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Anxiety-Free Living, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 11, 2022 4:00 am

Anxiety-Free Living, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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July 11, 2022 4:00 am

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Anxiety free living is part of what the Lord offers.

It's part of the gospel message is what we have, who are in the kingdom. If we want to take it. Watching a loved one battle cancer in circumstances like those worry can move in danger is worry can quickly control you. If left unchecked, how do you keep that from happening. Get biblical strategies today as John begins a study that can help you experience anxiety free living, that's the title of our series and out John you're about to touch on a problem. Every one of us has faced at one time or another to set the stage talk for a moment about emotions. Emotions such as fear and anxiety and how objective truth factors into the equation truth. Some fear and anxiety is justified if you've done something wrong and you're afraid to be caught. That's sensible fear if you're a hypocrite in your hiding some secret shame. That's a sensible anxiety so fear and anxiety God will activate if there's something wrong in your life something you need to be addressed. Some they need to be confessed, but if you're just looking at life in its normal course. There is no reason for fear and anxiety. If you are a child of God, because even the difficulties are working together for good to those that love him and are called according to his purpose as a believer you do not need to be a victim of circumstances. Again, let me say this, it's legitimate to have fear and anxiety. If there's sin and shame in your life but in terms of looking at life and seeing all that could go wrong in all the troubles and struggles of life. There is no reason to be anxious about that.

That's why the Bible says be anxious for nothing, because God is in control of absolutely every detail we can have four wonderful days of study in Luke 12 and were going to be talking about anxiety free living, I want this series to show you God's love show you his provision show you his power and his purpose in such a way that you do not have to be anxious you going to be armed with encouraging truth. That will still your own troubled soul and you can share with someone else as well stay with us).

Whether you are struggling with financial pressure health issues or strained relationships.

You can face all of life's circumstances free from fear and worry. John study on anxiety free living will show you how. So with today's lesson here again is John MacArthur will look now at Luke chapter 12 verses 22 to 34.

Luke 1222 to 34. This portion of Scripture contains some things that you're going to find familiar to you. And that's because much of what Jesus says here in Judea months before his death he said, also in Galilee long before this in what we know is a sermon on the Mount. In fact, the passage in Luke 1222 to 34 is a direct parallel to Matthew six versus what about verse 19 on down to the end of the chapter verse 34 and so you'll find a very, very close parallel to that text in Matthew chapter 6, which you can compare on your own when I can bounce back and forth. This then is sort of at the heart of Jesus familiar teaching, which he no doubt. Not only had recorded in two places in the in the Scripture, but no doubt preached on many occasions in many different places.

The key to understanding the passage before us, which you will find familiar to you. Things like, be not anxious for your life. Consider the ravens consider the lilies seek the kingdom, and these things will be added to you where your treasure is, your heart will be also. Those are familiar things.

But as we pull the passage together. The thing that ties it all up is a statement that Jesus makes three times essentially verse 22. Do not be anxious and then verse 29. Do not keep worrying and then verse 32. Do not be afraid.

And so I've entitled this passage worry free living, or anxiety free living, or stress free living, the Lord Jesus in Scripture at least 12 times is recorded to have said don't worry.

Don't be anxious, and he explained why. On the occasions in which he said that a number of times he said don't be afraid and explain why anxiety free living is part of what the Lord offers. It's part of the gospel message is what we have, who are in the kingdom. If we want to take it.

I understand while the why the world is stressed out. I understand why people are anxious. I understand why they worry I understand why they have panic attacks. It's frightening to be dangling in this inexplicable universe and feeling all alone and not being able to figure out why you're even here and where you're going. I understand there's a certain cosmic theater.

I understand why people take drugs and drink and go on eating eating binges and shopping binges and wild adventures in all kinds of things to fill their minds with the other thoughts we are living in an anxiety ridden culture and the amazing thing about it is this is the most indulged the most lavish society ever. This is the most comfortable society ever. This is the society that has the most, but it seems to be the most angst ridden, anxious, stressed out panic culture ever goal in the society we live in is managed anxiety how to somehow get rid of the panic. The stress the anxiousness that you feel because you are dangling in the midst of a cosmic universe.

This inexplicable you and there are inordinate and underlying subliminal fears and anxieties that rise to the surface very often and gets to be pretty serious with many people about 20 million in America, 20 million adults are annual subjects of the mental illness world at $42 billion a year in government costs.

They come with anxiety disorders that are given names even though they are often not engaged in what's called comorbidity, which means they overlap and intermingle. Not as if you just have sort of one area of anxiety.

There are several categories there's what's called general ADD, which is general anxiety disorder, and I suppose you could throw almost everything in there and then there's obsessive-compulsive anxiety disorder, which means you do really weird things like wash your hands 100 times a day or pull your hair out or rub your nose away her some other inexplicable compulsive kind of behavior and then there is panic disorder in which you go into the high level of panic, rapid heart palpitations, extreme fear and there's no real circumstantial reason for it. There is posttraumatic stress. ADD, which is some level of panic that you feel after something that you just went through. And then there is specific ADD, specific phobias about some people are going to anxiety if they see a rat or some with a snake or are some have anxiety over a storm. Some people literally have a phobia of people with closets, Agoura phobia, claustrophobia, agoraphobia, heights, etc., etc. this is huge. And of course the medical business is huge to deal with it or to attempt to manage it and the drug companies of course are the main player in how that is managed according to Ohio State University. The goal of any treatment is to make anxiety a manageable part of daily existence.

The best the world can offer you is to manage her anxiety. Jesus offers you to limited that's not good. You get rid of it altogether. Stop it. In fact, you could basically translate verse 22, stop being anxious. Verse 29. Stop worrying. Verse 32. Stop being afraid the world will offer you cognitive behavior therapy or a long list of drugs that are compassionate God offers a far better solution. That's the elimination of your anxiety all together. Stop being anxious. Stop worrying stop being afraid. Worry is a pretty deadly thing, Roche said, worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouragement cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained, that you may start with just a little worried and it can engulf your whole life. I read this sometime ago. I don't know why read some of the things I read just curious I guess, but is reading about the Bureau of standards in Washington DC and they said all kinds of standards and there was one little paragraph in there that said this a dense fog covering seven city blocks. Let me dense fog covering seven city block hundred feet deep is composed of less than one glass of water divided into 60,000 million drops. Not much there. Cedric cripples the whole community allots what can happen worry you have something size is one glass of water cripple whole community.

The word worry actually comes from an old German word the English word, worry the old German word is word in it means to choke or strangle it's talking about mental strangulation through fear and anxiety and stress and worry. Another only two rooms in which you can worry you can worry about the physical world. You can worry about the spiritual world. You can worry about what is immaterial. What is material.

You can worry about what is earthly what is heavenly and so that is precisely what Jesus says you don't need to worry about in verse 22. He says will be anxious for your life and by that he means what you eat in your body, what you where stop worrying about that. The basics of life and then down in verse 32.

They don't be afraid on the spiritual level for your father is chosen gladly to give you the kingdom you're left with nothing to worry about.

Nothing to be anxious about nothing to be stressed about nothing to panic over so we conclude that if you do worry is a Christian. Worry is a sin, but the sin that rises from a failure to understand God theory to understand his sovereign love.

A failure to understand his sovereign care, a failure to understand his sovereign resources. So that's what Jesus unfolds or Jesus does offer anxiety free living, when you come in his kingdom.

God takes care of you and your worries really are ended so that what defines your life worrying about everything is illuminated.

Now you have to understand the promises of God and you have to understand the purposes of God to come to this worry free anxiety free living, so let me help you with that in these verses as they unfold them all away to verse 34. There are several points that I want to unpack 46 of them and they show that worry arises from a failure to understand something about God. First of all, let's look at the first one. Worry is a failure to understand divine priority. Worry is a failure to understand divine priority.

Let's go back to verse 22 and he said to his disciples.

So for this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life as to what you shall eat and offer your body as to what you shall put on for life is more than food and the body then clothing is not hard to understand.

And yet there are some things below the surface there that I think were gonna are going open up a deeper understanding of this. First of all, he said to his disciples remember now is talking to the disciples, which would include the apostles as we note in verse 41, when Peter says, are you addressing this parable to us or everyone else as well. I mean, the apostles were learners but not just the apostles there were others who had believed in him, and there were other learners, which is the word disciple not the case, who were still trying to decide he's talking to those who have decided or trying to decide any explaining to them what life in the kingdom is the crowd is in the tens of thousands and mingled in that crowd are those who are still open to his teaching. While the majority the crowd are hostile toward him but to those who were still interested. He defines the kingdom and he says to his disciples, picking up after the interruption member in verse 13 if a man interrupted him by telling him he ought I say to his brother, give me my share of the inheritance and Jesus gave the wonderful parable of the rich man who built bigger barns to keep everything for himself and the Lord said tonight, your life will be required of you.

And then Jesus said, you know you should lay up treasure in heaven. You should be rich toward God and not selfish and that's how that story ended in verse 21. After answering that young man's plea with that parable. He resumes his teaching, but he connects the two together is verse 22 says, for this reason I say to you what reason. The reason that I just stated. Verse 21 you make a choice in life as to whether you lay up treasure for yourself or are rich toward God, which is another way to say lay up treasure in heaven.

And that's how he said it in Matthew 619 to 21 so you make a choice either you are selfish and materialistic and keep everything or you lay up treasure in heaven. That's a choice you have to make in Matthew 624 Jesus said you can't serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other. You will hold the one and despise the other.

You can't serve God and money in the picture. Slavery made that pretty clear. Being a slave is not like being an employee.

You didn't go to work at eight and finish at five you can do that in our society.

Then you go to work somewhere else at seven and finish at two in the morning you can serve two masters. In our culture you have two jobs, but you couldn't in a slave environment because you were owned by the master and was no way a slave could serve two masters impossible.

He would hate someone else giving him orders than the one that he belonged to. He would despise an effort on the part of someone who didn't own him and support him and feed him, commanding him to do things. It was impossible, and so in the spiritual realm.

You either serve God or money. The rich toward God or you indulge yourself and that's the point he makes now, he says.

For this reason I have something to say that's the transition.

Because here's what they would be thinking the question would come to their minds.

There sitting there thinking well Jesus is saying we ought to be rich toward God and not save money and build bigger barns and store up money and make ourselves wealthy and and all of that and ignore the poor and ignore the needy and ignore the purposes of God.

But if we give it all to God. What about us what's going to happen to us is going to take care of us, may we live in a doggy dog world right who's going to take care of us.

If we don't take care of ourselves. If I don't build bigger barns. If I don't take care of myself. I don't stockpile who was going to take care of me.

I want to depend on somebody else. But all depend on somebody's perhaps transient compassion will he answer, of course, the Lord gives here. Is this the God can take care of God's gonna take care of you.

God is the one who feeds the birds. God is the one who arrays the grass in the field. God is the one who knows what you need. God is the one who will give you the kingdom. You just came under the care of God. First Peter 57 casting all your care on him.

He cares for you. So if he asked you to give up everything like you to the rich young ruler, so everything you have give your money to the poor, not on your life. He said turned around and walked away. For he was very rich and he wanted his money and he didn't want to give it away and depend on God but on the other hand, Jesus said if you want to come after me look 923 have to deny yourself you to lose your life in other words the salvation is for people who are desperate enough to say like I don't I don't care what it cost me if you want everything I have. I'll give it if you want nothing that's fine too. Whatever it is I'll give it. And even if you don't ask like Zaki us in chapter 19 the Lord, the of the gospel to Zaki us. Zaki us says I'm a payback. Everybody I ever extorted anything from in multiples came out of his heart. If you respond to the truth and you come into the kingdom then you become his to care for and in the words of the apostle Paul. He said this, chapter 4 of Philippians verse 11. I learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means. I also know how to live in prosperity in any and every circumstance. I've learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, of having abundance and suffering he what's the secret trust in God.

Sometimes you have a lot sometimes you have a little but you always have enough why verse 19 my God shall supply all your what needs you trust God to that point you come into his kingdom and you can trust him to meet your needs. Now this is an issue of divine priority was go back to the text, and I'll show you how this works. Do not be anxious for your life what you mean by life.

Your physical life explains it. Meaning what you eat. Don't be anxious about your body what you're going to wear her this deeply concerned people and Jesus Deming. They basically live to survive. There were no fast food places in all stores to go by the endless elements of clothing that are available to us.

If you want to do. You had better grind it out yourself and cook it yourself all the preparation and if you want to clothing you went somewhere you bought thread and you made it on the lumen you made the fabric, or you bought the fabric and you made the garment and if you were poor you had a real struggle for your food and struggle for your clothing in the mean first Timothy 68 says, with food and covering be content. And that was what life was about, it was about getting enough meals each day to survive in the closed he needed to stay warm and to be protected from the blazing heat of the Middle Eastern son but he says look, don't worry about your life story about what you need to support your life. Don't worry about your body what you're gonna put on verse 23 for life is more than food and the body than clothing. Here's another way to say that you exist for a higher reason they you exist for a higher reason. Life is more than food and you have a body for more reasons than just clothing and other words God didn't make you so that you could be like an animal you're not just an eating machine. You're not just the ultimate end of the food chain. You're not the final product of evolution in your body is not designed as a something that's just supposed to be closed for its environmental protection.

It's really not about that at all. You're not eating machine and a manikin and it's hard to convince our culture that food and fashion, food and fashion low deed on restaurants and close, but without God you are an eating machine and a manikin. The God didn't give his people life. For that reason I'm not here just to exist.

It's in God that I live and move and have my being. But God has a purpose for my life. I'm under divine priority. The simple idea is this folks, get it for those who are in the kingdom. If God gave you life and he did. If he wants you to live and he does. If you're alive if he brought you into his kingdom and he has. Then he has a purpose for you to fulfill in his kingdom to his glory, and so he will sustain you to that fulfillment. It would make any sense for God to say, I will save you and I will give you eternal life.

I'll give you spiritual life and I have a a purpose for your life in a destiny and a plan and a purpose and I gifted you and I've called you and have laid out circumstances in man if you can just keep yourself alive to Phyllis deal out this'll be really good.

No, in all honesty the people who are not in God's family come and go and live and die with no contribution to the divine kingdom, but those of us who are his, are fulfilling divine purpose and that's why you can say with the Psalmist. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want one. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul he leads me through the valley of the shadow of death, and out the other side. The earth is the Lord in all that is in it.

Psalmist says so if God gave you life and he did. If God redeemed you and he did. If God is a purpose for your life, and he does, then he will provide what you need to survive. So be rich toward God and you will have the promise that is your rich toward God.

He will be lavishly rich toward you as long as he has that unfolding plan in your life he will sustain.

We have a life we have a body for the purposes of God, to live to his glory to fulfill his will to fulfill his plan and as long as that plan is operating he will sustain us. You don't have to build bigger bigger bigger bigger bigger bigger barns to take care yourself to protect yourself. Be wise, be faithful, don't be foolish be a good steward do some planning for the future but you're not the one who has obligated himself to your care and God has no need to hoard so that you can survive in the future you will be sustained by the Creator until his purpose for your life ends he'll feed you till the very very end. You could divest yourself of everything, everything that wouldn't change God's commitments to sustain you until it's your time to enter into his heaven she has to understand the priority right and the priority is spiritual purpose.

If you understand that if you understand God's gifted use called you he's regenerated you. He's put you into his family. He's put you into a place of witness and ministry and service, and only want you to do is live to his glory and he will take care of your life. Your life is not about food your life is not about clothing. It's not about making sure you can survive. That's God's commitment that's the priority you're listening to John MacArthur here on Grace to you and his study anxiety free living, this series is designed to show you how faith in Christ produces genuine freedom from worry and fear. No matter your circumstances and friend to help you really dig deep into biblical truths that will show you how to deal with worry. John's written a book called anxious for nothing, it shows you how to attack stress at its roots and how to fully trust our all powerful, all loving Creator to pick up the book anxious for nothing, contact us today. You can call our toll-free number at 855 Grace or go to our website Jide when tragedy hits when you're tempted to worry about relationships, health, finances, or what the future holds anxious for nothing can help you find profound strength to order a copy for yourself for before friend who struggling, call 855 Grace or go to Jide and while you're online download any of John's 3500 sermons, including every message from his current study called anxiety free living, you can get the audio or transcripts of John sermons and all of it is free.

Our website also has a blog where John and fellow receive staff members cover issues that affect churches today, perhaps even your church or you can download the grace to you at for access to all John sermons wherever you take your tablet or your phone.

All of those resources and many more are free and available right now for John MacArthur.

I'm Phil Johnson, thanks for starting your week off with Grace to you and be back tomorrow when John continues to lay out little blueprint for a life free from war.

It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace to you

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