Life with the Father pt.2

Men’s Small Group // November 8, 2021

This is a lesson I prepared for a men’s small group working through the Sermon on the Mount and is based on the book The Sermon on the Mount by Sinclair Ferguson.

Matthew 6:19-34

Introduction

  • Hypocrite -> Deliberately  uses religion to cover up his sins and promote his own gains.
    • First step in battling hypocrisy is to be honest with God in our private life.
    • This is also the first step in all of life.
  • Today we are going to look at our anxious heart.

Diagnosis Questions

  • Where is your treasure? (v.19-21)
    • Our “possessions” belong to a passing world, which offers no security.
      • “The more we gather possessions in order to feel secure, the more we feel we need them in order to be secure and then the more we need to guard them to maintain our security.”
    • “Real spirituality is not seen in the gathering of wealth, but in being delivered from loving it – whether we have wealth or don’t have it.”
    • Where is your treasure?
      • What in life do you count as really important?
      • What do you dream about? What do you daydream about?
      • What occupies your mind?
      • Wrong priorities breed anxious hearts.
    • On what is your spiritual vision focused?(v.22-23)
      • “Eye is the lamp of the body” — this is our heart
      • “Poor spiritual vision – having wrong spiritual priorities, influences the entire direction of our lives.”
      • Anxiety is caused by the failure to focus spiritually, and by thinking about life with a “diseased” perspective.
    • Who is your master? (v.24)
      • Jesus is not saying it’s impossible to “moonlight” with a second master, rather that the effort breeds tension and anxiety.
      • Life in the Kingdom requires a single-minded allegiance to the King.
      • We are stewards of everything we have – family, home, business. We do not possess them.

Jesus’ Prescription

  • The prescription Jesus offers is simple enough… Renew your mind!
  • What does renewing your mind look like? Read v.25-33
  • Look at the whole life (6:25-26)
    • In the midst of your anxiety, it seems (at least to you) that everything depends on resolving your anxiety. And (to you) everything seems related to it.
    • It’s a vicious cycle. Everything in your whole life and your happiness seem to depend on these things.
    • The whole advertising industry is built upon developing, nurturing, and deepening our anxieties.
    • The basic necessities of life, the servants as it were, become our master.
    • Answer – Look at the birds of the air. “Are you not of more value?”
  • Look at the nature of life (6:27)
    • God plans each step of the way to fulfill his purpose for you and through you.”
    • Worry is sign that you don’t adequately know him… or that you don’t trust him… or that you have not yielded to him.
    • “The secret of freedom from anxiety is freedom from ourselves and abandonment of our own plans.”
  • Look at the Lord’s generosity (6:32)
    • Pagans run after these things… They know of nothing else but to seek the gift.
    • Christians run after the Lord, seeking the giver of the gift, not the gift itself.
  • Seek first the kingdom of God
    • Anxiety is cured only by the assurance that all our needs will be met by our King.
    • This is righteousness pervading our lives –> proper priorities that lead to understanding
      • First, He will provide all we need. He will never fail.
      • Second, many of the things we thought we needed, we discover that we did not really need and now don’t want.

Tomorrow

  • Read v.34
  • You spiritual focus is on the here and now, today. We are not to worry about what tomorrow will bring. We are to be intentional about today and live our life seeking God’s Kingdom and righteousness.
  • Loving God will our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Today… prepare for tomorrow? Of course, but not worry.
  • Our heavenly Father will add all these things to our lives as needed.

Questions

  • Where is your treasure? What in life do you count as really important? What do you dream & daydream about? What occupies your mind?
  • What are your spiritual priorities and how do these affect your spiritual vision? Do your priorities heighten or lessen your anxiety?
  • Are living a double-minded life or a single-minded life? Meaning, are you trying to serve one or two masters?
  • What are some practical applications for intentionally living out Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

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