I was growing up in school. One activity was centered around the story of being stranded on a desert island. As a group we would have to decide what items would be the most important to have on this desert island with us. It was funny some of the responses that would come from the group members – of course the girls were always more concerned about the hygienic items than the guys!!
In another scenario the discussion centered around a trip to the moon and what would be the most important things to have on this trip. I remember that we had violent arguments over what would be crucial to take on this trip and the sheepishness we all felt when the teacher pointed out at the conclusion that we hadn’t even thought about air! It would have been a pretty short trip!
One of the things I remember about these kinds of activities was that invariably there would always be disagreement about what was most important! But another impact they had on me was that it made me think about some of the things I take for granted in life such as food, water, and the air I breathe!
The questions posed in these activities are parallel to some of the kinds of questions every single one of us ask about our lives. Of course we’re not stranded on desert islands or headed to the moon but we all have our own opinions about what kinds of things are most important for where we are right now. Our answer to the question, "what is most important to my life?" defines the things that give us our sense of fulfillment and security in life. And when our answer to that question is not obtained then we experience anxiety and worry.
As we grow older our answer to this question is continually changing. When we were babies all that was really important was food, sleep, a loving touch, and a fresh change of clothes every now and then! Gradually with age these basic needs have never changed but a whole slew of other things become just as - or even in some cases more - important to us!
Today, as we conclude the series on the "Secrets of the kingdom of God" we’re going to look at a portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount that I believe describes one of the greatest impacts the kingdom of God can have on your life.
Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
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.
The point that I started out making today is that we all have different answers to the question, "What is the most important in my life?" Of course the answer to this question describes the things you seek to have in your life – and the success of that search determines our fulfillment and security – failure in this search leads to anxiety and worry.
A lot of times when we look at this particular passage of scripture we zero in on Jesus’ admonition to not worry and have anxiety about things in life but instead seek Him out and trust that He will take care of all this stuff. Though I don’t want to challenge this observation in any way I really don’t think that this is the whole picture of what Jesus wants us to understand here, especially in the light of what I’ve discovered about the kingdom of God (or kingdom of heaven).