Today’s Scripture:

  • 25  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:25-34)

Introduction:

For today’s message we are going to tackle a familiar passage of Scripture many of us can at the very least paraphrase, and I think it’s a timely message because once we finish this series…unless the Holy Ghost leads me in a different direction our next series is going to be a 6 week journey to go from fearful to fearless.

In a previous message I wrote that there are many significant health problems tied to anxiety, fear, worry, and stress.  These range on the minor level to headaches to…well…things that can cause our lives to end before God desires them to.

So…it’s important…extremely important to understand that we’re not meant to live with anxiety and stress…or burdened.  If we are under heavy burdens we’ve been invited by Jesus to exchange our heavy yokes and burdens for His light ones…but we rarely accept that invitation…do we?  I know.  I said “we” because I don’t always accept Jesus’ invitation to us either.

I think that we think that if we’re worried or stressed we show that we’re more concerned and care more about what’s going on, but that’s exactly the point of what we’re about to read and talk about today…we’re not supposed to worry…we’re not supposed to be anxious, and we’re not supposed to be burdened down by the yokes of fear.

So…let’s see where this message goes…I feel a pretty good anointing on this message…and I believe it’s gonna be a good one.  So, let’s get into this message about:  LET JESUS ARGUE WITH YOUR SOUL ABOUT BEING ANXIOUS.

Today’s Message:

There’s a lot of talk in the Bible about fear, anxiety and worry isn’t there?  In fact, Paul writes in Philippians 4:6 (NKJV); “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”.  In this story in Luke 8:50 (KJV) we read Jesus say:  “Fear not: believe only”.  Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:7 (KJV):  “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

We can look back into the lives of people like Joshua where the Lord says several times, but most notably in Joshua 1:9 (KJV) we read where God says to him:  “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Then, of course in the passage we’re studying today it’s all about not taking any thought or worrying about things because if we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness that all the things we worry about will be taken care of…in other words…as long as we’re about the business of the Kingdom…our business will be taken care of…by Him.

So…let’s see what else we can learn about anxiety today.

We should be slow to treat Jesus as if he doesn’t know what he is doing. He is not naïve in the way he deals with our anxiety. In Matthew 6:25-34 he tells us three times not to be anxious (vv. 25, 31, 34) and gives us eight reasons not to be anxious.

There in lies what I to believe is the underlying cause of why we’re so quick and easy to get into worry, stress, and anxiety.  We don’t believe that God knows what He’s doing, or we may believe He does…but there are certain times when we (and I’m including myself in this statement) think we know better or that we can help God take care of our circumstances.  The thing of it is.  I don’t ever remember reading anywhere in the Bible where God says that He needs anyone’s help or assistance…have you seen anything in the Bible that says that?  I’ll help you and save you the trouble of looking…there’s never a verse that God says:  “I don’t know if I can do this for you without help from you.”  I believe that’s because He doesn’t ever need our help…the only thing He needs from us is faith…He needs us to believe that whatever it is that we’re casting upon Him…not only can He do it…but He will do it…and yes…He will do it for you…and He will do it for me.

There’s a whole other side of why we don’t believe or trust God to take care of the things that we worry about…and that’s because we may believe that God can do things for us.  We may even believe that He is willing and able, but a lot of times I’ll hear it said (and I’ve even been guilty of saying it):  “I know God can do it, I know He will do it, but I don’t know if He will do it for me.”  That’s exactly the kind of lack of faith that Jesus was always dealing with whenever He asked people why they had so little faith.

Do you remember the only things that made Jesus marvel when He walked this earth?  Mark 6:6 (KJV) says that Jesus:  “And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”.  The other thing Jesus marveled about:  “When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people who followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”  Luke 7:9 (KJV)

Jesus marveled at two things.  Unbelief and great faith.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I want Jesus to marvel because of my faith…Amen!?!

Evidently he thinks this will help. So don’t call it simplistic. Call it grace. Believe him. Take every reason and preach it to your soul as true. Say,

“Soul, this is true. Jesus Christ says so. Trust him. He died for you. He loves you. He created you. He knows you. No one — no counselor, no pastor, no friend — knows as much about you as he does. Listen to him. Let these reasons sink in. Bank on them. Now, let’s get up and do what we need to do. Be gone anxiety.”

Here’s a summary of what he said:

Before we get into this list of what Jesus said…we’ll call it:  “ 8 Reasons to Not Be Anxious”…let me just say that I’m not immune to worry, doubt, fear, or unbelief just because I walk with and serve God today.  I still have plenty of opportunities to decide whether I’m going to believe God or not.  Some times it takes me a while to believe God, and some times I believe Him right away.  I have learned over the last couple of years that He’s much more trustworthy than I am…and that He’s much more capable of handling the things I am not capable of…or through belief He gives me the ability to handle things.  I just want you to know that even as someone who is an aspiring pastor that it’s not always easy for me to not be anxious or worry…but it can be over come.  We can learn to trust Him more than we don’t…and I believe that’s part of what this message may be about.

So…let’s see this list of 8 Reasons Not To Be Anxious, and then we’ll take them one at a time.

1. Life is more than food and the body more than clothing (Matthew 6:25).

2. God feeds the birds and you are more valuable than they are (Matthew 6:26).

3. It’s pointless. It adds not one hour to your life (Matthew 6:27).

4. If God clothes ephemeral grass, he will clothe eternal you (Matthew 6:28-30).

5. Unbelievers are anxious about stuff. And you are not an unbeliever (Matthew 6:32a).

6. Your father knows that you need all these things you’re anxious about (Matthew 6:32b).

7. When you seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, what you need is added to you (Matthew 6:33).

8. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Tomorrow’s trouble stays there (Matthew 6:34).

So…there it is.  All eight reasons are found here in this passage of Scripture, and now that we have the list.  We can look at them one by one to see what the Holy Ghost may have to say about them.

1. Life is more than food and the body more than clothing (Matthew 6:25).

God is always going to provide the basic necessities.  Isn’t that what He says later on in the Sermon on the Mount?

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7: 7 – 11)

I have found that to be true.  I’ve never lacked for food, clothing, water, or shelter.  He’s always provided the basic things for me…and while not all of my life was wonderful I can look back at my life…and realize that God’s hand was always on my life…even when I didn’t think it was.

2. God feeds the birds and you are more valuable than they are (Matthew 6:26).

Friends, this is where the Holy Ghost is at.  You are valuable to God.  I didn’t say it…Jesus did.  YOU are more valuable than the birds, than the flowers, and any other thing that was created by Him.  You are more valuable to God than the angels.  You were so valuable to Him that He laid down His life so that He could prove how valuable YOU and I are to Him.  God’s perfect will for us all is to have a relationship with us like He did with Adam and Eve in the cool of the garden before sin entered into the world.  God had perfect fellowship with Adam and Eve prior to them eating of the tree…and that’s the kind of relationship that God desires with each and every one of us.  That’s the reason He sent Jesus to the Cross…so that fellowship with Him could be restored…and through the Cross…God is saying just what Jesus said here:  YOU are valuable to God…He loves YOU with an everlasting, never-ending, and never-failing love…and I don’t know who…but I am certain that some of you needed to know or be reminded of that very fact…God loves YOU and YOU are more valuable to Him than any other creation…Amen!?!  Did you receive that?

3. It’s pointless. It adds not one hour to your life (Matthew 6:27).

Worry is the “it” in this passage.  Let me ask you a question that I know the answer to because I’ve had to answer this very same question.  Has worrying ever done any good?  Has worry ever accomplished anything?  I can tell you that worrying not only doesn’t accomplish anything, but it actually works in the reverse…it hinders us and some times it can turn into fear that actually paralyzes us.

I know people who have ulcers because they’re under so much stress and anxiety.   I know other people who have had serious medical issues because of fear and anxiety.  I have had some serious medical issues because of worry, and I’ve written before that when I began to stop worrying and trusting God that not only did my stress level get reduced, but the medical issues have been healed.  I never saw one doctor, and I have no real idea what happened, but I can tell you that I know I had high blood pressure, and I had some serious stomach issues.

I know what that knot in your stomach feels like because I had it.  I had it for a long, long time, but  when I surrendered all of that worry and anxiety I had to the Lord…not only did He take it, but He untied the knot in my stomach…and from that day forward I’ve learned to fear not…only believe.  Yeah…there are still things that take me a while to let go of completely, but often times God will wait for me to turn them over to Him.  Some times He’ll just ask me if I’ve had enough of the worry, and how long I’m going to wait to realize that I can’t do anything with what I’m worrying about…but if I give it to Him…it’s going to be taken care of.

That’s what Matthew 6:33-34 is all about.  It’s about realizing that there’s nothing I can do by worrying, but there’s everything God can do when I give whatever it is I’m worried about to Him…and go about His business.  He told me a long time ago that if I’d take care of His business that He would take care of mine…and sadly some times I still have to be reminded of that promise.

4. If God clothes ephemeral grass, he will clothe eternal you (Matthew 6:28-30).

Oh, friends…one day we will receive a new robe and a new body, and that’s why all this temporal stuff we worry about is fruitless.  Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:  “17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;18While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Everything upon this earth and in this life is only temporary.  This is our temporary home, and therefore all those things that we concern ourselves with (the cares of this world) are one day going to pass away…and we’re going to be home in a place where there’s no more worry, no more sorrow, no more pain, no more sadness, and where every need will be instantly met.  But for now…we need to understand that there’s far more important things to worry about that carry an eternal weight…and that’s the amount of people who don’t know Jesus that aren’t born again…and don’t have the same assurance of eternal life as we do…and that’s what we as the Body of Christ ought to be consumed with…not having our own temporal needs met.

God will meet our needs.  He will take care of our business, but we need to be taking care of His.  What is His business?  It’s known as The Great Commission  and it’s found in Matthew 28:18-20.

5. Unbelievers are anxious about stuff. And you are not an unbeliever (Matthew 6:32a).

Question.  Are you a believer or an unbeliever?  If you’re a whosoever that’s called upon the Lord for salvation then you’re a believer.  I like that this version says “unbelievers are anxious about stuff”.  We don’t have to worry about “stuff” because the Lord is Jehovah-Jirah, and that means He’s our Provision.  However, let me make sure you understand that God isn’t Jehovah anything if He’s not first your Adonai.  If you haven’t surrendered to God’s Lord and Ownership…then He’s not going to be your Provision…that’s how this thing works friends.  We surrender and He provides…the only condition to those provisions…our surrender.

So…are you a whosoever that’s called upon the name of the Lord?  The you’re not an unbeliever, and if you’re not an unbeliever then we don’t have to be anxious about “stuff” because our “stuff” will be provided by our Lord.

6. Your father knows that you need all these things you’re anxious about (Matthew 6:32b)

God knows all about the “stuff” we’re going to need in our lives, and He’s even aware of the “stuff” we’re going to want Him to provide.  He knows that we have need for food, clothing, and shelter…He will provide us with the right job that will allow us to be able to have the food, clothing, and shelter we need.  He knows that we have need for a helpmate, and He will help us find that person that He has set apart for us.

He knows that we might want awesome four-wheel drive truck, but for the time being He provides you with a little silver car that’s reliable and gets you from place to place as economical as possible.  He knows you may want a big house, but for the time being He’s provided a place that’s just big enough to be sufficient for your needs.

He knows all of your needs and wants…and that’s why it’s fruitless to worry about them.  He will provide for us…if we just lay them down at His feet, and trust Him to meet those needs and wants.  He will…but the condition is we have to surrender them to Him…and allow Him to bless us as HE desires…and He will…but we must be willing to trust in Him with ALL of our hearts, and lean not unto our own understanding, but in ALL ways acknowledge Him…and He will direct our paths, He will provide for us, and He will meet our needs…Amen!?!

7. When you seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, what you need is added to you (Matthew 6:33).

When we take care of God’s business…He will take care of ours.  That seems to be the central theme of today’s message.  Some of you need to know that God’s in control, and whenever we try to be in control…we’re not doing His business or seeking His Kingdom.  When we’re in control we will have earthly rewards…remember Jesus saying that it Matthew 5 that whatever we do on our own will result in earthly rewards, but that the Father rewards with things that cannot be taken away…treasures in Heaven.

Now, I know what some are going to think, and let me say that God will take care of our earthly needs…but what’s more important is that we’re storing up treasures in Heaven.  We do that by fulfilling The Great Commission, and surrendering our will to His.  There’s nothing that we’re concerned about that He won’t take care of as long as we’re seeking Him.  When we seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness…what we need is added to us…and that means whatever we need here in this world…and what we’re going to need when we get to Heaven.

8. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Tomorrow’s trouble stays there (Matthew 6:34).

This is where we get to taking each day as it comes, and the phrase “One Day At A Time.”.  After all, yesterday is finished, tomorrow hasn’t yet come, and therefore all we have is today.  Today is the day of salvation, and each day we’re to pick up our cross and follow Him.  Each day we’re to lay down our lives, and allow Him to lead and guide us.  Every day we’re to practice Proverbs 3:5-6…and leave the results to Him.

I’ve learned this in my life, and I’ve come a long way in the battle against anxiety and worry.  I’m not perfect, but I’m getting to where I understand there really isn’t anything I can do when I’m worrying.  There also isn’t anything God can do when I’m caught up in worry…the only time God can do anything in my life is when I seek Him first, and lay down those things when cause me anxiety.

God is more than capable of meeting all my needs, wants, and desires…if we are willing to seek Him first.  He is our Father…and He knows how to take better care of us than we know…and that’s why Jesus can say:  “Fear not…only believe.”.

Conclusion:

I hope this message has helped us all to be more aware of fear, doubt, and unbelief in our lives.  The truth is that whenever we’re full of those things like fear, doubt, worry, and anxiety…we’re full of unbelief…and we all know that the reason the Israelites wandered around in the wilderness for all those years wasn’t because God didn’t provide the Promised Land…it was because they were full of doubt and unbelief.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t want to be full of anything that’s displeasing to God.  The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God…and that means taking what Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-24 about worry…and believing God to meet all of our needs, wants, and the desires of our hearts.  He will meet all of those…if we would just believe…Amen!?!

Father, thank You for reminding us about fear, doubt, worry, and anxiety…and that it’s really out of a heart of unbelief.  Lord…help our unbelief…help us to believe and trust You in all ways, in all things, and all situations and circumstances.  Help us to be like believing Abraham…and we thank You for meeting our needs, wants, and desires.  We give You all glory, all honor, and all praise.  In Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen.