This sermon is part of our Abundant Living series. You can watch more here.
This morning we are continuing in Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5, 6, and 7. In Matthew 5 Jesus has invited us to enter into His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. It’s important to understand the invitation is today.
If you have yet to enter into His kingdom, you need to know, it isn’t about knowing the “right” people, “right” places, or paying the “right” fee. The invitation is today and the entrance into His kingdom is a gift. Praise God!
Heaven on earth is available today through faith in Jesus and the doors to His kingdom are opened wide to all because the price for entrance has already been paid.
This is what makes Jesus so important. Jesus is the One who lived the perfect life. Jesus is the One who laid down His life at the cross and resurrected from the dead, therefore, the invitation is open wide but you must believe in Jesus to enter into His kingdom.
It’s possible some might say, “Just believe.” Sounds too easy, sounds too good to be true. This is why in Matthew 6 Jesus describes what life in His kingdom looks like practically. It isn’t just believe, it’s believe and follow. Let’s look at verse 25:
Matthew 6:25, “25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
In verse 25 we continue to see this pattern of “Do and Do Not” throughout chapter 6. We touched on this last week. Jesus is creating this contrast between our earthly kingdom and His Heavenly Kingdom.
We are all born into this world with our primary focus on our personal, earthly kingdoms. We want to be in charge, we want to sit on the throne, we want to build up our life so that we feel safe and secure, and in Matthew 6 it’s as though Jesus is saying, “Your earthly kingdom is fragile.” Right?
In our earthly kingdoms we have to manage our reputation. We are worried about our clothes, our car, our houses, our education, and it’s exhausting. Right?
In our earthly kingdoms we have to store up treasures on earth. We have to hoard money. We have to fight, scratch and claw to try to hold our little kingdoms together.
Therefore, in Matthew 6 Jesus is creating this contrast so as to say, “In those earthly kingdoms you did this or that but now, by grace through faith in Me, you’re in MY kingdom.” Does that make sense? Praise God!
In verse 25, Jesus is going to press in on an area of life where we are all too familiar; worry and anxiety. Do you see that in verse 25? Jesus says, “Do not be worried about your life.”
Listen, I know for some, worry and anxiety are weighing on us so greatly that medical attention is necessary but at the same time we don’t want to glaze over God’s Word.
You need to know verse 25 isn’t a suggestion. Jesus is giving us a command, “Do not be worried about your life.” And I want to be gentle here because worry and anxiety in our culture right now is at an all-time high.
Worry and Anxiety:
• Less confidence in government
• Skeptical of our judicial systems
• Embarrassed by our politicians
• Nervous about our economy
• Feel judged by our friends
• Less comfortable in our families
• Less comfortable in our churches
Statistically 3 out of 4, 77% adults say that the future brings more worry and anxiety. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2020/report-october
This is from the American Psychological Association and in the write up around worry and anxiety they said “Gen Z, 11-26, is statistically processing these levels of stress with greater discomfort than previous generations because Gen Z doesn’t have the decades of stability like Millennials, Gen X and Boomers before them.
So that the article by the American Psychological Association even had a special section highlighted in blue titled “How to Support Gen Z?” That’s how important this subject is right now.
Thankfully God’s Word speaks to our current reality today of worry and anxiety. Let’s look at verses 26-27:
Matthew 6:26-27, “26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”
In verse 26 Jesus simply says, “Look at the birds of the air.” Look at the Grackle, Wren, Mockingbird, the majestic Pigeon. Is there anything special about them, yet does our Heavenly Father not provide for them?
These birds have responsibilities. They have nests to build, offspring to care for, food to gather and our Heavenly Father cares for their needs, therefore, are we, who are in Christ, not worth more than they?
Are we not created in the image of God in Genesis 1? Psalm 139 says, “Were you not knit together in the womb of your mother?” Did Jesus not take on flesh and become our sin so that we might know the righteousness of God? Therefore, if God cares for the birds of the air, how much more will your Heavenly Father care for you?
Listen to me, God’s Word is not saying, “Our worry and anxiety are stupid.” Please don’t hear that this morning. Our Heavenly Father is not a Drill Sargent in heaven saying, “Stop crying or I am going give you something to cry about.”
No! Jesus is saying, “I get it. Your little personal, earthly kingdom is fragile.” It’s where moth and rust destroy. I would be nervous also if my trust and security was in your earthly kingdoms.
But in Christ, our citizenship has been transferred to His kingdom! In Christ, we’re under His care. In Christ, we have the approval and attention of our Heavenly Father, therefore, don’t worry.
Do you see the difference? It isn’t stop worrying because worrying is stupid, but instead, stop looking there and instead look here.
In fact, the word “Look” in verse 26 in the original language means “Look intently” or “Consider” so as to “Ponder” and stop thinking about your worries and anxieties, but more so, start thinking about His Word. Write that down in your notes. (Pause / Repeat)
It’s possible that some of us are pushing back a little because you are thinking, “Sounds great but some birds don’t make it.” Let’s be honest. Some birds get eaten by cats, some birds get ran over, some birds just don’t make it and what if I am one of those birds? Ah!!!
Listen to me, the goal of our passage this morning isn’t to be worry free as we go through life with a blank stare of glee. If you scan down to verse 34 Jesus says, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
The business owner is going to have responsibility. The parent is going to have things to accomplish. Life is going to bring challenges; therefore, Jesus is commanding we who are in His kingdom, “Don’t focus our eyes on the worries, focus our eyes on Him.” Look at verses 28-30:
Matthew 6:28-30, “28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!”
In verses 28-30 Jesus is bragging about His creation by contrasting Solomon’s wealth with His creation. Do you see that? Solomon had all the wealth of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos combined, right? Solomon had the wealth, the women, the warriors, and it’s like Jesus is saying, “Yeah, Solomon didn’t even get close to His creation.”
Have you ever looked at the color exploding off a day-lily? Simplicity of a Shasta Daisy? Driving in the hill country in spring and seen a field of wild-flowers in full bloom? Do we not gasp in awe in those moments? Therefore, Jesus says, “If I take care of the lilies of the field, will I not take care for you?”
Again, Jesus’ response isn’t to condemn. Jesus’ response isn’t so that we walk out of here this morning beating ourselves up about worry and anxiety. Jesus is drilling into our thoughts so as to say, “You’re in My kingdom now, put your thoughts on these things.”
Our culture teaches us we need to empty our thoughts into nothing. Our culture teaches us we need to veg out and not think but God’s Word is saying, “No, you need to think but you need to think about that which is true.”
It’s why Jesus zeroes in our faith in verse 30. Do you see that? I know faith is a funny word. Faith sounds like something you do when you close your eyes and wish upon a star, but faith described in Scripture is trusting in the Word and Works of our Heavenly Father. Turning our thoughts from real worries in life to trusting in His Word and His Work is the essence of faith.
Practically we go throughout the day we are going to have worry and anxiety pop into our thoughts, probably on the way home. We are going to be filled with fear, worry, anxiety, stress and in those moments, we can easily spiral into lies of death and darkness, right?
But through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is commanding us to say to our thoughts, “No, those things aren’t true.” In Christ, I am in His kingdom. I have the care of my Heavenly Father.
In those moments we cry out to Jesus, “Help me! Help me to trust You. Forgive me for believing those fears, worries, and anxieties and help me to believe in Your Word and Your Work. Look at verses 31-32:
Matthew 6:31-32, “31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”
In verse 32 Jesus contrasts our thoughts with the Gentiles. Do you see that in verse 32? The Gentile is someone who is trusting in the kingdoms of this world.
It might be our economy. It might be our career. It might be our physical appearances. It might be our social circle. It is those areas of life that make us feel strong. It might be the number of “likes” we get in a post on social media. It might be our political candidates. It might be how we perform at work or at school.
In verse 32 Jesus says, “This is what the Gentiles seek after.” The word “seek” in verse 32 is to make an absolute priority because the person who is living outside His Heavenly Kingdom on earth is vulnerable. They are their only defender. They are the ones carrying the weight of life on their shoulders.
Therefore, Jesus says in Matthew 6, “But as for you, you who are in My kingdom on earth, your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” so the context of our passage isn’t shame but redirecting our thoughts to the truth of God’s Word.
This is why we teach through God’s Word on a Sunday morning. You’re not here to listen to me give you wise thoughts for the day. We’re here to study God’s Word. This is why we encourage one another to read God’s Word every day. It’s because our eyes get distracted easily and we need to be reminded of who we are in Christ.
This is why we encourage one another to share meals, build relationships, commit to groups, come to our Men’s Retreats and Women’s Retreats because we forget and we need to be around others to help us remember to put our trust in His Word and His Work. Look at verses 33-34:
Matthew 6:33-34, “33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
In verses 25-32 we see Jesus teaching what not to think and do and in verse 33 Jesus makes it really simple, “Do this.” Don’t do this over and over and over, then do this, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.”
Jesus call on our life is to make His kingdom our priority in all matters of life. This is the invitation of God’s Word in every part of our life. Put Him first.
This includes our thinking when we are confronted with the worries and anxieties around our finances, marriage, past, future, friendships, career; all of life. Believe in Jesus and follow Him!
This morning we are going to get to practice this exercise together as a church family. In a second, I am going to walk our church family through an updated view of our finances as a church family. We are going to get a real-life application.
If you are new here, you can see this as a hypothetical exercise for how someone might respond to worries but if you are a committed person in our church family I would ask you to lean in and hold fast to God’s Word as I walk through this update.
North Village Church
This sermon is brought to you by North Village Church, a non-denominational church in Austin. established in 2009 and built around Jesus and Bible teaching.
Are you looking for a church in Austin? At North Village Church we put Jesus at the center of our church family. We worship together every Sunday at 10:30am, encourage Christ centered fellowship through groups, and host special events such as Bible studies and Theological Training, to ensure that we are rooted in in God’s Word. We also serve our local community in association with several Austin based organizations.
North Village Church is made up of professionals, married couples, singles, and families who are wanting to experience the life-transforming power of Jesus. If you are a family with children or teens, we can support you with either or both our Kids Ministry and Youth Ministry.
You are welcome to contact us if you would like more information.
Unable to attend this Christian Church in Austin? Don’t worry, because, through God’s provision, we have created NVC online, an Online Church streaming a worship service every Sunday from 10:30am Central Time. You can also watch our short, powerful sermons on demand and follow us on Instagram for daily Christ centered content.