Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WHAT ME WORRY? (Matthew Chapter 6)

Worry is defined as “a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.” It is a common and popular sin, despite the fact that is can lead to a wide array of spiritual, physical, and emotional difficulties. Worry reflects a lack of trust in God and His ability or desire to care for us—it therefore tends to undermine the intimacy of our fellowship and credibility of our witness. Jesus spoke to the problem in depth in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:24-35).

There are at least 10 reasons given here to refrain from worry. Here they are:

1.       God commands us not to worry.  “Do not be anxious” (Matthew 6:25a).
2.       There is more to life than the concerns we tend to worry about.  “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25b).
3.       God takes care of the birds—and you are of more value than they are.  ”Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not worth more than they” (Matthew 6:26)?
4.       Worry doesn’t accomplish anything.  “And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span” (Matthew 6:27)?
5.       God beautifully arrays the lilies of the field—though they expend no effort.  “And why are you so anxious about clothing?  Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not cloth himself like one of these.  But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith” (Matthew 6:28-30)?
6.       To worry--being preoccupied with earthly concerns-is to live no different than the unsaved.  “Do not be anxious then, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’  For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek” (Matthew 6:31-32b).
7.       God knows all about your needs. “”For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Matthew 6:32b).
8.       Instead of worrying about earthly concerns, be concerned about His kingdom and His righteousness.  “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
9.       Don’t borrow, by worrying, from tomorrow’s troubles. “Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
10.   Instead of worrying—pray (Matthew 6:8-14; Philippians 4:6-7).

John Newton, “We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”

The words below, from an old song, by B.J. Thomas, put things in right perspective:

He's got it all in control, He's got it all in control
He's put that reassurance, Way down in my soul
He's got it all in control

I've put my life in His hands, I've put my life in His hands
So every road I walk down, I'm sure is in His plan
'Cause I've put my life in His hands

He holds the stars in the sky, He holds the land back from the sea
If He can do all of that, Surely he can take care-of you and me

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