Arron Gust
September 24, 2017
Arron Gust
Pastor

Reference

Matthew 6:24-34; Galatians 5:25-6:10; 1 Kings 17:8-16

In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

You, Christian, live in this world in this world but you are not of this world, for Christ has brought you into His Kingdom and granted you His righteousness. (Matt. 6:33)

And that’s good for you have no righteousness of your own. St. Paul says, “If we live by the Spirit we keep step with the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25) And that is true. But you don’t do you? Not fully. Not completely. Instead, even as a Christian you keep sowing to your flesh. And one who sows to his own flesh will reap from his flesh destruction and ruination. (Gal. 6:7-8) And so is it any wonder when you go weeks and months without opening your Bible, maybe not even going to church, nor doing more than a a little light, “Help me out here God” praying, that bad stuff happens? That you never get ahead of your own issues? That they feel like they are slowly swallowing you whole? Not at all! You’ve been sowing to your flesh, to your base desires, to your own comfort and ease. You have not been taking the high road, doing the good work, the hard work of being where your Lord is in His word and sacraments. You don’t go out of your way to give to the Lord, to work for the Lord, to do more than you are in the habit of doing.

Meanwhile ,if you sow to the Spirit you reap eternal life. (Gal. 6:7-8) But which of us does? Honestly? Even if you are seeking the Lord and His kingdom, (Matt. 6:33) do you do that constantly, consistently? Or do you become pretty lackadaisical? Bored? Apathetic to our Lord, His kingdom, and its works? Repent.

For thanks be to God that Christ has sown all He was to the Spirit. He walked in step with the Spirit at every moment. He was righteousness in all things and laid down His life like a seed in the ground for yours. So that when He rose He reaped a harvest of righteousness which He has given to you in the waters of Baptism. He has brought you into His kingdom, feeds you the life-giving food of His body, the sin forgiving drink of His blood, and has clothed you with His righteousness. 

So that you live in this world but you are not of this world, for Christ has brought you into His Kingdom and granted you His righteousness.

And that is such good news because left to your own devices you serve “Mammon”—the things of this world, money, stuff. You put your trust in your job, your pension, the medical system, a good government keeping war at bay and the economy running, keeping health care going, tax money flowing, and pensions rising. But anyone with their eyes open knows how precarious it all is. How easily a war could break out in our world, maybe even on our own continent. And how all that stuff we trust in could evaporate in no time flat. And the country we know and love might descend into chaos like so many other countries have in so many other places. And we get worried. 

You worry and are anxious because you have fallen into the ancient temptation to trust in God & Mammonmoney, the things of this world. (Matt. 6:24) And no one can serve two masters. You don’t have enough love for both. They both demand your totality. And the difference between these two is that while Mammon demands that you sacrifice yourself, your time, your peace, your children to it so that it might provide for your needs God your Father sacrifices of Himself for you, giving up His Son to provide for all your needs. You can’t serve both of these “masters”. They are totally different. Repent.

For you, Christian, live in this world but you are not of this world, for Christ has brought you into His Kingdom and granted you His righteousness. 

Your heavenly Father knows you need food and drink, clothing and house. (Matt. 6:32) He created you. He created this world. He’s not some sadistic “god” dropping you into a rat’s maze for his own amusement. He’s your Father who loves you. So there is no need to worry that He will not provide for your needs. Consider the birds. They don’t plant, or harvest, and yet the Lord provides all they need through His world. Those are creatures He created to give beauty to the earth and distribute seeds around and such. But you He created to be His children! If He takes care of all their needs through His grand design in the world how much more will He take are of your needs through His grand design for this world?

It doesn’t even make sense to worry because does that ever fix anything or add one minute to your life? No. Instead it robs you of rest, joy, and peace.

But you might say, “You don’t know my special circumstances. My special needs. My expensive medications. The unique needs of body or soul that I have. How will God provide for them, if I don’t have an income, or a child, or a government to provide what I need? I don’t know. But then Elijah didn’t either. The widow of Zarephath was ready to die till the Lord and His kingdom came to her through the word of the prophet. (1 Kings 17:12-16) So don’t seek after these things, setting your heart on them like they are all there is, like they are the most important and like some thing here on earth will secure your life. (Matt. 6:25) For you do not know what tomorrow brings. It might be war, famine, economic collapse, or something worse that ISIS or Kim Jung-Un. Tomorrow has infinite worries when you start speculating. You don’t need to bring those imagined problems into today. (Matt. 6:34)

For you, Christian, live in this world but you are not of this world, for Christ has brought you into His Kingdom and granted you His righteousness.

And He says to you, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33) It’s true. But do you do it? Do you seek it? No. Not all the time. Not perfectly. And there is always that niggling feeling like maybe you don’t measure up because you don’t. So thanks be to God that His Son Jesus sought His kingdom by dying for all the sins of the children of men, breathing His last breath in which He gave up His Spirit that you and I might be granted that Spirit in Baptism. That we might walk in newness of life in step with the Spirit. For He has sought you out so that you might be in His kingdom. And He has granted you His righteousness so that all these things would be added to you by faith in Him who saved you.

For you, Christian, live in this world but you are not of this world, for Christ has brought you into His Kingdom and granted you His righteousness.

In +Jesus’ name, Amen. 

 

—Pastor David Haberstock

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

Regina, SK