Date: 26 September, 2017
Text: Matthew 6:24-34
Title: I DON'T CARE - BECAUSE GOD DOES!
I saw a heart warming picture and story in the news this week.
BBC - CANADA GROOM SAVES CHILD FROM DROWNING IN RIVER.
A wedding photoshoot in Canada took an unexpectedly dramatic turn as the bridegroom leapt into a river to save a little boy from drowning.
Clayton and Brittany Cook were posing for wedding photos on a park bridge in Cambridge, Ontario, when the groom noticed a boy in distress in the river.
With no thought for his suit, Mr Cook jumped into the water and pulled the young boy on to the shore.
Their wedding photographer captured the rescue.
"For several minutes these kids were following us, and I was just keeping an eye on them because they were standing close to the water," Clayton told the BBC.
"Then while Brittany was getting her solo shots taken I realised only two were standing on the rock ledge.
"I saw the boy in the water struggling to keep his head up. That's when I jumped down.
"I just kind of plucked him out and he was okay."
Clayton's wife said she originally thought he had jumped in the water as a joke.
"We'd like to think most people would probably make the same choice," she said.
I like the fact that this man did what he needed to do even though it appeared to negatively impact a really important day and his really important plans. Would most people make the same choice? I don't know.
Our text this morning shows us a similar choice facing the BRIDE OF CHRIST. Our groom has already jumped in the water for us - BUT WE HAVE TO DECIDE IF WE WILL JOIN HIM IN HIS SELFLESS LIFE. 2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
To get in the water - we will have to STOP CARING ABOUT OUR OWN LIVES BECAUSE GOD CARES FOR OUR LIFE!
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Are you self consumed this morning - or are you God consumed?
YOU MAY FEEL LIKE YOU CAN'T THINK ABOUT GOD'S THINGS BECAUSE YOU HAVE TOO MANY PROBLEMS OF YOUR OWN TO THINK ABOUT. AND YET, God says THAT IS THE PROBLEM. We can either trust Him completely by doing his will completely and ALLOW HIM TO MEET OUR NEEDS.
Or, we can continue to be consumed with our needs - HIS WORK WILL SUFFER AND WE WILL FIND THAT WE CAN'T MEET OUR OWN NEEDS!
I. The impossibility of following God when seeking your own way.
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
exp. Mammon is money. It is "what makes the world go round." IT IS WHAT MEETS OUR NEEDS (OR IS IT?)
ill. The church in Philippi decided not to TRUST THEIR MONEY - but rather trust God.
Philippians 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
ill. George Mueller's wife - Mary
Had family china - tapestries - set their home up very nice - but it was contrary to the life of faith he believed God wanted them to lead. They sold those nice things for the Lord. Later God would provide for the orphanage by people sending them nice things to sell and it would remind George of what they also gave up for the Lord as THEY LED IN THE LIFE OF FAITH.
app. Is money your God? Do you go to it for satisfaction. Do you trust in it and worry about it?
1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
note: God gives riches -
Pro 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
exp. THIS HAS TO DO WITH YOUR HEART - ARE YOU REALLY TRUSTING IN GOD OR ARE YOU TRUSTING IN WHAT YOU POSSESS? IF MONEY IS YOUR god YOU ARE NOT SERVING GOD!
II. The only way to follow God is by COMPLETE faith.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
exp. Have you noticed that there is more to life that food and clothes? (Some teenagers may not get this.)
What is more important new clothes or a newly saved soul?
What is more important GOOD FOOD for the flesh or GOOD FOOD FOR THE SOUL?
ill. There are young people today and they are worried about how they are going to get that piece of clothing that is so desirable and so worshipped by their peers!
ill. Distressed Jeans - the miners had this stuff in the pit - they didn't look at it as incredibly valuable - IT WAS CALLED WORK CLOTHES - you didn't pay to have holes put in your trousers you put them in yourselves by hard work!
ill. Reuters - Americans are willing to kill each other for shoes (trainers). And while each fatal incident may seem like a freak occurrence, sneaker-motivated deaths can mount over time.
An estimated 1,200 people die over sneakers every year, according to a video posted Nov. 14 by GQ magazine. Excerpted from a recent documentary on sneaker culture called Sneakerheadz, the video suggests one factor in the violence is the marketing hype machine that transforms sneaker releases into consumer feeding frenzies.
Update, Nov. 23, 9:30a.m. EST: David T. Friendly, the director of the documentary, says the source of the statistic is an estimate offered by opponents of these marketing strategies originally reported by ABC News. “As a general comment, let me just say we were extremely sensitive to the issue of violence associated with sneaker sales while making our documentary,” Friendly said in a statement when asked if he’d received any indication the figure was inaccurate. “We carefully checked our source and still reported that number only as an estimate.” But whether it was 1 death or 1,000, he added, it’s enough that manufacturers should take the maximum precautions possible to protect lives.
“It didn’t surprise me that kids would become violent and really ferocious about these shoes, because the way [companies] market them, they market them as if they’re the dream,” Mike Epps, the actor and avid sneaker collector, says in the video.
ill. Seven out of 10 adults have average debts of £6,372. (The average credit card interest last year was 21.6% APR - THAT MEANS EVERY YEAR ON THAT DEBT - households are paying 1500 pounds. AND MUCH OF IT IS JUST LUST FOR THINGS.
app. PEOPLE DO REALLY STUPID THINGS JUST TO GET STUFF - MASSIVE DEBT!
Do you wear clothes for quality or for the label? Are you duped by the devil's marketing that can make people pay incredible prices for stupid stuff?
app. God commands us to stop worrying about STUFF because WE CAN'T SERVE HIM IF WE ARE CONSUMED WITH MATERIAL THINGS!
III. Consider the illustrations from nature.
exp. How often Jesus would use His creation as a living illustration of what he was teaching. Remember he is standing on a hillside looking down on the sea of Galilee as he is preaching the Sermon on the Mount. The hillside has flowers growing and wild birds flying by and it is covered in people.
A. Birds are lesser but God CAREFULLY provides for them.
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
exp. Imagine coming to my back garden and seeing a little barn and a 10 x 10 miniature grain field. There is a little tractor and it all looks like it is a workig property. You ask me what is is and I say, "Oh my birds built that."
ill. I hit a bird with my red tomato soon after getting it. I'm sorry if this offends you, but it was a bit funny - I laughed - it looked like a pillow fight had taken place in the road behind me. I didn't get out of my car weeping and have all passerbyers stop so that we could have a little bird funeral.
question: Why - BECAUSE IT WAS JUST A BIRD!
exp. I say this now reverently - but everytime that LOWLY ANIMAL IN COMPARISON WITH MANKIND ate - IT WAS EATING OUT OF THE HAND OF GOD.
app. Why would God not know that you need to eat?
B. You can't change YOURSELF.
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
ill. Today in our "politicall correct" society it is impolite to say someone is short, you have to say they are vertically challenged. I'm a vertically challenged person. This summer we had George Clayson and Jonathan Washer with us - you noticed that they were taller than me - but I didn't - BECAUSE I THINK TALL. But thinking tall has never made me any taller.
question: Why? Because God is the one who made me exactly the way that I am and He made a perfect IN HIS EYES "BENJAMIN SHORE."
exp. If Zacchaeus had come the 70 miles or so North to check on Matthew at the receipt of customs - perhaps this comment spoke to his heart. He was a very wealth man because of money greed and thievery - AND IT WAS KEEPING HIM FROM GOD. And now as Jesus pleads with him to stop trusting in money - HE USES AN ILLUSTRATION ABOUT HEIGHT.
app. You can't control your stature - WHY DO YOU TRY TO CONTROL YOUR MEANS! IT IS KEEPING YOU FROM GOD!
C. The flowers are clothed most gloriously of all - BY GOD!
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
exp. The day we visited the hillside where it is believed Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, we had been out on the sea of Galilee - and it was a beautiful day. It wasn't summer and so the flowers weren't out. But, I can just see the beautiful flowers around the Lord as He spoke. Nobody there was clothed as beautifully - EVEN THE GORGEOUS ATTIRE OF THE KING OF ISRAEL - SOLOMON - NEVER WAS SO LOVELY. But flowers are seasonal. They get incredibly beautiful but they don't even last.
question: Do you know that God tells us in this verse why He made flowers beautiful. HE DID SO BECAUSE HE CARES TO MAKE THEM BEAUTIFUL!
app. Since he cares to do that for a temporary little flower - what about you as His child. Is He going to be caring SO MUCH FOR SO LITTLE and neglect to care GREATLY FOR YOU? The problem here is our unbelief - ARE WE REALLY WILLING TO TRUST GOD ALONE TO MEET OUR NEEDS?
IV. THE COMMAND IS STOP WORRYING ABOUT YOUR NEEDS!
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)
ill. If we knocked on doors throughout our community and asked them how much time they spend thinking about what they are going to buy, eat, drink and HOW THEY ARE GOING TO PAY FOR IT - we'd find that it is a consuming thought of many people in our community. Unless they are just a child - then they don't worry about it because their parents do.
app. OUR WORLD DOESN'T HAVE A FATHER THAT LOVES AND CARES FOR THEM - but we do - we don't have to think about it because HE does think about it.
A. God knows every single need you could possibly think of.
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
exp. Need health today - God knows.
Need emotional encouragement today - God knows.
Need to see some bills paid - God knows.
Need some relationships sorted - God knows.
Need spiritual strength - God knows.
NOTE: YOU CAN'T HAVE A NEED TODAY WITHOUT GOD KNOWING OF THAT NEED.
Ill. Would you think me a good father - if I had my children dressed in rags, starving, filthy and sickly? How can God be a good Father if he doesn't meet the need of his children.
Matthew 7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
app. Before you blame God for not meeting your needs - MAYBE HE CAN'T BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT COME IN DEPENDENCE TO HIM. He certainly knows your needs and cares about them.
B. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS PUT GOD FIRST AND GOD WILL PROVIDE.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added
exp. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO HAVE EVERY NEED MET is stop living for yourself and start living for God!
1.) Your concerned about your house - are you concerned about the house of God?
2.) Your concerned about your soul - are you concerned about the souls for whom Christ died?
3.) You worry about your finances - but do you worry about the finances of God?
4.) You feel like you have a lot of cares - do you care about His cares.
app: Jesus kindly said to you, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my Name that will I do" - Have you told Him the same thing?
Does God have first place with your time.
Does God have first place with your affections.
Does God have first place with your resources.
Does God have first place with your talents.
app. There is a wonderful WORRY FREE LIFE avaiable for any who want to take God at His Word. Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
V. Because God meets your needs today - HE WILL MEET YOUR NEEDS TOMORROW.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
exp. Worry is the god of this world trying to make us think that HE NEEDS TO MEET OUR NEED. Faith is saying, "God will meet my needs today and God will meet my needs tomorrow. I'm going to put Him first and SEE HIM SUPPLY."
The groom jumped in because he didn't care more about himself - he cared more for another.
OUR BRIDE GROOM GAVE IT ALL UP FOR US - You can stand on the shore and worry about how it is all going to work out. OR YOU CAN STEP OUT BY FAITH WITH HIM.
2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
HOW DOES THIS APPLY PRACTICALLY.
1.) Have you turned to Jesus for salvation and turned away from the world or is the world keeping you from Christ? Zacchaeus - could have been like the rich young ruler.
2.) When the house of God is open - are you here? You have 24 hours in a day - how much time is spent with and for Him?
3.) When there is an opportunity to give to God - do you give generously? time, talents, finances?