Together, I Can Feel Secure

Description

When we one day stand before God and see His awesomeness, we're going to be so humbled at how little we tapped into His blessings. Today, let us realize that He is our Source and our Security!

Matthew 6:19-34

INTRODUCTION:

Let's talk this morning about security. For the last few weeks now, we've been talking about Partnering With God. Taking our little hand and putting it in his big hand, letting him be the senior partner of our life and us becoming the junior partner. And today, I want to talk to you about how you can find security when you really partner with God.

Lucy says to Charlie Brown, "Charlie, how would you define security?" "Remember when you were a little kid, riding home from someplace in the backseat of the car? Your parents are up front driving, and you  know that you have nothing to worry about as you fall asleep, because you know they’ll get you home and put you in bed. That's security." But if you study Charlie Brown, you know that he never knows when to stop. Kind of like many preachers. He goes on and says, "But you don't get to stay in the backseat forever. You grow up. And after a while you have to get in the front seat, where you have to make all the decisions, and you're never going to feel secure again because you've left the backseat." Lucy says, "Never?" "Never." "Hold my hand, Charlie Brown." Security for many people is very fleeting.

Gallup Poll: What is your greatest need in life?
One of the top six answers: Security.

On this subject, many of you would say, "There was a time when I felt secure, but I'm not now."  Maybe you were financially secure, but no longer. Maybe you were physically healthy, and you thought, "I don't think I'm ever going to be sick." In fact, if we had stood here last Sunday and asked Pastor Dwayne how he was doing, he would’ve replied, "Oh, I feel fine." The picture of health. Yet in a matter of a few hours he's in the hospital. Security has that tendency to be here one minute, and then disappear on us. Some of you would say, "Pastor, there was a time when I thought my marriage was secure. And it's not. When my children were little, I thought they would turn out right, but they're grown now and it's not quite as good as I thought it was going to be."

One of the most interesting things I have ever seen was what happened over the summer with Ross Perot. Incredible, wasn't it? We hardly knew who he was or what he thought, but we wanted him in office. Just because of insecurity -- we weren't secure with who we had, or who we could get. The insecurity of mankind causes us to look for quick solutions, anybody that comes by with a steady hand.

I was reading the San Diego Union recently, that 42,000 jobs had been lost in two years in the county. Talk about economic insecurity. This morning I mentioned putting prayer requests down on your fellowship cards. Today, I brought with me last Sunday's prayer requests. It was just a typical Sunday, nothing pressing or anything. As you can see, there are pages of single-spaced prayer requests from you. Every week they put this on my desk, so I can pray through the week for you. And there's never a week that I don't pray for every person individually. Right before this service I was able to catch a couple that I'm praying for because of a job situation, just to whisper in their ear, "I want you to know that I'm praying for you." There's also some great praises in here. Here's one that says, "God has provided a job for me." Another one says, "I started tithing and God is blessing me financially." But then I went down to the prayer request section. And I  began counting the people who are praying for jobs and finances, and if I'm not mistaken, there were 47 families out of work. It's the real world, isn't it? How are you and I ever going to get to where we really feel secure?

Now, Jesus is going to teach us that when we place our security in anything earthly or temporal, especially in excess, whatever excess means to you or me, we ride an insecure roller coaster throughout life. Because earthly things come and go. Matthew 6:19-34. Jesus says, "Don't store up treasure on earth. Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them. Instead, store up your treasures in heaven where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break in and steal them. Your heart will always be where your treasure is. Your eyes are like a window for your body. When they are good you have all the light you need, but when your eyes are bad, everything is darkened. If the light inside you is dark, then surely, you are in dark. You cannot be a slave to two masters. You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

Now, this really is a lesson on security, not on money. But you see, Jesus understood that we have a tendency to put our security into possessions.

The kinds of treasure Jesus talks about:

1.  Earthly.  v. 19

Earthly treasure comes under attack through...

A.  Moths.

Now, when he talked about moths destroying our earthly treasures, the disciples understood what he meant. He was talking about clothing. In Jesus' day, many people put all their treasure in clothing. Many of them sewed gold threads into their clothes. I want you to understand this isn't an anti-possessions, anti-money message. It's an excess message. It says, "Where do you put your security? Do you put your security in the excess of life that you have?" Moths only bother clothes that you don't wear. You don't walk down the street with moths devouring the clothes you’ve got on. 

B.  Rust.

Back East, rust will eat your car alive. Out here we don't have the salt on the roads because of bad weather. We don't have the rust problem out here. Out there, you can literally watch your car disappear in the parking lot. But he wasn't talking about that kind of rust. You know what he was talking about? Rodents. Back there, most people were farmers, rural people, and they had excess grain.  Remember the story in Luke about the man whose barn was full, so he was going to tear it down and build bigger barns, and eat, drink, and be merry? His security was based on a whole bunch of grain and barns. You know what rodents do? They get into barns, and eat away at stuff. What you thought was security, one day will be gone.

C.  Thieves. 

Jesus is just saying that when you and I bank on something earthly for our security, which is a very human tendency, we'll always be in trouble. Now, I don't know if you have problems in these areas. I'm not sure you have a clothing problem. Southern Californians are pretty casual. I'm not sure they put too much money in their clothes. Not like they do back East. Boy, back East they dress up. I'll never forget my first Sunday here,  and a guy walked right down that aisle in shorts, t‑shirt, and sandals, carrying a big Bible. One of the staff members leaned over and said, "Welcome to Southern California."

2.  Heavenly.  v. 20

Interestingly enough, he tells us to have heavenly treasures. Now, when you get on heavenly treasures, it gets real mystical unless you're like me, and I'm a bottom-line, practical person. Let me just take a moment and teach you what heavenly treasures are.

Turn over to I Timothy 6; we're going to take a detour, to help us understand the difference between earthly treasures and heavenly treasures. "Warn the rich people of this world not to be proud or to trust in wealth that is easily lost." Now, he's talking about earthly treasures. In other words, there's a tendency for people to put all their security in something they own. Now, I want to tell you something. He's not anti-wealth. He's referring to depending on wealth as your security. In fact, he says to tell rich people, “...to have faith in God, who is rich and blesses us with everything we need to enjoy life. Instruct them to do as many good deeds as they can.” Underline that phrase. Now, he's talking about heavenly treasures. 

Heavenly treasures:     I Timothy 6:17-19

A.  Trusting in God.

B.  Doing good works.

He says to do as many good deeds as you can. In other words, keep on doing it. Don't do one deed and pat yourself on the back.

C.  Sharing generously with others.

Look at verse 19, "This will lay a solid foundation for the future so that they will know what true life is like." He's talking about something that will give you security, a solid foundation. Something you can build your family and your life and your goals on.

Jesus teaches us that treasure is connected to the.. 

1.  Heart.  v. 21

There's a relationship between what my heart wants to do and where my treasure is. Verse 21: "Your heart will always be where your treasure is." There's no such thing as the treasure being over here and the heart over there. No, no.

2.  Mind.   vv. 22-23

Look at verse 22. He says, "Your eyes are like a window for your body." In other words, it’s through our eyes that we see and want and fall in love with things.

3.  Will.

He says in verse 24 that we “cannot serve two masters.” We're going to love one and hate the other. Wherever our will is, whatever we have decided to serve, will become our security. That's why

The Apostle Paul said, “For me to live is Christ.”

For me to live is...                           .

How would you fill in the blank? Money, possessions, family, job, health? What would you say, because whatever it is, is where your security is placed. And you know where insecurity begins? When we have a divided heart. When we're trying to serve two masters. We're trying to have eternal values and at the same time our heart is panning for earthly values. Just won't work.

Now, here is what you can have. This is powerful. He says you can focus on eternal things and have earthly things. But you can't focus on earthly things and have eternal things. Do you understand that our Lord is desperately trying to teach us how to prioritize our life and make him number one. Not just in saying it. But by truly making him number one. All these other things will be added to you. But you can never go after the things. You see, our tendency is always to go after the tangible. No, what you’ve really got to do is put God number one, and let him take care of the other things in your life.

Those who place Christ first should not worry because they understand...

 Verse 25. I want you to underline, "Don't worry." Go down to verse 31, underline, "Don't worry." Go down to verse 34 and read, "Don't worry." Three times in 10 verses, Jesus says, “Don't worry. Don't worry. Don't worry.” Now, how can I keep from feeling anxious and insecure in life?

1.  What life consists of.    v. 25

Look what he says in verse 25. "I tell you not to worry about your life. Don't worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn't life more than food or clothing?" Christians who place Christ first should not worry because they're not confused about what brings value to life. They understand that life is more than food or clothing.

2.  Their value to God.      v. 26

He goes on in verse 26 and says, "Look at the birds in the sky. They don't plant or harvest, they don't even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren't you worth more than birds?" Christians who put Christ first in life understand that they are created in God's image, that God's Son, Jesus Christ, came to forgive their sins and literally died for them. If Christians should have anything in life, it's self‑worth. When I see a Christian that doesn't have self‑worth, I come away amazed. I understand the psychology, backgrounds. But I always come away amazed. When you realize that God created you in his image and his own Son came and died for your sins, that tells you an awful lot about how important you are. Even Jesus is amazed as he says, “Don't you understand that you're worth more than the birds? I take care of the birds. Why do you humans somehow devalue yourselves and think, ‘Well, God would take care of a sparrow but he wouldn't take care of me’?”

3.  Worry is totally useless.           v. 27

Look at verse 27, "Can worry make you live longer?" Will worry make you live longer? No, in fact, it will cause you to die quicker. Is it going to add any value to you? No. Is it going to add any stature, any height to you? Absolutely not.

4.  Power and wealth will not give them what they need.  v. 29

In verse 29, he goes on, "But I tell you, Solomon with all of his wealth was not as well‑clothed as one of them." He's talking about the flowers in the field. You see, this is a tremendous misconception. Most people think if they could just have some money or just get ahead in life, all their cares will be taken care of. And Jesus is saying that isn't true. In fact, he compares us to Solomon. Solomon was the wealthiest and wisest man who had ever lived at that time. People came hundreds of miles to Jerusalem to see all of these incredible things that Solomon built. Yet he said that Solomon isn't clothed as well as the flowers. All the resources and provisions and possessions you can have are not going to keep you from being insecure. The most insecure people I know in life have an awful lot of possessions.

5.  Worry reflects the character of the unbeliever.            v. 32

 Look at verse 32, "Only people who don't know God worry about such things." I think he's looking at us in amazement and saying, “Aren't you my children? Are you going to constantly worry and be concerned about these areas of your life?”

6.  Worry keeps us from making God Number One.         v. 33

Look at verse 33, "But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants; then all the other things will be yours as well." Worry sure does keep us from making God number one. You say, "Pastor, are you sure?" Hey would you read my lips? I'm very sure. If you couldn't sign the tithe card because of your insecurities. I love you, but it wasn't an issue of money. No, no my friend. You just can't believe that God can take care of you. So you save that 10% for yourself. You think that's going to make a difference. I want to tell you, you're going to have financial problems next year because you're still trying to run your life and keep control of those finances. You're still saying, "But I can do this." Now, folks, this isn't John, this is Jesus. He's saying that you're carrying way too much weight, like you don't have a Heavenly Father. You're running around like unbelievers, heathens. He says, “You don't understand this process. Trust me.” All we got to do is one thing: put him first. “...then...” When? When you put him first and do what he wants, “then all the other things will be yours as well.” You see, we're wanting the last part of verse 33,  and we're saying, "Oh God, bless me, and then I'll serve you and make you number one." We say, "Now God, when you get me out of my financial hole, then I'll put you first in finances. When you bless my family, then I'll dedicate my family." God says, “Forget it.”

7.  Worry keeps us from dealing with today.        v. 34

Verse 34 he says, "Don't worry about tomorrow; it will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today." Worry saps energy, divides focus, and keeps us from dealing with the present because we're so worried about tomorrow.

Now, do you notice on those 7 points I just gave you, I always started out with, "They understand." I didn't start off with, "They feel," because you and I are not always going to feel like doing some of these things. But you see, mature Christians have settled the principle of lordship in their lives, so even though they don't always feel like it, they've made him Number One, and they follow that principle in the good times and the bad, knowing that he will take care of them.

What should we do instead of worrying?    Matthew 6:33

1.  Focus on God.

More than anything else, Jesus knew that everything else would clamor for our attention and try to divide us and pull us down.

2.  Put God first in life.

Notice what it says in verse 33: "Put God's work first and to what he wants."

When we make Jesus the Lord of our life, we have at our disposal...

A.  God's presence.  Matthew 28:20

B.  God's possessions.  John 16:15

C.  Gods power.  Luke 10:19

D.  God's peace.  John 14:27

E.  God's perspective.  John 15:15

3.  Put your faith in God.

CONCLUSION

This simple message on security was really brought home to me this week. God is such a great teacher. I was in New Orleans, with a marvelous group of people. They were having their general convention, about 20,000 people there, in the Superdome, I was sitting on the platform, thinking, “Boy, the sound is so good here.” After the service was over, up come Jim and Chris Hammond, two of our Skyliners who run sound here. Jim, of course, travels all around the country to do it. I said, "Now, I know why the sound was so good."

In that great, incredible service, the moderator was doing a little interview with a black pastor and his wife from Miami, Florida. Last year they went down to Miami to start a church with no financial resources. Just on their own. Felt God called them to Miami, there they went. Living way beneath the poverty level. The moderator was asking them, “Has God taken care of you this year?” And this marvelous young black pastor that has 10 times the faith that I do, said, he said, “I can tell you many stories, but let me just tell one. One afternoon, I said to my wife, ‘I think we need to go grocery shopping.’ And she said, ‘But honey, we don't have any money.’ I said, ‘I know that, but in prayer today I felt today was the day we ought to go grocery shopping. We don't have any food either.’ So I said, ‘Let's go to the grocery store, God will take care of us." So we went to the grocery store, filled the cart up, and got in line at the check out counter. My wife was really getting nervous. In fact, we were two people away from the check out lady and my wife said, ‘Sweetheart, I can't stand it anymore. I'm going to the car. I'll meet you in the parking lot.’ I said, ‘Honey, God's going to take care of us.’ After she left, a man came up to me, and said, ‘I was praying this afternoon, and God told me to come to the grocery store and pay for all of your groceries.’”

Aren't there some areas that you can trust God in and others where it’s harder? Some areas you just give to God quickly, and with others you say, "God, I don't think you can handle this. I might hold on to this myself." You know when he told that story, first thought that came to my mind was, “Wow, John, you don't even have a clue what faith is. You've never done anything like that before.” I mean, that's incredible. I would have been out in the parking lot. Come on, quit laughing. You would have been out there with me. This pastor in Miami really understands that God will take care of the birds and take care of him. I can't touch him in faith. It was very humbling to me. You know the second thing I thought of? Now, this is human; you know when that guy stepped up and said he supposed to pay for all of the groceries? I thought, “Why didn't I fill up two carts?” Isn't this human? Now, isn't that just like us? When I thought that, I laughed.

But I wonder how many times in life I have pushed my cart down the aisle with my needs, and put the bare minimum in, with God walking beside me and saying, “John, put something else in there.” “Oh, no, God, I don't think you can handle any more. I think three items is about all you can pay for.” I wonder how many times I haven't filled my grocery cart up because I've shrunk God down so small until I think he's just able to handle the little things in my life and not the big things.

When we stand before him some day, Christians, and see his awesomeness, we're going to be so humbled at how little we tapped into his blessings. I hope you realize we're experiencing miracles here at Skyline. Remember when we prayed a few years ago for land, and couldn't find any? Then we found it. But it wasn't zoned. You know, God never makes it easy, does He? And they said we couldn't get it zoned. We started praying. We got it zoned. I remember when we tried to raise money when we were trying to get it zoned, and the fund-raising guy said, "Don't try to raise money on a mountain that you're probably not going to get. We've never known a church to raise money on land that may not be theirs." But I said, "We can't wait. We've got to start now." And you gave, by faith, millions of dollars. You were with me a few months ago when we burned that mortgage on that property.

I have this on my desk, a quote by C. H. Spurgeon. I'm telling you, there are times when I'm put to shame for my lack of faith. And you're sitting there saying, "But John, I'm out of a job, I don't have any money." I'm not one of those pastors who have pat and easy answers and quick cliches. I don't understand. But here's something for you:

“God is too good to be unkind; He is too wise to be confused. If I cannot trace his hand, I can always trust his heart.” C.H. Spurgeon

Let's pray. God, there are people are sitting in their seat today who don't have a job. They truly are having to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." Some parents’ kids have now grown up. When those kids were 3 and 4, it seemed like they would always be able to mold their lives. But now that they're 20 and 22, they've got a will of their own and it's not going the way the parents thought it would. There are people in this room who thought they were physically healthy last week. This week they go in for tests. There are people who've had a lot and lost it. There are people here that have never had anything and thought, “If I could ever have it, I could get secure.” God, help us quit playing this human game and grow up. Help us to get mature. Help us to understand, God, the only things that will last are things of eternal value.

Help me quit rambling around, darting in and out, trying to solve issues I have no business trying to solve. Help me to trust in you. God, give me the same simple faith you gave that pastor and his wife in Miami, Florida. Now, that's faith. There's a guy the next Sunday morning who could preach the message I tried to preach, only when he preached it he did a better job then I could ever do, because he could say to his people, "God gave me a lesson on this yesterday."

As we walk out of this auditorium today, help us to quit biting our fingernails, pulling our hair. If there's one thing we can settle right now, help us to settle it: help us to put you number one in our life. That's all we've got to do. And yet, God, we'll do everything in our power to keep you from getting on that throne. Well, help us to yell "uncle" this morning, give up, quit trying to climb up back up on top. Help us to lay back and let you be God. Put you first and then watch what you do.

Holy Spirit, this message is needed for our church body. Encourage them with it. People who are seeking jobs this week, Lord, as they keep seeking, help them to trust in you. Put you first and trust in you. Hallelujah. I have a strong sense this morning, God, that this morning you heard this prayer. I have a strong sense today God that you're going to do a wonderful work, and I'm excited about it. I can hardly wait for people to write me notes saying, "Pastor, I put God first and I trusted him and now, look what God's doing in my life. He has become my strength. He has become my security." Thank you God. And all of his people said, amen. I love you. God bless you.

TODAY'S MESSAGE: "Together...I Can Feel Secure"
Matthew 6:19-34

Gallup Poll: What is your greatest need in life?

One of the top six answers: Security. 

The kinds of treasure Jesus talks about:

1.  ______________________ .  v. 19

 Earthly treasure comes under attack through... 

A.                                 

B.                                  

C.                                  

2.  ______________________ . v. 20

Heavenly treasures:       I Timothy 6:17-19

A. _____________ in God.

B.  Doing  _____________                  .

C.  _____________ with others.

Jesus teaches us that treasure is connected to the....

1.   _____________  v. 21

2.   _____________  vv. 22-23

3.  _____________ v. 24

The Apostle Paul said, “For me to live is Christ.”

For me to live is:  _____________                              .

Those who place Christ first don’t worry because they understand... 

1.  What life  _____________.   v. 25

2.  Their _____________ to God.  v. 26

3.  Worry is totally  _____________ .  v. 27

4.  Power and wealth will not _____________ .   v. 29

5.  Worry reflects the character of   _____________ . v. 32

6.  Worry keeps us from making  _____________ .  v. 33

7.  Worry keeps us from dealing   _____________.  v. 34    

What should we do instead of worrying? Matthew 6:33

1. _____________ on God.

2.  Put God  _____________ in life.

When we make Jesus the Lord of our life, we have at our disposal...

            A.  God's  _____________ - Matthew 28:20

            B.  God's  _____________ - John 16:15

            C.  God's  _____________  - Luke 10:19

            D.  God's  _____________  - John 14:27

            E.  God's  _____________  - John 15:15

3.  Put your  _____________ in God.

“God is too good to be unkind;
He is too wise to be confused.
If I cannot trace his hand,
I can always trust his heart.”    C.H. Spurgeon     
                                                                                                 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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