If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
Two weeks ago, we talked about dealing with inner demons. Last week we talked about “Bootstrap” Christianity—how to engender Christian growth. Today, we’re going to deal with a closely related but slightly different subject.
Sunday, I attended church with my daughter and her family, since we were down there visiting them for the weekend. The sermon was on the subject of worry.
Sound familiar? Are you a worrier? What things do you worry about? This preacher based his sermon on the sixth chapter of Matthew. This is right in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, and the words are all Jesus’s.
Let’s go through this verse by verse, because each is important in putting worry into its proper place, starting with verse 25.
25. 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?
He starts off with the general instruction for us not to worry—about our lives, our food, our drink, or our clothing. Basically, He’s telling us not to worry about anything.
26. 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?
Here He gives us some specific examples of how God takes care of His creatures. If He takes care of their needs, how much more so will He take care of ours. Where does that leave any room for worry?
27. And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
I love this one. Can you or I add an hour to our lives by worrying? Can we really ever change anything by worrying?
28. And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29. yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
Most of us enjoy looking at pretty flowers, shrubs and trees. Do you ever stop to wonder how they got to be so pretty? Certainly not by worrying about their appearance. The very thought is ludicrous. The beauty of bed of flowers or shrubs or a tree comes directly from God. He made them the way they are for His own pleasure, and He allows us to enjoy the beauty of them along with Him.
30. 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!
Why do we think the God who created us to be special among all His creatures would care less about our nurture than he does about the grass and flowers and such? Jesus says He will much more see to our clothing, which is to say He will much more see to all of our needs.
31. Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32. For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
In these verses He sums up what He’s been talking about, telling us to quit worrying. He says to Gentiles, which is used here to mean heathens, or non-believers, seek after all these things. Further, He says our heavenly Father knows we need these things. Our heavenly Father knows all our needs. We have no needs that come as a surprise to Him.
33. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Here, we have the key verse of the whole discourse. How backward we are in our approach. We seek to “get things” first—food, clothing, shelter, new cars, jewelry, and all manner of other things—and then when we get all that taken care of, we may give a few minutes of our time to think about God. Even then, we don’t truly seek His kingdom and His righteousness. Most of the time, our relationship with Him consists of muttering a few words of prayer now and then, and even then we’re usually asking Him to give us something.
Jesus is telling us here to reverse our way of doing things. First—before giving thought to our needs and wants—seek Him. Seek His kingdom. Seek His righteousness. Seek Him. When we do that, He will see to it that our needs are met.
31. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
As a wrap-up, Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow. I’ve heard it said many times that when we worry, we rob ourselves of both yesterday and tomorrow. It would appear Jesus concurs with that.
If I worry about something, and it doesn’t come to pass, that worry is totally wasted. On the other hand, if I worry about something that does come to pass, my worry has not prevented it from coming or even diminished the effect of it. Any worry on my part is absolutely useless. Far better to seek Him and let Him take care of my needs. Won’t you cast your cares on Him?
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