Date: June 17, 2018
Pastor Joe Fisher
Title: Anxiously Awaiting
Text: Matthew 6:25:34
Wellspring Church, Springfield, Ma.
SCRIPTURES: Psalm 119:73-96; 1 Corinthians 11:17-24,
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?[g] 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.
BIG IDEA:Anxiously Awaiting
This passage is found early on in the gospel of Matthew. Earlier in Matthew we have read about the birth of Jesus Christ, about His baptism, that He is led into the wilderness where He defeats Satan. He calls His first disciples to leave everything and follow Him and He begins to minister. In thisHis most famous sermon, the sermon on the mount, is where we find ourselves this morning. Jesusdoesn’t shy away from difficult topics such as loving your enemies and money. He goes on to show us in this passage where are security truly lies.
We are waiting with expectant hope. We are secure. That should be our posture. We should not be anxious about anything. But we have been anxious, worried, tied up inside without knowing what will happen next. We can all raise our hands when we ask the question: Have you ever been anxious? Even some of you are anxious right now. Work is coming tomorrow, maybe there is something at work you are not sure what to do. We are anxious about two main things: treasure and judgement.
The scripture this morning falls between the passage about laying up and storing treasures in heaven and the text that says don’t judge me. That’s where this falls. Don’t mishear, there are deep reasons why someone might have anxieties outside these two categories.
Point 1:Anxious about treasure- money, possession, status
Jesus tells us not to worry about these things; not to store them up. He knows the objections to this. Isn’t it wise to store these things up? People love to think that we are the exception to the rule. We need money; we need to have our needs met. How will we afford to live if we don’t have money? He knows their objections. He answers them before they ask. Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, what you will drink,
In the examples that follow Jesus shows us why we should not worry about these things. It is not a call to the lazy life but it is a call to faith. We should not think well Jesus promised so I will just let these things fall into my lap! Example: a couple that has chosen to be like migrant workers – trusting God from day to day. They don’t think that jobs are what God wants for them. But they don’t mind taking the benefits of those who do have jobs and beds. They are not removed from the means that God provides for us to work with our hands. There are more jobs than people who need jobs in America these days. The United States has done a really good job of building itself on a culture a fear – you will never have all your needs met. You need more to be happy. So therefore, we churn in this anxiety; not finding our meaning in possessions. This is a great lie. Here is a controversial claim to think about: “American culture is probably the least Christian culture that we have ever had because it is so materialistic. It appeals to the very worst instincts we have.” Teens worry about their phone, their appearance, and how many likes they get on social media. There seems to be a correlation between social media and anxiety. Social media is literally 24-7 and their lives are not measuring up to what other people have. Even church planting, “doing God’s work”, can get built up in anxiousness. What if no one shows up? What if the fund raising money dries up? What if we labor in vain? We have no clue how our time is used in someone’s life.
But God is sovereign. He is providing for us in so many ways that we are unaware of. We sit in safety this morning because God weaved it so we could be here this morning. Jesus says anxiety about tomorrow is foolish. Birds do not worry; they sing. We as image bearers have more worth and we can have all the more confidence that God will feed us what we need.
You have worried about these things. It drove you, at least in part, to Christ for salvation.
Point 2:Anxious about judgment
God is righteous and He expects us to be righteous. But sin has broken us and we are unrighteous sinners and slaves to sin, Satan and death. There is nothing we can do to unbind these things. So behind the scenes we are anxious about our standing before God. We have guilt, shame and we live with anxiousness – have I done enough; am I good enough? What about those things I committed in my mind. Jesus takes the 10 commandments and raises the bar. Jesus says everyone who has anger is liable to judgement. If you wish them dead in your heart then you are a murderer. Your standing before God is as a sinner who needs grace. This should make us anxious because our standing before God and the judgement to come if you are not a believer should bring great anxiousness. I thought I was a good person but I now realize that I have committed murder in my heart time and time again. Are you worried yet? You should be if you do not know Jesus Christ. We are sinners, we must be made righteous. We continue to sin until we die. There are two certainties in life: death and taxes. Death comes from sin – taxes too! We cannot make ourselves righteous. The doctrine of justification tells us that God counts us a righteous solely on the finished work of Jesus Christ. He takes sin away. He establishes us as righteous. This is imputed to us. It is given to us. This is such great news. We trick ourselves into thinking that maybe we could have but deep inside we know this is not true.
Hymn: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, my righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand”. If we are firmly planted in Jesus Christ then we are not swayed. We rest on the finished work of Christ. Our anxiousness does not own us. God is our God. Jesus knows what it is like to be human, to be hungry, to not have a permanent place to lay his head. Now he sits on the right hand of the Father and advocates for us. Hold fast to this promise. Christ Jesus is our great high priest for us and He advocates for us on our behalf. Jesus Christ Himself advocates for us if you repent and put your faith in Him alone. Rest on that.