Summary: Jesus provides three prescriptions for a worry-free life. Tonight from this passage of scripture lets learn what those three prescriptions are.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount Part 15
Why do we worry?
Pm Service February 8th 2009
I read some statistics while preparing for this message from the American journal on health, that really tell the story for us about worry, 50% of all the people in America’s hospital beds are constant worriers. 43% of all adults suffer health effects due to worry and stress. 75% - 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are stress-related complaints or disorders.
Worry has been linked to all the leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis and suicide according to the journal. An estimated 1 million workers are absent on an average workday because of stress related complaints. Stress is said to be responsible for more than half of the 550 million workdays lost annually because of absenteeism. 43% of all employee turnover is related to job stress. Mental distress can even lead to death. Add to the list the mental fatigue of nights without sleep and days without peace, and we get a glimpse of the havoc worry plays in destroying the quality and quantity of life.
Jesus forbids worry. Three times he commands his followers to not worry. For those who are already living in worry, he commands, “Stop the worrying.” For those who are about to start worry, he declares, “Don’t make that step. Don’t even begin to worry.”
Jesus’ command is meant to keep his followers from getting hurt. Worry hurts. It affects people and their relationship. It strangles people. It chokes them. It affects even their sleep. It destroys faith. It leads to a lot of trouble.
Jesus provides three prescriptions for a worry-free life. Tonight from this passage of scripture lets learn what those three prescriptions are.
Read Scriptures: Matthew 6:25-34
I. Make the right decision
Vs. 25a “Do not worry about your life”
The “therefore” in verse 25 refers back to the big decision issue that Jesus pointed out in the previous paragraph. What we decide with treasure, and who to serve determine whether we turn out to be worriers or worshippers.
Jesus tells us that a worry-free life is a result of making the right decision.
Decision to prefer non-perishable, durable, eternal and heavenly treasures over treasures that are perishable, non-durable, temporary and earthly treasures. With your treasures safe you can live a worry-free life.
Decision to live according to God’s revelation or live on your own. This is the issue of the two “eye conditions” that Jesus pointed out in 6:22-23. The good eye sees. It is acquainted with the things of God. It refers to a life guided by biblical truth and values. The bad eye is blind. It is incapable of seeing beyond itself. It is a selfish eye. Knowing the truth and deciding to live by it keeps you from worry.
Decision to serve the right master. To serve Jesus leads to a worry-free life. To decide to live other “gods” means you will have to trust someone else.
II. Trust the right father.
Vs. 25-32 “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? 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? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 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? So do not worry, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”
Twice, Jesus points to the heavenly Father as reason for not worrying.
He says, ‘to worry and have a heavenly Father” is inconsistent. How can you worry when you have a heavenly Father? He speaks of worriers by pointing the obvious, “worry is useless.” It is a futile exercise, a total waste of time, of effort, of energy. You cannot prolong your life by worrying. In fact, worry shortens life.
There are followers of Christ who need to rediscover the Father God. Some relate with God as they relate to their earthly fathers. Absent, uncaring, unable, undependable earthly fathers do not represent the heavenly Father.