THE SERMONS OF JESUS

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT

Areas of Vital Concern for the Citizen of Heaven
The Citizen of Heaven and Anxiety
Matt. 6:25-34

. INTRODUCTION

Anxiety and stress are serious matters for the modern person: stress from high-pressured jobs, from a culture which is hostile towards our children and grandchildren, from health-related matters. This stress works itself out either through road rage, physical abuse, etc. or through depression and other psychological disorders. This afflicts not only men but also women. As women have entered the work place and have "enjoyed" the experience of modern stress, the life expectancy of women has gone down so that it is now closer to that of the life expectancy of men.

Jesus though has not come to give us stress. According to Matt. 11:28-30 what is the solution to stress and anxiety in our lives?


Paul commands us not to be anxious. How are we respond whenever anxiety comes our way (Philippians 4:6)?


According to Paul what will happen whenever we do pray during times of stress and anxiety (Phil. 4:7)?


According to Hebrews 11:6 what should we exercise instead of stress and anxiety?


According to Heb. 11:6 is the anxious person pleasing to God?


In order to be pleasing to God, we must have faith. What does God want us to believe about Him before we can be pleasing to Him (Heb. 11:6)?



REASONS WE SHOULD NOT WORRY

Life Is More Than the Things We Worry About (6:25)

After commanding us not to worry about clothes and food, Jesus explains why we should not worry about these things. What reason does He give at the end of v. 25?

If our life does not consist of these things, what does it consist of?


We Are More Valuable Than the Birds of the Air (6:26)

Why should the fact that we are more valuable than the birds of the air convince us not to worry about food?


It is Futile to Worry (6:27)

What example does Jesus give which proves it is futile for us to worry?


In other words, we should not worry about things out of our control. Is it OK then to worry about things that are WITHIN our control?


Argument from Nature: If God Cares for the Lesser Things of Nature, How Much More Does He Care for the Greater Things of Nature! (6:28-30)

What example from nature does Jesus use to show that God actually cares for people and their clothing?


Romans 1:18-20 speaks about God's revelation through creation. It should not surprise us that to some degree creation reveals God. The painting always to some degree reveals the artist; the sculpture to some degree reveals the sculptor. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus uses here and in 5:45 instances from nature which reveal to us God's character. Here He shows us that God cares for us because if He cares for mere lilies, how much more will He care for the crowning achievement of creation, mankind! In 5:45 nature shows us that God loves everybody unconditionally. The sun doesn't just shine on the righteous; it shines also on the unrighteous. Rain does not fall just simply upon the righteous but also upon the unrighteous.

We've Been Called to Excellence (6:31-32)

According to these 2 verses why does Jesus not want us to worry? Why is that reason so important?


Throughout the Sermon on the Mount we see Jesus calling His people to a life of excellence, a life that a person without the Spirit of Jesus would never live. There is much at stake in the way we live. The "righteous" Christian will never make a powerful impact for Jesus on the earth. It is the Christian whose life cannot be explained apart from Jesus who will impact the world. Christ is calling us to be salt and light; our response to anxiety will either help us be salt and light or no salt and darkness.


THE TRUE MEANING AND PURSUIT OF LIFE (6:33)

To a large degree anxiety is a matter of focus. If we focus on our negative circumstances, we are going to experience anxiety. We need a shift in focus. According to Jesus what should we focus on?


What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?


When we do focus on these things, what does Jesus promise will be given to us?

What "things" is Jesus referring to?


Right after I graduated from UT in Austin, I felt led to stay in the Austin area in order to serve as a youth minister at Walnut Creek Baptist Church on a volunteer basis. I did not have a job lined up. All my roommates were leaving; therefore, I didn't have a place to live. I felt a lot of anxiety about my situation. God though used Matt. 6:33 to encourage me. All He wanted me to do was to focus on promoting His kingdom at that church; He would take care of the rest. That year turned out to be one of the most positive years in my life. Not only were my physical needs taken care of, I enjoyed that year working with the youth immensely.


A PRACTICAL REASON FOR NOT WORRYING ABOUT TOMORROW (6:34)

Many times we view Jesus as being so spiritual that His feet don't even touch the ground. (If you look at early Byzantine paintings of Jesus, His feet actually don't touch the ground.) Jesus though was a realist. After He encourages us to reconcile with our brothers, He says we should do this so that they won't prosecute us and throw us into prison (Matt. 5:25). What unspiritual reason does Jesus give us here for not worrying about tomorrow?


One of the big country Christian songs of the 80's was One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus in which the singer crooned about the need of focusing only on the moment. According to Gal. 5:25 not only are we to live by the Spirit, we are also to _______________ by the Spirit.

Jesus would never tell us not to make financial arrangements for the future, etc.; however, our focus is on the here and now. The wild thing is that many times when we take care of the moment, we are laying the foundation for good things in the future. You have probably done somethings in the past which did not seem all that important to you only to discover later that what you did actually did impact the future greatly.