12.10.14 – Focus On The Things Of God – Peter Cheyne

The “sermon” today consisted of a discussion about a parable and the passage from Matthew 6:25-34

A Parable

A number of beggars were befriended by a very rich man who controlled the economy of the whole region.

He brought them into his household saying to them, “I will provide everything you need. All I ask is that you devote yourselves to my business.”

The beggars readily agreed. However, some time later it became apparent that they were spending quite a bit of their work time obtaining, and storing, food to eat and clothes to wear.

The rich man was disappointed and puzzled. “Please explain,” he said.

One answered, “But there are times when we do go hungry. And some of us have even disappeared in the midst of the most severe times of need.”

The rich man replied, “True, but, often, when they had nothing, you had something. In any case, I saw their suffering. They now eat at my table.”

Questions

  1. What do the beggars’ actions say about their attitude to the rich man?
  2. Had the rich man kept his promise?
  3. Could the beggars provide better for themselves than the rich man could?
  4. Had the beggars kept their promise?
  5. What might be the rich man’s next move?

Read Matthew 6:25-34

  1. Why do we find it hard to trust God to provide?
  2. Where should we draw the line? Is it wrong or wise to store up for the future?
    1. Is the emphasis here on the worrying?
      1. If so, what does that imply?
      2. Is some provision for the future OK? When does it become a problem?
  3. This passage is linked to the previous section (presumably vv.19-24) by “therefore”.
    1. How would you summarise the previous section?
    2. Do you agree that this logically implies Jesus’ next words about not worrying about food, drink and clothes?
    3. Are you clear about the “therefore” connection?
  4. Jesus argues from the example of the birds and the flowers. What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of the comparison?
  5. In v.31 Jesus returns to the general principle. It is linked to the examples from nature by the word “so”.
    1. Do you think the examples are sufficiently strong to illustrate that we should not worry about what we are to eat, drink and wear?
  6. V.32 says that to “run after” food, drink and clothing is what pagans do. What is the implication of that?
  7. In v.32b, Jesus says that our heavenly Father knows that we need these things. Why should a Christian’s attitude be very different from that of a pagan?
  8. Do you think the emphasis in this whole section (vv.19-34) is on our focus – where our eyes are; where our hearts are; what we serve; what we worry about?
    1. In v.33, what does Jesus say about focus?
      1. Where should our focus be?
      2. What does that mean in practice?
    2. What does He say the result will be?
      1. Do you believe Him?
    3. What practical actions in your life would show that you believe what Jesus says here?
  9. V.34 again starts with “therefore”.
    1. What do you think about the logical link between v.33 and v.34?
  10. To what extent does v.34 mirror v.25 and to what extent is it different?
  11. What do “tomorrow will worry about itself” and “each day has enough trouble of its own” mean?
  12. Jesus refers to His hearers as having little faith (v.30). How important, in this context is that comment?
    1. Is faith the opposite of worry? Is it those two things that this passage is about?
  13. On a scale where at one end is “I am looking after myself” and at the other is “I am totally dedicated to God”, where would you put yourself?
  14. What practical steps will you take to shift your focus more and more onto seeking God’s Kingdom and His righteousness?

Could you make the following pledge…

“I will give more of my focus to the things of God.
If I discover He keeps His promises to provide,
I will continue to give Him more and more of my focus.”

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