KINGDOM THINKING #2
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Overcoming sinful thinking is the first step in curing anxiety. And the curing of the mind and heart of anxiety from sinful worry is only to be had by ‘holding to, and loving’ the Lord God, and by ‘hating and despising’ the prince of darkness, here referred to as mammon! For no one can serve two masters. And true faith in the Living God has direct bearing on the heart and mind maintaining it’s purity of thought. Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind,
That being the case, even though Americans are established in traditional religious practice, yet it is plain to see that due to their love of money, it is not the true and living God whom they worship. For these who call themselves ‘christians’ not only think it God’s will for them to be rich, but fill their minds in the accomplishment thereof. They do not seem to realize that God’s word states it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God! Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Amazing isn’t it? While proclaiming with the mouth and participating with their attendance, they are hard at work to eliminate themselves from that very kingdom!
And it certainly was not the pattern set forth by the Master and Lord of true, spiritual Christianity to be rich! 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. That is, that you might be rich in grace from God, and rich in charity toward others. May the Lord God have mercy on poor blind religionists!
And in verse twenty five of our text the Lord makes a very strong observation in question form. For he asks, isn’t it a much greater thing for one to have this amazing body, designed and created by God, than to have a hamburger to feed it? Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. Therefore if we cannot create a human being, why have anxiety concerning the feeding of that creation? For since the Lord God has power and willingness to provide the former, shall he not also provide the latter?
But of course the unbelievable fantasy of the first man originally being but a slickly-slime upon some water somewhere, and coming to be a toad frog, then into being a monkey, then developing into a human being, in some minds, eliminates the need of believing that God has personally designed and formed man. But separating our creation from the Creator separates us from the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ and all his accomplishment as the God-man, in representing man before God! 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
And the Incarnation and Resurrection of the humanity of the Eternal Son of God are the very heart and soul of the gospel! John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Of course, some people had rather climb a tree to believe a lie, than just stand on the ground to believe the truth!
But once you go that route, refusing to please God by faith in him, and giving up any knowledge of him, he will give you up! Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
For the darkness of eternal Hell first stems from that darkened mind, refusing the awareness of The Living God. So he gives them what they strive for – an eternity withdrawn from Him! Inner darkness always brings on outer darkness! Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Some tormented souls already have some hell to go to Hell in!
And while we’re in the first chapter of Romans, let us consider that twentieth verse, as it leads us into the next instruction of Christ as recorded in our text in Matthew. Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
And what could be more common to our view than fowls and flowers? Dear Reader, the gospel is all around mankind. Behold the fowls … Consider the lilies. That is the gospel being revealed to all mankind! For as our verse clearly states, even the invisible things of him, that is “of God,” are clearly seen. Acts 14:17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
Not one single soul, throughout the entire history of humankind shall go into the presence of His eternal glory and say, “I didn’t know, because you didn’t tell me!” Remember that last phrase in our Romans 1:20 verse, quoted above? – so that they are without excuse: Creation cannot regenerate a soul, but it certainly renders every soul inexcusable for unbelief!
Then in verse thirty one of our text we come upon the words, take no thought. And what is the reasoning he gives for this command? We are told in the very next verse that it is because this is how unbelievers think! And since we are now no longer one of them, we are to “retrain our brain,” as it were, to Kingdom Thinking! The Apostle Paul expounds on this to the church at Ephesus. Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And we now have a heavenly Father, whom we are to honor by respectfully considering that he certainly knows what things we have need of.
But just what was the real issue that poses these problems? It is our immature, undeveloped faith! For verse thirty ends with the words, O ye of little faith. Thankfully, it does not say that we are of no faith! For the exercise of just a little faith of mustard seed size can remove hinderances the size of mountains! Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Think! We are to dwell upon things pure, lovely and of good report. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Now ask yourself where does anything come from that is of good report?
Is it not from faith? Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: Faith, which evidences the spiritual and invisible matters, provides us with those things of good report upon which we are to dwell. 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. Therefore, the greater our faith, the more abundant things of spiritual loveliness, purity, and of good report we will have to dwell upon.
In chapter eight of Matthew we find a Roman Centurion of whom our Lord said had great faith. (See Matthew 8:10). And just what gave him this distinction? Well, he didn’t require the Lord to even come to his house. His faith, as trained by the Spirit in his army experience, confessed that the Lord Jesus could just issue the command and it would be done.
Do you ever wonder why we don’t trust the Lord like this? Do you wonder why we don’t make our requests known only to Him? Why do we run to the preacher, instead of the Lord? Why do we want our woes published on every prayer list from here to Timbuktu instead of entering into our own personal prayer closet as we have been instructed? The Lord sovereignly and solely saved us personally. And is not the salvation, the creation (Ephes. 2:10) of our spiritual life a greater thing than the aiding us in daily problems in the experiences of that life? (Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?)
And is not the spiritual Bride to go to her Heavenly Husband? Is it not seen as a great sin in nature for a female to leave the natural use of the male? (Romans 1:26,27). So what kind of sin is it if the spiritual female – the Church – turns inward only to the female Body and not upward to the male Husband? Did not the Lord Jesus instruct us, each and every one to Come unto me? It seems that he really did! Do you suppose that this is why today’s religion is so without power?
Dare you ever to just try to “Tell it to Jesus alone,” just once? Maybe just trust him with one little problem you are having; you know, one that hardly matters. Maybe just trust the Lord concerning it with all your heart, leaning not to you own understanding, but only acknowledging him for His direction of your path? (THAT really should be an inspired instruction. It seems that it would be of great help to the recover of true, powerful faith in this day! And the kingdom is defined more by spiritual power than by routine rhetoric! 1Cor. 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.)
And do we not have helps in doing so? The Person of the Word, in the manifestation of Himself through the printed scriptures is of immense help! For He will manifest each individual believers heart to him, revealing their thoughts and the intentions of those thoughts. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And in so doing, He will draw a cleansed and trusting Bride unto Himself as a glorious being, with no cause for shame! Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The Apostle Peter tells us that with our minds girded up we can attain to Christ’s holiness! 1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Romans 14:22a Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God.
Pastor Gene Breed, April 17, 2014