One Day

As our week draws to a close, we have been discussing how we can win over worry. Jesus himself gave us two great actions for us to take. The first was to examine our priorities and the next is Action #2—Exist in the present. That can be more difficult than we let on. So, Christ Jesus says in Matthew 6:34~Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (ESV). This means we should live one day at a time. The Bible is filled with individuals who are worried about their future and can do nothing. So God speaks to them through leaders, priest, and prophets saying tomorrow you will eat meat (Numbers 11:18), tomorrow you will witness wonders (Joshua 3:5), tomorrow I will slay your enemies (Joshua 11:6). Saints, it doesn’t matter what giant we are facing in our life. God is the giant slayer. Each day manna was given to the children of Israel and they ate it for 40 years while wandering in the desert (Exodus 16:13-20). 

I want to encourage you today to live life, one day at a time. Know that God will hold your hand, as He leads you down the path of life. Know that God will take all your anxieties and carry them for you because you are His personal concern. And when you pray, know that God is going to give you His peace. (John 14:27) Learning to live in the present means that we need a prayer to pray. Why not pray Psalm 118:24~This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (NIV) As you head out into the world today, I want you to know that you can Win Over Worry! Just keep walking with the Lord and He will give you the victory. May the Lord bless you.

Worry is practical atheism

Today, we want to begin looking at actions that we can employ that will help us eliminate worry in our lives. As Jesus continues His sermon hillside, He shares with us two basic actions that Eliminate Worry in our lives. Action #1—Examine Your Priorities. Back to the clothesline, only this time, it really is about our attire. Jesus says our clothes are nothing for us to worry about. Who tried on two outfits or more before coming to community today? Matthew 6:28~And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, (ESV) Lilies are truly plentiful in Israel, where there are more than 100 species in the lily family. They are absolutely gorgeous. Many of you, especially those who attend Men’s Fraternity, which begins on September 15th at 6 PM, shameless plug complete, have seen the Asiatic lilies I buy for April. They last as long as six weeks. And Jesus says in Matthew 6:29-30~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, O you of little faith? (ESV) 

I want us to grasp the full picture posited here by Jesus. Solomon who built the Temple in 7 years, took 13 years to build his own home. I want to encourage you, Ken and Susanne, September is not that far. Now if you take 13 years to build a home, what do you think this individual would have dressed like. Yeah, Jesus is talking about you Solomon, when He says you don’t have the splendor of a simple lily. The Son of the Most High God, who is the bright and morning star, calls and owns himself in Song of Solomon 2:1~I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. (KJV) He does this to express His own presence with his people in this world, that is you and me. This shares the easiness of our access to Him, Jesus. It also holds for us the simplicity, the beauty, the sweetness, even the fragrant presence of the Lord who is teaching us here in His own sermon. No one is adorned like the lily. They are friendly, varied, open to all. From the king who built the Temple to the shepherds in the field.

The phrase, thrown into the oven, probably refers to the fact that when dry, dead grass is cut, lilies are cut with it and thrown into the oven to use as fuel for baking. In the last phrase of verse 30, Christ Jesus says…30~…O you of little faith? Why are you worrying about food, drinks, and clothes? Matthew 6:31~Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (ESV) The Gentiles, those who are unbelieving, those who’ve not yet come into fellowship, who aren’t apart of the community of faith, this is how they act. Matthew 6:32~For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (ESV) 

In other words, worrying is fretting like an unbeliever. Are you of the house of faith? Then believe, trust God, and cast your anxieties. How do I do that? 1 Peter 5:6-7~So, humble yourselves under God’s strong hand, and in his own good time he will lift you up. You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern. (JBP) He numbered your hairs (Luke 12:7), He has a good plan to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11-13), and has good things planned for you to do in this gift of life called the present. (Ephesians 2:10) Colossians 3:23-24~And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (ESV) Reminds me of the old preacher who shared how two little boys were walking home from Sunday School one day, where the lesson had been on the Devil. One little boy asked the other: What do you think about this Devil business?

Well, replied the other boy. You remember how Santa Claus turned out-it’s either your mother or your father. The end of our soul, our adversary the devil want nothing more than to consume us with worry which will make our faith, ineffective. ~R.H. Mounce~ Worry is practical atheism. Disbelief or lack of belief in God. Are you of the house of faith? Then act like it, and stop worrying like you’re an atheist.

Listen to Jesus in Matthew 6:33~But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (ESV) When we put God first in any area—relationships, finances, career, whatever God will bless that part of our lives because we are living righteously. Psalm 5:12~Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (NIV) What is that shield? Paul says it is faith. Ephesians 6:10~In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (NIV) So put God first, and in so doing we will get dressed spiritually as Paul talks about and then we can take up the shield of faith. Remember prayer is vital to help us win over worry. So, instead of worrying today, who could use a touch from the Lord in your life. Reach out to them and encourage them as you build up their faith. The Lord will bless you for this.

Worry casques a loss…

Yesterday, we looked at how worry causes a loss of perspective in our lives today let’s consider Effect #2-Worry Causes a Loss of Value or our self-worth. Thus, Jesus says in Matthew 6:26~…Are you not of more value than they? (ESV) Then who, birds? Outside my office window is giant rosebush attracting the most beautiful emerald jeweled birds called Broad-billed hummingbirds. Who fastidiously press flight so fast their wings hum as they whip the air causing lift, giving rise to their names as they hover above the bush. With great ferocity and tenacity like fighter jets dual atop my roses, they dive-bomb one another just to slurp at the sweet nectar provided by God. 

The smallest of all birds is the Bee hummingbird. About 2 inches long and half of that is tail feathers and beak. It weighs in at only 2 grams, roughly a dime’s weight. The bee hummingbird can hover, fly up or down and from side to side with amazing grace. It flaps its tiny wings 75 times a second, which is so fast we can’t see the wings move. Native to Cuba, the bee hummingbird can travel hundreds of miles nonstop. Regularly crossing the Gulf of Mexico to the Panama Canal. An accident? I think not! Jesus says, look at the birds of the air. I wonder what bird He held in His mind that day? He says, are you not more valuable? In other words, look at God’s concern for them and learn. Matthew 10:30~And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (NIV)

God knows how many hairs are on our heads right now, and even those who were once in residence. Men don’t be saddened by their vacancy. Moreover, ladies, that means He also knows the true color of your hair, even though your husband doesn’t. Seems trivial right, that God would tract such things? But some of you track your children’s phones, where they go on the web and their apps. Understand that we have a Heavenly Father who is even more vigilant and zealous for us, who sees all and knows all. Because we, you, are so valuable and precious to Him! He knows everything about us, so when we Evaluate worry we discover it causes a Loss in our Perspective and a Loss in our Value or Self-Worth.

Effect #3-Worry causes loss of strength. Holocaust survivor ~Corrie Ten Boom~ said, Worry doesn’t rob tomorrow of its sorrow; it robs today of its strength. To reveal the folly of worry, Jesus asks us in Matthew 6:27~And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (ESV) Has worry added anything to your life? It won’t make our lives longer and certainly won’t make us any happier. Worry accomplishes nothing, other than making our lives miserable. Proverbs 12:25~Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. (NIV) Worry will wipe out our mental energy, making us less able to apply constructively take action. Still, some of you are sitting and saying why shouldn’t we worry? So I remind you that worry causes a Loss of Perspective, a Loss of Value, and a Loss of Strength. To win over worry in our lives we must evaluate the effects worry has on us. Today, take time to give your list to God again and as Him to carry the weight and concern for you. This will help build up your faith and trust in God. Next, ask Him who you can share this valuable lesson with.