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Author: Phil Hodson
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Congregation:Christ the King Presbyterian Church
 Longview, Texas
 www.christthekinglongview.org/
 
Title:Trust Drives Out Worry
Text:Matthew 6:25-34 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic:Faithfulness rewarded
 
Preached:2005-10-16
Added:2006-01-02
Updated:2006-09-11
 

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Phil Hodson, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


A lot has been going on lately. You've seen the news.

There have been people displaced from their homes by hurricanes.

Some of them have stayed in the homes of people you know.

o People who were rescued in boats.

o Who left their pets behind in their homes

o Who lost all their earthly belongings

We have met face to face people who have just experienced the distinct death of one life and the starting of another new one, in a new place. This is real life.

God has swept these people into circumstances that are totally out of their control.

But what I want to suggest to you this morning, is that God showing us that we are out of control can be seen as a great gift.

You see all of us are out of control.

The thing is that we don't know it.

What has been shown to these people very clearly is what we ALL desperately need to grasp, and that is that we are never really in control of things like we so often think we are.

So often we trust in ourselves that we can just work harder, or work smarter, be better organized, or even just climb higher up from the water toward the attic, and then things will be okay.

But the fact is that's not the case.

We need to see things completely differently.

Radically differently.

We need to come to our senses and see things in what really is a totally opposite way.

And what I am saying is that when that happens it is a gift from God to be able to do so.

It is a good thing for us to realize that we are not in control.

But before we go any further think about this.

Would it be good news to realize that you were out of control if you did if you did not at the same time trust that God is in control?

If everything were just running aimlessly we would be totally without hope.

In fact I want to suggest to you that if God is not in complete control of everything as the Bible teaches, we are still utterly without hope and we can never rest, we cannot have peace and rest.

We can?t be at ease in the midst of our many troubles of this life.

Think about it. If there is some part of the universe or things that happen that is out of God?s control there is a real and present danger.

Maybe something could get away from Him.

Maybe our trust in Him could be in vain.

Maybe He can?t help us in our time of need.

Maybe He can?t save us from every sin.

Maybe He can?t keep all the promises that He has made to us.

You see we are in big trouble if anything is out of His control.

Unless we know that what the Scriptures say is true, we are not going to have a stable and unshakable foundation to stand on.

We are going to always worry.

But the good news is that the world is NOT out of control,

And the One Who made the world and everything in it not only controls the winds and the waves but He knows everything about you, the hairs on your head, your comings and your goings.

And not only does He know everything, He is actively involved in everything as St Paul says in Eph 1:11, working ALL THINGS after the counsel of His own will. All things.

And so the scriptures tell us that not only did He knit you together inside your mother?s womb, but that he is able to meet all of our needs.

In fact he has met all of our needs through His Son Jesus Christ.

And we will see how that is the case here in a bit.

Right now I want you to turn with me to matt 6.

What I want to look at today is the sovereignty of God and what an amazing comfort this is to us.

Matt 5-6-7, called the Sermon on Mount.

Here Jesus teaches us that God is in control and that we need to trust Him. This is the very heart of Christianity. Trusting God.

We talk about it.

But how often do we really lay hold of it and live it?

It often takes something drastic to really jar us into considering that

  • He really is trustworthy
  • That He really is there!
  • That He really does love His people and tend them in a gentle and caring way.
  • That psalm 23 really is true, that He is able to make us to lie down in green pastures?set a table for us right there in the presence of our enemies.
  • Or that we can WALK through the valley of the shadow of death?and in the midst of that, fear no evil.

How in the world can this really be possible?

How is it that we can have

  • Peace in the midst of the storm?
  • Hope while everything seems to be going to hell in a handbasket
  • Strength to carry on?

Well that is what I want us to look at this morning.

Text: Matthew 6: 25-34.

Let?s read it.

(Read text here.)

And God will bless the reading and hearing of His Word.

Well what we have here is a discussion about the most ultimate issues of life, about the absolute bottom line of how we think and live.

In fact in the whole Sermon on the Mount Jesus is showing us ultimate things.

First He shows us how the ten commandments really mean a lot more than just not murdering or committing adultery or lying in an outward way, but that these have implications that go to the very heart, to our very hearts.

And then in our passage Jesus begins to show how in our heart of hearts we not only need to obey God but that we should trust Him and know that He is worthy of our trust.

In this text our worry is set over against our trust.

Anxiety and peace are opposite each other here.

And also chaos is opposed to control.

Either God is trustworthy and in control, or He is not and we have a whole bunch of things we need to be worrying about.

That's what we have here.

And so as we look at the first section of this text, look what Jesus says:

It?s actually a Command: V25-26 Don?t worry about?Your Life. Don't worry about food and clothing. Don't worry about your life.

Life, He says, is more than the any of these things you are worrying about.

Life ultimately has to do with something that is beyond all these things.

Life, we are going to see, has to do with the Kingdom of God.

And He says

if you are worrying,

if you are anxious about food or cloths and survival,

if you are distressed about walking through the valley of the shadow of death,

then consider that there is another perspective, another way to look at things.

He says you are looking at things wrong.

You are actually worrying when you don?t even have to worry.

And to show us what He is talking about

Our Lord then brings our Father in heaven into the picture and gives us some examples.

He says, Look, Your Heavenly Father takes care of all the birds doesn?t he?

Well doesn?t it make sense that He will take care of you too?

He feeds those birds, and he?ll feed you too.

I think of Psalm 37 where David says, ?I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.?

God takes care of His people.

And that's what Jesus is saying here just like David.

Life is more than these things.

He says, ?What you have to lay hold of and get a handle on is something more than these things.?

But before He unpacks what life is all about He says,

Look, this worrying doesn?t do you any good anyway.

You are not in control.

V27- You can?t add any time to your life.

You are not in control ultimately of your life.

You can?t ultimately scramble around and do anything by yourself.

You need to see things in a different way.

And then he gives this example of the lilies.

How do they get so beautiful?

How do they get clothed?

Do they work hard?

Do they run around worrying and fretting and struggling?

No. They don?t do anything, but they have what they have because God gives it to them.

And THAT is how Jesus says we need to be thinking about these things.

We need to realize as James says that every good gift comes down from above.

Or as Paul reminds us in 1 Cor 4, ?What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you did not??

You see we need to recognize the source of everything that we have, that even our very life comes from God.

Our life does not ultimately consist in what we eat or wear.

Life is found somewhere else.

And Jesus is calling people in our text to put their trust there and not ultimately these other things. He says,

Your Father in heaven feeds those birds, how much more does He care about you?

Your Father in heaven cloths those helpless lilies, how much more can He cloth you without your worrying?

The idea here is that of trust as being the very opposite of worry, and that our trust is not to be in any created thing in this world, but in the One Who made the world and Who takes care of it,

Who values it,

Who is involved in it,

and Who cares about His people more than anything else in the world.

So if the meaning of your life is not to be found in these things that we so often worry about, and if all that hard work of worrying doesn?t do any good or change anything and we still are not ultimately in control, what are we suppose to do?

What exactly is the meaning of life?

Well notice what Jesus says.

He?s told them about our Father in heaven, how He is trustworthy and that they should trust Him.

But notice that He does just call the people to trust in God in general but there is something more than just trust going on.

There is submission to a King.

In v 33 He says that we are to ?seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.?

To seek first His Kingdom means that you bow to the King, you say Not my will be done but yours be done.

You acknowledge that what He wants for you is more significant than what you want for yourself and more significant than what you are worrying about for yourself.

It means dying to our own desires and living for His desires.

And so the question becomes?.

Why in the world would we want to do that?!

 

Why should we trade the control of our lives for following Him.

Why should we follow this King?

Well the answer is in how this king has come to the throne.

He didn?t exalt Himself to the throne.

He didn?t come in the normal way you would think, by taking to Himself the rights of a king.

But He came by way of love.

Rather than taking from others He gave.

Rather than fighting with a sword against His enemies He loved them with a love so powerful that it conquers them.

You see what Jesus did was He came and took upon Himself the judgment for sin that people deserved.

He came to give Himself for others so that they could be set free.

He came to die the death that they had earned by their sin so that their debt might be paid in full.

He came and in love offered Himself as their substitute so that rather than receiving what they should have they could receive his life.

Paul says in Romans chapter 8 that God has demonstrated His love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, while we were God's enemies,

Christ gave Himself for us,

He died for us,

He offered Himself as a substitute for us.

That is amazing grace, and that is what drives us to turn away from seeking first our own kingdoms and moves even the most wicked people to bow down to this king.

This is how he offers us a return to true life.

You see true life is not in seeking our own way, but in being reconciled with the one who made us.

True life is found in the One Who came down from heaven to offer His life in order to save His people from their sins

True life is found in seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, in following this King, because He is the One Who the Scriptures tell us

has loved us with an everlasting love,

Who has given Himself for us out of that love,

Who is alive right now to take care of us

and Who has gone to prepare a place for us and is ready to receive us to Himself.

After Jesus was raised from the dead he said, ?all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. He is the King.

And then that King says ?I will be with you to the end of the age.?

He says ?I will never leave or forsake you.?

He says ?come to me and I will give you rest.

You see this king is able to give peace and rest because He has been given all authority.

This King should be the most ultimate priority because He is worthy of being followed.

This King has given Himself,

and called us into fellowship with Himself

and He is the greatest treasure that can ever be found.

There is nothing more important than seeking first in our lives to honor this king and follow Him because of Who He is and What He has done for us; His great love for us.

And so the great German Reformed Catechism we find this:

Heidelberg Catechism 1:

Question 1: What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Answer 1: That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death,[1] am not my own,[2] but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ,[3] who with His precious blood [4] has fully satisfied for all my sins,[5] and redeemed me from all the power of the devil;[6] and so preserves me [7] that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head;[8] indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation.[9] Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,[10] and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live unto Him.[11]

 

 

 

This is the meaning of life. Our Faithful Saviour and King Jesus Christ

  • Trusting in Him puts our lives together so that nothing can ever shake us.
  • Paul tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
  • No one can snatch us out of His hand.
  • Nothing can change His love for us.

Nothing else is the meaning of life.

Our treasure is found in Him and our entire life, Paul says, is ?Hid with Christ in God.?

So consider these things.

You who have found that you are not in control.

Consider Who is in control and what He has done in sending His Son.

But you who have not had anything happen to you.

Consider as well: Jesus calls you too to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness if you would know the meaning of life.

He has overcome the world. And true life is found nowhere else but In Him.

Do not worry about anything?trust in Him and follow Him. This is the meaning of life.

When you seek first the kingdom of God in this way, trusting Him as the foundation of your life, everything else will be added to you. You will understand what is meant by Peter when he says, ?Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.?

Amen.

 

 

 

 




* As a matter of courtesy please advise Phil Hodson, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
(c) Copyright 2005, Phil Hodson

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