“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.”
Morning everybody, invite you to take your Bibles. So we’re going to be looking at Matthew chapter six, verse 25 to 34 this morning, as we continue in our series, the upside down life on the sermon on the Mount.
This passage is we’re going to read in a few minutes or a few moments is, uh, focused on a statement Jesus made, and the statement is, do not be anxious. It’s a striking statement. It’s a statement to a person with an anxiety disorder or who deeply struggles with worry. That sounds a lot like Billy Bass villi, big mouth bass, you know, the fish that talks and he used to sing.
Don’t worry. Be happy. It can be a frustrating statement, a confusing statement by Jesus because of the powerful and pervasive thing that worry and anxiety can be in our lives. A CBS television documentary entitled the age of anxiety revealed that the world health organization now lists anxiety is the most prevalent mental health problem across the globe.
It also showed that mental and emotional problems. Now top physical problems for worker absenteeism. The Mayo clinic claims 80 to 85% of total case loads is due directly to symptoms from worry and anxiety. Medical science has closely tied, worry to heart trouble, blood pressure problems, ulcers, thyroid malfunction, migraine headaches, and a host of stomach disorders.
Jesus is here. Addressing the subject of worry of being anxious and he’s putting it in the context of the teaching for the people of his kingdom. It’s a striking thought actually, that Jesus is talking about this emotional issue in our lives and saying for those that are part of my kingdom as a specific teaching, I want to give to you as we come to this passage, I want to remind you of the context I mentioned last week, as I preached on the passage just before this, that in these two passages, Matthew six verse 19 to 24, and then Matthew six, verse 25 to 34.
He is talking about choices in our lives. And the choice that he gave us last week is choose your treasure. You can choose God, or you can choose money as the central reality and the guiding thing in your life. Choose your treasure this morning. He says, choose your outlook, trust or worry. We’ll seek to impact this, unpack this teaching in just a moment.
But before we do, I, I do want to put a simple disclaimer out here. Some people I believe clearly are by temperament, more wired, to worry than other people. It is much more a part of their physical, emotional makeup. Some people really do benefit and really, uh, need some type of anxiety medication. It is not a way of keeping them from having to trust God.
As a matter of fact, I believe. For many people, medication just helps them get back to a realistic state of being able to evaluate things, to make the determination will I give into worry or will I give in or will I lean towards trust? I want to make this statement because some of us are not prone toward anxiety or worry by physical wire.
And we all struggle with it. But for those that are, this is a real issue for others like Michael Jordan or Teddy, right? Roosevelt. They probably didn’t struggle much with anxiety issues in their lives. Some people are prone to getting ulcers. Some people are prone to giving other people ulcers. Neither one are condemn are commendable or condemned bubble in themselves.
They’re just realities. But to some degree, wary being anxious impacts all of us. And to that regard, we want to have you listen to Jesus’ teaching here in Matthew chapter five and hear what he is saying in Matthew chapter six. What he’s saying to all of us today, Matthew chapter six, beginning of verse 25, therefore, no, you do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink nor about your body.
What you will put on is not life more than food and the body more than clothing. Look at the birds of the air. They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns. And yet your heavenly father feeds feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life.
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin yet. I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these, but if God, so clothes, the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven. Will he not much more clothe you?
Oh, you of little faith, therefore do not be anxious saying what shall we eat or what should we drink? Or what shall we wear for the Gentiles seek after all these things and your heavenly father knows that you need them all, but seek first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Let’s pray.
Or it over and over as we come to the scriptures, we are reminded of the astonishing practicality. If your word, truly, this book gives a sufficient message for all the issues, circumstances of our lives that you speak into the practical part of life. Lord, I love the way you use theology in this passage to speak to our emotional lives.
And I ask you father, that you would teach us as we gather here in Mount Laurel, in Collingswood, in our homes or on our vacations, uh, online Lord, be our teacher today. I pray in Jesus name. Amen. I want to look at two things this morning, first of all, the responsibility to not be controlled by worry. And secondly, the resource that Jesus offers to us to do so first again, a little context.
I mean, what arena is Jesus talking, but here, when he talks about anxiety or worry or not being anxious, and we find that he starts this passage off here in verse 25 with the statement, therefore, well, what does that talking about? What, what is that therefore, therefore, what’s it pointing back to? Well, it’s pointing back to the immediate passage before this in verses 19 to 24, in which he talked about.
Not making your resources, your financial resources, what you depended on, what is your ultimate treasure? It is encouragement in that passage, as we looked last week to not make, to, to, to make God and his kingdom, your ultimate treasure. And we talked about how we do that. He said in verse 24, no one can serve two masters.
Either. You will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God. And money says, may God the central reality in your life. And as I mentioned last week throughout the scriptures, something that is identified as an idol in our lives, and we could cover the old new Testament passages.
You’ll find that every time someone is making something, an idle, one of three things has happened either. They are serving it more than the living. God, they are loving it more than the living God, or they are trusting in it more than the living God. And often all three. And he says, don’t make money, the central reality in your life and the security that it brings, make God that central reality.
Now he comes up with this beautiful passage in response to the obvious issue that a lot of people might raise in response to that teaching you might’ve been here last week. And you say, mark, I know you said that the, the gift of making God that I have this gift of making God my treasure and that he gives me the gift of contentment.
We saw that in those passages, however, There still is the reality that when we, when we make God the center of our lives with our money, we give it over to him, which I did say partly involves setting aside the first fruits as our means of identifying that it all belongs to the Lord and those fruits, fruits, where their offerings, their ties.
And you say, well, that’s great. I mean, I appreciate that, but I’ll feel completely content in the thought of that. Does God have anything for me? Because the whole thought makes me anxious. Well, Jesus then sweeps in with the second choice that’s involved. And he say, you can, you, you can, if you are imbibing the teaching I’m giving in verse 1924 and saying, yes, God, I want you to be the central reality of my life.
He said, now you can choose to wear to worry or to try. And so we come to this and of course in this passage, he’s going to talk about basic life necessities. He’s going to talk about the fact that there’s food and drink and clothing. Basically, he’s talking about the stuff that you need to take care of your family.
And he says, I know this is the thing that the reason that you clutch finances, the reason that you want to take care of things, the reason you want to resolve the big issues of your life is because you feel responsible and, and you feel you like you need to, to have the essentials that are there. He says.
So let’s talk about another choice, the choice of worrying or the choice of trusting. The reaction that he’s talking about then is, do not be anxious. Anxious is a derivative of the word. It means you’re there’s division going on in our minds. We’ll see what that means in a moment, both in, in biblical truth and terminology and in modern psychological expression, there’s a subtle difference between fear and anxiety.
Fear is associated with a tangible, obvious, specific threat. There’s a danger that I can, I can quantify. And I can tell you what it is. It’s the fact that, that as I’m going down this dark street, I see up there a gang of thugs look like they’re waiting for just some Patsy like me. And there’s a, there’s a, there’s a, there’s a fear there.
Anxiety is just a sense of walking down a dark street and just feeling uneasy. You don’t know really what’s there. You don’t have, you can sort of imagine it, but it’s just an unknown worry, tends to be not only about specific things that are really feeling dangerous to us, worry can come just because of we are having too much stuff going worry is the sense he said of being divided.
It is being distracted. I use the analogy. It’s like Kevin, a bunch of flies around your head. It’s just too much. Doesn’t have to be things that you know, and you say, well, what are you w w w w mark? What’s my wife might say mark. What’s what are you worried about? I said, honestly, A lot of the stuff is not anything that I can say, this is a bad, it’s just too much.
I got too much going on. And so I had this, this general state of, of uneasiness. This is the sense of worry. Now it can involve some specific things. But the reality is that is one statement was made by the Caplin and Sadek synopsis of psychiatry. They put it this way. Anxiety is a diffuse, unpleasant, vague sense of apprehension.
Now, again, you might jump into this passion and say, wait a minute, mark, to be worried about food and water and having clothes seems pretty specific to me. Well, I get. But if you think about it, Jesus is actually taking the three most general realities of life necessities for them having water was real, having drink.
Having food was real. They didn’t have refrigerators to keep stuff. They didn’t, they didn’t go to the supermarket. They didn’t have Uber’s that were, uh, not Uber’s. Um, you know, the food grub, whatever they all, they are, all those. Forget it. I don’t get them, uh, all appealed to break. My son even did this.
Nike. I remember them. All right. You know who I’m talking about and if you’re a driver, forgive me and I promise to order from you soon. Okay. They didn’t have any of that. It just had, oh, we got to take care of this. And we went every day was a, was a, was a, a daily thing. So Jesus had, let’s just talk about life.
That’s why he says in the first verse, don’t be anxious about your life. And he’s saying, okay, when generally we’re going to talk about a, don’t be, you know, it could be, food could be water, could be Claude. It could be anything he said, if you have this general sense that life’s just out of control, that’s what he’s talking about.
He says, you feel like, I don’t know where he’s gone and I just feel overwhelmed. They just feel the natural flying around me. I feel distracted. I feel divided. He says, let’s, let’s talk about that. And he says in Proverbs 12 verse 25 anxiety, a man’s heart weighs him down. I guess a lot of you listening to me this morning, I are saying who.
That sense of too much. That sense of so much. I don’t even know where to rest in my mind is feel uneasy easy. Yeah. I do feel way down. I mean, I don’t feel energized. I feel tired all the time. I feel confused. I feel weighty. Andrew Alexander McLaren. Great Scottish pastor of days gone by said it this way.
What does your anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it does empty today of its strength. It does not make you escape the evil. It makes you unfit to cope with it. When it comes. Jesus has said, I don’t want my people to have to live with this, this sense of worry and anxiousness that weighs them down.
So what resources does he offer to him? Well, let’s at verse 26 to 2034. He’s going to talk about it. And he tells us a couple of things. First of all, he tells us what we need to remember what we need to remember about God. There’s a lot of theology in these verses. First of all, he talks about God’s provenance.
He says things like this in verse 26, look at the birds of the air. They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns. And yet your heavenly father feeds them in verse 28. And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin yet. I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed.
Like one of these. He says, God is sovereignly controlling and caring for everything in his creation. I had taken some pictures and I forgot to send them to Lisa to, um, put in this. But my mother-in-law, my, my parents in law live with us in an in-laws suite. Um, and outside their window, they’ve put all kinds of flowers and a couple of them are hibiscus plants.
If you don’t know what a hibiscus plant is, it’s a flowering plant that it has. The flowers are like small plates. I mean, they’re, they’re big. Couple of almost looked like dinner plates. They’re gigantic. They’re beautiful. They have a pink one, but they, she has this, this yellow one and it has red and aura.
I mean, it’s the most beautiful flower I’ve ever seen. It’s just majestic, you know, in our area, hibiscus plants are grown all time. You start looking for them, look them up online. If you don’t know what hibiscus is now, watch from, you’ll see hibiscus, uh, bushes around that are just full of these flowers.
They’re just out there. I remember years ago, uh, pastor Ralph was a pastor had served with me the longest here at fellowship. I was just with him last week and Ralph is a hunter Fisher. I mean, he’s missed a deer Slayer and, and, and then there’s Mr. Suburbia. And we were on a raft trip together, going up, coming down the Delaware, way up, uh, up by the Delaware water gap.
And as we came around the bend, uh, there was an entire mountain side of white and I got us, I got, uh, far enough over with the raft and I realized it was entire mountains. I mean, hundreds of feet, high, 150. Of wild rhododendrons. Now, if you don’t know what a rhododendron, and so it’s a Bush with flowers and it’s pretty.
And so I said to Ralph, I mean, Ralph spends most of his waking hours out in the woods somewhere and either in a tree that he gets to before it’s light. And then he goes home after it’s light in the middle of winter, this is my view of hunting. And so, so I said, Ralph, look at that whole mountainside is rhododendrons.
I mean, I didn’t know the group. Well, I was overwhelmed and he says, Rhoda watt. I said, rhododendrons. To me looking at the, I was overwhelmed with the beauty of it. I know what a rhododendron looks like. I have some my yard. I know. And again, I should have had a picture of this if you don’t know what they are, but you get up close to a road dinner, and it’s amazing how beautiful they are.
It’s stunning the intricacy. And he was a whole mountain side. And I, this first came to my mind. I still remember this was years ago and I just got all emotional. I didn’t do that with Ralph, but I got all emotional inside thinking, oh my goodness. Got all those rhododendrons today. You’re just taking care of every year.
They’re growing. Nobody’s watching them. Nobody’s watering and nobody’s cared for. You’re just taking care of all your rotos that’s garden center. Talk for Rhoda den.
There’s all creation that God. Overseas every second of every day of every generation, he is sovereignly providentially watching over. He even says this in a parallel passage in Matthew 10 29 are not two sparrows sold for a penny yet. Not one of them will fall to the ground outside your father’s care.
He’s watching the birds, he’s overseeing all of creation. So why? Yes. He tell us this in the context of worry, because God, isn’t just talking about his Providence here. He’s talking about his priority in his Providence, which is what we look at next verse 28. Are you not much more valuable than they are verse 30?
Will he not much more clothe you. Oh, you of little faith saying I’m taking care of my father. He says, my father is taking care of all the stuff,
but you are infinitely more important to him than there in Matthew chapter 10 verse, I just read, he says are not two sparrows sold for a penny yet. Now one of them will fall to the ground outside your father’s care. That penny was the cheapest. It was like our penny. It was the smallest, most insignificant coin in the Roman empire.
And if you could buy two birds for it, it meant they are cheap indeed. In the book of Luke and interesting thing, follow-up sequel to the story. If you will, is found in Luke 12, verse six, Jesus on another occasion said are not five Sparrow. Sold for two pennies. Now you remember he said to penny to two sparrows for one penny.
Now he says five sparrows for two pennies. This is a better deal. What’s he saying, if I can say it this way, he goes on to say in Luke 12, here’s what he says are not five sparrows sold for two pennies yet. Now one of them is forgotten by God. Don’t be afraid. You’re worth more than many sparrows. Here’s what he’s saying.
Two for one, even though it’s a cheapest amount of money, one, but you can also get five for two, which means one of those sparrows has no value at all. It’s just a throw in and Luke says, but the father watches over a mall and you are so much more important to God than those birds. He is arguing for his priority.
Some of you today feel like a throw away from just a Sparrow with no value. Well, first of all, God’s taking care of the birds that are the is, but you are infinite more value to God. God constantly needs to affirm that to us. Doesn’t he, to, to remind us as Myron and I often pray Lord in the Psalms it’s Lord show assigned to your favor that we forget because it theologically, we see you, of course, I’m more important than a bird and more important than a, than a Rodo.
I’m more important than lilies of the field. And, and, but I feel like dirt. We needed to be reminded. And the Lord says to overcome worry, overcome that sense that, that I gotta, I gotta be responsible to life where you start is, remember, God is overseeing it all. And where his eye is most directed is that as people,
I had a conversation this week, the guy from our church, an influence in our church family, that was just going back over and just telling his stories. And he shared his story with many people. So I’m not divulging anything, but there was a time in his life where he went through some incredibly difficult things.
As he said, the statement to me, I lost everything. And he told me about the day when he was crying out to God. And he said, God, I just, I need to hear something. And at that moment, a song came on the radio. That was just a song still is so precious to him too. That just spoke the exact words that he needed to hear.
And he knew theologically what was true, but he needed to have reaffirmed again as all of us to God, remind me again that I’m not just to throw away that that I’m valued. That, that, that you’re for me, that you’re behind me. Why does he tell us all this? So we’ll trust him so we won’t feel okay. God, thanks for saving me.
I’ll take it from here.
Okay. There’s a third theological thing. He tells us here and that’s found in verse 30, 1 32.
He says it this way.
Therefore to not be anxious saying, what shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear for the Gentiles seek after all those things? And your heavenly father knows that you need the mall. He says, everybody has certain needs, food, drink, clothing, basic life necessities, God isn’t rebuking us for being concerned about those things.
He says, everybody’s concerned about those things,
but I know I know what you need. I know what’s going on. I know w w the bill that came this week just overwhelmed. I know all the circumstances of your life. I know the things that are plaguing your, I know how distracted you feel. I know all those things that are coming at you, sovereignly I’m providential, orchestrating it all.
you can trust me. You can choose to hold onto wary, but you can choose trust. It’s interesting in Philippians chapter four in verses four through nine, one of the most powerful passage in the new Testament on worry, he starts it off. This is his opening phrase. The Lord is at hand, do not be anxious about anything.
Paul says, why. Factor in the presence of the Lord. He is providential caring for everything. He who says you are the, the, the focus of his attention, more than anything else. He who says he knows your needs. And the Lord says, man, remember he’s at hand he’s involved.
He says, remember God, the second thing he says that we need to, uh, think about and to focus on trying to remember my exact words there. What we need to remember is things about where he says this in verse 27. Can any of you by wearing out a single hour of your life, do not worry in verse 34, worry about tomorrow for tomorrow, worry about itself.
He says, w will possible benefit. Are you getting. By being distracted by all these things and letting these things dominate. Yes. Again, Alexander McLaren said it this way. What does anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it does empty today of its strength. God gives us the power. He continues to bear all the sorrow of his making, but he does not guaranteed to give us strength to bear the burdens of our own making.
Such as worry, induces. I think what he’s saying is God will give you the grace to deal with everything that comes, but he’s not giving you the grace now to anticipate all those things and to try to, you know, what I called, uh, w when, when I feel the water has been hit with a rock, I want to anticipate all the, all the ripples.
And he says, I’m not gonna, I’m not going to give you grace to tie yourself. And when you tie yourself in knots, trying to resolve all the potential ripples, I’ll give you the race. If any of those ripples hit the shore, if any of those ripples come to you, I’ll give you that grace, but I’m not going to give you grace because of self-induced, uh, anxiousness that you are bringing on yourself when you could be giving it to me and trusting me, we all have our tells when we’re anxious.
My tell is sign. My mom was a master. I apparently have inherited it. Others of you are our teeth grinders few wake up in the morning and you find your jaw constantly hurts. You probably got more going on than you realize. And you’re, you’re tending to, to process it. Even in your dreams. Some people have digestive issues, some have headaches, some have chest pain, some break out in a rash.
Your whole body can react to it. Some of us have a variety of those, but he says, first of all, what you need to do is remember what’s true. And then he says, this is what we need to do. Well, we need to do is found in verse 33, but seek first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness. This is presented as a contrast to anxious, anxiousness, the verb seek here in this context.
And you’ll notice it’s used. If you look at your passage, verse 32 and 33. He talks about seek in this context, it means to devote serious effort to go out of the same way we were there. You’re looking for you’re pursuing it, but there’s a difference here in verse 32, you’ll notice he talks about the Gentiles and that just means those that are outside of the faith.
It doesn’t mean we’re all Gentiles, but the ideas, the word actually is nations. It means anyone that’s outside of the household of faith he’s talking about. And in verse 32, he says it this way
for the Gentiles seek after all these things. And your heavenly father knows that you need them all, but seek first the kingdom of God. There’s an interesting thing that happens here that really isn’t brought out in her English. Very well. The word sit in there, both from the same word, but in verse 32, there’s a prefix put to it.
The word epi, which means hyper, it means it’s, it’s ramped up and he says the Gentile people are seeking these things. They’re pursuing them. And there’s this, there’s this rabid sense of having to get them, uh, resolved and brought under control. There’s a hunger seeking after stuff to make them feel safe.
And then he says to the Christian in verse 33, I want you to seek something else. But it doesn’t have the hyper park. There’s a calm seeking. He says, you can, you can be like that. And, and he’s already said, yeah, there’s some things out there that they’re seeking that, that you would seek as well. But he says there is a calmness that comes in the process of seeking after my kingdom.
So what does he mean when he says, seek first Christ kingdom and his righteousness? When we talk about a kingdom, we’re talking about Jesus reign in our lives, right? I mean, if we talked about king David’s kingdom, we’re talking about his, his rain. We could be talking about two things, you know, maybe the, the, the locale where he ruled spatially and the people that he rolled well in this era, Jesus’ kingdom is not spatial.
It will be one day when all of the kingdoms abroad under the authority of Jesus in a day, uh, to come on earth. But preeminently, it’s talking about his reign over people’s lives. And he says, seek the reign of Christ in your life. Seek to bring all things under his Lordship, his kingdom. Um,
he says our passionate pursuit of Christ is not a passionate pursuit to not be worried. It is a passionate pursuit of Christ. The by-product is it does overcome worry. As we allow Christ Lordship to take over those pieces in our lives. Hudson Taylor said it this way, a missionary to China, he pioneered the gospel into China.
Let us give up all our work, our plans, ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, our influence, our all. Right into God’s hand. And then when we have given all over to him, there will be nothing left for us to be troubled about. That’s what Jesus is talking about. Be so full of Christ, being glorified piece of full of giving things over the Lord said, Lord, I don’t want to take responsibility for this.
I want to give it to you. I want to give you every part of my life. Not saying Lord, take away my worry. Take away my worry. Take away. Wait. No it’s saying Lord, I’m giving you all my life and what he does as he takes all of your life, it does resolve our worry. He says, seek it first. This can mean one of two things it can mean seeking at first in time.
And certainly there is an element of that, that that’s the first thing we should do with this stuff. That’s plaguing us, but it’s preeminently talking about that, that it’s our priority. Luke 11 is the passage that all of us that are task oriented people, which I would probably put my task self in, get kind of bummed out about it’s Jesus talking to Mary and Martha.
And some of you already all know Mary and Martha story, but you know, Mary is the one that’s associated with devotion and introspection thoughtfulness. And, and Martha’s the doer, the activist, you know, and, and this was, this was not Martha’s finest hour in Luke 11. They’ve invited Jesus to their house and Jesus is there.
And here’s what’s going on in Luke chapter 11, verse 39. It says Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet and listening to his team. Verse 40. You find out what Mary Martha was doing, but Martha was distracted. Ah, remember that word, distracted divided with much serving. And she went up to him and said, Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left Peter serve alone, tell her to help me.
Martha said that Jesus said this, Martha, Martha, whenever somebody mentions your name twice, it’s not good. Martha, Martha you’re anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. This is not about wiring. Yeah. I think probably Martha probably got more stuff accomplished in a day than Mary, as far as just checklist, but the issue.
Martha allowed the work to be distractions. There were gnats and, and so much so that, oh, I have to get that. Oh, we have to get this. And here was Jesus’ teaching. She completely missed the teaching, why she was so caught up in the stuff of life and she’s distracted and worried. And Jesus says, Martha, Martha, mark, mark, bill, bill, Mary Mary.
Well, not Mary cause she’s good. But
you missed the first. It’s not, you don’t want to have a clean house. Have stuff served to people, have everything, but it can be a way of welcoming, but he says that’s not the priority. The priority. Is quieting your hearts and being brought into the reign of Christ in your life. And he says, when you do that, you’ll find a lot of the stuff that is distracting you.
That feels aren’t going to get the, I can’t even think about, I’m just going to keep motoring through life. You find it. A lot of that stuff didn’t need to be done. It’s a first Peter two, um, Peter talks about how do you determine what you’re supposed to do, even in terms of ministry and serve for Jesus.
And it says this statement we are to serve in the strength we’re given. I can tell you this, a lot of stuff that we do, even in ministry that probably we weren’t called to do, because we’re doing it in our strength, not Jesus. So how do we make the different, well, we’ve got to make the priority listening the priority, being still, it takes time to do that.
And in our culture, anybody that’s sitting. Seemingly relaxing, which might be you just doing the work of seeking the face of God. That seems lazy. Well, that’s not what it’s saying here saying the first thing, the priority thing is that I make sure that I’m bringing the stuff that seems to be flying all around my head.
That I’m, I’m bringing an under the reign of Christ. All right. Let me just throw five quick things to think about steps to overcoming worry. And I realize, anytime you say five steps to this, it sounds trite, but these are suggestions to consider. Number one, embrace the battle between trust and worry. This is a battle.
It’s a real battle. If you’re a Mary, it’s a battle. If you’re a Martha, it’s a battle. It’s just a battle to live. Trusting it it’s natural terrain. It’s default mode for us to be worried because we’re trying to take respond. We use the word wide, just trying to be responsible. And so I’m going to, I feel all distracted.
I feel worked up, I feel agitated. So I’m just going to motor my way through it. Well, you’ll probably put a lot of energy to stuff that Jesus never asked you to be concerned about. The first thing we’ve got to just say, there’s a battle here, and there’s a battle in us that doesn’t want to do the work of being quiet.
That doesn’t want to do the work of seeking God and his kingdom. First, just understand this. Isn’t going to be a natural flow necessarily. Secondly, refresh your mind with truth. That’s what Jesus is doing here in Matthew seven, six, come back to this. Remember the Providence of God, how he’s taking care of stuff, lot bigger stuff than is going on in your life.
God’s taken care of. He’s running the cosmos. He can take care of your Monday.
Remember that you are the priority to God, not the meteors, not the Milky way, the people that he’s made in his own image and that he knows what you need. And what’s going on.
This is the dicey one. Number three, record your worries. When we’re anxious, this is usually what’s happening. We’re feeling that’s flying around our head with you and your spouse or your kids or your coworker. Somebody say what’s bothering you.
Reminds me of my favorite teller I ever had at my grocery store, who was a cheerfully negative person. And I would go to her aisle. I just loved her. And I remember my favorite day was I said to her, so how’s the day gone? And she said, oh, oh, don’t even ask such a perfect response because, but then of course she went on and tell me, but, but that’s how we feel.
You know, somebody asked me, don’t even ask, I don’t want to, why are we saying, I don’t want to think about, I don’t want to, I don’t want to have to think about all the things that are flying around my brain. You have to think about it because they’re affecting you. They’re running you. And right now some of you are already starting to feel sick in your stomach and say, I don’t make me go there.
Don’t I don’t want to think about, I come here to church to, to just focus on God and, and, but you have got to. What’s going on, you have got to go. Some of those things are not really dangerous things. They’re just too much stuff. Right. But the sense of anxiety, the sense of worry, the sense of being distracted and divided comes because we have not brought those things to God specifically.
That’s why the fourth thing is this cast, your worries. First, Peter five of course says it this way, cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you. You can’t cast something you haven’t identified. He’s saying you take those specific things. That sense of unsettlement that, that you’re feeling.
What are you, what are those things that you’re concerned about? Bring them one by one. This is why I’ve talked to you many times in the past about sometimes we just need to do a worry list. Bring it to the Lord. Here it is. Here it is. Here. It is. Philippians four, six says by everything he’s talking about overcoming worry, he says, don’t be worried about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, present your request to God.
If you’re just coming to God and say, God blessed today, you know, helped me through take care of the missionaries, you know, watch over my children. And you’re an agitated mess. You haven’t really prayed. You haven’t really brought what’s ruling your life. He says, take some time and present those things. To me, that’s what casting your cares is.
And then as Philippians four highlights, practice Thanksgiving, but in everything by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, Psalm 34 is one of my favorite portions of scripture. I quoted every night as I’m going to sleep. I’ve probably said that before it’s 22 verses I don’t often make it through because they usually fall.
But I do it every night. Here’s the first verse of, as, as the Psalmist is dealing with replacing the fear of circumstances with the offer of God, here’s his first statement. He says, I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise will continually be in my mouth. He said, I’ve learned that the way that I displace fear with the law of God is I live in a habitual, intentional pattern of blessing, the Lord, which means to, to express praise for what he is, what he’s doing.
He says, I bless the Lord at all times. His praise is constantly what’s coming out of my mouth. Now David had a lot of stuff. He struggled with stuff. I don’t mean that he didn’t deal with stuff like we do, but he was cultivating the habit. That’s a habit in our lives as well. That’s involved in. Overcoming that time of anxiousness and worry.
Jesus again, is not using the sermon on the Mount to beat us up. He’s using the sermon on the Mount to invite us to do in life. As it’s designed to be lived, where he is the Lord of our lives, the one loving us caring for us carrying us. And so he presents to us, you, you don’t have to do this. Oh, ye of little faith.
You don’t have to a little faith means you have faith in yourself to do life, but you don’t have much in me. And he says, have it in me. I want to carry it. I’m doing it with the birds. They don’t know it. I’m doing it with you a lot more than you know it, but I’m willing to do it with all those things that are agitating.
You let me carry them. Let’s pray, Lord.
Most of us are really, really, really busy people. And most of us very easily
pretend this sense of anxiety being a distraction, a division of our minds.
Yeah. And so now Lord, we pray that you would teach us more about this passage, truth of turning from worry to trust. Thank you for the invitation to do that. Thank you for the ways you have taught us through the years of our journey with you or the months of the weeks. Lord, just keep deepening our trust in you.
We were stunned that that is your greatest joy is that we, as the Salma said that we hold. In your unfailing, love that. That’s what you delight in that we hope and trust in the fact that your love won’t fail us. Lord, lead us to do that. I pray, and we love you for it in Jesus name. Amen. Now, go in peace to love and serve and enjoy the Lord.