Sermon 2020-03-29

Seek First

Matthew 6:33
Rev. Tim Meendering
March 29, 2020
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Order of Service
Opening songs:
 

Closing song:
 

 

Sermon Notes

Questions for family/small group discussions:
 
If you think about the virus being an all-consuming storm that has deeply invaded our community and our lives, what losses do you most grieve or with what do you most struggle?
 
I referred to Hattie who confidently said that she would be fine while a hurricane was coming her way because “I’ve got liquor, cash, food, ammo, and weed.” Do you see how we might not be all that different, whether there’s a storm or not, when we settle for having a secure home, money, food, spirits, and a rectangle to entertain us?
 
What might be some ways that you could be settling for a mediocre good life rather than the great life that Jesus offers in his kingdom?
 
Two ways that are offered in the text and context:
 
1. Little kingdom living is hardly living at all.
 
Can you recall some ways that “little kingdom living” where you are the center and it’s all about you and your needs has crept into your life?
 
Jesus provides two evidences of little kingdom living:
  • A focus on earthly treasure.
      • What are some earthly, temporary treasures into which you have invested your gifts, talents, time, resources, and energy? What is the temporary treasure that you tend to most give yourself to? Can you recall how the “treasures” have not produced real joy and satisfaction?
  • A constant focus on your needs.
      • Do you see how your life can sometimes be reduced to focusing largely on your own needs? What do Matthew 6:11, 26, 30, and 32 say about how we should view our part and God’s part in the daily essential needs of life?
      • I noted that through this virus storm, “God kills our busyness and gives you the time and say, Now, what are you going to do with this?” What is your answer to that question?
God’s alternative and beautiful promise is that…
 
2. Big kingdom living is life beyond your wildest dreams.
 
I noted that God’s kingdom is about Christ, his agenda and rule over his people with total blessing and total demand. And, we were created to find our meaning, identity, and purpose in the existence, character, and plan of God. What are the most likely substitutes to which you turn for meaning, identity, and purpose?
 
When you look at Paul’s explanation of his passionate behavior for Christ and his kingdom as “Christ’s love compels us” in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, what is it that leads us to no longer live for ourselves and instead for Jesus? If this is what drives Paul, what can you do to be driven in the same way and with the same motivation?
 
In the kingdom of God, Jesus is your…
  • Source.
      • When Jesus is your true source of grace for each day, how does that change your ability to sleep and your ability to boldly love others? What can you do to increasingly make Jesus your source of grace for each day?
  • Motivation.
      • When Jesus outlines these difficult instructions to deeply trust in him as our king and provider, how does Jesus’ reference to God as “your Father” (6:26 and 32) make a difference for your response?
 
I noted that Jesus gave his life for his Father’s kingdom so that we who get lost in our own little kingdoms can be forgiven. What else did Jesus do through his death and resurrection to empower us to trust and obey him in seeking first his kingdom?
 
I said that Jesus’ life was extinguished in pain and sorrow for you so that your life could burn brightly with healing and joy for others. How do you see this working out in Jesus’ life and death and in your life?
 
In this crazy new normal of quarantine, how can you move toward an increasing love for your neighbor and what is one step you can take to care for someone in need (see our website for some ideas)? How would you answer the question, “What’s the explanation for your life?”