This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on July 23rd, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
We are normal people. As people we are the same since Jesus’ time. People within and outside the church- we are concerned about life, health, beauty, education, jobs, marriage, children, food, etc. it’s not a concern of whether I’ll have food to eat, but what to eat? Roti, Kapda and Makaan ( Food, clothing and shelter). These concerns can become worries and anxieties. Sometimes we can be so paranoid with the worry!
So what we need to do is to look at the word and see what does God say about this? The problems Jesus identified in Palestine 2000 years ago are the same as we in Pune worry about today.
Matthew 6:25- 33 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Jesus said, don’t worry about what you’re eat or drink, how you look, your clothing, etc. If Jesus is saying it, 3 times, it is important! The heavenly Father provides for the birds of the air, how much more does he care for you? If you are concerned about your job and finances, this is a reassurance for you.
By worrying about something, can we grow taller? Worrying doesn’t help! The wild flowers of the field, look beautiful! Even Solomon, who was the richest king wasn’t clothed as beautifully as this. Worry shows a lack of faith.
Jesus also gives us something to do. In verse 32 he says that the unbelievers worry about these things. He will take care of you.
Q. So what should we do?
He said, seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.
1. Seek First! That means, it’s a priority! The order of things is that we seek his kingdom First of all! And then there is an amazing promise- all these things we are worried about, will be added to you! So we are not seeking things, but the kingdom.
Q. What does it mean to seek the kingdom?
i. Seeking the King Jesus: when it comes to salvation, you need to believe in Jesus alone for Eternal salvation
ii. Baptised in water- for many years I refused to get baptized. But it is obedience to God’s word. When I did it, my spiritual life progressed.
iii. Baptism in the Holy Spirit
iv. Added to the church- to be added to a local church. If you are new here, we have a ‘get connected’ course to get to know us better and be added to the church
2. Righteousness- when we trust in Jesus, do you receive the righteousness of Christ? Yes! But that is our positional righteousness. Our practical righteousness has to be worked out. In 1 Timothy Paul says, pursue righteousness. What is this righteousness we still need to pursue it? Matthew 6:1- “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them”- he is listing out some acts of righteousness. It is mentioned in the same chapter and the same word. So, maybe it means these things:
i. Give- giving your tithes. Give to the needy. Proverbs says, he who gives to the poor, lends to the Lord. It does not have to be a fabulous amount, but just bless them. As I have been doing that, I have been seeing the blessing of God pouring out into my life. Practicing hospitality is another act of righteousness.
ii. Pray- when we pray, God rewards us. We need to have a personal prayer time with God. Then we have corporate prayer. We have a men’s prayer meeting, Friday evening prayer, come for them. Would you like to be rewarded? Then this is the formula.
iii. Forgiving- Matt 6:12 onwards, He says, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors… For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”. Somehow, forgiveness is related to righteousness.
iv. Fasting- When you fast… when do you fast? Do you fast? Jesus is expecting us to fast. If you have been blessed with good health, would you fast! Don’t advertise to the world that you are fasting.
These are simple things to follow. But God says, do these things and he will add everything else to you.
3. Seek the kingdom- to Advance the kingdom. Doing something, will it advance the kingdom or hinder the kingdom?
My testimony- I was a student in Cyprus. Studies computer science and graduating- I wanted to go and get a job. I went for an evangelism training and deferred getting a job. My father sent my resume to 20 companies and no one wrote back. At the end of my time there, my mum told me that through a random contact, he had a job for me. I didn’t write a single application but I got an amazing job. Everything worked out. I didn’t have a visa, and normally people don’t employ you like that. But I had extraordinary favour, and He added everything to me.
Are we seeking the lost? Sharing our testimony and befriending the lost. Colossians says, set your mind on things above. The eternal destiny of people is at stake. We want to be people who are doing that.
Q. When was the last time you had coffee with an unbeliever?
Serving here is seeking the kingdom.
God is good. He wants to bless us. But he said clearly, seek first his kingdom. Seeking the kingdom also means putting to death unrighteousness. One of the things I want to address is the late coming to the Sunday meeting. It is not honouring God. So make every effort to come on time.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.