July 6, 2014
By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
I. Three Reasons Not to Worry:
A. Worry is enslavement.
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink…” (Mtt. 6:25)
We tend to think of worry as kind of harmless, kind of morally neutral. However, Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:25-34 that worry is enslavement to the things, the values, the system of this world. As we worry, we do not see anything else in our lives. We cannot see all that there is to be thankful for.
B. Worry does not work.
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Mtt.6:27)
Worry (turning something over and over in your mind) is completely unproductive. It can take time off your life, but it does not fix things or solve problems. It just wears you and everyone around you.
C. Worry is practical atheism.
“O you of little faith…” (Mtt. 6:30) This is the opposite of believing that God is willing and able to give us everything we need; it is unbelief.
Worry is living in practice as if God does not exist.
“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?” (Mtt. 6:26)
God takes care of the birds. Birds have no “store” to get good/shelter for themselves. Are we not as valuable as the birds? God is dependable to provide regularly for birds, and we can surely rely on Him ourselves. He also provides extravagantly for the lilies (Mtt.6:28, 29), and could do this for ourselves as well.
II. The Alternative: Seek God First
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mtt. 6:33,34)
Notice that Jesus is not telling us to “trust” God more, but to “seek” God. Jesus is telling us not just to switch tactics, but instead to change our goals and rearrange our priorities. By seeking “first his kingdom and his righteousness”, we are free (1) to see God provide and (2) to worry less frequently (because our focus is on Him and not the stuff of this world). We will be freed from much of the worry that we impose on ourselves. But if it is all about the stuff, we will never be satisfied.
Replace worry with seeking God first.