Winning Over Worry (Matthew 6:24-34)
No man can serve two masters. If he attempts to serve two masters, his loyalty will be divided–he will hate one and love the other or vice versa. Man cannot serve God and mammon. “Mammon” is an Aramaic word which means “wealth” or “property.” A man cannot be loyal to God and love money at the same time. Many who desire to be rich fall into trouble (1 Tim. 6:9-10).
Because man cannot serve two masters, he is not to worry about his life. Man is not to worry about what he is to eat or drink or what he will wear. Life is more important than food and the body is more important than clothing. Worry means to be unduly concerned about something; the admonition against worry is so important that it is repeated three times.
The Futility of Worry, vv 26-30
Consider the birds. They do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet God feeds them. Are we not of more value than they? Mankind is more important to God than the birds. Therefore, if God will feed the birds, he will surely feed us.
Who by worrying can add one cubit to his stature. Some other translations render this phrase: “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” Whatever translation we accept, the point really remains the same–Worrying can do nothing beneficial.
Why do we worry about clothing? The lilies of the field neither toil nor spin. In Palestine during the spring, the hillsides are clothed with lilies of various colors. Although lilies do not work, they surpass Solomon in all his glory. Solomon had much glory and wealth (1 Ki 10:14-29). If God richly clothes the grass which is temporary, will he not also clothe us?
Jesus directs these words to those “of little faith.” Indeed, those who worry have little faith in God. Those who trust God have no reason to worry; God will provide.
This is not to say that we can do nothing and God will be pleased. Each person is to look after his responsibilities. A man is to work so that he can eat (2 Thess. 3:10). We are to work so that we can give to those who have needs (Eph. 4:28). We are not to sit around and wait for God to bless us; were to fulfill our responsibilities. Are you fulfilling your responsibilities?
The Answer to Worry, vv 31-33
Because God will care for us, we are not to worry about what we shall eat, drink, or wear.
We are not to worry, for the Gentiles worry. The “Gentiles” stands for those apart from Christ. Those who are not Christians do worry about the things of this world.
Our heavenly Father knows that we need all these things, God knows what we need, and God will not abandon us.
We are to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. “Seek” means to try to obtain or to desire to possess something. The meaning here is that one attempts to make God’s kingdom real in his life. Are you seeking the kingdom by making the kingdom real in your life? The kingdom of God is, of course, his church. To make that kingdom real in one’s life means to be an active participant in the church.
We are also to seek God’s righteousness. Righteousness refers to uprightness of life. We are to seek God’s uprightness. As much as is possible we are to live like God. “You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). This text does not mean we are to be perfect, for perfect here means mature. However, don’t miss the fact that we are to become like God. We are to forgive one another as “God in Christ forgave” us (Eph. 4:32). Just as the Father has forgiven us, we are to forgive. Again, we are to be like the Father. Are you living like God?
We are to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness first in our lives. God must be first in our lives. Jesus called loving God with our heart, soul, and mind “the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37-38). Jesus said, “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Lk. 14:33). Both the Father and the Son expect to be first in our lives. Can you honestly say that you are seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first in your life?
If we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, “all these things shall be added to” us. The “these things” refers to our needs; if we put God’s kingdom and righteousness, God will provide for our needs. This is not a promise of great wealth, but this is a promise to be cared for. God will provide the Christian’s needs. “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread” (Ps. 37:25). “A faithful man will abound with blessing” (Prov. 28:20). Are you seeking first God’s kingdom? Is God blessing you?
We need not worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about its own things. Each day is sufficient for its own trouble. Each day brings new difficulties to be faced in that day.
Are you worrying?