This week we continue our new sermon series entitled “Refocus”. Preaching from Nathan Gordon. Service led by Beverley Sills.
What does it mean to refocus? = To focus again, to change the emphasis or direction.
Modern life in the UK is plagued with a plethora of time-consuming distractions. There is so much information and platforms vying for our attention and even the very best of us can lose sight of our main priorities in life. Can you think of anything that distorts your view of Christ and His kingdom? Maybe there’s a need to assess your priorities in life and see where God and his kingdom fit in.
Context of Matthew 6:21-34
The sermon on the mount is regarded as the most famous sermon of all time because of the impact of the sermon over thousands of years. Jesus covers a variety of topics from chapters 5-7 that deal with the spiritual and practicalities of everyday life in view of God’s kingdom.
Our focus passage this morning covers the topics of
- Possessions/earthly treasure
- Food & drink
- Treasure in Heaven
Challenge – Jesus understood the practicalities of everyday life and warned his followers to avoid becoming too distracted and overwhelmed with their pursuits of money and possessions.
“We should not be so fascinated and consumed with our possessions, lest they possess us”– Life App
What/Who is the apple of your eye? = For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be. (Matt 6:21)
The Complication = Out of synch priorities – v19-21
- Jesus was concerned about the passion and attention given towards treasures on earth. V19
- Moths and vermin destroy = the sobering reality that everything we own is subject to decay.
- Jesus draws a link between our possessions and our hearts. What we invest in is borne out of our heart’s desires. V21
Challenge – This month take note of the time, energy and focus you invest on other matters non-relating to the kingdom of God. Think and pray about ways you can devote more time to spiritual and kingdom-building this year.
The Resolution = Refocus your view and attention – v22-24
- Spiritual vision enables us to determine the things God wants us to do and see from his point of view.
- God’s view can be obscured by self-serving desires, interests, and goals.
- Serving God is the best way to restore spiritual vision. Fixing our thoughts on his kingdom rather than ours.
- Jesus makes a bold statement concerning money and challenges the crowd to pick a side of allegiance. V24
Challenge – Where does our ultimate allegiance lie? Money is not the root of evil but the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil. (See 1 Timothy 6:10) What we love we invest in, what we love we spend time with and what we love we ultimately adore. God should be first above everything else in our lives because He alone is worthy of worship, adoration, and praise.
The Celebration = We are the apple of God’s eye
– v31-34, Romans 14:17 & Psalm 17:8
- The kingdom of God has so much more to offer than creature comforts, possessions, money, clothes, food, and drink.
- Seeing lives transformed by the gospel offers fulfilment that money cannot buy.
- God has demonstrated throughout the Bible his undeniable love for humanity.
- Humanity is a top priority of concern to God. He created us, made a plan to save us, provides for us and encourages us each day.
Challenge – We have the assurance of God’s unconditional love and the knowledge that we are cherished in the eyes of God. In response to God’s love, how can we prioritise His kingdom this year with more passion and focus? Can we remove the things that are blocking our view of Christ? Can we refocus our priorities to ensure Jesus and his kingdom are number one in our lives?
- Give examples of how people today “run after all these things” that Jesus mentions (v. 32).
- Explain how what you treasure reveals what your heart is really pursuing. What are you spending your life pursuing and building – worldly, transient treasures or faith? (Matthew 6:21)
- List and discuss in your opinion a healthy list of priorities for a Christian believer in 2024.
- Discuss how Ch 6 verses 19-21 can be taken out of context. Does Jesus mean we should not make earthly investments or save money for the future? (Also discuss insurance policies in connection to this verse)
- Discuss verse 24 – how can we apply this verse in today’s modern context? How can we ensure our pursuit of earning a living does not replace our worship and devotion to God? (See also 1 Timothy 6:10)
- Discuss the potential of the church becoming more kingdom-focused today. What could the impact be for our local communities?