Saturday, September 15, 2007

Matthew 6:25-34 Gucci or God

Have you ever spent time watching children play Maybe you have watched your child or grand child play on the playground? If you watch these bundles of joy for any length at all you will notice that they are worry free. They run with reckless abandon, not worried about dinner, or how the mortgage payments will be made this month. As they go down the slide and swing from the monkey bars they never stop to count the cost. They don’t rationalize over the jungle gym. No, they let their hair blow in the wind as they run their hearts out never stopping to think about skinned up knees or repairing the brakes on the pick-up.

Well in Matthew Chapter 6, we find Jesus’ cure to the anxiety that tightens up our chest and rules our lives. Join me as we read this great truth together.

Matthew 6:25-34 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? (26) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (27) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (28) So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; (29) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (31) Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (32) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

As we begin our quest we see that Jesus is meeting us where we live. He addresses our needs. Those things in which we could not survive, he begins with needs because we could not live without them.

The way Jesus is speaking, it would seem to say that we are spending to much time worrying about what we eat an what we wear. Could Jesus really be speaking to our fashion conscious culture? Fashoniestas beware! I mean, really does it matter if your shoes are made by Steve Madden, Kenneth Cole, or Jimmy Choo? No, but we will spend to the name and scoff at the lesser desired brands. We will demand to have such so we can meet the pressure that we feel from our peers. I promise you, Jesus does not care if you purse is Gucci or faded glory. He cares about you, not the clothes.

It is a betrayal of our relationship to with Christ, to worry more about if my meal comes from the trendiest eatery or my clothes from the latest boutique than we do about our walk
as Christ followers.

Jesus turns his attention to nature in verse, (26) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

He reminds us that birds are not caught up in the trivial worries of life and this world. They simply trust God for their provisions. They are not working eighty hour weeks to get night crawlers. They don’t work high tension, passionless jobs that are robbing them of their joy and time with their family.

God desire for our lives is not to be entangled in worrying about this life. His desire is for us to trust Him like the birds do.

Remember the kids playing in the sandlot we were talking about a while ago. Those kids trust us to take care of them – to provide for them their daily PB&J and deliver them from bullies. God designed that relationship to model His care for us so that we would see our care for our children and know that His care for His Heavenly Children, you and me, is so much greater.

The issue that surrounds us is that our lack of faith in God. When we worry we are having a spirit of distrust about God’s ability to take care of us. We do not trust Him to be the “Almighty,” to be in power and in complete control.

So what does worry do for you? I can not honestly think of one good thing that comes worrying. Worrying robs you of your health and destroys your youthful looks. Worrying decreases your thought capabilities, worrying steals your joy, and worrying sabotages your relationships. But ultimately worry weakens your faith.

So really, what can “worrying” do for you? Jesus said it this way. (27) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Worrying will not add years to your life, add hair to your head or increase you looks. As far as I can tell, or research, there is nothing positive or productive about worrying.

(28) So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; (29) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

In these verses, Jesus hits the nail on the head. We don’t have faith. Worry is doubting God, having reservations him and mistrust. Worrying means we don’t trust God, we don’t believe.

My Aunt Sandy is a woman that compared to most of us is a person of extreme faith. But there was a time in her life when she was struggling to make it. The ends just did not meet. She was strapped and did not have the money to pay the light bill let alone buy groceries. So what was Aunt Sandy to do … well she prayed. She sought God for counsel, asked for His direction and prayed for provision.

Later when she was looking in her purse she found a twenty dollar bill. That was the last money needed to pay the light bill. You could say that we had over looked it in her purse, that it was a coincidence but what about the knock on the door.

Oh wait I haven’t told you about that. Later that day, there was a knock on the door and when she made it up from the back of the house to open the door, who do you think was there? No one, but there was two brown paper bags filled with groceries. No, you can’t get me to believe she over looked the bags when she went in the house the day before. That my friends is what we see in Matthew 21:22, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

So Jesus urges and really He is commanding more than simply advocating, that we stop worrying and stop thinking about things that are out of our control. In verse 31, He says, (31) Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

In Verse 32 Jesus says that the gentiles, or the non-spiritual, non-Christ pursing people, they worry. They struggle to figure out where their next meal will come from, they have no clue when they will need something. But Jesus tell us that God all ready know our need. He is cognizant of our needs when and where we will need food, clothing, for whatever. This is because He is omnipotent, or all knowing. Life does not sneak up on God. You will never hear Jehovah
say “I did not see that one coming” or “what happened here?” He is all knowing and all seeing. Not just of you physical needs, but he sees the needs of out hearts. He knows our need of
Salvation that is why he provided us with Jesus. That is why he created Heaven and crafted Eternal Life.

God knew we needed to be rescued, to be saved form worry and anxiety. So He gave us a cure.

Read verse 33 along in your Bibles with me... (33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Jesus’ solution is to redirect you life; to calibrate it completely in a new way. Jesus charges us to focus upward instead of inward. So it is a sight issue. With all the stimulating things in the world we get distracted. We get blinded by the Hilfiger and the Hurley, the Ford and the Ferrari, the Gucci and the Guess.

Our eyes get pointed toward thing here on Earth, those things in the “here and now, and we lose sight of the everlasting and eternal.

Jesus’ answer is simple – Pursue the Kingdom – and He will take care of the rest. “Keep your eye on the prize,” He says, “and I’ll provide everything else.”

Seek His Kingdom, seek His Righteousness, seek His Holiness, seek His Purity, seek His Truth and seek the meaningful Eternal Things. When you do everything else will fall into place. Other things will seem trivial, non-essential things will fall away like leaves from a tree. So many things that once ruled your life will no longer find the same importance. Pursue Him and He will add to you and He will supply your needs.

So what are we to do. Well there is one more verse that we need to deal with (34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Trust Him and never turn back. Let each day come and go a stop worrying about what is going to happen. Stop letting worry destroy your life and take each day, one day at time, with the help of God, with His care and Provision for you. Let Jesus take care of the things you can not, and start living the life God has called you to.

1 comment:

Bezner said...

Chris, this post is greatness. Good thoughts, and I think a very relevant teaching.

So are you still pastoring? How's that going? Wanna give us a church/life update on the blog?