Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Don't worry; it is needless, senseless, useless and faithless


Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked, "What are you going to do?" "I’m going to take 100 people today," Death replied. "That’s horrible!" the man said. "That’s just the way it is," Death said. "That’s what I do." The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan. As evening fell the man saw a newspaper that said 1000 had died that day in the city. Just as he arrived at his home he met Death again. "You told me you were going to take 100 people," the man said. "Why then did 1,000 die?" "I kept my word," Death responded. "I only took 100 people. Worry took the rest."

Are you worried about anything this morning? Odds are that someone is. Worry seems to be an epidemic in the world in which we live. Some years ago, the Mayo Clinic stated that statistically 80 percent to 85 percent of their total case load were ill either in reality or artificially due directly to worry and anxiety. Many experts say that coping with stress is the #1 health priority of our day. One leading physician has stated that, in his opinion, 70% of all medical patients could cure themselves if only they got rid of their worries and fears. Medical science has closely tied worry to heart trouble, blood pressure problems, ulcers, thyroid malfunction, migraine headaches, and a host of stomach disorders. An estimated 25 mill Americans have high blood pressure due to stress/anxiety. 8 million have stomach ulcers. Every week 112 million people take medication for stress related symptoms.

What is worry? The writer E. Stanley Jones said "Worry is the interest we pay on tomorrow's troubles." It is when we become so preoccupied with future troubles that our present thoughts are troubled. "No man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today, that the weight is more than a man can bear." -- Gordon MacDonald

Matt. 6:25 "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

The Greek word used for worry is the word MERIMNAO which literally means "to be drawn in different directions". Worry pulls us apart. It is trying to live in a place you are not. So what is the cure to worry. It comes when we realize that worry is:

1. Needless (vs. 25) - there are more important things in life than food and clothing.

Worry is needless since there are much more important issues than what we so often become preoccupied with. Soldiers under fire in a foxhole don’t get upset that they got mud on their uniform. They have much more pressing things to concentrate on.

A week before my 16th birthday I was at a weekend youth retreat. I could not really enjoy myself because I had a math test on Monday that I was worried about. I knew I should be home studying but I chose to go to the retreat instead. On our way to one meeting the car I was in was hit by a truck. The car was totaled and my head was cut open. I was rushed to the hospital and operated on. A I sat there after the operation, my head bandaged, blood everywhere, I suddenly realized that I was not worried about the test anymore. There were more important things to think about.

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