Sunday, October 22, 2006


Matthew 6:25-34 Worry

Matthew 6:25 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? 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.

Worry is one of the greatest indicators of what we believe about God. Jesus defines worry as being faithless, godless, pointless, and useless for people who desire to be His followers. Worry can be overcome by remaining in the presence of God.
-Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.-Don't be irreplaceable; if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.-Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.-Never test the depth of the water with both feet.-If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of electricity payments-Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.-If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.-Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.-Never miss a good chance to keep your mouth closed.-Don't' worry, it may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Well, it's that concept of worry that I want to consider with you this morning. The word, "worry" in the Bible, comes from two Greek words–mind, and to divide. So literally, worry means "to divide the mind". And anytime you divide something that is not supposed to be divided, you have problems.
Worry divides the feelings; therefore emotions lack stability.Worry divides the understanding; therefore convictions are shallow and changeable.Worry divides the faculty of perception; therefore observations are faulty and even false.Worry divides the faculty of judgment; therefore attitudes and decisions are often unjust and lead to damage and grief.Worry divides the determinative faculty; therefore plans and purposes if not scrapped altogether are not filled with persistence.
Matthew 6:2525 "Therefore...
Let me stop there. Because, before God wants to teach us about worry, He wants to do a review. Did you know, that whenever you see the word "Therefore" in your Bible, that's a road sign that you should refer back to what was said just before it, so you don't take the words you are about to read, out of the context in which they were written?
In this case, "Therefore" refers to what we studied last week. What do you treasure? What are the things or concepts that you are using to define you? What do you hold to when the dark times of life come your way? What to you rely on when you have setbacks or difficult times? Your answer to those questions determine your ability to apply what Jesus is about to say.
You see, if you are holding on to... and relying on... and defining yourself by... account, ...or your investments, ...or your house, ...or your land investments,...or your circumstances, ...or your job status ..or what you think people think of youthen worry for you is going to be like wrestling with an octopus. Just when you think you've got one worry taken care of, another one is going to grab you. It will never end! But for the rest of us, who are storing up heavenly treasure–that is, we're paying attention and earnestly trying to apply the principles of the Sermon on the Mount in practical ways to our lives, Jesus has this to say about worry.
1. Worry is Faithless
Matthew 6:25 25 "... I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Worry is Sin Jesus says here, "Don't worry about your life." The form of this sentence in the Greek language is what's called the emphatic; In other words, "stop it–and never do it again." It is a direct command. Now, the word "life" that He uses is inclusive. It means your whole life–mental, physical, emotional, spiritual.
So, this statement in verse 25 has a broad application to every single area of each of our lives. We could say that a Christian's worry about anything having to do with anything is something that God views as being in direct disobedience to Him. It shows a lack of faith on our part that God is really God. In other words, worry is sin.
The great devotional writer, A. W. Tozer puts it this way... If only we would stop lamenting and look up. God is there. Christ is risen. The Spirit has been poured out from on high. All this we know as theological truth. It remains for us to turn it into joyous spiritual experience.
A dense fog covering the City of Newcastle is composed of something less than one glass of water. Think about that for a moment.
Isn't that what worry does? It divides all our energies and makes our perspective foggy.
This is what the things we worry about are like. If we could see into the future like God does, and if we could see the things we worry about as they really are, we'd see them in their true size.
"What we worry about is never as great in substance as the emotional energy we use to maintain our level of unhappiness."
So understand Jesus' first point–worry is faithless. It is a lack of faith in the God who loves you, and is bigger than any worry you have.
2. Worry is Godless
Now, here's the second thing you need to understand about worry... It's godless.
Matthew 6:26-30 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? In this group of verses, Jesus gives three illustrations–not about food, or life expectancy or clothing–but about our "heavenly Father". The basic question He asks is this, "Don't you know who your dad is?" Since God is your father, than for you to worry is to dismiss God, or exclude God from your thinking and from your life!
A. Food Maybe a flock of birds just flew over head, or maybe one landed near where this group of people listening to Jesus were sitting. Something caused Jesus to use birds as His first illustration.
Now, birds don't have a complex way of gathering and storing food. When you're not looking, they don't fly into their nests or bird houses, and read the papers to find out about droughts, or grain yields. They don't have bird cookbooks, or go to seed sales. Like every other living creature, they rely on God for their support. Now, Jesus isn't suggesting that birds do nothing to feed themselves. Anyone who has ever observed animals in the wild, know how diligently and persistently they search for food. But they don't worry, they're not treated for ulcers, they don't sit around and watch the stock exchange. They gather food, until they have enough, and when they need more, they go out and get more! Jesus point is that if God does that for a living creature who isn't human, how much more will He do this for men and women, who are treasuring up the right things in their lives, who are created in His image.
B. Fitness (v.27) the physical make up of our lives. I used to be called a dunnart at High school. Do you know what a dunnart is? its a small hairy creature that has a sloping forehead, a long nose and buck teeth. I spent years trying to poush my teeth back with my hands, until I learnt that I better accept the way God has made me. buck teeth are good for.. eating apples!
this also speaks of worry about the length of our lives. It seems like everyone is obsessed with life expectancy these days. We are living longer than ever before! We make sure we eat right and exercise right. But the bottom line is that we all eventually die. Jesus' point in verse 27 is that God is in control of a person's life. He has established the borders of when you will be born, how long you will live, and when you will die. Worrying doesn't make life longer, however, but medical research is showing that worry does make life shorter! Health studies tells us that worry can have negative effects on circulation, the heart, the glands and the whole nervous system. There's an old English proverb that says... Work won't kill, but worry will.
C. FASHION Clothing The third illustration Jesus uses is flowers! Have you ever seen a flower decorate itself. Of course not! God clothes them in a beauty that surpasses the beauty of the clothes that the richest man who ever lived, Solomon, had. So, don't worry about what you wear. So, was Jesus suggesting we walk around naked? No. He's simply saying God cares about even that aspect of your life. So don't spend time "worrying, fretting, and being concerned over what you will wear".
D. The Future
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.
Now, you may be thinking, Oh, come on, worry is such a little, silly, sin. Why doesn't Jesus concentrate on the major sins like murder, lying, stealing and adultery?
But, you see, the point of these three illustrations are to show us that worry isn't just a little sin. Worry is an assault on the love of God by people who claim to be His followers! It questions His love, His affection and His integrity. Worry is another way of saying, "I don't trust you, God, I am not counting on Your promises, and I don't really believe Your Word". Worry is accepting the perspective of the moment, and rejecting the eternal perspective. This is one of the key reasons why I encourage you so much to do the necessary things to build your relationship with God!
The spiritual disciplines of daily prayer, and daily Bible study give us a fresh perspective, a consistent attitude and outlook on God's love and provision. The absence of those disciplines gives Satan the opportunity to......fill the void in our thinking with discontentment, despair, and doubt.Worry basically has the effect of kicking God out of our thinking. That means, worry is godless!
3. Worry is Pointless
The third thing that worry is, is talked about in verses 31-33...
Matthew 6:31-33 31 So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Jesus is saying, that for the Christian, worry is pointless! Worry is unreasonable for a child of God. Because a person who has a relationship with God has a God who supplies all their needs.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

A friend of mine from Yeoval used to have a pig farm, he told the story of how as a kid he would go into the pens. We raised pigs. We raised about a thousand pigs a year. In one field we had two or threehundred little piglets running around. Every day, at four in the morning, as I'd walk intothe field to feed those guys, they'd scatter. Once a little pig came up and began to chew onmy foot, so I picked him up and began to pet him. Soon he wanted down.
I said, "No, I'll let you down when I'm ready." At that moment, he let out a squeal such as I had never heard. In about two seconds, thirty mama pigs weighing five to six hundred pounds each were headed my way. I put him down and headed for the fence. I barely made it over, and all the mama pigs were snorting and walking back and forth, daring me to come back over and bother one of their kids. I look back at that and realize the little rascal wasn't intimidated. He was out of control, but he wasn't intimidated. Why? Because one squeal away he had resources.
Now friends, let me ask you something. If one of God's creatures is that sensitive to the cry of its own, how much more sensitive is the heavenly Father to the cry of His own? Just one squeal away we have resources. So worry is pointless.
4. Worry is Useless
But not only is worry faithless, godless and pointless, it is also useless. Look at verse 34...
Matthew 6:34 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Worry and the future
Jesus is saying, worry doesn't make sense, because of our future. In this verse, Jesus gives us great insight on how do deal with worry! He's not saying, don't make provision for tomorrow! Because it would be foolish not to buy milk and groceries for today and tomorrow! There is a difference between making a reasonable provision for tomorrow, and worrying about tomorrow!
The author, George MacDonald once said, "No man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourself so."
2. What to do
The practical bottom line is that we are to concentrate on the trials, the problems, the opportunities and struggles we face today. Tomorrow will bring a whole new set of "stuff". But God promises you–wisdom for today.–grace for today,–strength for today,–forgiveness for today, and–mercy for today.In other words, There are 2 days in a person's life about which no one should worry–yesterday and today!

Years ago, in the pioneer days of aviation, Bert Hinkler was making a long distance flight over water. After he had been gone for some two hours from his last landing field, he heard a noise in his plane, which he recognized as the gnawing of a rat. He realized that while his plane had been on the ground a rat had gotten in. For all he knew the rat could be gnawing through a vital cable or control of the plane. It was a very serious situation. He was both concerned and anxious. At first he didn't know what to do. It was two hours back to the landing field from which he had taken off and more than two hours to the next field ahead. Then he remembered that the rat is a rodent. It's not made for heights; it is made to live on the ground and under the ground. Therefore the pilot began to climb. He went up a thousand feet, then another thousand and another until he was more than twenty thousand feet up. The gnawing ceased. The rat was dead. The rat couldn't survive in the atmosphere of those heights. More than two hours later the pilot brought the plane safely to the next landing field and found the dead rat, frostbitten, without air.
Friends, listen to me...worry is a rat.-It cannot live in the secret place of the Most High God.-It cannot breathe in the atmosphere of God's Word.-Worry dies when we climb up to the Lord through prayer.

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