Summary: A sermon about not worrying.
“Those Who Laugh Most Live Longest”
The owner of a racing dog was having a conversation with his prize winning greyhound.
“I heard you are retiring,” the owner said.
The greyhound replied, “I’m not retiring—I quit.”
“Why?” asked the owner.
“I found out the rabbit I’ve been chasing is fake.”
How many of us, how many of the people in this world have found out the rabbit they are chasing is fake…
…or how many people are chasing fake rabbits that they will never be able to catch?
Or if they were to catch it, the rabbit they had spent so much energy and time chasing would turn out to taste like plastic or metal or whatever those fake rabbits are made of.
What are you chasing?
What consumes your time, your energy?
What are you worrying about?
Jesus says, “don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear…
…instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Nothing else will satisfy the longing of our hearts.
Nothing but the source of joy can give us joy.
So Jesus invites us to stop chasing plastic rabbits and to start following Him, to hunger and thirst for God, and to feast on the goodness that comes from God alone!!!
Because, let’s face it.
Anything that is loved and trusted more than God is certain to fail.
And that’s why Jesus repeatedly warns us against the seductive power of possessions, knowing that the desire and race to get them will take us captive and separate us from God, and thus happiness, contentment, joy.
You can’t serve both God and stuff, Jesus tells us in the verse which comes immediately before our passage for this morning.
And Jesus doesn’t tell us this to be a kill-joy, He tells us this because it’s true.
And God wants us to be satisfied, having life to the full.
God wants this so much that God came to earth to show us and tell us how to do it, and then died so that we may die with Him, and in dying with Him—LIVE!!!
Just think of the way Jesus Christ lived life.
He was born in a stable.
Throughout His ministry He was poor, homeless, actually.
And even though He was the King of the World and all things were created through Him and for Him, He came to serve.
He spent His time loving.
He put others above Himself.
He didn’t pursue wealth.
He sought out people and healed them.
He looked for those who were lost in darkness and sin, and transformed their lives…
…saying, “come, follow me.”
He washed the feet of His disciples, and made it clear by both His words and actions that He came to SERVE and NOT to BE SERVED…
…and to GIVE HIS LIFE as a ransom.
And that is the key to everything!!!
Have we come to serve and not to be served?
Are we seeking to give our lives in order to help other human beings?
Has it ever struck you what a basically happy person Jesus was?
Jesus had a very strong sense of the goodness of His Father, and the extreme love for human beings like you and me.
And when Jesus told us not to worry, Jesus led by example.
Jesus was so consumed by compassion for the plight of others, so overflowing with unconditional agape love that He didn’t have time to worry about Himself.
He gave His full attention to living in the present, enjoying other people and God’s glorious creation.
And He wants us to do the same.
When asked what the greatest commandment is or what is most important in all of life and eternity Jesus answered, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as yourself.”
This is what it means to “seek first the Kingdom [of God] and his righteousness.”
When we love God with all we have, we forget about what we don’t have…
When we love our neighbor as ourself—we forget about trying to “one-up” our neighbor, we forget about trying to compete with our neighbor, we subconsciously let go of the material and grip instead the lovely, the eternal.
When we put other’s needs above our own we are truly free.
And to be truly free is when we are able to not “worry” about our own lives.
It doesn’t mean we don’t care.
What it does mean is that we care more than ever…
…we care so much that we forget self.