Saturday, February 20, 2021

Sermon On The Mount - Part 5: "Wholly Owned"

Bobservations Column

By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

We are backing up just a bit, and recovering Verses 19-24 of Matthew 6 today. It is a segue between the first part of the chapter and the last half. And it’s perfectly situated to finish Jesus’ teaching on prayer with a challenge that might rock our world to its core. It is easy to overlook Jesus’ warning that in this world, believers will have tribulation.

This came up in a discussion yesterday; I can say I have all faith in Jesus, but how often does our faith get traction when severe, or dire events come? Where does the rubber of faith meet the hard pavement of tragedy?

The scriptures deal with every aspect of our relationship with God and Jesus Christ. We can have a personal relationship with Jesus, and Jesus has a personal relationship with the Father; He is therefore the perfect and only mediator of our relationship with the Father in Heaven. Jesus pleads our case with his father.

In 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul writes these encouraging words to a young Pastor Timothy. (It is easy for a young man to be intimidated by those older than himself, and Timothy’s stomach was sometimes tied in knots because he was placed in that position.) Paul wrote, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” Intimidation is really nothing more than mild bullying, and we’ve all felt it to some degree at different times.

Simply put, Paul was telling Timothy to trust Jesus more when trials came his way: a deeper faith from stronger testings. Like with Moses, the people crossed the Red Sea on dry land, the Lord having parted the waters. And after Moses’ death Joshua lead the people over the Jordan, but the priests that carried the Ark, had to first put their feet in the water before the waters would part for them to cross (Joshua 3:13). Our own “Promised Land” requires a faith of deeper trust that the Lord will honor His Word in our lives. This is the true victory of trusting in the Lord.

Stretching our faith to actual application is the measure of the depth of our trust in Him. Trust puts action to our faith.

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean
not unto thine own understanding."  ~ Proverbs 3:5

Today's Audio MessageMatthew 6:19-34

The Sermon On The Mount - Part 5:  "Wholly Owned"

We live in an age of anxiety. It is as though everyone seems to be worrying about everything - from what they are having for dinner tonight, to some of the most extreme difficulties one can face: like a loss of a job, a serious illness, or a major disaster.

Worry is a by-product of putting your faith in the wrong thing, or the wrong person. It is a big deal because there is nothing in this corrupt world that can provide you with a sure foundation where upon you can stand. In an instant, we can lose everything we own. We can lose our health. We can lose our friends, or our loved ones. We can lose our freedom, or our ability of self-sufficiency. In fact in John 16:33, as Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure, He said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of Good Cheer, for I have overcome the world.” While this world is full of tribulation and suffering, for the Christian there is a firm foundation upon which we are able to stand - His Name is Jesus, and His promises can be fully relied upon!

God wants our whole heart. He desires that we fully Trust Him as our heavenly Father, a loving Father. The example of how he takes care of His creation, the fouls of the air, and He feeds them. Can we not Trust Him to feed those He calls His children?

As we finish chapter 6 of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus gets into the heart of this issue. Worry is non-productive and has no place in the Christian’s life. It cannot help you. It cannot comfort you. It cannot give you peace. It cannot change your situation. It cannot give you one ounce of wisdom.

Where is your heart? Where are you laying up your treasure? What are you seeking after? What are you focused on? Is your faith real? Are you fully trusting in Him?

It’s all about relationship, not religion. The most important thing we can do in this life is to develop and maintain our relationship with Him. As we seek Him and His Kingdom, our faith will grow, we will trust Him more, and He will take care of our needs according to His promise.

Trust is faith in action. It is trusting God, and His promises for us no matter the circumstances. God wants His children to fully trust in Him!

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