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It ALL Starts with God

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It ALL Starts with God

Matthew 6:25-34

Sunday, January 13, 2008

 

It all starts with God.

When God holds His rightful place in your life – He brings clarity and peace and fulfillment.

But it all starts with God.

Self Employed: Farmer; You’ve got tractors to fix, land to prepare for next year, you’ve got about a million things to do next week – but what comes first?  You Decide!

Pastors:  I need to see about 1 Hundred people this next week.  I need to read, pray, study, visit, make calls, write letters, But what comes first?  I get to DECIDE!

Mothers:  You have an unbelievable job – JOBS!  You have laundry to do; dishes to wash, meals to cook, children to raise – but what comes first?  You DECIDE!

Teachers:  You have work to assign, lessons to teach, grades that need to be turned in, tests to grade, students to please – but what comes first?  You decide.

Students: You have papers to prepare, assignments to turn in, friends to talk to, parents to please, songs to download.

But what comes first?  You decide!

God gives to you and to me the danger and the dignity of DECIDING who and what comes first….How are YOU doing with that?  With so much to do, does God have a Word to help us?

25                “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.

26                   Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

27                “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch?

28                28     All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop,

29                29     but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

30                “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?

31                31     What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.

32                32     People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.

33                33     Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34     “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

1.  It all starts with God – so don’t stress over what is needless or senseless or useless. 

Mt. 6:25-30

·       Jesus gives us the INFORMATION we need.

TMI is an abbreviation we use when someone is telling us a story about what has happened – they begin telling the “gory” details – our stomach gets uneasy and we interrupt – Hold it, we say – “That’s too much information!”

·       Jesus tells us what we need to know.  We need to know that we are not to be anxious about food or clothes – God will provide our needs.

People need to KNOW that our ALL-SUFFICIENT; EVERPRESENT; FULLY SATISFYING God meets our needs.

 Why do we need to know this?  Because we are sinful, fallen people and we want to be in CONTROL.

How much control do you have today?

Let’s think about the information Jesus gives:

(1)           Look at the birds of the air. (spin/struggle)

(2)           Consider the lilies of the field. (beauty)

(3)           Listen to your own life.  (Can you add)

Let’s remember that our Savior walked on this earth.  He knew that people have in common a desire to get ahead.  He knew that people like you and me have cares and concerns. Jesus knows that when we get our relationship right with God our perspective changes.

MONKEES – WWII illustration - here

2.  It all starts with God – you are loved and valued as God’s special creation.   

Mt. 6:26b  “Are you not of more VALUE than they???”

Have you stopped lately to consider how valuable YOU are to God?  In this passage Jesus tells you not once, but again and again.  You are loved.  You are God’s SPECIAL creation.  You are made in the IMAGE of God Himself.

Illustrate:

Jeanie was telling a friend about her husband Bruce.

She told that Bruce was wounded by a gun shot as young man.  As a result he was a quadriplegic.  Jeanie’s words of her husband spoke of her admiration of him – she spoke of his strength and unshakable hope in God.  Jeannie said that through the years as she would push him around in that old wheelchair well meaning Christians would say, “I bet you can’t wait to get to Heaven so you can walk.”

Bruce’s reply was always the same: “I can’t wait to get to Heaven, to be sure, but not so I can walk or jump.  I long for Heaven, because there I can kneel.”

Bruce is saying what our passage today says, “It all starts with God!”

Is YOUR life telling your family and friends, your classmates, your business partner, that God values every human soul?  Including YOU?  INCLUDING THEM?

3.   It all starts with God – seek God first.   Mt. 6:33

·       “Seek” – is a word that was used to describe the hunter who hunts birds/wild game.  He hunts not for pleasure but for food that sustains.

The hunter focuses his mind on those birds. His eye always looks for them.  He keeps his bow and arrow ready.

In the same way that a bird hunter makes birds the center of his attention – we too, are to have something at the center of our lives.  That something is really someone, and his name is God.

Question I’ve asked myself all week.  I thought about you and I thought about me as I sought to answer one question from this text.

“What does it mean to seek God and his righteousness?”

To seek God and His righteousness is to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

Conclusion:

A.     The information (6:25): We are told not to worry about food or clothes, for life consists of more than these things.

B.     The illustrations (6:26–30)

1.     Consider the birds (6:26–27): They do not sow, reap, or store up food, yet God feeds them!

2.     Consider the lilies (6:28–30): They don’t worry about clothes, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are!

C.     The invitation (6:31–34): Put God in first place, and he will meet all your needs!

Do you know what this passage is about?  All week long I’ve prayed over it and studied it and read it from about 20 different translations.  You know, they all point to the very same thing.  Your life and my life is all about relationships.

And the most important relationship of all is your relationship to our ALL-SUFFICIENT; EVERPRESENT, FULLY SATISFYING God.

Do you know this morning God longs to have fellowship with you?  He desperately desires that you and Him get together so He can help you get it together. 

Let me ask, How is YOUR relationship with God today? 

Some of you could say, “Preacher I just taught a Sunday school lesson about God’s great FORGIVENESS.”  RIGHT, so let me ask YOU again, “How is YOUR relationship with God today?

Some could say, “Preacher, I’m a leader in this church” RIGHT, and so let me ask you again, “How is YOUR relationship with God today?”

Right now some of you may be thinking, “Preacher, what’s the big deal here?  We all know that we are to put God first.  Most of us here this morning are trying to do that.

Let me tell you the big deal.  God desperately desires a relationship with every one of you today.  He is so committed to a relationship with you that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to come into this world and to come into YOUR life to change it – to make YOU NEW.

Are you ready to be LOVED – at all times?

Are you ready to be FORGIVEN for all of your sins?

Are you ready to hear YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER say to you today and everyday for the rest of your life how much He VALUES you?

(SAVE THIS FOR LAST WORD OF SERMON…

C.S. Lewis:  “The central Christian belief is that Jesus Christ’s death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start.”

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