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Summary: Jesus gives us three keys to overcoming worry in our lives: Refuse to worry, meditate on God’s love, and put first things first – seek God’s kingdom.

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TRANSFORMATION #5: SEEKING FIRST GOD’S KINGDOM

INTRO TO TOPIC: We are living in a world where people worry about everything from the economy to the threat of terrorism and war. The world’s solutions to worry: Take pills!

A LOOK AT WORRIES: A.J. Cronin, author-physician, analyzed patients’ worries this way:

• Things that never happen (40%), things in the past which can't be changed (30%), health issues (12%), miscellaneous, petty problems (10%), Real, legitimate troubles (8%).

THE BIG IDEA: Jesus gives us three keys to overcoming worry in our lives: Refuse to worry, meditate on God’s love, and put first things first – seek God’s kingdom.

1. REFUSE TO WORRY:

“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?” (Matt. 6:25, NKJV).

“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.” (v. 25, The Message).

• Jesus commands us: “Do not worry.” Therefore worry is a choice.

• In our society today, we’ve bought into the lie that life IS all about food, fashion & stuff!

• To decide “I will not worry” does not mean you don’t care. It doesn’t mean you don’t make dinner for the kids or that you go outside with no clothes on. “No worries!”

• It’s not a Hakuna Matata philosophy that grabs a surf board and a latte, dude!

• WORRY: to be anxious; to be troubled; to torment oneself with disturbing thoughts; to seize with the teeth and shake or mangle. Why would you do that to yourself?

• Worry has physical consequences: headaches, neck pains, ulcers, and even back pains.

2. MEDITATE ON GOD’S LOVE:

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 6:26-30).

• v. 26 - Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air, and the flowers of the field.” Why?

• He is saying: “You are more valuable to God than the birds and flowers!”

• God loves you and cares for you. The more we know how much our Heavenly Father loves us, the more we will trust Him. Faith trusts God, worry doubts God.

• v. 27 - Jesus said, “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” In other words, worry doesn’t help you at all! In fact, worry makes things worse!

3. PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST – SEEK GOD’S KINGDOM:

“Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Matt. 6:31-32).

“What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.” (v. 31-32, The Message).

• When you worry, Jesus says you are like the Gentiles – people who don’t know God.

• God, your Good, Loving Heavenly Father, knows what you need!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matt. 6:33-34).

• The cure for worry is to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness.

• When we do this, we are trusting God, and as we trust Him, He meets our needs.

• My first pastor preached a message once, “Why borrow sorrow from tomorrow?”

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (v. 34, The Message).

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