Sermon 15th Sunday after Trinity, at Andrews Anglican Orthodox Church, 4 September 2016 Anno Domini
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matt 6:24-34 (KJV)
We see throughout the Holy Bible that we are presented a choice between two realities:
There are but two families upon the earth:
1) the family God
2) the family of the damned
There were Two Trees in the Garden:
1) the Tree of Life representing Jesus Christ
2) the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil representing Law which cannot save us
There are but two paths one of which we all shall travel:
1) the straight and narrow <st1:bcv_smarttag>Matt 7:14 ¶ “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
2) 2) The Broad Way filled with people and going down to destruction <st1:bcv_smarttag>Matt 7:13 “Enter ye in at the strait1 gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:”
And now, the Lord has pointed out two Masters, only one of which we can claim as our own:
1) God whose yoke is light and easy to be born (Matt <st1:bcv_smarttag>11:28 -30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you,1 and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
2) And the way of Mammon (worldly riches): <st1:bcv_smarttag>Matt 13:22 –
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
We ask ourselves, in moments of greed and weakness: “Could I not claim this bit of unearned wealth and still be gracious unto God?” The answer of course is always no. Any thing ill-gotten cannot satisfy a Holy God.
But we must go into the matter still further than that: Anything gotten outside the will of God cannot please Him – honestly acquired or otherwise.
The determinate principle is our motive in the getting and using of our possessions, and the manner with which we view them.
Let us examine verses 25-32 with a view of gleaning the deper meaning our Lord conveys therein:
Christ is telling us that there are two ways with which to view the future.
He certainly does not mean that we should not exercise due foresight in providing for our familie, our professions, our education, our food, etc.
Foresight aids us in our daily walk with the Lord.
We have our Bible study plans,
our General Conventions,
our Morning/Evening Worship,
Our Holy Communion Service,
Our family budgets –
all these things are results of careful planning and foresight. They free our minds of worry and undue concern so that we can concentrate our thoughts on Christ – morning, noonday, and evening.
But neither does He mean that we should view the future in fear and foreboding.
Forsight and foreboding are two very different things. Each opposed to the other:
The more a man looks forward in the exercise of foresight, the less
he does so in the exercise of foreboding.
And the more he is tortured by anxious thoughts about a possible future, the less clear vision has he of a likely future, and the less power to influence it.
When Christ here, therefore, enjoins the abstinence from thought for our life and for the future, it is not for the sake of getting away from the pressure of a very unpleasant command that we say, He does not mean to prevent the exercise of wise and provident foresight and preparation for what is to come.
The idea is, therefore, that here it is forbidden for a Christian,
not the careful preparation for what is likely to come,
not the foresight of the storm and taking in sail while yet there is time,
but we are herein counseled against the constant occupation and distraction of the heart with gazing forward,
and fearing and being weakened thereby;
or to come back to words already used, foresight is commanded, and, therefore, foreboding is forbidden.
Why does Christ tell us these things regarding our love for Mammon?
‘Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?’ (vss 25)
LIFE! The object of our faith in Christ is not the material riches He will bestow upon us, but LIFE itself – and that eternal.
<st1:bcv_smarttag>John 10:10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
When we are born into this world, we must depend upon our mothers and fathers to provide our every need. In fact, they gave us life as ministers of the Creator God.
As children of our parents, we inherit all that our parents have – a nice home, good and fresh meals, clothes to cover our nakedness, careful protection – all come- not through our labors, but as a result of to whom we belong as children.
Without our parents to love and care for us when we are young, what prospect would we have for the future? The worries of all our necessities do not belong to the child, but the parent.
So likewise with the Christian. He allows God to do his worrying and accepts the life offered through the Redeeming Blood of Christ. That is our means to life, and our assurance of the future life in Eternity.
Seek first to be born into the Kingdom of God (just as you were all born into loving, caring families here on earth) and all your necessities will be provided – ALL!
Just as your good parents know what things you have need of, so does the Heavenly Father know your needs and desires.
No one in this church has parents that will not provide food and clothing to them. Because of the bond of love a parent has for his/her children, just so much more love does the Father in Heaven have for you.
Not only does the Father love you with an unending Love, but He is one who is able to enforce that Love through the gifts of His Heart to you who love Him.
And why do we love Him?
<st1:bcv_smarttag>1 John 4:18-19
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath
torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.
Who is your God? Mammon or God the Father?
Do you love the things of this world: parties, fashions, money, romance………anything… more than you Father in Heaven?
Do you spend more time thinking on the vain and material than you do about the one who created you?
Serious questions for a serious matter……..
<st1:bcv_smarttag>1 Peter 5:8-10
Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast1 in the faith,
knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in
the world But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by
Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect,1 stablish, strengthen, settle you.
He will promise you the world, but in the end, destroy your soul.
Turn to God each waking moment, for it is who is able
<st1:bcv_smarttag>Hebrews 7:25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost1 that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Mammon or God? Which is it in your life?