He Will Feed, Clothe, Keep Me

He Will Feed, Clothe, Keep Me

He will Feed Me, He will Clothe Me, He will keep me.

Cody Kereopa 24/09/2023

Matthew 6: 24 – 34

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 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? 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

Long before Jesus was called Christ, he was called Master, Rabbi, Teacher the Sermon on the Mount is one of the many examples why. Jesus demonstrated his ability to expound on Gods will and word without hesitation or ambiguity and most importantly with authority. It is a masterclass in not only preaching but doctrine and shows why Jesus is the true Shepard. It begins in Mathew 5 and concludes in chapter 7. I can only show you a glimmer of what is in this passage, and the focus is really verses 31 -34. I implore you to read the whole sermon frequently, let its words sink in and meditate on what Jesus himself greatly desired you to know. You can live by these words. These passages mean more to me than money or gold, they are precious in so many ways I will never be able to convey their potential value to you but today I’ll try to demonstrate their value to me. I want to focus Money, God, and You. The scriptures deal frequently with Idolatry, covetousness, and filthy lucre (the desire for money specifically). Earlier in chapter 6 this is at the forefront and is clearly presented and warned. I do see the potential to apply what Christ is saying in this passage to those inclinations, Idolatry, covetousness, and filthy lucre I find when I really consider his words, I find he is not dealing with a wicked person but a faithless person. He’s not dealing with the active sin of the flesh but a more passive weakness of the spirit. Trust, contentment, comfort, and assurance are worlds ill use frequently this morning, but they don’t really convey the depth of peace I experience and desire you to experience. So I apologise if I sound rather repetitive. When taken literally and in context what Jesus is presenting is astounding but also logical. There is a point I believe Christ is making in this part of his sermon that is both easy to understand and difficult to enact, I want to share what my experience has been enacting this in my walk and how I’ve identified and cultivated the sensation of trust and how I have trained my heart to apply it to God by reason of use. It’s far too simplistic to identify this sensation as “content” because its far more than that. Afterall a growing faith and trust in God doesn’t just lead to contentment but confidence, power, and fearlessness, wisdom and discernment, among others. God will feed me, and God will clothe me, God will keep me. A simple slogan for my soul. I suspect this is the heart of what Christ is so beautifully expressing in this snippet of his great message. The message is God will feed me, and God will clothe me, God will keep me.

The points today are:

  1. Your Master. Who is your master? Jesus has identified 2 possibilities.
  2. Your Thoughts. Are your thoughts demonstrating trust in God?
  3. Your Desire. Seeking the kingdom and Righteousness First. 
  4. Your Full Pantry. An expression of the sensation of Trust in God through Christ. 

 Matthew 6: 24 – 34

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 

You can’t confuse what Jesus is teaching here, it’s so plain that we are without excuse in understanding this passage. I accept that a person may have to do some soul searching and some introspective thinking to reveal who your master is, but I don’t think it’s complicated or time consuming, ultimately if you can’t identify your master God will manifest it and your true master will be revealed. You can also ask God. David says in Psalms 139:23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts: 
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. 

Who is your master? Is it God or Money? Notice how Jesus has phrased the passage, he’s implying if you try to serve both you will ultimately play Favorites and no matter which way it falls both outcomes are undesirable. We know the most common outcome. It is the love of money and the resentment of God. Turn to 1 Tim 5. It is conceivable that one could Hold to God and despise money and this outcome would be undesirable also, rare as it may be. Our God is in Favor of an economy of wages and of debt and money can work within his framework. Just a few examples.

41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. Mark 12:41-44

7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Luke 10:7

18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 1 Timothy 5:18

Man can clearly work within the context of Money. God even calls the Jews to Tithe in the book of Malachi. The issue is what? Turn a little forward to 1 Timothy 6 A famous and in some ways infamous verse. Misquoted so frequently by many.

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10

For a good understanding of the interaction between wealth and godliness read 1 Tim 6. Ultimately a desire for wealth and riches in and of themselves is the issue facing our hearts. The concept that they and not God will feed and clothe us and not God is a thin veil for our desire to serve money. Do you really think your seeking an increase in pay to secure Food and Clothing? There is this common theme in scripture and certainly in the New Testament that food and clothing is all we need, and God will provide both. 

8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:8

In John chapter 11 Jesus was telling the disciples that Lazarus was asleep and they were confused. I can understand their confusion because the Lord is saying he will wake Lazurus from his sleep.

In John chapter 11 and verse 14 it says 

14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 

Here Jesus is speaking plainly here.  Ye cannot serve two masters, you cannot serve God and mammon. The reality is that the Master of a person is many things. Their motivator, their provider, their security, and their authority. Again, I do not believe Jesus is restricting his words to a simple matter of covetousness and Idolatry. This passage addresses the choice of the individual to choose a foundation upon which they seek their needs. Afterall Jesus is not addressing things we do not need, but rather things that are essential. A need for food and clothing is not evidence of idolatry or filthy lucre and I do not believe Jesus is addressing the nature of mankind’s greed but rather the reality that we will choose one as our primary means of obtaining our needs but cannot choose both. He is not discussing the merits of either in this passage, he certainly will later, but here he is highlighting to the listener that one of these two things Money and God, one of these is your master. Don’t fool yourself beloved, mammon has been the downfall of countless churches and ruin of countless Christians. Accept the plain message, you are either a servant of money or a servant of God, there is no middle ground. Having accepted God as your master you can test yourself very easily by meditating on your own thoughts. After all Jesus move straight into thoughts.

Second point: My Thoughts. Are your thoughts demonstrating trust in God?

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 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? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

There is truly a wealth of application, commentary, parallels, and study that can bring out the so much more in the body of scripture in this point but my desire it to demonstrate Jesus’ reassurance and comfort in choosing God as our master to show the true value of deciding to forsake money and cleave to our heavenly father. I’m just touching on the very surface of verses 25 to 30 but focussing on verse 31 and 32 in my point. Jesus moves on from this simple statement:

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Into a very interesting subject, your “thoughts”. Jesus gives two “therefores”. Obviously, he has concluded that serving God is the better master and is speaking as if your thoughts should reflect the choice. He states, take no thought for your life, take no thought for your food or your drink, take no thought for your body, or for your clothing. What does this “take no thought” really mean? Does Jesus really mean I don’t have to think about anything, Safety, food, drink, and clothing will come no matter what?  Well, no and yes. No in that: Take no thought is an expression meaning do not worry. You should think about feeding yourself, I tell you a lot of thought went into the meal I prepared for lunch. Many here have had to think a lot about what they made so that we may have a wonderful lunch but to take no thought of what you eat is better expressed by an individual anxiously stressing “what am I going to eat?” as opposed to a guy standing at the buffet asking, “what am I going to eat?”.   And yes in that he is comparing what you cant do to what God can do. God can sustain you miraculously should he desire. It’s not that God will always provide what we think need, Jesus is specifically addressing our concern and lack of faith. We, unlike God cannot speak reality into existence and our thoughts hold power only over our own emotions and actions. Afterall we all know the many sayings that come after “don’t worry”:

‘We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it’

‘If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.’

My Favorite is:  You can worry and not pray or pray and not worry. 

Though we have a nature that pushes us to concern and anxiety we have a recognition that worrying helps nothing. Jesus is identifying the root cause of your worry and it’s a lack of faith. 

Jesus is highlighting the reality that you are very valuable to our heavenly father. You are not just a thing to be fed and clothed, He feeds birds he clothes the grass and you are much better than these. You are the precious child that God has adopted. 

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:14-15

You are deeply loved and sought after by your God. 

When the time comes that your mind dwells on the idea that you will go hungry or be thirsty that you will be naked, he’s highlighting when that time comes its due to a lack of faith. The faithless (the gentiles) are justified in worrying about a great many things, but the believer has no excuse to dwell in fear. God will feed Me, God will clothe Me, God will keep me. If your concerned for your needs, it implies you are unsure that God can provide for you and are perhaps undecided on Gods intentions. Afterall before you even ask, God knows what you need. Earlier in Jesus sermon when teaching on prayer Jesus states, 

 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Matthew 6:8

We cannot always discern what is Gods doing and what is Gods doing with our doing. All we know for certain is that God knows our need and can provide it in any circumstance. We are extremely valuable to our heavenly father. In Gods eyes you are of infinite value. Afterall, he paid an infinite price for you. Now the meat of my message.

Third point: My Desire. Seeking the kingdom and Righteousness?

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 

If we are to “not worry” about all these things, what are we going to be doing all day? Afterall God, in his wonderful grace has provided me a means to provide for the needs of me and my family, in fact more than the needs, our want is even accounted for in many ways. Being free of this burden of daily provision wherein I am occupied for most of the week how do I proceed? Now having food and raiment should I seek the kingdom of heaven? 

NO, that’s all backwards. It doesn’t say First all these things shall be added unto you.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Jesus is saying seek the kingdom and righteousness first. THEN my needs will be provided.

I work in an office environment; I’ve been employed for 9 years. My career in the workplace can be split into two distinct categories. Before I was seeking God and After I was seeking God. For the first four years I was not seeking God for the last 5 years I have been seeking God. For the first four years I wanted to climb the corporate ladder but couldn’t. I wanted the respect of my colleagues but never had it, I wanted to earn more money, yet could never justify why I was worth more wages. I wanted to feed my family but could scarcely manage to avoid debt collectors repossessing my car. For four years I played a game of cat and mouse with my employer that nearly ended in my immediate termination. You see I was ambitious but lazy, motivated but selfish and ultimately ignored my responsibility as a worker to not take more than I gave. After these four years of mediocrity verging on uselessness came, Five years of prosperity. You see I gave up trying to climb that ladder and focused on just being a good worker. I completely let go of the care I had about what people thought and cared only about what God thought of me and garnered respect from my peers. I forgot about earning more money and focussed on how I much I could give to God and my pay doubled within 3 years. If it’s unclear, I’m not boasting, I’m giving all glory to God. It all comes back to my relationship with Money and God. You see by faith I chose to serve God and he rewarded me. Hebrews 11:6

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 

Do you know God really can give you ANYTHING you NEED. He won’t give you everything you think you need, but he will give ANYTHING you need. I was thousands of dollars in debt when I was evicted from my home 5 years ago. My family had no car, no house, and no money. Let me tell you, I prayed in my garage in a dark hour of my life for God’s help. I can pinpoint to the very day I did this, that I sought after him and his righteousness and it marks the turn in my family’s trajectory. Within two days we were out of debt (God can give money if needed), people I barely knew cleaned my house, mowed my lawns and helped move my belongings to a storage yard (God can provide labour). Within 3 weeks we were gifted a car, the red SUV that we drove to church today was gifted to my family because we needed it (God can provide a car). Within 3 months we were back living in a rental property in Sunbury (God can shelter you). I wasn’t given the comfort of my needs and then sought after God as a result. I sought after God and as a result all my needs were met. This has been my experience and is my testimony too you Now. 

My final point My Full Pantry. An expression of the sensation of Trust in God through Christ. 

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

This is the kicker, the final nail in the coffin of worry and anxiety. Earlier I said how many people have made themselves sick over the thought “what are we going to eat? What will we drink and what will we wear?” as if being delivered from the great concern for food and raiment wasn’t enough, Jesus has assured us of something most outrageous, inconceivable. Jesus is has lumped in with food and raiment, the unbearable burden, the insurmountable obstacle of tomorrow. I know it may sound a little flamboyant or even overinflated, but I promise you, taking thought of the evil of tomorrow has ended lives. Let me give you some examples from my own experience. 

Tomorrow will be my sermon. 

Tomorrow the project is due.

Tomorrow, I get married.

Tomorrow is the court date.

Tomorrow is the funeral.

I don’t know how I will make through tomorrow. 

I don’t know if I’ll see tomorrow.

God will feed me, God will clothe me, God will keep me. Yes, it is a summarized paraphrased mantra, but I believe it captures the essence of the passage. Money may be able to help some of these, but only the assurance that God has your back can dispel any concern for tomorrow, there are tomorrows that never came, there are tomorrows that will never be. Then there is the complete other side of the equation, taking thought of tomorrow will amount to what? Nothing. Turn to Philippians chapter 4. Even in the face of certain death Paul the apostle travelled to Rome to confront Ceasar knowing that he need not fear the outcome Acts 21:13, Job, riddled with illness and grief said 15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: Job 13:15 and of course the very famous verse that mirrors what Christ is preaching 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

How can I describe that peace which passes all understanding? I can only start with comparison, Have you searched for the moments in life that give you security? Have you explored how far that feeling of peace can be cultivated when wrapped in the truth of Gods assurances? The simplistic answer of what give us security is usually money. And it would be the example I suspect most of you have. Afterall this is why Christ is warning us about these two masters after all. But is there something else you can capture and distil? dig deeper when did this first happen for you? when in your heart and in your soul, you had “no thought” for food, raiment or tomorrow. I’m not talking about wanton abandon or temporary distraction. For me it was when we went shopping. Back then it was called safeway but we call it woollies now. My dad was a tradie and work was sporadic and we would go through these times of abundance and times of scarcity. Sometimes I would see him come home with the groceries and sometimes I would go shopping with him but the moment we filled the fridge, pantry and cupboards with what I would call “the hoard” I would be so content. I would, in my child mind, be euphorically fulfilled, as if every can of baked beans, box of weet bix and bag to oats filled up my very heart. Me dad and wade wouldn’t have to worry about anything, food and drink was sorted, and tomorrow was sorted, nothing could phase me. Just in case this was a uniquely Cody phenomenon I asked around a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. Among us today is a person who felt the exact same way when as a child his mother would bring in the summer harvest. As the fruits and veggies were washed stored and preserved, they would know that they wouldn’t need to worry about tomorrow. There is a member here who had a father that would be away for work for long stretches, and when his car would pull up and he would come inside the house in the middle of the night trying not to wake up the kids and head into bed they could relax, close their eyes, and go to sleep knowing tomorrow would be fine. You see I transplanted that sensation of contentment, security and assurance to its rightful owner, God, because he is my master and I can tell you, now, that child’s emotion pales in comparison to the trust, freedom, and confidence I have as a child of God. You too can experience this peace. Are you an anxious person? God can dispel it. Are you in need of security, God can provide it. 

Again, I shared my story of the shopping and fulfilment and asked my brother in Christ if he knew what I was talking about looked at me and said, the only time I’ve experienced what your describing was the day I was saved. 

Do you want this peace? You see Jesus is dealing with a person who is trying to serve two master’s and describing why it’s best to choose God. But what if God isn’t even in the picture and you just want to serve money? Sure, good luck, If Elon musk, Jeff Bezos and Gina Reinhart is the pinnacle of your hope, I hate to tell you, they have fears for tomorrow. Food and raiment may not be an issue, but the reality is, they can’t afford to guarantee tomorrow. Its too expensive. The kind of peace and serenity that God offers is rooted in something far more valuable than all the earth and the stars can offer. You see Jesus knew that faith in God would lead to eternity with God. He was aware that faith in money would only lead to life with money. You must be alive to benefit from money. What I’m saying is that Jesus is assuming you know there is a God and that he “God” is a far better provider than “money”. Can you honestly say Money will be you great saviour and provider? 

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