Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy... in Christ!

Sunday morning I preached from Matthew 6:19-34. There are really multiple sermons to be found in this text and it seems at first glance that Jesus was addressing two distinct subjects. In verses 19-24 Jesus addresses the issue of loyalty by commanding His disciples not to store up treasures on earth but rather to store up treasures in heaven. He explains that the treasures on earth are passing away while the treasures in heaven last. Jesus also draws a line in the sand and tells His disciples they have to make a choice. We have to make a choice- God or mammon. Mammon was an Aramaic term with a derisive tone. It referred to material possessions when they have become god-like to the person possessing or seeking them. Will we treasure man-made gods which pass away or will we treasure God in Heaven?

Jesus shifts gears with the statement “for this reason”. So what follows in chapter six is an application of what preceded. Jesus commands His disciples not to worry or to be filled with anxiety. Worry, anxiety, and stress are in direct relationship to what we treasure. If we treasure things of this earth which are passing away we will be suffocated with anxiety. When the thing you treasure is threatened or taken away anxiety is born and that often gives birth to things such as bitterness, constant nervousness, and depression. If we treasure Christ more than anything else and cherish Him as our source of satisfaction and delight then how will anxiety have a place to be born? For Christ is eternal. He is not threatened. He is not passing away. In fact, when a Christian is ever-anxious it robs God of glory and calls His character into question. Our worry shows that we treasure things of this earth more than God which attributes more value and glory to the things of the earth. Our worry casts doubt on God’s goodness and His ability to provide for His children. We must be on guard of worry by treasuring Christ above all things. Jesus teaches (v. 33) to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” This is not to say that Jesus is a celestial sugar-daddy who will grant us all our selfish desires if we are just obedient. Jesus is saying that if we set our hearts wholly on Him all our desires will be satisfied in Him and worry will have no home in us.

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