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A Better Way: Part 5 | A Better Focus

A Better Way Part 5 | A Better Focus | Oak Grove Church of Christ

A Better Way Series,  A Study of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Part 5

A Better Focus

Matthew 6:19-34

The Problem of Focus

Matthew 6:22-24

  • Focus Defined
    • the center of interest or activity
    • pay particular attention to
  • The light (lamp) of the body is the eye.
    • The whole body reacts to what the eyes see.
    • If the eye be single, then the body is healthy.
  • Single = focused, not seeing double…
    • If the eye is focused where it should be, then the whole body is filled with light.
    • Light = Phos. Physical light – used here metaphorically – spiritual health.
  • If thine eye be evil, thy whole body full of darkness…
    • The opposite of single focused.
    • Trying to focus on too many things.
    • Trying to focus on the wrong things.
    • Results in spiritual sickness.

  • If the light that is in thee…
    • If only “garbage” comes in, then garbage becomes normal to you.
    • Pictures a conscience that has been seared.
    • How great is that darkness!
    • Focusing on the wrong things will cost your soul!
  • The “pivot point” of this passage is Matthew 6:24.
    • Jesus places two things in opposition to one another.
    • God versus Mammon.
    • Mammon = earthly wealth, materialism.
    • Serving mammon leads to worry
  • Matthew 6:24 is the result of when we focus on serving the wrong things.
    • Matthew 6:19-23 – Shows the danger of having the Wrong Focus concerning obtaining earthly wealth and treasure.
    • Matthew 6:25-32 – Shows the danger of having the Wrong Focus concerning the cares of this life.
    • Matthew 6:33-34 – Shows us the Answer to the whole problem of Focus.
    • This passage us drawn into sharper focus when we compare the Better Focus that Christ emphasizes with the Worldly Focus of the hypocrites in the preceding verses.

Worldly Wealth Versus Spiritual Security

Matthew 6:19-21

  • Worldly Wealth
    • Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth…
      • The desire for Worldly Wealth to the exclusion of all else is dangerous.
      • 1 Timothy 6:9-10
      • Ecclesiastes 5:8-13
    • Where moth and rust… thieves…
      • We should not place all our hopes and securities in the realm of Worldly Wealth!
      • Ecclesiastes 5:14-16
      • Riches are “uncertain.” 1 Timothy 6:17
    • The world and all of its treasures are passing away.
    • There is nothing of this earth that will last into eternity.
      • 1 John 2:15-17
  • Spiritual Security
    • Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…
      • Inheritance in Heaven. 1 Peter 1:3-4
      • Ephesians 1:3
    • Where neither moth nor rust… thieves
      • 1 Pet 1:4-5
      • 1 Tim 6:17-19
    • Where your treasure is, there your “heart” will be also.
      • If your treasure is on earth, your heart will experience much disappointment
      • But if your treasure is in heaven, your heart will not suffer great disappointments
        • incorruptible, undefiled, and fadeth not awa
        • reserved in heaven for you
        • kept by the power of God through faith
      • Hebrews 10:32-34

Worldly Worry Versus Spiritual Serenity

Matthew 6:25-32

  • Worldly Worry
    • Take no thought …
      • Be not anxious (ASV*)
      • Ordinary thought or c*are is ok.
      • 2 Thessalonians 3:10
      • But not over anxiety which distracts the mind, Matthew 13:22
      • For your life… your food and drink… your clothing
      • Life is more than food… body more than clothing
    • Matthew 6:27, worry cannot make you grow any taller – some things are simply beyond our control, therefore unworthy of our anxiety.
    • Worldly worry stems from a lack of faith.
  • Spiritual Serenity.
    • God provides for the birds we are better than they. Matthew 6:26
    • God providence provides for the flowers. Matthew 6:28-30
    • Those who are not seeking God’s righteousness are completely consumed with the here and now. Matthew 6:31-32
    • Your father knoweth…
      • God will take care of you.
      • Psalms 37:23-25

The Solution for Focus

Matthew 6:33-34

  • If our focus is where it should be, then we will have mastery over mammon and win against worry.
    • Seek ye first!
    • The kingdom of God….
      • John 18:36
      • Romans 14:17
    • and His righteousness…
      • Psalms 119:172
    • Seek ye first… Why?
    • Their superior worth.
      • Matthew 3:8
      • Matthew 13:44-46
    • Their eternal duration, 1 John 2:16-17
  • And all of these things added…
    • The material things of life will take care of themselves.
    • God’s providence.
    • Really, if we seek God first, these other worldly concerns do not matter!
    • Philippians 1:21
    • Galatians 2:20
    • Don’t worry
    • We cannot change the past.
    • We cannot control the future.
    • Live life one day at a time!
    • Psalm 33:18-22
  • Spiritual Serenity and Security can only be found by seeking First the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Jack McNiel, Evangelist, Oak Grove Church of Christ

Resources Consulted:

  • Mark A Copeland Outline
  • Melvin J. Wise Outline
  • GA Commentary
  • Linguistic Key to the NT
  • American Standard Version