Summary: We need to: 1. Keep the right perspective (vs. 24-25). 2. See how much God values our life (vs. 26). 3. Recognize that worry is a waste (vs. 27). 4. Trust in God's care for us (vs. 26, 28-30). 5. Put first things first (vs. 31-33). 6. Take on trouble one day at a time (vs. 34).
How to Win Over Worry
The Gospel of Matthew
Sermon by Rick Crandall
(Prepared April 10, 2021)
*Please open your Bibles to Matthew 6:24. Tonight in the Sermon on the Mount, God's Word shows us how to win over worry in our lives. The Lord wants us to live in victory over worry, and we know this because three times in these verses Jesus plainly tells us, "DO NOT WORRY."
*But what is worry? We need to know, and if you use the KJV, I need to mention that instead of "do not worry," the King James says, "take no thought." But "thought" is one of the words that has changed meaning in the 400 years since the King James was translated.
*The old English word "thought" meant "anxiety" or "worry," so when Jesus told us to "take no thought," He was not telling us to live in a haphazard way, not thinking about our circumstances and making plans for our future. (1)
*Our God is the greatest thinker and planner of all. He had a plan to save you before the foundation of the world. So "do not worry" doesn't mean "don't plan." And it doesn't mean "don't care." Jesus Christ was full of compassion for every hurting person He ever met. And He wants us to care too. (2)
*But what is worry? The original word in these verses has the word picture of something being divided or cut into pieces. Worry then is a thought pattern that tears us apart. It distracts and divides. Worry turns our focus from our Provider to our problem. But Jesus wants us to overcome the worry in our lives. Let's read what He has to say in vs. 24-34.
*Have you been worried about anything lately? Most of us have. If I were to ask for a show of hands from everyone who has worried about something this week, probably most of us would raise our hands. (3)
*Mike Fogerson said, "I know people who stay worried with a 'What if this; what if that?' worst case scenario running through their minds." But God doesn't want us to live like that, because there are serious side-effects from worry. It hurts us. It gives us headaches, stomach aches, high blood pressure and other health problems. (2)
*Zig Ziglar wrote that "Americans take more pills to forget more worries about more things than ever before. . . That's bad. According to Dr. Charles Mayo, 'Worry affects the circulation and the whole nervous system. I've never known a man who died from overwork, but I've known many who have died from doubt.'" (4)
*On top of that, worry is a thief. It robs us of the joy that belongs to us if we belong to Jesus. And it steals the time we could be spending focusing on the good things in life. And worry is a sin. Again, the Lord specifically tells us not to worry three times in this Scripture. That's because we can't be trusting the Lord and worrying at the same time. Think about it. It's either one or the other. We need to stop worrying. How can we do it?
1. FIRST: WE NEED TO KEEP THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE.
*The Lord helps us do this in vs. 24-25, where He said:
24. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
25. Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?"
*The answer is Yes! Of course life is more than the food we eat and the clothes we wear. Life is more than the toys we can pile up at home or the money we can pile up at the bank.
*Life is a gift. It's a precious gift from God. It's the awesome privilege of being able to learn and to love, to move and to grow, to be, to choose, to relate to family and friends. Most of all, life is the awesome privilege of being able to have a personal relationship with God. As Jesus said in John 17:3, "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
*When we realize these truths about life, it helps us to keep things in perspective. Many years ago, I went to a Thursday worship service at the Ridgecrest Nursing Home in West Monroe. There was a group of five faithful ladies from several churches who conducted the service every week.