Summary: This message is the first in a series called Life Verses.
We’re starting a new series today called Life Verses. A Life Verse is a favorite Bible verse that is your “go to” verse for inspiration and direction.
Last month I asked you to share with me your Life Verse and to date, I have received 45 verses! Different verses! Duane and I pared the verses into 34 themes and my plan is to space the themes into 4-5 segments. This fall we’ll cover eleven Life Verses over the next nine Sunday before our Christmas series begins in December.
Let me start by telling you what we’re not gonna cover. I’m not preaching on sayings people think are in the Bible, like, "A penny saved is a penny earned. " As good as that is, it’s not in the Bible. "God helps those who help themselves" is not in the Bible. "Honesty is the best policy" is not in the Bible. "Welcome to Indiana basketball!" is not in the Bible. It probably should be – but apparently, God doesn’t think too much of basketball. "Gentlemen, start your engines!" is not in the Bible.
Rachel Wilke and Missy Kiger submitted today’s verses:
Matthew 6:34 Do not worry about tomorrow.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything.
I’ve titled this talk, Don’t Be Anxious. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas last Sunday, we are a nation on edge. Prior to 9-11, who would have ever worried about being in a large crowd? I’ll be a little more cautious moving forward.
I clipped an interesting article in February that might interest you. Isac McFadden, a 4-year-old, got up to use the bathroom. He saw something in the toilet bowl and ran for Mom! Isac found a four-foot-long Western Diamondback rattlesnake! And that’s the real picture that appeared in the paper.
His mother, Cassie McFadden, grabbed a shovel and beheaded their unwelcomed, venomous invader. Then she called Big Country Snake Removal. Nathan Hawkins inspected her house and found 23 more Western Diamondbacks! Hawkins told WTSP-TV, “Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.”
The next time you get up in the middle of the night, turn on the lights and look carefully first!
Churck Swindoll calls worry the “respectable sin.” I’m fairly confident that everyone here would frown on adultery – but we wink at worry. Why is that? In God’s eyes, one sin is just as bad as another.
In Matthew 13, Jesus told the Parable of the Sower. A certain man went forth to sow seed. Some fell on hard soil, and it didn’t take root. Some fell on shallow soil. Although it quickly sprang up, it withered as soon as the sun appeared. And some fell among thorns and the thorns choked out the life of the seed.
Listen to the explanation of Jesus:
22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word.
22b But the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Worry chokes out your relationship with God. Worry makes you unproductive in God’s kingdom. Worry dominates your life, crowding out the Savior whose presence you desperately need. Worry isn’t that innocent respectable sin that we wink at.
I. Why We Worry
There are several reasons why we worry. For example, TEMPERAMENT is one reason. Some people, by nature, aren’t exactly cool. But others aren’t easily rattled.
My best friend in high school was named Steve, and Steve was out point guard on the basketball team. When our radio announcer talked about Steve he always said that Steve had “ice water in his veins.” Steve wasn’t rattled easily. He was as cool as a cucumber because of his temperament.
On the day of the eclipse, a violent storm blew through Crawfordsville. How did you respond? How many stood at a window and watched? How many fled to the basement, bit your fingernails, watched your weather ap on your iPhone and phoned Mommy? The Greek word for your personality is weennie-itus! I saw it on Wikipedia so you know it has to be true!
A second reason for worry is AFFLUENCE. On the surface, you’d think the opposite would be true. But the more you have, the more you stand to lose! The more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you!
Solomon writes (Ecclesiastes 5):
12 The sleep of the laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much. But the abundance of the rich man prevents him from sleeping.
A third reason for worry is the MEDIA. We listen to and read way too much news! We are wired to a 24-7 global world. 100 years ago, you didn’t know about disasters until days, or even weeks later!
Now we have instant news and instant analysis. It’s almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep! The media’s business is relaying earth-shattering news, to increase their ratings so they can sell advertising.