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Mercy Hill Church of San Jose | Sermons

Do Not Be Anxious-Your Father Will Provide

Do Not Be Anxious – Your Father Will Provide
Matthew 6:25-34

 Let’s turn to Matthew 6.  If you need a Bible, go ahead and raise your hand and we will bring one to you.  Matthew 6 is on page 811 in the Bibles we are passing out.

In last week’s passage Jesus taught something astonishing.  He taught that when we give money away in Jesus’ name – we increase the joy we will have in God forever.  And when we understand that – then for the sake of joy in God – and for the sake of helping others – we will have an impulse in our hearts to give away more and more money

But the Bible also teaches us to save for the future.  And you hear different recommendations – like the idea of having an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of personal expenses saved up for emergencies – and of saving for college, for retirement, and the list goes on and on.

And there’s wisdom there.  But as soon as we think about saving for the future we can become anxious – will we have enough?  And that anxiety can squash the impulse to give away more and more money – and replace it with an impulse only to save more and more money.

And that’s why in this next section of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells us why we don’t need to worry about money – about why we don’t need to worry about whether or not we will have enough.   We don’t need to worry – because God has promised to provide everything we need.

Now let me say from the get-go – if you are looking for a formula to show when you should save money or when you should give away money – I don’t have one.  Jesus doesn’t give one.  

Instead – He gives us two principles to hold together – one is to structure your finances including savings so you can fulfill His calling on your life – and the other is to give away as much as you can.

And the foundation under the whole thing is to trust that God will provide everything we need.   That’s His point in vv. 25-34 --

25            Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

27            And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

28            And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,

29            yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30            But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31            Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

32            For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

33            But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34            Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Jesus’ main point is that we should not be anxious about money.  And He gives us seven reasons for why we should not be anxious.

So -- Why should we not be anxious about money?

The first reason is at the end of v.25 --

25b          Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Jesus is reminding us of how powerful God is.  God had the power to give you life and a body.  It takes a lot more power to give you life and a body – than to give you food and clothes. 

So – if God had power to give you life and a body – He will easily be able to give you food and clothes.  God has the power to meet all your financial needs.

For example, God is not wringing His hands about Friday’s unemployment numbers.  No.  God has the power to bring you 50 job offers tomorrow if He chooses to.  God has the power to meet all your financial needs.

In 1Kings 17 Elijah visited a widow and her only son during a time of terrible famine – when there was no food and people were dying.  All she had left was enough flour and oil for one last meal for her and her son.  And Elijah asked her to prepare that meal for him – and promised that God would never let her flour and oil run out.

So what did she do?  She prepared a meal for Elijah from the last of her flour and oil – and then she prepared a meal for her and her son – and God supernaturally caused that flour and oil to never run out.

So don’t be anxious – God has the power to meet all your financial needs.

The second reason is found in v.26 --

26            Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Birds don’t plant or harvest or store their food in barns – and yet God feeds them.  This shows us God’s heart.  God sustains His creation.  Every day God feeds the birds – providing them with worms and bugs.

God’s heart is to sustain His creation.  Now remember – you are different than birds – created in God’s image – created to know Him and worship Him and love Him.  So – will God feed the birds who are not created in His image – and not feed you who are created in God’s image?  Impossible.

The God who feeds birds will surely feed His people

The third reason is found in v.27 –

27            And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

 

If you live to be 80 years old you’ve lived 700,000 hours.  That’s a lot of hours.  But worrying can’t even do something as tiny as adding one hour to your life.

Jesus’ point is that worrying accomplishes nothing.

The fourth reason is found in vv.28-30 --

28            And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,

29            yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30            But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Notice that last line – “O you of little faith.”  That’s the key.  When I worry about money, there’s a problem with my faith.  I am not trusting all that God promises to be to me in Christ Jesus.  So the solution to worry is not to try hard not to worry – it’s not to think positively.  No – the solution to worry is to pray over these promises until I feel the Holy Spirit strengthening my faith.

And notice the promise implied in vv.28-30.  This is similar to v.26.  Jesus again wants us to understand God’s heart.  God cares for His creation – including beautifully clothing the lilies of the field.

But the lilies of the field are temporary.  You live forever.  You are so much more important to God than the flowers!  So if God clothes the flowers – He will certainly clothe you.

The God who clothes temporary flowers will surely clothe you.

The fifth reason is found in vv.31-32 –

31            Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

32            For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

The Gentiles anxiously seek after money – because they don’t know God.  They think it’s all up to them.  But Jesus says – we know better. 

We know that God isn’t just a force.  God is a Father – a personal, infinitely powerful Father, who knows you individually and understands every financial need you have and will meet every financial need you have.

Elijah once again powerfully illustrates this.  God told him to go out into the wilderness by a little brook.  So there was Elijah – by the brook with no food.  Our in the wilderness – with no food.  But God knew what He needed.  And God has infinite power.  So in the mornings, God had a raven bring him breakfast -- bread and meat.  And in the evenings, God had a raven bring him dinner -- bread and meat.

So the fifth reason is -- God knows everything you need.  So you don’t need to make money the main focus of your life.

So what should you make the main focus of your life?  That’s in the sixth reason – v.33 --

33            But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The main focus of our lives is God’s kingdom and righteousness – advancing God’s kingdom and righteousness – in our own hearts, in our marriages, in our families, in our workplaces, in our neighborhoods – everywhere we can.

And here Jesus promise – when we seek God’s kingdom first, all these things – food and shelter and clothing – will be added to you.

So if you seek God’s kingdom first – will you have all the food you need?  Yes.  Will you have all the clothing you need?  Yes.  The housing you need?  Yes.

So God will always give us what we need – what we need to fulfill His call on our lives.  God’s call might be to have lots – so you can give away even more – or it might be to have little -- or it might be to bring you home to be with Him.

Here’s one way I experienced this.  Years ago we were planning to move to San Jose from Orange County, so we had to sell our house.  So we put it on the market 3 months before we were going to move – but nothing happened.  No offers.

But the clock kept ticking.  I had officially resigned from my position at the church – my final day was coming – and the house hadn’t sold.  I remember the senior pastor at the church I worked at asking – do you want to push back your move date?  But Jan and I prayed about it – and felt like God wanted us to keep the original move date.

We were obeying God’s call to move here and plant a church.  And we knew He had promised to provide everything we needed.  But another week went by.  The house didn’t sell.  Another week.  No offers.  But then 10 days before we were going to move – an offer came.  It was a bit unusual – in that the buyer gave us a $10,000 non-refundable deposit – which we were able to use for moving expenses.  And the house closed escrow 3 months later.

When we seek God’s kingdom first, He will provide everything we need.

And Jesus gives one more reason – number seven – in v.34 --

34            Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

So don’t worry about tomorrow’s finances – let tomorrow worry about itself.  I think the point is – tomorrow’s finances are in God’s hands – He will take care of them.  Instead – focus on today’s troubles – the temptations you need to overcome, the needy you need to give money to, the work you need to do, the children you need to raise, the lost people you need to reach out to.

Let me sum it up like this – God will take care of tomorrow’s problems.

Now let me close with one last question – how does Jesus want us to overcome worry?

Many Christians focus only on Jesus’ commands.  Like if you were to read this passage – and walk away thinking – I’ve got to stop worrying about money.

But in this passage Jesus also tells us HOW to stop worrying.  Notice that He does not just say “don’t be anxious about money.”  He also gives seven reasons for why we should not be anxious about money.  And in v.30 he says the reason we are anxious is because we have little faith.

So the way to overcome worry is by setting our hearts on the reasons Jesus gives – praying over these promises.  When we do that –we will feel the Holy Spirit changing our hearts and strengthening our faith in God’s promises until we are fully at peace about our financial future.

So here’s my challenge.  This week pray over these promises every day.  And then in your home group share what the Holy Spirit does in your heart.  I guarantee you that in time – you will feel worry fading, and peace rising.

One final story.  My grandfather was a radio evangelist.  In 1934 he felt that God was calling him to start broadcasting on station KNX which covered all or North America including Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada.

But one week he faced a huge financial challenge.  Giving had not been strong – and the next day he needed to give KNX $500 – and all he had was $350.  He decided to call KNX and cancel the contract. 

But before his hand touched the phone – the phone rang.  It was a dentist friend, who said – “Charlie, do you need any money?  If so – come on over.”  So my grandfather drove to his house, and the dentist handed him a check already written for $150.  Why that exact amount?  Because the night before the dentist’s wife had woken him up and told her husband that God wanted them to give him $150 the next day.  (Give the Winds a Mighty Voice, pp.104f.)

So don’t be anxious about money -- God will provide.

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