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Summary: Worry steals us away from seeking God's kingdom and his righteousness. With birds and lilies, Jesus brings home how great our heavenly Father's care is. So why worry? Parts: A. How great his care for you!. B. Seek his kingdom and his righteousness.

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Text: Matthew 6:24-34

Theme: Your heavenly Father Takes Care of You, So Place First Things First

A. How great his care for you!

B. Seek his kingdom and his righteousness

Season: Epiphany 8a

Date: February 27, 2011

Web page: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Your-Heavenly-Father-Takes-Care-of-You,-So-Place-First-Things-First-Matthew6_24-34.html

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The Word from God through which Jesus speaks to us is Matthew 6.

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.

"Therefore, I say to you, stop worrying about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, and about your body, what you shall wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing?

"Notice the birds in the sky, how they don't plant or harvest or store up in barns. And your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they are? Who of you can add a moment to your life by worrying?

"Why worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don't labor or spin. But I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was robed as one of these. If God so arrays the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, doesn't he do much more for you, O you of little faith?

"So don't worry saying, "What am I going to eat? What am I going to drink? What am I going to wear?" For the unbelievers pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows your need for all these. But seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added for you. Therefore, don't worry into tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. The troubles of each day are enough by itself.

"(Matthew 6:25-34")

Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:

A bird driving a John Deer tractor. How ridiculous! A flower wearing Tommy Hilfiger jeans. How absurd! A Christian worrying. How real! And yet just as ridiculous.

We are all too familiar with worry. And we know its wrong. I don't have to convince you of that. How often haven't you said, "I know I shouldn't be worrying, but ..."? Our own consciences accuse us. We feel the' gentle rebuke in Jesus' word: "O you of little faith"(Matthew 6:30 NIV). How worry expose my lack of trust in God's mighty and merciful care for me!

It also exposes my divided heart, my split loyalties. For worry runs after the stuff of this world, serving Mammon. What am I going to eat or drink or wear? Do I have enough for tomorrow, for next months bills, for my retirement years? It makes me a slave, driving me under worry's whip. And I cannot serve two masters. Will I chase after those things I worry about, or will I seek God's kingdom and his righteousness? I can't do both.

You know how worry leads us away from God. I don't need to spend more time convicting your heart. Rather come with me into Jesus' words. He drives away our worries showing us our heavenly Father's care. Then we can place first things first. Keep that theme in mind: Your heavenly Father takes care of you, so place first things first.

A. How great his care for you!

1. Since God gave us our body and life, what can we also count on him for?

First of all, where did your life and body come from? Aren't you a creation of God? Isn't your life a gift from him, and didn't he knit your body knit together in your mother's womb? (Psalm 139:13). He's not a careless child who makes something and throws it under his bed, neglected and forgotten. He's already given you the greater gifts of body and life. Don't you think that he'll see to it that you have food to sustain your life and clothes to cover your body? Of course he will. "Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?" (Matthew 6:25 NIV1984). Since he has already given you those greater gifts, count on him for your food and clothes as well. How great his care is!

2. Since your heavenly Father feeds the birds, why can you be even more sure that he will provide for you?

Take the example from one of God's creatures. Did you notice on some of the warmer, sunny days a week or two ago -- even with the snow still covering the ground -- the birds were singing in the morning. They didn't know the forecast for the week. Each day is a new gift from their Creator. And I can't imagine how hard it is to forage food with the snow cover we've had. But there they are, singing. "[T]hey do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them" (Matthew 6:26 NIV1984).

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