Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jesus' Sermon On The Mountainside, Worry

“Therefore 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 than food, and the body more than clothes?" (Matthew 6:25
Worry and anxiety aren’t just trivial problems. Worry is really a form of unbelief. Worry is sin.

Maybe that feels unfair, but please don’t be discouraged.

Recognizing that the emotional pain of worrying and being anxious is sin is actually good news. Jesus didn’t die to free you and me from uncomfortable emotions. He died to free us from the power of sin. As one author has put it, “Jesus paid the price of every ounce of worry and fear in each of our lives, and He broke the power that worry, and all our sin, has in our lives.”

If you’ve identified with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, then this is the truth:
* You are free from the bondage of sin,
* Free from the bondage of worry, habitual fears and anxieties.

It may seem like these worries will never let you go, but that’s not the truth. Jesus has empowered you to stop being anxious about your life.

You have been set free.

When you are willing to worship God and put Him first, you will discover that whatever God provides is enough for you to live for Him.

(1) God created you and He is a responsible Father. He will take care of what He has made
"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?" (Matthew 6:26)
(2) God sees to it that the earth continues to thrive – He sustains the entire universe by His word

(3) Worry is pointless, and ends up making your situation worse, not better, because you are now emotionally depleted and can even make yourself physically sick with worry
"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:27)
(4) God even cares about beauty, He has clothed the universe in luxurious colors, scents and sounds
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." (Matthew 6:28-29)
(5) To be preoccupied by the things of earthly life is to live like an unbeliever.
"...Will [God] not much more clothe you — you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things," Matthew 6:30-32
It’s understandable for someone who doesn’t believe in God to worry about the seemingly arbitrary and capricious and meaningless way life goes along. But it’s sin for someone who claims to believe that God is loving, powerful, good and sovereign to also indulge in an anxious thought life.

(6) God is your Father, and as His child you enjoy privileges that are not available to those who are not members of His family,
"Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:32b-33)
Your heavenly Father knows what you need.

You are of far greater value than all the rest of the life on earth, and when you forget that truth, you will live like an unbeliever, always filled with worries and fears.

Instead focus on obeying and pleasing God, and everything you need will be given to you.

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