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1246. Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2022 7:00 pm

1246. Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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May 9, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit begins a series entitled “Technology and Entertainment” with a message titled “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God,” from Matthew 6:24-34.

The post 1246. Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform.

My name is Dr. Steve Pettit. And especially in a practical way, the use of the devices that we have in our life and how do we or how should we think about that, especially from a biblical worldview standpoint? And how do we see it and apply it? And so I want us to look this morning at a passage of scripture where Jesus is addressing his own disciples in his day with about the things they think about and what they should pursue.

And it's from this that we'll take a few moments this morning to talk about some elements of technology. We read in verse 25 of Matthew chapter 6 these words. Therefore I say unto you, take no thaw for your life what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor yet for your body which what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.

Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thaw can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thaw for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.

They toil not, neither do they spin. Yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothed the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thaw, saying, What we shall drink, or what shall we eat, or wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thaw for the morrow, for the morrow shall take care, or shall take thaw for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. There is always the danger for all of us to live in two worlds as Christians. The world of the secular and the world of the sacred. The world of faith and the world of sight. Or to make it real simple, church on Sunday and Monday through the rest of the week are just two different worlds.

So the question I'd like to ask this morning is this. Is there a difference for a Christian between what we call is secular and what we call is sacred? Or let me ask you this way, should our life be compartmentalized between what is religious and then everything else?

Are there two life categories? Are we to live in two separate worlds, the spiritual world and then the material, physical, psychological world? Or let me ask you this way, is there any part of our lives where we are to, if I could say it this way, keep God out?

In one way we are believers in this area and in another way we are very much atheists in this area. Well in Matthew chapter 6 verses 24 through 34 Jesus addresses a problem that we all have. The problem on the surface is stress, worry and anxiety.

As our good brother pray today, and I appreciate the honesty of your prayer, that we are having to push forward. We don't always feel like doing what we're doing. We struggle with things, we go through these problems. This is what Jesus is addressing and he covers two areas that are common to everybody. We all have differences but these two things we all have in common. Number one, we all eat food and number two, we all wear clothes. This is a part of our commonality within the human family.

So what is he saying here? How are we to view food and clothes? Are they something secular or is there a sacredness to them? Are they just simply material or is there a spiritual component? It's very interesting to me that the disciples' secular job was fishing. What did they fish for?

They fished for food. And yet everything the disciples did in fishing, when Jesus showed up, was touched by the divine. Whether in Jesus calming a storm while they are in the boat, or Jesus walking on the water towards the fishing boat, or Jesus bringing fish into the disciples' empty nets, or Jesus supplying a coin in a fish's mouth to help pay their taxes.

Even when the disciples worried about storms when they were in the boat, Jesus said their problem was not the size of the storm, but it was the size of their faith. And Jesus brought the spiritual into everything. When Jesus enters into the common, He always makes it spiritual. Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.

There are not two life categories. Nothing in life should be outside the realm of my faith. God hears my faith and hears my life. Everything to someone who is holy is holy. To the pure, all things are pure. So let me say it this way.

There really is no difference between the secular and the sacred. And in this case, even when we get naturally stressed out, and anxious, and worried that we all experience here, we all have this in common, whether we even worry about what we're going to eat or what we're going to wear, the answer in the Bible is always to pivot to the spiritual and to redirect your care energy, that energy that you feel of worry, and stress, and anxiety. It is always to be redirected back to God. The fact is in this passage three times, Jesus gives us spiritual reasons why we should not be anxious about material things. He says first of all, don't stress out over food and clothes because your life is more valuable than these things. He says if God feeds the birds and God clothes the flowers, I mean he takes care of the birds. He makes the flowers to be so beautiful.

Not even Solomon could dress them out to be this beautiful. Will he not take care of you who are of more value to him? Listen to what he says in verse 25. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life.

Look at the birds of the air. They don't sow, they don't reap, they don't go out in the fields and harvest in the field, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

You can't even add an hour to your life. And why are you anxious about clothing? Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow, and yet they neither toil nor spin. They don't make their own clothes.

They don't sit and weave their clothes. And yet I tell you, even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

If you're evil and you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall the Heavenly Father give good things to them that ask him? What is he saying? He is saying you should not worry because your father cares. How many of you have a father that cares about you?

Sure. How many of you have a father that gives you money? How many of you have a father that you ask him for money?

Yeah. And does he not care about you? Now, if he cares enough... Let me ask you a question. Do you think your parents would be upset if we didn't feed you here at Bob Jones? I mean, really? Do you not think that I would get letters from your parents like you have not fed my child in three weeks? You're like, what are you doing? I'm not here to discuss the quality of food at Bob Jones University. I'm just making a point.

I'm just making a point. And what is he saying? Why are you stressing out?

Does God not care about you? And then he says, secondly, don't stress over food and clothes because you're under your father's care. He says, don't be anxious saying, what are we going to eat or what are we going to drink or what are we going to wear?

And by the way, let me make a trajectory on that. Clothing and food is what you go to work for. We're talking about your jobs. Stressing out about the kind of job I'm going to have.

When I graduate. And then notice he says, the Gentiles seek after all these things. Who are the Gentiles? They are those who have no hope, no God, no promise, no truth.

And if I could just make it simple, they have no father in heaven. And yet, he says, God is going to take care of his own. And then the third time he says, don't stress out over food or clothes.

Why? Because stress never goes away. Stress never goes away. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Don't be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.

Every day has its own set of pressures. And God is going to take care of you today. If he takes care of you today, he doesn't change.

He's going to take care of you tomorrow. So what are you supposed to do? What should be your pivot, if I can say?

How do you realign your thinking? And he tells us in verse 33 exactly what we're all to do. He says, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Would you get that in your heart this morning? Everything that we do in life, everything that we do in life, everything we do in life, we are to first seek the rule and the reign of God. God, I want your will. First time I met my wife was in Sunday school.

There are a lot of reasons why you should go to Sunday school. And I remember meeting her and I thought, that's the kind of girl I would like to marry. And over a process of time, I got to know her personally and I remember from the very start in meeting her, I remember praying, Lord, not my will but thine be done.

I want to ask you a question. Do you pray and seek the will of God over everything you do? Folks, there's no difference between the secular and the sacred. It's how some people can start talking with one another and yet never really talk about spiritual things and pursue a right foundation.

What are we to do? We are to seek the rule and reign of the king in our life and we are to align ourselves with his standards, his righteous purposes, what he wants to do in this world. And what he deals with here is what we all have in common.

We all go through stress, we all stress out over stuff and it's constantly the command to come back and to seek first his kingdom and seek first his will and follow God in his righteous standards. There's no difference between the secular and the sacred. Now, if that's true of food and of clothing, let's fast forward 2,000 years to today and what is it that we all have in common here? What does everybody in this room have in common? One thing we have in common is that we are by moment by moment touched, influenced, benefited, and affected by what we call technology. Technology is almost to a degree almost omnipresent everywhere you go. What do we mean by technology?

And I'm shifting because I want to take that principle and apply it to technology. What is technology? By definition, it is scientific knowledge put into practical use. For example, it's something as practical as a washing machine or a refrigerator or an automobile or an electric window or an automatic sliding door. There's technology involved in all of that scientific knowledge put into practical use.

It's something as entertaining as a cable channel on television or live streaming or an electric massage chair or anything along those lines. They're all examples of technology. And just like food and clothing, technology is a part of God's creation.

It's man taking scientific knowledge and then putting it into practical use. And more specifically, as we consider technology, what is that one thing that we all have in common in the realm of technology today like food and clothing? What is it that everybody has? Everybody has a smartphone. Everybody does. I mean, okay, so maybe like.01% doesn't.

But effectively, that's everybody. So let me then ask you a basic question about your smartphone. And that is, do you approach your cellphone from a spiritual or from a secular standpoint? Consider some basic truths about the cellphone.

I want you to think about this. Number one, consider that it gives you unlimited access to information. Yes, you can perpetually feed and stimulate 24-7 two of your five major senses. That is the ability to see and the ability to hear. You have unlimited access to information literally all over the world. Secondly, consider that there are virtually no restrictions to what you can see and hear.

I want to emphasize this. There's virtually no restriction. I understand there's some things you can't have access to. I get all that. But I mean virtually, there's no restriction to what you can see and hear.

That is, you can read, watch, stream, hear, or play whatever you want, whenever you want to do it, and nobody can tell you no. Nobody. Consider that there is virtually no personal accountability to what you see and hear on your smartphone. There's no accountability. I mean, who's holding you accountable? Your mother?

Your roommate? Someone in authority? Nobody can. Nobody has access to your smartphone. You have your own username, your own password. It is a world that you totally control.

Everyone is restricted but you. Your parents, your spouses, your friends, your authorities, your employees, no one. By the way, who knows what you're doing on your cellphone? Who knows? Come on now, who knows?

There are two basic, we know there's two, I don't want to say one is a person because it's not. Number one, algorithms know. Algorithms know exactly what you're doing because they figure it out and that's why they put things up on your screen. Algorithms know. Secondly, God knows. The eyes of the Lord are at every place beholding the evil and the good. Now I'm just going to stop here and say, I want you to think about that. Nobody in the world can tell you no.

Man, that is like really dangerous. And since most sin comes through the eye gate and the ear gate, what you see, what you hear, consider the fact that unlimited, unrestricted, unrestrained, unfiltered, and unaccountable information flowing to you has to be a major stumbling block into which often times you fall into sin regularly. I would be as so bold to say that your smartphone is probably the chief stumbling block in your life.

That you sin on a regular basis. And in many cases, you don't even realize it because your heart has become hard. Considering the nature of the cell phone is a form of instant communication. It can become a tool for unrestrained or careless communication through text, emails, DMs, and calls. It also allows communication to be impersonal and impatient. To be honest with you, I'm often surprised by what people text to me.

I'm like, wow. And I'm not talking about students. I'm talking about pastors and parents. Often times, they're disrespectful. They actually treat me like I'm not a human being. They're very impatient.

I got one last week. I went, dude, what is your problem? You must eat too much Mexican food or something for lunch.

You know, your stomach must be upset. They were snarky. And in some cases, I haven't talked to them in a year.

In a year. I'm going, good night. I grew up in the south. We learn how to treat people better than that.

We might gossip about you behind your back, but never do your face. I'm like, what in the world? I'm not saying that using all these things are wrong. I'm just simply saying that how often, how often, come on, man. How often do we live in the realm of the secular?

There's no accountability. And we know God is there, but we don't live in the fear of God. And we stumble all the time. Consider that everything that you, that anything, consider this, anything you use up to eight to ten hours a day, which is the average time people use their cell phone. That's an average work day. Any time you use anything for eight to ten hours a day that feeds your impulsive responses is on the borderline of being an addiction. Now, I know there's a debate over whether or not a cell phone usage is an addiction.

I understand that, but consider the signs of addiction. Loss of control over the behavior. Having difficulty limiting the behavior. The need to engage in the behavior more often to get the same feeling. Negative consequences stemming from the behavior. Feelings of irritability and anxiety when the behavior isn't practiced. Anybody here ever freak out that you haven't used your phone for a while? Picking up the habit again after periods of avoidance.

We call that relapse. Now, those are basically the qualities or characteristics of an addiction, all I'm simply saying is, I'm not saying the use of the cell phone is a sin. I'm just trying for us to all be honest. For the believer, if the cell phone is not brought into the realm of the spiritual like we are to do with our common food and clothing, and if you don't pursue God's rule and reign and righteous standards over the use of the cell phone, as it is being used up to the same amount of time people work during the day, and if your unlimited access to information is unrestricted, unfiltered, unaccountable, allowing you to gratify your own desires, and if all of this is done without the sense of the presence and the fear of God, which is foundational to pursuing wisdom, then it is very possible that technology of a smartphone has become in some ways the single greatest detriment to your personal life spiritually. I'm just saying.

It has become a stumbling block. And as a result, you become worldly. What does it mean to be worldly? It means that you feed your flesh, your eyes, and your pride with this thing. This is what feeds your sin nature, your eyes, and your pride. And to me, one of the greatest losses is a loss of the sense of the fear of God. What does it mean to fear God? It means to live in God's presence with the realization that God hates and judges sin. And fearing God is the foundation to wisdom, because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and you can't get wisdom if you don't fear God.

Now, I'm saying all that to say this. As I go back and I look at Matthew, chapter 6, verse 33, he says, we are to seek first the kingdom of God. That's his rule and reign over our lives. And his righteous standards. And righteousness is not just black and white, right and wrong. It's using it for right purposes. So we can take the very thing that can be used for negative and use it for incredibly positive things, and that's what we want to do. And we want to use it to advance the kingdom. And we want to use it to give an education. And we're using it to get out the message around the world. So all of those are part of God's righteous purposes and righteous standards. In other words, we should be passionate about righteousness and using this for right causes to get the message out to the world. And so therefore, it can be used in a glorious manner. It can be used as it was yesterday when I got five, I got pictures of my five grandchildren and it delighted my heart.

My grandsons are cute and my granddaughter is stunningly beautiful. And I got that blessing. That's a good thing.

Or I found out that a brother of mine was just diagnosed with cancer and I texted him and back and forth we texted him. He came to my office this morning at 10 o'clock and we prayed for him. All of those things are advancing the kingdom. But for the people of God, it's really easy to separate the secular from the sacred and become trapped in the world. And suddenly we end up living in a manner that's not pursuing the kingdom of God.

So I wanted to lay this out this morning. Matthew 6 33, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. And all these things, the things that we worry about, the things that we're anxious over, all of these things should be added unto thee. Tomorrow I'm excited to have Mark here because I think he's going to take some very practical things and useful things and how we can be advancing the kingdom of God through those things. And may the Lord grant us grace to live in his presence and be humble before him and use what we have for his glory. Father, thank you for your word. Help us to be faithful to you in all things in Jesus' name. Amen. You've been listening to a message preached by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series on technology and entertainment here on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-21 12:29:05 / 2023-04-21 12:38:27 / 9

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