Friday, March 22, 2013

The sin of worrying — Matthew 6:25-34

Japanese Maple leaf & flowers


“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 
“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 
“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 
 “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,  yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 
 “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 
 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." 

–– Matthew 6:25-34
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Over the last few days we have been looking at Matthew 6:25-34. We have discussed five reasons that a Christian should not worry.
  • Worry keeps you from enjoying what you have.
  • Worry makes you forget your worth.
  • Worry is totally useless.
  • Worry erases the promises of God from your mind.
  • Worry is the characteristic of unbelievers, not Christians. *
These reasons are important helps in stopping our fruitless worries. Worry can easily become an addiction. Once you get started, there is no limit to how many things you can worry about. Once we push a worry out of the way, we will quickly replace it with another worry. Who needs to sleep when you can spend the entire night worrying.

I used to worry a lot more than I now do. As a sinner, I must confess that I still worry. I don't seem to worry about the food, drink, clothes and those type of things. I worry about situations, families and circumstances. Social situations are stressful for me. What can I talk about with people? I probably don't have anything in common with them. What if I say the wrong thing? I'm uncomfortable, I would rather fade into the background or disappear from the situation. Then there is the family to worry about. Will they make the right decisions in life? Will I decide the right thing. Do they have to drive all that distance at one time? Will they be safe on their trip. My wife should have been home by now, why isn't she here - is she OK?

I really have learned to leave it all in God's hands, but not always as quickly as I should. I need to stop and remind myself what I am doing and how wrong it is. Our loving and sovereign God does not make mistakes. Things will work out according to His plan. God is never surprised by our circumstances. He is always in control of all situations. I can find comfort in this truth. My worries are a lack of faith in God's ability and promises. But, once one starts to worry, it is like an drug. It is addictive. One easily gets pulled into the sin of worry and your worries grow and grow greater. One must stop as soon as he becomes aware of these thoughts. Give it to God and enjoy His peace.

We are not alone in out fight over worries. Abraham had enormous faith. you can see how great his faith was in the Hall of Faith in the book of Hebrews. By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:8-10 He was promised by God that he would become a great nation. Genesis 12:1-3 Abraham, on occasions, forgot about the promises of God. When a famine came he moved to Egypt for food. Genesis 12:10 Abraham worried that when the Egyptians saw his wife, they would kill him and take his beautiful wife. If the his wife were stolen and he was killed, how would he receive his promised inheritance. So Abraham told Sari to tell them that she was his sister. Genesis 12:11 His schemeappeared to work. Abraham probably began to think that his worrying was effective. Genesis 12: 14-16 God exposed Abraham's lie. Genesis 12:17-19 The Egyptians escort Abraham and his wife out of town.

Did the embarrased Abraham learn his lesson about worry. Apparently not. Genesis 20:1-2 Abraham is sojourning in Gerar and he tells the people that Sarah is his sister. So the king of Gerar, Abimilech, sent and took Sara. The same story repeats but in another place. God reveals his scheme to Abimilech. Genesis 20:3-7.

Abraham's son, Isaac, must of liked that storry too. In Genesis 26, Isaac found himself in a similar situation as his father. When the men asked Isaaic about his wife — the worrying Isaac said, "She is my sister." Genesis 26:7 Isaac was also caught in his lie and publically rebuked. Genesis 26:8-11

Worry is a problem. Worry is a sin. The answer is to be found in the words of Jesus “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." When the temptation to worry comes, send it away. Keep your mind in fellowship with the Lord. Trust in his sovereignty and His promises.

__________

“How can a person deal with anxiety? You might try what one fellow did. He worried so much that he decided to hire someone to do his worrying for him. He found a man who agreed to be his hired worrier for a salary of $200,000 per year. After the man accepted the job, his first question to his boss was, "Where are you going to get $200,000 per year?" To which the man responded, "That's your worry.”

― Max Lucado

When I look back on all the worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.
— Winston Churchill


* From You and Your Problems - Chuck Swindoll

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