Summary: GOD HAS MADE IT QUITE CLEAR WHAT HE WANTS US TO KNOW, AND HOW HE EXPECTS US TO ACT AS HIS AMBASSADORS IN THIS WORLD UNTIL HE COMES. THE PASSAGE IN FRONT OF US TODAY IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF CLARITY WE CAN EXPECT OF OUR CREATOR, SAVIOR AND LORD. IN PLAIN W
THE PRIORITY OF GOD’S KINGDOM
Matthew 6:33 (NIV) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
PROPOSITION: THAT WE WOULD SEEK GOD FIRST IN ORDER TO WORRY LESS AND TESTIFY TO THE WORLD OF THE TRUE PLACE OF CHRIST IN OUR LIVES!
INTRODUCTION: I AM A FIRM BELIEVER THAT OUR BIBLE WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE, NOR IS IT NOW AN UNDECIPHERABLE BOOK. ON THE CONTRARY, GOD HAS MADE IT QUITE CLEAR WHAT HE WANTS US TO KNOW, AND HOW HE EXPECTS US TO ACT AS HIS AMBASSADORS IN THIS WORLD UNTIL HE COMES. THE PASSAGE IN FRONT OF US TODAY IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF CLARITY WE CAN EXPECT OF OUR CREATOR, SAVIOR AND LORD. IN PLAIN WORDS AND COMMON LANGUAGE, JESUS GIVES US ONE OF THE GREAT PRIORITIES OF GOD FOR US TO ACCEPT AND FOLLOW. IN OUR TIME TOGETHER THIS MORNING, I WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE THIS PASSAGE WITH YOU!
I. THE CONTRASTED CONCEPT OF SEEKING
A. THE “BUT”
1. BUT IS A WORD OF CONTRAST
2. ASKING US TO LOOK AT WHAT GOD IS CONTRASTING WITH HIS PRIORITY FOR OUR LIVES.
B. GOD IS CONTRASTING HIS PRIORITY FOR US WITH A COMMON PRIORITY WE HAVE – WORRY
1. WORRY MEANS TO
a. BE ANXIOUS AHEAD OF TIME
b. DIVIDING OUR THOUGHTS
c. WORRY ANDS UP AS A GREAT DISTRACTION
1) THE CONTRAST OF A DOUBLE MINDED MAN IS TO LOVE THE LAW OF GOD
2) THE RESULT OF A DOUBLE MINDED MAN IS INSTABILITY
3) THE REALITY OF DOUBLE MINDEDNESS IS SIN
Psalm 119:113 (NIV) I hate double-minded men, but I love your law.
James 1:8 (NIV) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 4:8 (NIV) Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
2. WE ARE WORRYING PEOPLE.
3. I OFTEN SPEAK WITH PEOPLE OVERCOME WITH WORRY
4. OUR SOCIETY TODAY IS BREEDING WORRYING PEOPLE
a. HOME FORECLOSURES
b. EMPLOYMENT CONCERNS
c. INTERNATIONAL TURMOIL
C. WORRY WAS RAMPANT IN THE DAYS OF CHRIST
1. PEOPLE WORRIED ABOUT LIFE
2. PEOPLE WORRIED ABOUT FOOD AND WATER
3. PEOPLE WORRIED ABOUT CLOTHES
D. JESUS REMINDS US OF GOD’S CONCERN AND CARE
1. GOD CARES FOR HIS CREATION
2. WE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF HIS CREATION
E. TO CHOSE WORRY OVER GOD IS SIN
1. REJECTS GOD’S LOVE FOR US
2. DENIES GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY OVER US
3. QUESTIONS GOD’S NATURE
a. GOD’S GOODNESS
Matthew 7:11 (NIV) If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
WHEN WE SUCCUMB TO WORRY IT CAUSES US TO LOSE FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT AND FOCUS ON THE URGENT
II. THE CONCENTRATED FOCUS OF SEEKING – It Should Be On The Things Of God!
A. IT IS A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES
1. THE PRIORITIES OF THOSE WHO FOLLOW CHRIST SHOULD BE DIFFERENT THAN THE PRIORITIES OF THOSE WHO DO NOT FOLLOW CHRIST
2. F.O.C. ARE TO BE SUBMISSIVE TO THE SOVEREIGNTY OF CHRIST NOW
3. F.O.C. SHOULD HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF LOYALTY AND COMMITMENT TO CHRIST
4. F.O.C. SHOULD ALWAYS BE TURNING TO GOD FIRST
5. F.O.C. SHOULD BE MAKING AN ACTIVE CHOICE FOR THE THINGS OF GOD
a. NOTICE SEEK IS A CONTINUAL OBLIGATION COMMAND
b. IT IS SOMETHING WE MUST ACTIVELY DO
c. “CAN’T FIND A JOB WITHOUT LOOKING IN THE WANT ADS”. MY MOM USED TO SAY THAT JOBS DO NOT GROW ON TREES!
B. IT IS THE PRIORITY OF CHRIST THAT WE LIVE BY FAITH
1. CHRIST WAS SPEAKING TO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS PASSAGE (SERMON ON THE MOUNT)
2. NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH WERE THE PHARISEES – SPIRITUAL LOOKING ON THE OUTSIDE, BUT FAR FROM BIBLICAL LIVING.
3. WE HAVE TWO STELLAR OT EXAMPLES OF LIVING BY FAITH
a. EZRA – REFUSED GUARDS AND RELIED ON GOD WHEN HE SET OFF FOR JERUSALEM – EZRA 8:22
b. JOSEPH – WHO UNDERSTOOD THAT EVERYTHING HE WAS GOING THROUGH GOD MEANT FOR GOOD EVEN WHEN THOSE INVOLVED IN IT MEANT IT FOR EVIL! – GEN 50:20
IF WE ARE CREATED TO KNOW AND SERVE GOD THE ONLY SUCCESSFUL PATTERN FOR LIFE IS TO TRUST GOD!
III. THE POSITIVE CONSEQUENCES OF SEEKING
A. ESTABLISHES THE CORRECT BIBLICAL PATTERN -- GOD MUST BE FIRST AND WORRY MUST BE FOUGHT!
B. IT TESTIFIES TO THE WORLD WHAT IS VALUABLE TO US AND IMPORTANT TO US. WE SEEK WHAT WE DESIRE!
C. ESTABLISHES GOD’S RULE AND CONTROL OVER OUR LIVES
ILLUSTRATION: The story is told of a young boy was driving a big hayrack down the road and it turned over right in front of a farmer's house. The farmer came out and saw the young boy crying and said, "Son, don't worry about this, we can fix it. Right now dinner's ready. Why don't you come in and eat with us and then I'll help you put the hay back on the rack." The boy said, "No, I can't. My father is going to be very angry with me." The farmer said, "Now don't argue, just come in and have some lunch and you'll feel better." The boy said, "I'm just afraid my father is going to be very angry with me."