CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
January 23, 2022
What do we trust in?
Today’s message could have two titles; maybe the first should be, “Where is our treasure?” In the first 5 verses we read this morning, Jesus is reminding us of what should truly be our goals in life. As we get older, we begin thinking more about how we will live once we no longer have a job bringing in a regular salary for our needs. In America everyone has some degree of retirement income. Some depend totally on Social Security, while others have been able to have something in addition to live on. Jesus is telling us that it may be okay to have acquired some “security,” but what is really the best retirement plan for us? Are we keeping our eyes on God for what we need, or are we obsessed with the need to provide our own “safety net”?
In the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament, it is clear there is nothing wrong with acquiring things and having some money in reserve. However, if we are having our whole lives revolve around getting money and things, that is the problem. In fact, in 1 Timothy 6:10 we read, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Jesus is warning in these verses to keep everything in their proper place. And we are being told that proper place is always to understand God has to be the place we put our faith, our trust and our hope. There is no other sure security but with him.
Beginning with the 25th verse, Jesus then goes on to acknowledge the fact he knows we will and do have concerns about how we will provide for ourselves and our families while we are on this earth. When Jesus lived there was not as much emphasis on money to provide for their every need as there is today. That being said, it still was necessary for most people to have money for some of life’s necessities. Today very few people here in America can provide for all of their needs. So, when Jesus started off talking about treasure or one might say money, he knew he needed to help everyone understand what God will do for his people. Jesus points out to not worry about life, about food and drink or about what to wear. Then he gives examples of how God provides for those needs throughout all of creation. Jesus even goes as far as to point out the obvious. Can worrying add a single hour to your life or an inch to your height? The reality is, if anything, worry may shorten our lives, not add to it. Jesus then goes on to show how one of the most revered and blessed men from Israel’s past could not match what God can and will do for his creation every day. To go back to the 26th verse, Jesus points out that as much as God loves the birds, as well as other things he created, he values us so much more. After all we have been made in God’s own image. So, to spare us unnecessary worry, keep our eyes on what is really the goal. In verse 33 Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and then we will be alright. Jesus does add one more very important part to that encouragement. And that is not only seek first the kingdom of God but also to seek his righteousness. What does that all mean? We need to have our priorities in place. God needs to have first place in our lives. If that is true, our primary goal will be to serve God with our lives in every way. That can be a real challenge because there are lots of thing in this world pulling us a lot of different directions. That is why we should regularly pray, as Jesus showed us last week, to deliver us from the evil one who wants to separate us from our Heavenly Father.
Going back to the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said in Chapter 5, verse 6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Jesus is going full circle by helping us understand that if we have our priorities in the right order God will provide us with everything we need while we are here on this earth. What a promise that has been made to us!
Jesus closes out this section by then confidently saying to us all, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its’ own.” Medical experts will tell you the most dangerous health problem facing everyone is stress. Jesus knows how we are made, what our limitations are. He was telling everyone first of all, do not stress over things you have no control over. Secondly, do not drive yourself crazy worrying about things of this world. God is in control and he knows what we need.
Jesus is asking us, what do we trust in? It is a simple question. Do we trust in the God who created the world we live in, who knows everything we need before we know we need it? Or do we feel we can handle it ourselves? Thinking that we are in control of our life and do not need anyone or anything to help us? If the second is a person’s plan, what a foolish way to live life. Jesus is trying to continue to teach us how much easier life will be if we simply will put our faith and trust in God. What is your answer? What has been your plan for life? I pray our answer is the same as given by Joshua long before Jesus was on this earth when he said in Joshua 24:15, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Our God will provide every time. May we answer the question the message title asks by saying, “My faith, my trust is in you Heavenly Father, help me not to lose that focus.”
Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday
2021 offering envelope summaries are in the mailboxes.
February 6—Steve Needham, former Decatur pastor, will be preaching.
March 9—Board meeting
Offering envelopes for 2022 are available by the copier.
Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you for your continued giving!
Donation Box: Utilities
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
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Keep in Your Prayers
Larry & Luana Cripe; Tina Wilhelm; Devon Wright; Dan & Val Rokosch; Shirley Krall; Baby Gemma; Baby Tate; Maralyn & Galen Heckman; Bryce Ashenfelter; Andy Flenner and family; Mindy Sawyer; Marlene Schultz; Randy West; Jen Durst; Sarah Rudelick; Sydney (Nancy Gorrell’s niece); Carl and Wilma Cable; Marge Starr; Mike Gentry; Larry Albro; Mike McCleery; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Sonna Hall; Brittany Wright; Anna Gentry Thompson; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 860,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
Church of the Brethren vision statement:
Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.
Our Mission Statement:
Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.