Summary: When we are growing up parents try to teach us something about manners. Right? Certain things you should do and some things you should never do.
When we are growing up parents try to teach us something about manners. Right? Certain things you should do and some things you should never do. Some of our parents taught us to say yes mam and yes sir, don’t put your elbows on the table ……. All kinds of things that we may not have even understood why but as we grew older we did understand. I watch parents at times today probably more than I should and watch how they speak to their children because it matters. They learn a lot by the tone of our voice, how we phrase things and how we look at them when we speak.
I was in WalMart this week and I passed 3 families in the aisles and one couple. I heard all 4 families saying one word ….. it was the word “no.” No I don’t know what the children and in one case a husband were asking for but the answer was clearly “no.” When you approach the check-out line it gets even worse. Because they candy and other goodies that kids want and I will hear them ask for it and it seems that every single time the answer is no. Now I understand that at times that needs to be the answer but in a brief period as I walking through the store, I passed 4 families and they were all saying the word “no.” And then you could see the look on the child’s face. Let me just say that at least occasionally it’s a good thing to say a different word … like “yes.” Another word I like to hear adults and children alike say is thank you.
Today we begin a new sermon series that will carry us all the way through the end of the year. I have titled it “Defeating the Holiday Blues.” And in this series I plan to give you some words that can help you ….. as you struggle with loss, grief, depression, anxiety, worry. And I will admit something to you. I have dealt with every single one of those emotions in 2019. And I suspect that you have as well.
In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus talks about a topic we can all relate to: worry. Now we understand worry and we understand what it means to be thankful but I don’t think that we understand the connection between the two and how thankfulness can help us overcome worry. Let’s look at what He has to say. (Read passage.)
• Verses 25-27. Worry is a complete waste of time. Pastor Adrian Rogers used to say “there are two things in life you should never worry about. 1st. Those things you can actually change … things you can do something about. 2nd. Those things you can’t do anything about. If there is nothing you can do why spend your time worrying? Worry is a complete waste of time. Jesus out it this way: “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” No you can’t. Matthew points out here that life is much bigger than these things that we worry about and think are so important. Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air!” You think they’re worried? God takes care of them. And then he says, don‘t you realize how much more important you are in the kingdom than they are? Worrying is a waste of time and time is precious.
• Verses 28-30. Worry demonstrates a lack of trust. Jesus asks the question here … what do you worry about your clothing. Ever looked in your closet and it’s completely full and you think “I just don’t have thing to wear.” He tells us to learn to look at the Lilies of the field. It’s almost like He is saying “hey stop and smell the roses!” We worry about so many things that are just not that important. He is saying, do you think the flowers worry about their appearance? Look at them; how beautiful they are and how they continue to thrive and grow. Even Solomon in all of his glory was never dressed as they are. In Palestine the ovens were made out of clay; still are in some 3rd world countries. They places on bricks over the fire and when the fire would begin to die, they would often grab some of the flowers and grass from the hillside and toss it in to fan the flame. Many of those flowers only had one day of life. Jesus is saying if he takes care of them, don’t you think he will take care of you even more? He says don’t you think he will provide clothing for you too …. But He doesn’t stop there ….. He says don’t you think He will provide for you too ---- you of little faith?