Sermon on the Mount: Anxiety and Posessions

Sermon on the Mount:
Possessions and Anxiety
Stephen "Red" Shumate
Oct 22nd, 2017
Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy at

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Sermon on the Mount: Possessions and Anxiety

In this series we have been taking a spiritual approach to the Sermon on the Mount.  And this is a point of view that we need to learn to have instinctively.  We need to practice it, so that in everything we do, we first look at it from a spiritual point of view instead of a physical one.

Matthew 6:19-24
19 “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness, how deep is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

In this scripture Jesus says don’t collect physical treasures but do collect spiritual treasures.  And then He gives us three reasons why:

1. Physical things won’t last, Jesus describes physical treasures this way... “where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal…”
    Spiritual things are eternal or as Jesus says…”where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal..”

2. He tells us to seek out Spiritual things, is so that our lives will be filled with eternal things… If we seek physical things then our lives will be filled with rusty, moth eaten, stolen junk!

3. We can’t serve 2 masters…We cannot serve both the physical and the spiritual.  Many people try.  They try to have a relationship with Jesus, while still maintaining their sinful self.  Jesus says, this just is not possible.  We must serve either the spiritual or the physical, but not both.

Matthew 6:25-34
“Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? 27 Can any of you add one moment to his life-span by worrying? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. 30 If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you—you of little faith? 31 So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I don’t think it is any coincidence that Jesus put anxiety right beside possessions because isn’t it our physical possessions that give us the most anxiety? What if I lose my house… What if I go broke…What if my car breaks down… What if I run into my ex… These physical things are sources of true anxiety in our lives.  These are the things that keep us up at night… Have you ever lost sleep over these things?

But how often has concern over a treasure in heaven kept us up at night. How often do we wrestle with the fact that we didn’t read our Bible today, or we only had time for a quick superficial prayer.  Does it keep us up at night when we didn’t help someone we should have, or that we let foul language slip in front of our non-churched friends?  Or that our sinful actions, pushed someone further away from God than brought them closer?

It’s rare that these things…these things that affect our spiritual treasures keep us up at night, but it is often that physical things do.

So here, Jesus tries to help us refocus by saying  Don’t worry about Physical things…don’t worry if you don’t have the latest trends in fashion… Don’t worry about what you will eat or what you will wear…  God already knows you need things…  but do focus on Spiritual things by seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.  In other words, seek what is right first and foremost…not as an afterthought. Absolutely make this a priority and a way of life.

If, as a Christian, I could only pass one message on to another Christian. It would be ALWAYS put God and His ways first, no matter what.  Always live as He tells you, even if you don’t see why.  Always choose right over wrong, or even questionable… even if it means you take a big hit. 

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