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The Kingdom of God—Matthew 6:24–34

Friday, October 28, 2011, 6:00
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The Kingdom of God

November 27, 2011

Lesson: Matthew 6:24–34

Key Verse: Matthew 6:33–34

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Introduction

What is life like in the Kingdom of God? What is life like in the Kingdom of God here on earth? God’s Word, among other things, teaches us what it is like to live in God’s kingdom, right here in this world that He created. What is the first thing that you think of you when you hear about the Kingdom of God? Is it about the relationship you have with your Father in heaven? Are your thoughts directed to the Son of God as the King of kings, and yourselves as His very own subjects?

The Kingdom of God tells us that there is a King, and that He is sovereign. In other words, there is nothing on earth or in heaven that can thwart the purpose and will of God. The divine providence of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit remain unbroken and unaltered. We are a people who receive daily mercy from our Lord, but we are never at the mercy of the evil one or his followers.

The Kingdom of God tells us that we belong to the family of God. We are His adopted children, and He will never let us go. To this Kingdom our Lord is drawing those He is saving. Christ is our Good Shepherd, Savior, and King, whom we follow into victory. In this Kingdom relationship, we worship and serve our Lord. And we receive from Him our daily bread. In this relationship, we live and move each and every day.

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Two Masters—Matthew 6:24

Our Lord teaches us, “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.” As subjects of the King, as children of our heavenly Father, we can only serve Him who has delivered us from darkness into His marvelous light. When a Christian desires to serve Christ and habitually clings to the world’s wickedness, he or she is trying to serve God and mammon.

What does it mean to hate one and love the other? The word that our Lord uses for love is Agapao. This word indicates the direction of the will. God so loved, directed His love toward us, that He sent His Son to be our Savior. We cannot direct our will, for the purpose of finding happiness, etc., toward two masters. This will only bring about a hatred for one, while trying to love the other. We cannot subject ourselves to Christ as His servant and seek to serve another. True satisfaction and blessing come when we seek first to serve Christ and His righteousness.

Discussion: What will happen when we try to have the better of two masters?

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Even Solomon—Matthew 6:25–29

Trying to serve two masters brings trouble and anxiety for our daily needs. Therefore, our Lord says, “Take no thought for your life …Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” Are all of our efforts put forth for food and clothing? Do the malls of our city thrive on the anxiety, greed, and covetousness of men?

Our Lord directs our thoughts to the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. The implications of these words are that the Creator, our heavenly Father, feeds and cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. The evolutionists of TV land have done us a great service. They have provided us with some beautiful pictures of God’s creation. They may give credit for the beauty and work of the flowers, the many-colored fish of the sea, and the myriads of insects, etc., to their ability to see the work of evolution. The heart of many may deny their Creator, but His creation cannot but give the glory to God when they see His handiwork.

Christ asks this question in the middle of this creation picture, “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” We cannot add to our height or to our mental and spiritual stature. In this, we are like the birds of the air and fish of the sea. Even the grandeur of Solomon, which includes his wisdom, was not as beautiful as the lilies of the field. This is a very humbling picture of man. Can we look at the beauty of God’s fields and still believe that the world can clothe us better than God?

Discussion: Where does God direct our thoughts that we might humbly depend upon Him?

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Father Knows—Matthew 6:30–34

What is, therefore, our worth before God? Does God care for us more than the grass of the field? Surely the grass has a splendor of its own. However, it will be lost to the heat of the sun or the grinding of the mower.

Our Lord Jesus tells us not to take thought of what we will eat or drink. He also tells us not to take thought for the things of tomorrow. Are we not to be concerned about our daily needs? Or, is our Lord saying that we are not to make these things our number one priority? Is it not true that our “heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things”? Since our Father cares for us, even more than He cares for the birds of the air, then we ought know that we need not be anxious about getting things like food and clothing. Our Father does know our needs.

Therefore, we are to seek “first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” Service in the kingdom of God is our utmost desire. To do what is right is the longing of our hearts. Do first, each day, what is most profitable to God’s kingdom here on earth. Do justice and help those in need. Share the gospel and look for God’s hand in the lives of His people. Do good in Christ and the promise of the King is that He will add the blessings of our daily bread.

“The gospel church is his flock. Christ is the great and good shepherd. We, as Christians, are led by the hand into the green pastures; by him we are protected and well provided for. To his honour and service, we are entirely devoted as a peculiar people, and therefore to him must be glory in the churches” (Matthew Henry).

Discussion: What is our priority as members of the kingdom of God on earth?

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Lessons are based on the International Sunday School Lessons for Christian Teaching, copyright © 2011 by the Committee on the Uniform Series.

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