Perspective and Priority
Topic: Sermon on the Mount Passage: Matthew 6:25–6:34
Jesus encourages us not to worry. Interestingly, the word he uses for “worry” in the original Greek indicates something which divides, separates or distracts us. It refers to a mind which is divided into sections and thus doesn’t function as a whole. There is a kind of “double-vision”, a looking in two different directions at the same time. In order to help us overcome worry, Jesus gives us two keys in today’s sermon text: perspective and priority.
It was God who gave us our lives and our bodies in the first place. If he was able to do that, if he even feeds the birds and clothes the grass, why should we worry about whether we will have enough? Jesus reminds us that God is our heavenly Father and that we can trust him. Our trust in him, however, will only reach as far as our revelation of his goodness. Therefore, when we feel tempted to worry, we need to learn to adjust our perspective by reminding ourselves of the never-ending goodness of God.
Jesus instructs us to seek first (to prioritize) the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. Note that it says seek first, not seek only. Denial or neglect of problems are not the key to overcoming worry; prioritizing God’s Kingdom is. Here are some practical tips:
- Fill your mind with testimonies and stories of where God is at work.
- Intentionally engage in opportunities to advance God’s Kingdom. As we give financially or encourage others, for example, we increasingly break the hold of worry on our lives.
- To seek first the Kingdom means to see first the King – Jesus Christ, the risen Son of God. Learn to look at your problems and worries through the lens of the finished work of his Cross.
Our problems are real, our worries are real; they indeed left their marks on Jesus’s own body. And yet, he is risen! Peace to you.
Taking it home: Try this helpful exercise to help you discern the goodness of God in your life. Write down three things you are thankful for each night for the next 6 weeks.
More in Sermon on the Mount
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August 23, 2020Jesus Invites His Followers to Choose the Narrow Path
August 2, 2020Christ is Our True Treasure