Faithlife Sermons

"God Helps Those Who Helps Themselves"

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In this passage, Jesus calls for us to seek after the kingdom of God first, not ourselves; if we do, everything else in life will fall into place.

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Introduction

Good morning and welcome to Family Reunion Sunday!
If you would like, I’d invite you to start turning in your Bibles to .
In just a few moments we are going to be looking at .
Today we are going to begin a new sermon series.
And you all know that I don’t often
And the subject of the entire series is The Bible Doesn’t Say That.
And I actually came upon this series by accident.
I subscribe to different ministry newsletters and list-serves and it popped up in my Facebook feed of all places.
And typically I don’t pay a lot of attention to much of anything on Facebook, but the title seemed interesting and it was from Ministry Pass, which is pretty reputable, so I thought I would check it out.
And when I did and as I was reading the quotes of what the Bible doesn’t say and the concepts that the Bible actually does teach, the Holy Spirit began to show me that this is something that I need to share with the Church.
The reason being is that in our society and to a lesser extent (I hope) even in our Church, there are erroneous beliefs about God and Christianity that have snuck their way in.
These popular phrases or ways of thinking are in direct conflict with what scripture actually teaches.
So, for the next five weeks we are going to be looking at different phrases the Bible doesn’t actually say, comparing them to what the Bible actually does say.
And today’s phrase is God Helps Those Who Help Themselves.
Who has heard that one before, raise your hands?
Now you don’t have to raise your hands but who thought that was in the Bible?
Who believes that it’s true, even though the Bible doesn’t say it?
I wonder how many of us have used that phrase.
And the phrase in itself is not exactly a bad thing because people need to learn to do things.
Nobody needs to receive Jesus and then sit down on a pew and “wait on the Lord,” as they put it.
We are called to respond to the Holy Spirit and put God’s calling into action.
However, our society twists and turns this concept into meaning that we are to be totally independent of everything and everybody.
Our modern culture idolizes self-sufficiency.
Everyone needs to take care of themselves, first.
Look out for number one.
Focus on your needs before anyone else’s needs.
However, we will see in our passage that God’s plan for our lives is the exact opposite.
Focus on the kingdom first, and God will take care of the necessities.
God’s plan for our lives is the exact opposite. Focus on the kingdom first, and God will take care of your necessities. Following Jesus is about living a selfless life.
Following Jesus is about living a selfless life.
So, if you have found in your Bible, I’d invite you to stand with me if you are able, as we begin reading in verse 25.
Jesus tells us . . .

Scripture Focus

Matthew 6:25–34 NIV - Anglicised
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25–33 NIV - Anglicised
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Worry, Worry, Worry

On the social media platform, Yahoo Answers, the question was asked: “Why are priorities Important?” The top voted answer that was provided was simply: “A priority is something that IS important.” We all have priorities in our life. There are things we treat as most important. The only question is, are you treating the most important thing with the most importance?
Now, in this passage Jesus is teaching the people some very valuable lessons.
It is actually right in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount.
In the beginning of the chapter, we actually find the Lord’s Prayer.
So it is packed with all sorts of information.
And it seems as if Jesus hits on every single aspect of life and here in our passage we find one of the things that afflict more people in this world than anything else.
I would even venture to say that at some point in life, every single person in the world is afflicted with this.
Some learn to deal with it and some are inflicted with it their entire life.
And that affliction is this thing we carry worry.
As a people we are worriers.
We worry about our money.
We worry about our houses.
We worry about our cars.
We worry about our kids.
We worry about our health.
We worry about our parents.
We worry about our church.
And sometimes this worrying becomes overwhelming and drags us down.
It can even have a physical effect on us as well.
We think that if we worry about things we can change them.
we think by worrying that we are helping ourselves in some way.
However, Jesus tells us something different here.
He says . . .
Matthew 6:25 NIV - Anglicised
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Matthew 6:
So, isn’t that a fine how do you do!
We are out here worrying about everything and Jesus just simply says don’t worry!
Now, we want to qualify what Jesus says here and tell ourselves, “Jesus didn’t really mean EVERYTHING.
So, let’s break it down. Jesus says not to worry about :
Our life
What we will eat
What we will drink
Our body
What we will wear
So, he covered food, clothing, shelter, our health (body), and our life itself. So, that pretty much covers everything in my book.
And I know what we are thinking, “Jesus didn’t say anything about worrying about others.”
Well, what does our life encompass?
It is more than just our physical life (birth-death).
Our life encompasses every aspect and every person in our lives.
It is more than just the physical act of living, but also how we live and who we interact with in our lives.
That is why Jesus asks them the question, is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
In other words, he’s asking us isn’t there more important things in life than worrying about everything?
In fact, Jesus tells us that . . .
John 10:10 NIV - Anglicised
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Satan wants you to worry about everything because he knows that it drags you down.
And the only way Satan can harm a Christian is when we are weakened to the point that he can influence us and catch us off guard.
However, Jesus offers us life, and so we can have it to the full or “more abundantly” as the KJVs puts it.
This abundant or full life Jesus is talking about is not just meant for when we get to heaven.
We are offered an abundant and full life right here and right now!
Part of putting our faith and trust in Jesus is trusting Jesus for all things, including ALL the things we worry about.
Jesus explains in our passage . . .
Matthew 6:
Matthew 6:26 NIV - Anglicised
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:28–29 NIV - Anglicised
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
And . . .
Matthew 6:28–29 NIV - Anglicised
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
Matthew
Are we not more valuable to God than the birds of the air?
Matthew 6:30 NIV - Anglicised
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Matthew 6
And finally . . .
Matthew 6:27 NIV - Anglicised
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And we read these words and hear them preached, but do we believe them?
Do we realize that we cannot add one single second to our lives by worrying?
Do we know that worrying does not change the outcome of anything?
In fact, most of the things we worry about are 100% out of our control anyway.
There is nothing we can do about it.
And that’s the real reason we worry.
WE CAN’T CONTROL IT!
All the things we worry about are completely out of our control and that is completely opposite of the idea that “God helps those who help themselves.”
We can’t help ourselves in this way.
We have got to depend on God and it drives us crazy, because society tells us that the only person we can depend on is us, ourselves, good ole #1!
Lies, lies, lies.
The deception of Satan.
Jesus goes on to explain that . . .
Matthew 6:31–32 NIV - Anglicised
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
Matthew 6:31-
And pagans here are the world.
Those who have no hope because they have no Jesus.
They are “helping themselves” refusing to depend on God or anybody else for anything .
Do you really want to be like them?
If God feeds the birds, won’t God feed us?
If God clothes the grass of the field, won’t God provide for us?
Are we not more precious and valuable than those things to God?
Where is our faith this morning?
Is it in God or in something else?
Someone else maybe?
Ourselves maybe.
But it is certainly not in God.

Seek God’s Kingdom First

The problem though is that it is easier said than done.
How do we get from where we are to where God wants us to be?
That is where people struggle and where they seem to be disconnected.
Jesus tells us the answer here in verse 33 . . .
Matthew 6:33 NIV - Anglicised
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
And right here is the answer.
We need to STOP seeking after man’s kingdom, the things of the world.
But rather we need to FIRST seek God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness.
Because when we seek after God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, it places us in the right mindset.
We are not worried about all the things in the world, but rather we become focused on God’s will and God’s way.
And when we can focus on God’s will and God’s way we put our faith and our trust in God completely and we are able to realize that all the things we need in life will be given to us as well.
And people say, “well I try, and it never works out for me.”
Well my question is, are you trying to be responsive to the Holy Spirit, or are you trying to manipulate God into doing what you want to do?
Jesus also tells us to . . .
Matthew 7:7–8 NIV - Anglicised
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
This passage is meant for us to ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, knock and keep knocking.
But we should be asking for God’s will.
We should be seeking God’s will.
And we should be knocking on God’s door and not our own.
Don’t try to push your own will, don’t try to seek out your own will, and don’t open your own doors.
In another passage Jesus tells his disciples . . .
John 14:1 NIV - Anglicised
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
It all boils down to who we really trust in, EVEN WHEN IT GETS REALLY HARD.
And finally Jesus says . . .
Matthew 6:34 NIV - Anglicised
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Altar Call

So this morning, what is our mindset?
Are we so bent on helping ourselves that we can’t trust God?
Is our self-sufficiency that important to us?
I wonder if there is anyone here today who is tired.
You are tired of worrying about everything.
Have you given it to Jesus?
He tells us to . . .
Matthew 11:28–30 NIV - Anglicised
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Have we trusted Jesus Christ for all things this morning?
Is there anything we are holding back?
Is there something we need to release to God right here, right now today?
If there is, I would invite you to come.
If the Lord has laid anything on your heart at all, I would invite you to come.
Don’t leave the same way you came.
Don’t leave in bondage to worry and fear.
Leave free and liberated in the power of Jesus Christ.
Will you do that today?
Will you come?
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