Seek First His Kingdom – Moving From Anxiety To Alignment
05 JULY 2020 | Traditional Service
Rev David Ho, Pastor
Scripture Passage: Matthew 6:19-34 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
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READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Move from anxiety to kingdom alignment as you seek first His kingdom.
Although Covid-19 has plunged the world into a period of anxiety, Jesus’ sermon on the mount proclaims the good news of the dawning of God’s kingdom which introduces an expectation of possible real change here and now through a personal relationship with God. Jesus’ key phrase “Do not worry” reminds us to cast aside temporal anxieties for heavenly alignment. God was doing something of incredible significance to effect our repentance and kingdom awareness.
Four ways to move from anxiety to alignment:
1. Right allegiance. Begin with singular devotion to the only one who can give meaning, hope and happiness – the Creator King, and not to any created thing or false god.
2. Right perspective. Let your vision be shaped by kingdom values, not driven by physical needs. The Covid-19 toilet paper stampede was a kiasu/FOMO (fear of missing out) false need, fuelled by the social media, not seeing life through kingdom lenses.
3. Right faith. All nature reflects God’s providence, that He is intricately involved in every aspect of his creation. Anxiety amounts to lack of trust in God’s providential care. Take baby steps out of self-sufficiency to live a life of relationship and trust. A recently-retrenched friend sought and heard God say, “lose your corporate identity and find your identity in me, as a child of God.”
4. Right purpose. Pursue God’s kingdom purposes and all these things will be added to you. ‘Seek first’ is not time-based, but a primary concern. It becomes a present fulfilment when God’s people corporately seek first his priorities, as echoed in the Lord’s Prayer- Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.
Wesley Church may be imperfect, but is a small light for God to work through those who love him. Our hope is not in a vaccine, but in the Kingdom of God. So seek first the kingdom of God, take time to trust, know that your Father loves and cares deeply for you. Surrender all, allow him to lead in your pledging, giving, and to manifest His kingdom through you, that you may rest in God as Master, Saviour, Lord, and see life through kingdom lenses.
(Sermon Notes by Kwun Pillai)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. Do you agree that we live in an “age of anxiety”? If not, why not? If so, what are some examples that make you think so? What are 2-3 things that cause you the most anxiety in your life?
2. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters...” (Mt. 6:24). What are some of the false idols of this world (such as “money, sex & power”) that grip your heart? How does having a divided heart cause you anxiety? How do you think you can cultivate a right allegiance to God (i.e. singular devotion to the King)?
3. In what ways do social media and advertising inflame a desire for worldly possessions and a fear of missing out (FOMO)? To what extent have you been affected by this materialistic culture? How can you cultivate a right perspective (i.e. see life through Kingdom lenses) so that you can use your possessions for the Kingdom, instead of being possessed by them?
4. Being anxious means that we don’t really think God can take care of us. As humans, we are unique among all creation, being made in the image and likeness of God. Since God takes care of nature and animals, will he not much more take care of us? How has He shown His loving care to you? What are some practices that you can adopt to cultivate a right faith and feel secure in the Father’s care?
5. Brain researchers have recently proven that the idea of multi-tasking is impossible. Jesus’ words here emphasise that truth. If you focus on seeking God’s kingdom and righteous living, you’ll never have the time or the focus to be anxious. How can you cultivate a right purpose (i.e. seek the fullness of God’s reign in the various areas of your life)? How will you live differently this week in order to put this truth into practice?
6. What are some ways that Wesley Methodist Church can manifest the fullness of the Kingdom in our land amidst the uncertain economic conditions? Take some time to pray how the Lord may be leading you to contribute in your financial giving and in your spiritual gifts.