Redeemer Lutheran Church Blog

Trinity XV, September 24, 2017 - St. Matthew 6:24-34

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Posted: Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 by Pastor Westgate

What do you seek? People have always been searching for things. Adam and Eve searched for knowledge God didn’t intend them to have. Cain searched for acceptance in the face of God’s rejection. Abraham searched for a new home. Solomon searched for wisdom. Explorers searched for new lands and new worlds. You look for something you lost in the couch, the car, the utility room or basement, maybe even in the drain or on the roof.

People are always searching. Kids play hide and seek. Treasure hunters seek things others hid yesterday or hundreds, thousands, of years ago. People seek fun and games, fame and riches, wherever they can. Whether it’s the newest car, the biggest boat, the largest house, the spot on the team, the promotion, the money, they will go after it.

We’re always seeking things, but are we ever finding? When you get what you want, are you content? The new car won’t be new for long. The money will get spent. The boat might sink. The house might not be well built. The team might not play well together. The work might take up too much of your life. You can seek, but will what you find be good for you? For if you sow in order to please your flesh and your sinful desires, will you not reap destruction because of your corruption?

Today our Lord Christ tells us what to seek. Don’t seek after earthly goods. Don’t be consumed by chasing after them. They will always evade and control you. They will never let you control them. You must master your desires for them. You must believe God will provide what you need. He gives you earthly goods. He gives you everything you need for this life. He may even bless you with more if He so wills, so you can help others.

So do not look to yourself as the source of everything good in your life. Apart from God there is no good. Indeed, apart from God there can be no good. He created all things not just good, but very good. The only thing man has ever introduced is evil. God created us to be perfect, and our first parents chose to be sinners instead. They knew only good and decided to know evil instead. They thought they could know both equally, but they discovered something else. They lost all good and gained all evil.

Nothing’s changed. We are not slowly improving. Quality of life may be better than it was 1000 years ago, but we are still just as sinful as Adam was. Technology Adam never dreamed of exists now, but so do sins Adam wouldn’t believe exist if you told him about them when he decided to sin. After he sinned, he heard and believed God’s promise of the Gospel. Today his sinful descendants invent new ways to avoid hearing and believing God’s Word.

So what do you seek? Your eternity rests on this question. What do you seek from God? Do you seek fame and fortune? Do you seek prosperity and popularity? If that’s what we think God exists to give, we don’t know God. That’s not what He desires to give us. Yes, He wants to bless us, but He wants to eternally bless us in ways far richer than this world can ever imagine. But to be eternally blessed, you must seek after eternity in the right way. You must seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. How can you do that? Sinners can’t find anything but wickedness and sin. We might discover ways to earn more money, get better grades, lose weight, get healthier. We even find ways to do enough good so people will think we’re good people and deserving of good stuff from God. So how do you get into God’s kingdom? How do you get His righteousness?

Jesus is God’s kingdom. Jesus is God’s righteousness. He searches for you and finds you. Some of you He found when you were an infant. Some of you He found later. Some of you He may have just found. In reality, He’s always going out to search for us, going to search for us when we’ve sinned, going to search when we’ve forgotten Him or let Him slip out of first place in our lives. He searches. He finds. He picks us up off the trash heap of sin and takes us home for Himself to love and care for all our days.

This is what happened with Solomon. He did not have to be king. David had other wives before he stole Bathsheba and had her husband killed. His brothers all wanted to claim the throne. Some of them even tried. Solomon did not receive it because he earned it. He received it because his father promised it to his mother. He received it because God ordained it. He received wisdom and all he had not because he deserved it, but because God desired to give it. After all, he squandered it all with many wives of many faiths who led him astray. Yet God still clothed him and inspired him to write 3 books of the Old Testament and a Psalm as he reflected on his sins late in life. God clothed him with not just royal robes, but with the holy, precious Blood of his Son, Jesus.

God chose Solomon to be the Savior’s ancestor. He has no greater honor. His name means peace, and he ruled in a time of peace. Jesus his Son came to give peace, true peace. At Christmas we hear people talk about peace on earth as if Jesus came to end all wars. But Jesus says war will continue to be waged right up until He returns. The peace the angels sang about is this: Jesus came to make peace between holy God and sinful men. He came to take us into God’s presence. He came to bring us into His kingdom. He came to give us His righteousness.

That’s why He was born of Mary. That’s why He healed the sick and preached. That’s why He died and was buried. That’s why He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and sent His Spirit on Pentecost. He wants to give you His Righteousness. He did not die because He was too poor to afford the best defense attorney. He died because He gave Himself up onto death. He died because He was seeking righteousness for us, and that was the only way to find it. He found it by being punished for all our sins with everything we deserve for our sins: hell and death.

He found righteousness for you. That’s why His Father raised Him from the dead. He was pleased with what He did for you. He was pleased He had earned salvation for you. He raised Him so He could personally make sure you get that salvation. He works through His Spirit to save you. His Spirit uses The Law to tell you you’re a sinner who deserves eternal death. He then uses The Gospel to tell you what Jesus did for you. When you hear and believe The Gospel, you receive Jesus’ righteousness. He declares you innocent of all your sins and worthy of eternal life.

That’s why earthly goods aren’t important. Whoever first said “You can’t take it with you” was right. But there is 1 thing you can take with you. You can take Jesus. He’s your Key to eternal life. He’s the One who cleanses you of sin. He’s the One who defends you against all evil. Trust in Him and you are saved. This life is full of sorrows and troubles, but the life to come will be full of joys and pleasures forevermore.

Categories: Pastor Westgate's Sermons

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