Troubling ways to live… but you can with Holy Spirit’s help. Troubling ways to live are what these next few statements in the Live LIGHT Manifesto are to many people who hear them for the first time. They all come from what Jesus said during the sermon on the mount. That whole lecture is troubling when you really read what He says and it hits you that maybe that’s how he wants you to live… ouch.
I can’t love God and show. I can’t love God and dough. I can’t love God and worry. I can’t love God and hurry.
When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. Matthew 6:2
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. Matthew 6:5
“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. Matthew 6:16
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. Matthew 6:24
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Matthew 6:25-32
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34
Troubling 1 – I can’t love God and show.
In the sermon on the mount Jesus tell us that our motivation matters. We shouldn’t give or pray or fast so that others are impressed with us. We can’t do it to make ourselves look good. We can’t do good to get noticed.
For some of us that thought won’t even enter our minds. For other’s it’s a struggle because so much of what we do is to earn applause. Sometimes I think the second group are the honest group.
It’s good when people speak well of us for doing good and it seems a little ridiculous to be like some sports people who say, “I just want all the glory to go to God…” You ran a football. You scored a goal. Seriously, do you think God is that impressed?
But to think this way puts us on a slippery slope.
We can’t love God and show.
It’s not a matter of debasing ourselves so God looks better. “The song I sang wasn’t me, it was God.” “Really, don’t you think God would have hit that high note?”
It’s not a matter of thanking God because it’s the sports-culturally acceptable thing to do.
It is a matter for us to examine our motives.
Am I doing what I do to obey God or get other’s applause?
Troubling 2 – I can’t love God and dough.
Jesus goes on to say in the sermon on the mount that we can’t serve both God and money. He then moves in to talk about not worrying about the things everyone worries about. I think we can include money in that discussion.
He’s talking about money being our master.
Money is a wonderful tool, but a terrible master.
You can say the same thing about several things.
- Social media can be a wonderful tool, but always is a terrible master.
- Technology can be a wonderful tool, but always is a terrible master.
- A vehicle can be a wonderful tool, but always is a terrible master.
Let’s stop with that.
I think the point is anything other than our good, good Father will be a terrible master.
The question we need to ask ourselves is:
Is money serving me or am I serving money?
You can’t love God and dough.
Troubling 3 – I can’t love God and worry.
I know too many followers of Christ who act as if worry is a virtue and not treat it like the vice it is.
In the sermon on the mount Jesus uses a term 15 for God that is only used twice in the Hebrew scriptures.
The word is “Father”.
Jesus was revealing the good Father and His care of us when he told us not to worry.
Worry is a sin because we’re told to trust God with our whole heart. Our heart is the seat of our emotion, the seat of our decision and the seat of our action.
We can’t worry and feel peace. We feel peace when we trust. We can’t worry and decide to trust. Trust and worry can’t coexist. We can’t worry and obey. We obey because we trust.
We can’t love God and worry.
The question you can ask yourself is:
Am I led by peace or do I worry?
If your answer is “I worry” the tools God gives you are confession and repentance.
Confession is agreeing with God worry is a sin. Repentance is doing a complete 180 and deciding and acting like you trust your good good Father.
Troubling 4 – I can’t love God and hurry.
The final thing Jesus says in Chapter 6 of Matthew is “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
That tells me I need to live in the now and let the future come to me.
Yes, it’s good to plan. Yes, it’s good to have goals https://revtrev.com/roadmap but we don’t put off living until…(you fill in the blank).
I know too many people who can’t wait until they graduate, or until they have that job, or until they get engaged, or until they are married or until they have kids, or until they have an empty nest, or until grandkids come… and they end up missing the blessings of today in the worries of tomorrow.
Don’t do that. Don’t live that way. #LiveLIGHT.
The question you can ask yourself is exactly that –
Am I missing the blessings of the today in the worries of tomorrow?
Gratitude is the antidote if you are. Be grateful in the little things. Be grateful for today. Feel the gratitude. Do something about the gratitude you feel. I have a tool to help you https://revtrev.com/happy
Can I help you Live LIGHT? https://revtrev.com/coaching