Summary: We can trust our lives to God who is there for us in good times as well as in disasters.

April, 2007

“God is Like Allstate: You’re In Good Hands with Him”

Matthew 6:25-34

INTRODUCTION: Most of us have some kind of insurance today . Car insurance, life insurance, hospitalization, dental, homeowners--there is quite a variety. There is even pet insurance. We take out insurance for a variety of needs to protect against loss or catastrophic illnesses or emergencies that could bring financial ruin. Sometimes people say, “I’m insurance poor!” But when you have insurance and occasionally need to make a claim, you are very glad that the premiums are paid up to date. Having insurance gives us a sense of assurance against some of the calamities that life hands us and the worry that goes along with it.

I’ve entitled today’s message, “God is Like Allstate: You’re In Good Hands With Him.” How does this relate to today’s scripture and how can we apply it to our lives?

1. Don’t Worry--You’re Covered: As we go through life we have many problems that cause us to worry, be fearful, and anxious over the future; but Jesus gives a teaching which is the exact opposite of what we usually do. He said in verse 25, “Do not worry about your life...” Don’t perplex yourself with future events because each day brings its own cares.

I’m sure that you have found yourself perplexed about something this week to one degree or another. According to a survey, some things that produce worry and anxiety in Americans are--making wrong choices with major investments, having dental work or surgery, being audited by the IRS, speaking in public, being outdoors alone at night, gaining pounds, getting older, being pulled over for speeding, having a credit card declined in public, and using a computer. You could probably add many things to the list. Think about things that cause you to worry. A lot of these things are not major life and death concerns, but they can become monumental to us. Are there unresolved issues, nagging problems, worries over health, finances, work, and relationships that plague you? What success have you had in dealing with these kinds of problems? Have you just accepted worry and anxiety as a natural part of your life? Probably too much of the time we do. The more we fret and stew, the more upsetting it becomes.

STORY: The story is told of a woman who won a bucketful of quarters in a slot machine while in Las Vegas. She told her husband that she would take the quarters up to the hotel room first and then meet him in the restaurant for dinner. She was about to get on the elevator when she saw two black men in the elevator. The woman froze. Her first thought was, “These two are going to rob me.” Her next thought was, “Don’t be ridiculous.” She stood and stared at the two men. She felt anxious, and uncomfortable, but she got on the elevator hoping they didn’t read her mind but pretty sure they did. Avoiding eye contact she turned around and faced the elevator door as it closed. A few seconds passed but the elevator didn’t move. Panic struck her. She thought, “I’m trapped and I’m about to be robbed!” Then one of the men said, “Hit the floor.” Instinct told her: “Do what they tell you.” The bucket of quarters flew upward and out of her hands as she fell on the elevator floor. A shower of coins came down on her. “Take my money and spare me,” she prayed.

More seconds passed. She heard one of the men say politely, “Ma’am if you’ll just tell us what floor you’re going to, we’ll push the button.’

She lifted her head and looked up at the two men as they reached down to help her up. “When I said hit the floor,” one of the men said, “I meant to push the button for the floor where you wanted to get off.”

The three of them gathered up the quarters and refilled her bucket. They walked her safely to her room. As they walked away she could hear them laughing. She thought, “What a spectacle I have made out of myself out of worry that I was going to be robbed.” Her fears were ungrounded.

The next morning flowers were delivered to her room--a dozen roses. Attacked to each rose was a crisp $100.00 bill. A card said, “Thanks for the best laugh we’ve had in years.”

Signed Eddie Murphy and Bodyguard.

Fears and worries affect people of all ages and in all types of situations.

STORY: As a boy growing up in the country, Johnny Carver, heard scary stories about a snake called a “Black Racer” that would chase you. He was always on the lookout for one when he was walking on the gravel roads. One day his Mother asked him to go borrow the neighbor’s iron since hers was broken. He started up the road imagining a “Black Racer” coming out of the tall weeds after him. After he borrowed the iron and started home, he sensed something was following him. He looked over his shoulder and sure enough there in the road was a snake ready to slip up and bite him. He started to run so fast that by the time he got home he could hardly breath. He looked over his opposite shoulder and there, to his amazement, was the iron cord dragging on the ground behind him. He had almost run himself to death running from an iron cord.

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