Devotionals Sermon on the Mount

Daily Bread

Sometimes when communicating with another, perhaps a husband with a wife and the one party does not pay attention to everything the other says. That person will, by virtue of the inability to communicate maturely, not get the full message. It might be boredom, a wondering mind, lack of interest or anger that causes distraction, limiting what is heard and therefore what is comprehended. We may be like this with God’s Word! Take the Sermon on the Mount as an example. Have you noticed the way Jesus progresses in His teaching? He does not move haphazardly from topic to topic. Each teaching is a natural progression from the previous one … and intended. Take chapter 6:19-24 … it naturally precedes verses 25-34. Not lusting after Materialism precedes not worrying. The key verse in the passage today is:

Mt 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Remember the Sermon on the Mount is all about Jesus explaining how His followers need to live within “Higher Righteousness” as opposed to the “hypocritical righteousness” of the Pharisees. Remember we who are born by the Spirit of God and united to Him by adoption and are positionally different to the world and in practice we need to be too.

1) Do not worry about being sustained in life as a believer.

Mt 6:25 “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?

After dealing with Materialism, Jesus tells people not to worry about the most essential aspects of physical survival.

(1) If God has promised to look after and care for His people, they need not worry about how they will survive! He may not give you all you want but according to His promise He will grant you your needs. If He permits us to ask for our needs surely He will provide! Does He not encourage us to pray:

Mt 6:11 “Give us today our daily bread”

(2) When we read the word “worry” we need to stop and asked what this word means in the text. It means to be troubled (anxious) with cares of how you will be sustained in life.

Did God provide for His people as they travelled through the desert after Egypt? Yes … He gave them meat (quail) and bread (manna) as well as water … even from a rock! When they entered Canaan that all stopped because God gave them Farms, Vineyards and Animals. God provided.

How much have you struggled in life? Did God see you through those struggles? I’m not asking about whether you struggle financially because you wasted money. You can’t blame God for that. When He gives you resources and you misuse it … how can you expect God to come to your rescue … unless you sincerely repent, seek forgiveness and surrender to God’s Biblical guidance for recuperation. Back to God helping you. Even before salvation but especially since salvation has God provided for you? Employment, accommodation, food, clothing, transport? Or if He has not given all those things … has God sustained you with the basics for survival?

I am certain your story will be better than mine … but I remember how all we had to eat as a family when the children were younger was a loaf of bread. Did we go hungry? No! God provided. What about clothing? For many years we were not able, like so many, to purchase new clothing regularly. As God did not want us to run up debt (accounts) we often shopped at Jumble Sales and the cheaper stores. Were we ever naked, half-dressed or cold? Never! God provided. Did we always have sufficient money? We were always able to pay our way … but never ran a savings account until we retired! We always had what we needed.

(3) It seems as though verse 25 is saying that God provides what is necessary … not necessarily the luxury. As long as you can eat and dress that is sufficient. Too many live for the latest fashions. The last purchase has not been paid for and the next purchase is happening. God’s people trust God to meet their dietary and clothing needs.

2) The way God provides:

Mt 6:26 “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 labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor 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?”

The illustrations Jesus uses are relevant. His people need to look at the less obvious care God gives to other aspects of His creation to see how much He cares for them when Jesus says … will he not much more clothe you!

3) The way to trust God.

Mt 6:31 “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.”

If God knows your needs, why worry? This does not mean you can’t ask for the needs to be met but it does mean that if God knows the needs you may pray asking God to meet your needs. Pray and leave it to God! What is the greatest problem we have in trusting God to meet our needs? O you of little faith? How do you then exercise faith?

Mt 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

When you feel you have trusted God and He has not met your needs … ask yourself whether you have fulfilled the requirements of verse 33.

(1) Seek His Kingdom first. This means to know the King of the Kingdom personally and to be dedicated to Him. Jesus as King and His Kingdom must be the most important aspects to your Christianity. As we have already seen … if Materialism is god then Jesus cannot be God!

(2) Seek His Righteousness. No one can expect God to meet their needs when they live for the god of materialism. Righteousness means living morally and ethically the way Jesus requires. Another way of saying this is … holiness. When Jesus is Lord of all and your life is modelled against Jesus’ morality, you can trust Him to meet your needs and

Mt 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Thank You, Lord Jesus, that when we do life Your way we may leave every tomorrow with all its problems and needs to You to take care of for us. Amen.

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