Fully Dependent on God

In this week’s sermon, Pastor Rick challenges us to trust God rather than things that are not going to last, such as wealth. The following reflections come from The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard and The Good and Beautiful Life by James Bryan Smith.

Monday – Matthew 6.19-21,33
Earthly treasures. Heavenly treasures. Anything that a thief could steal from us, a moth could nibble on or rust can corrode, or wear and tear can ruin is an earthly treasure. Treasures in Heaven relate to the things God is doing. And we know that God is helping people. Treasuring our spouse, friend, or neighbor is a very good investment. He or she is an eternal spiritual being who can return love and can bless the world. Thus, the best way to lay up treasures in heaven is to live out Matthew 6.33, which leads us to help others, investing our lives in ways that are in harmony with God’s character and actions.
Tuesday – Matthew 6.22-23
In this passage, Jesus is using cultural idioms (common illustrations) that make little sense to us today. In Jesus’ day, “unhealthy eye” referred to a stingy, envious, jealous person. A person with a healthy (clear) eye was generous. Today, Jesus might use different metaphors such as “tight-fisted” and “open-handed.” His point is that through kingdom economics, His followers can be generous with their money and possessions. Generosity is a hallmark of living in the kingdom of God. In light of this metaphor, how is your “eyesight”?
Wednesday – Matthew 6.24
Mammon refers to wealth or the spirit of wealth. Jesus’ claim that it can be a “rival god” must have shocked his hearers, who typically believed wealth was a sign of God’s blessing. In fact, scholars have no record of mammon being in used in a negative way in Hebrew culture prior to Jesus’ declaration. Money, wealth, and material possessions are not the real issue—our hearts are. It’s possible to be very poor and serve mammon; it’s possible to be wealthy and have a kingdom heart. The inward issue—where our heart is set—is what really matters. Jesus contrasts God and mammon because they compete for our hearts.
Thursday – Luke 12.15-21
Ever heard of the word avarice? It’s a bit different than greed. Avarice describes greed for money and possessions. Surprisingly, both the stingy and the spendthrift are in the grip of avarice. Though they appear to be opposites, they share the same belief—that money (spent or saved) is what makes a person happy. Avarice is insatiable. Once it takes root, we always want more. Our fears always outrun our money. Pray that we learn how to be “rich toward God,” and not play the part of a “fool” who lives only for himself.
Friday – Matthew 6.33
What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God first? It means making the reality and the principles of God’s kingdom our first and primary concern. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work hard. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about anything or be responsible stewards of our lives and possessions. Seeking the kingdom means we continually look to God and what He is doing in the midst of ordinary life. Seeking the kingdom first means facing our trials and troubles not with anxiety, but with trust that God can and will work in them.
Saturday – Matthew 6.19-24
There is a difference between being cautious, careful, and worrying. Worry is what we do after we have planned, prepared and acted properly. When we continue to stew about something, we’ve crossed into the world of worry. Worry is a disproportionate level of concern based on an inappropriate measure of fear. Worry leads to anxiety. Jesus says we are not to worry about food and clothing— human concerns. Jesus is asking, “If God cares and provides for His most insignificant creatures (wildflowers and birds, for example), can’t He provide for those He made in His own image, who are His priceless ones, who work so hard?”