Summary: How to hush the mouth of worry.

Quiet That Dog!

Scripture: Matthew 6:24-34 Date: Evening Service 6 December 2009

Purpose: To help us hush the mouth of worry!

Have you ever spent the evening with a barking dog? I sure have. Just as I drifted off to sleep, I heard it. It started out in a low tone but soon it was a loud tone that never came down. A dog in the neighborhood was barking out of control.

Soon all of the dogs in the neighborhood could be heard answering this loud, annoying bark. I tried to pretend I could not hear it; I tried to focus my thoughts on other things hoping to drift away to sleep. I even tried to focus on the noise of the ceiling fan, but nothing seemed to work.

I finally jumped up out of bed and shut the window, satisfied that I had taken care of my sleep deprivation. But as I lay my head on my pillow I realized I had only turned the volume down, but I had not eliminated the noise.

All I could hear was that constant bark! It was driving me crazy. In desperation I went to the closet and retrieved a box fan, and turning it on high I lay my head on the pillow. I paused to listen and to my utter joy I could not hear a thing. Peace at last. As I drifted off to sleep, I was not counting sheep but I was thinking of all the ways I could strangle that dog.

All of us are familiar with the irritation and frustration of a dog barking. Some years ago I was visiting with someone on the phone and their dog was barking in the background. The person kept apologizing for the noise and scolding Fido and telling him to be quiet. My ear was hurting from the noise. The barking was so persistent that the person asked to be excused in order to take care of Fido and he said he would call me back. As I got off the phone I said to myself, maybe the next time he takes Fido to be groomed they can cut his hair and sew his mouth!

I think that you will agree with me that out of the top ten things that drive us crazy - a loud, obnoxious barking dog is one of those ten things. It’s enough for even an animal rights supporter to question his/her membership.

But I know something else that is as annoying and as troublesome for many of us as that barking dog – worry.

We read in Matthew 6: 24-34 a little about worry. Would you please stand as we read His Holy Word.

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

One of the greatest robbers of joy, peace and fulfillment for us is worry. It is like a barking dog; hounding us and pursing us. It is always there, sometimes it is in plain view but most often it can only be heard in the distance.

But why does a barking dog drive us crazy?

I. Because for one thing, we cannot control it!

A. You and I worry and are anxious over the things that we cannot control. That is what Jesus was emphasizing in our text for today when he spoke of our need for food and clothing.

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