Bible Bullet - Sermon on the Mount, Seek First His Kingdom

Matthew 6:31-34
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  Sermon on the Mount  –   Seek First His Kingdom  Matthew 6:31-34 “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. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  (6:25-34)    Jesus has challenged the disciples to resist the worries of life by acting on their faith (6:25)    In addressing their anxiety about life‟s necessities such as food and clothing, Jesus reminds them that God feeds the birds and clothes the lilies of the field, and yet God values them much more than birds or flowers  –    and to doubt God the Father is to be of “little faith” (6:30)    The very fact that Jesus says to them, “you of little faith” re minds us that He is addressing the disciples  –   the Sermon on the Mount is a message to believers, not the unbelieving world    Though “little faith” may not be a flattering description, at least it is implies there is faith      In the same way Jesus challenged the fearful disciples a few days later; they were crossing the lake and a storm came upon them  –    “You of little faith, why are you afraid?” (8:26)      Only by faith in Christ can we receive God‟s forgiveness for our sin and receive abundant and eternal life (John 1:12, 3:16, 10:10), and it is this same faith that sustains us every day    “Just as you began i n Christ Jesus, so walk in Him  –    in simple faith” (Col 2:6, J.B. Phillipps)    “This „little faith‟ is ultimately due to a failure to apply wh at we know and claim to believe to the circumstances and details of life” (Martin Lloy d Jones, Studies in the Sermon,p. 403)    A mature and growing faith believes that the same God who offers forgiveness and salvation “will s upply all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19)    Worry about food, drink, and clothing is the normal pattern for one who does not know almighty God, which is the reason Jesus says “the pagans run after all these things”      Again Jesus follows with the recurring message “therefore do not worry about tomorrow”      The phrase “do not worry” or “fear not” appears 365 times in the Bible  –   a consistent message    Rather than worrying about food or clothing or what may happen tomorrow, Jesus says “but seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you”    Paul speaks of God‟s provision: “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all  –    how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)    Our concern should be to know and experience God  –   this was exemplified by Solomon who asked for God‟s wisdom over weal th and long life, and so God rewarded his right  priorities by giving knowledge, power, wealth and longevity (II Chronicles 1:11)    The question for us is what does it mean to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”   o   Do we seek eternal life His way  –   through faith in Jesus Christ rather than a self-derived  plan for spirituality through good works or self-improvement? (Rom 10:9-10, Eph 2:8-9)  o   Do we continue in the faith with which we began (Col 2:6), and daily seek to know God? o   Do we “abide” in Christ –   by trusting Him (John 3:16), obeying His word (John 15:10), remaining in His love (John 15:9-13), and allowing Him to direct us (John 16:13)? o   Is our relationship with God a distinct priority in our lives? Or we pursuing things of the world? ( “the pagans run after all these things, and your Father knows you need them”   o   Do our priorities define our lives as Jesus described the wealthy fool whose life was cut short (Luke 12:21) as “one who stores up things for himself but is n ot rich tow ard God”   o   Jesus said: “ live your life in me and let my words live in your heart” (John 15: 7)

Paper 17

Jul 23, 2017
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