Summary: Why we shouldn’t worry about everyday life as taught by Jesus as part of the Sermon on the Mount.
Last week on Easter Sunday we began the new series, "The Case for the Real Jesus, How Jesus is not Synthetic or False, but Real and Reliable!"
We talked about how the reality of Christ challenges our fears, especially the fear of death. Not a thing that we’re afraid of is worthy of our fear and dread. Through Christ we can vanquish every fear!
Our theme verse for this series is…
"Examine and see how good the Lord is. Happy is the person who trusts Him." Psalm 34:8 (NCV)
This verse says that the way to learn about Jesus is by personal examination. There’s plenty of historical evidence to support the case for Christ but this series is about empirical evidence - about personal experience. Anyone willing to make a faith commitment to Christ as Lord will not only find Him completely and totally satisfactory - they will find that He exceeds their expectations! The greatest evidence in the case for the real Jesus is so often overlooked. People fail to accept the challenge of examining God for themselves.
Today we’re considering why and how we can trust Christ for every-day needs. We’re going to see what Jesus teaches about how accepting Him into our lives impacts us in our day-to-day lives.
For this consideration we’re looking a portion of one of Christ’s most famous messages called “The Sermon on the Mount.”
The Sermon on the Mount is recorded in the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of Matthew. It’s divided into 5 sections and we’ve talked about each one of these sections at various times at Pathway because they’re all needful:
The first division is made up of the Beatitudes - Teachings that begin with "blessed." These were meant to comfort suffering believers.
Second section: New laws - Contrasts the law of Moses with the law of Christ.
Third: Model Prayer - Instructions on prayer. Jesus also teaches the proper motives for fasting and offering gifts.
Fourth: Money and why we shouldn’t worry about it - Christian attitudes concerning the use of money. It is that 4th division of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount that we’ll consider today. It’s in this section that Jesus says, "I tell you not to worry about everyday life." (Verse 25) That’s our theme for this message. If you practice the presence of Christ as He teaches in today’s Scripture you won’t have to worry about everyday life.
Fifth section of the Sermon on the Mount: Warnings - Dangers of false teachers and hypocrisy.
What difference does having Christ in my life and following His precepts make in my every-day needs? Jesus didn’t shy away from this topic. In fact, the answers that He gives are very powerful as well as practical. They teach us how to be free from worry, worry about where we’re going to get the money to buy our food and clothing, the money for tomorrow’s necessities. Christianity is not some “pie-in-the-sky” cult. Christ followers do have the promise of heaven but they also have access to here-and-now joyous living!
Today’s Scripture, Matthew 6:19-34, is only 7 paragraphs long. For each paragraph we’ll quickly consider a success principle for trusting Christ for every day needs followed by a question to ask ourselves about how well we’re doing. If you’ll do these things you’ll find Christ very real in your every-day life! And when Christ’s presence is manifested in your every-day life you will find greater joy, peace, and success.
Here’s the first paragraph.
19 "Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."
So the first precept is…
1. BANK IN HEAVEN
If you want assurance and confidence that your every day needs are going to be met – if you don’t want to go around worrying about these things – bank in heaven.
I stopped by my bank this week to make my weekly deposit and noticed a brochure on the counter touting the “world’s 50 safest banks.” No doubt with all the banking problems lately they wanted to reassure their customers. My bank was number 13. Our church has its money in the same bank. I thought, “well, that’s pretty cool.” (If I had a lot of money I would be even more impressed.)
I noticed that they did not have the safest bank ever on the list – the bank of heaven.
I don’t have any deposit slips for the bank of heaven because Jesus was speaking metaphorically. He’s using the idea of storing our treasures on earth and how subject to decay and theft they are, and comparing it to storing our treasures in heaven. But HOW do we store our treasures in heaven? How do we bank in heaven?