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Our Favorite Sin, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2021 7:05 am

Our Favorite Sin, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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March 30, 2021 7:05 am

The King's Arrival: A Study of Matthew 1‑7: A Signature Series


When consumed by worry, Jesus said, Seek first His kingdom, His righteousness, and all the other things will be added.

Don't you love it? All the things. All the things you've been worried about. So if you rid yourself of worry, God's word will suddenly become meaningful and you'll think biblically. And situations will come that will be hard to hear and you'll immediately go to a verse.

You've just been studying and it'll give you the strength and the structure to go right through that time. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck helps us confront this enemy of our souls. His courage comes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew chapter 6, we read a comforting passage in which Jesus reminded us that He's fully aware of the concerns we carry.

Chuck titled today's message, Our Favorite Sin. You cannot serve two masters. Verse 24 of Matthew 6. You'll serve one or the other.

In this case, it was wealth. Now he gets into the subject of worry. That's why he says for this reason, as he connects verse 24 with verse 25, remember, Jesus is speaking. He's not giving them verses. For this reason, I say to you, and now he gives repeated commands. If you haven't marked them yet, get out your pen, I really mean it, and be ready to mark four times in this passage the very, or virtually the same words that Jesus gave. Look, if you will, at verse 25. I say to you, do not be worried. That's a command.

It's not a suggestion. He repeats it yet again and yet again. Verse 31. Do not worry then.

Verse 34. Do not worry. They've never heard preaching like this in their life. Talk about relevant.

Talk about stunning. Talk about convicting. Do not worry. Do not worry. Stop it. It corrodes your inner peace. You are obsessed with things that you have no business dealing with or spending your energy on. And he even adds tomorrow when you get down to verse 34. Do not worry about tomorrow.

What a waste is that? So I suggest after seeing the commands that you look at the questions. Just look at them. They're all right here in front of you.

There are five of them, and they sound similar. Look at verse 25, last part of it. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

I mean, get serious. Is it your whole life more than lunch or supper or your plans for the meal tomorrow? Look at verse 26 after talking about the little birds.

I'll come back to them later, but look at what he says in the end of the verse. Aren't you worth much more than little birds? If he can feed birds, he can feed you.

May not be the diet you planned. May not be the food we would have chosen, but we're not God. What a relief to know that we are not the ones who are sovereign. God is. Aren't you worth much more than birds? Look at 27.

Here's another one. Who can worry an extra hour to your life? Some of you are so worried about your age. Will you quit it?

Look at 28. Why are you worried about clothing? My goodness.

You're probably like I am. You stand in a closet filled with choices. God clothes you. He's your clothier. He picks what you're to wear. He provides what you put on your body.

Why are you worried about your clothing? And won't God do more for you than grass? Look at verse 30. Look at this one. Will he not do much more for you than what's done for grass? Grass. His point, what an absolute waste of time, what an eloquent proof of our preoccupation with the temporal, is our world of worry. For most, your worry list is much longer than your prayer list.

When it comes to food, 26. Look at what he says. Look at the birds of the air. They were outside there at that gentle slope above the Sea of Galilee, where there are birds that feed on the plants around there and get their drinks of water from the lake. Look at the birds. Look at these little birds. He takes care of every one of them. Are you not worth much more than they made in the image of God, just a little lower than the angels, with a mind to know God and a heart to love God and a will to obey God?

Animals don't have that. You're worth much more. And if he'll do that for these, how much more will he do for you?

Would you believe that? When it comes to clothing, 28, why are you worried about clothing? Observe the lilies of the field and how they grow.

They don't toil or spin. All of these clothed by the one who has made them. And we have the audacity to doubt that God himself can't clothe us. Please observe the words, all these things, which appears more than once in this passage. He knows that you have need of verse 32, all these things, end of the verse, all these things, 33, all these things. I've taught you to observe repeated statements.

There it is again and again and again. All, A-L-L, all, A-L-L, everything you could name. He's aware of it. He knows everything. He scrutinizes my path and is well acquainted with all my ways. All my ways, A-L-L, all my ways and all your ways. All these things.

In fact, he really rebukes us in 32. The Gentiles eagerly seek all these things. What a rebuke to a Jewish audience. I mean, to them, Gentiles were dogs. They had no master. They're pagans. They're heathen. They're without hope.

They have no master. They have no God they trust as their creator. He's speaking to a Jewish audience and he said, you're living like Gentiles. His convicting words in conclusion verses 31 and 32 are worth noting. 31, look at it, those who worry model the lifestyle of the pagan.

Don't worry then what we'll eat or what we'll drink or what we're going to clothe ourselves with. The Gentiles eagerly seek all these things. And you have a Heavenly Father who knows you need all of these things. You have a Father. And he's ageless. He's timeless. He hears everything. He knows it all. And he understands you and me.

It's beautiful. I love the line up there where it said, who of you by being worried, verse 27, can add a single hour to his life? You cannot worry yourself to a younger year. One of the most common worries among people is aging. Aging. Age is one of life's involuntary realities. Growing old is a fact. Growing up is a choice.

I suggest we grow up. Especially as we grow older. I love the question that Satchel Paige once asked a newscaster. Satchel Paige, a pitcher of the old baseball team and got older and older and they were all talking about his age. He had a great answer. He said, let me ask you, how old would you be if you didn't know how old you are? That's a good question. So I'm going to ask you a Satchel Paige question. How would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

If I hang around you long enough, I'll tell you. Because I'll hear your attitude. You see, a good attitude is worth far more than a younger age.

Especially as some get older and become increasingly more crotchety and bitter, hard to get along with, complaining, fussing about this. You realize a year ago we were begging God for rain? You realize that? Oh, God, whatever. Well, we're getting whatever. I know, I know, it's been a lot, a little more than we would have expected or wanted. But middle of August we'll be saying, Lord, where's the rain? We are again fussing about what isn't.

Stop it. If someone hasn't told you that directly, hear it from me today. It isn't easy to be around you when your attitude stinks. It isn't easy to be around me when mine stinks. How old would I be if I didn't know how old I am?

Everything would depend on my attitude. Little Peanuts cartoon, Lucy's leaning on Schroeder's piano. And she says, I dread getting old. Do you love me when I'm old and crabby? She asks Schroeder. He shrugs and says, you don't have to be crabby, you know. I know that, Lucy answers, but it's hard to change. Schroeder says, not if you change gradually.

You could be nice in the morning and crabby in the afternoon. She said, but I'd still be old all day. No answer's going to satisfy if you're preoccupied with your age.

Let me tell you, nobody else is. Nobody else is even aware of your exact age. I'm amazed at how people live to get out of their work so they can retire. Nothing wrong with retirement.

Something's wrong with playing golf 14 times a week and fussing about it when you're home. Something's wrong when you're turned into something that's hard to live with because you're retired. When my dad retired, the light went out. Just like that. 65 years old, he was obligated to retire. He had a good 10 more years he could be doing what he'd been doing and would be better at it than ever.

But it was a mandatory thing then. Think about it before you plan to make your wife miserable. Or your husband.

Think about it. Will retirement help your attitude? If it won't, keep working. Keep working. In fact, I want to give you a couple of tips that would help.

I have a story that you won't ever forget. Tip number one. Here's something to start, then I'm going to tell you something to stop. Based on what we read in verse 33, seek first his kingdom, his righteousness, and all the other things will be added.

Don't you love it? All the things. All the things you've been worried about. Start putting first things first. This will solve your worry problem. Start putting first things first. What's first things? Time spent in getting his word understood and applied.

Remember, you'll choke on it if you worry. So if you rid yourself of worry, God's word will suddenly become meaningful. And for a change, you won't be a Bible ignoramus. You'll learn your way through the scriptures and you'll think biblically. And situations will come that will be hard to hear and you'll immediately go to a verse you've just been studying. And it'll give you the strength and the structure to go right through that time.

Shocked though you may be with the information. Start putting first things first. Prayer, first thing in the morning. Very first thing. Don't wait until breakfast.

I'll talk about that more in a few moments. But a day ought to start before you ever put your feet on the rug. Prayer that you bring before God to prepare yourself for whatever the day may bring. Put first things first. Here's something to stop.

See verse 34. Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Stop. Stop living more than one day at a time. It's a great tip. You hear it and you'll leave this place and you'll be worried about tomorrow.

If you're not different than you were when you came in. These are little things. They seem to be small things, don't they? I mean, you're facing this huge thing and you pray. It seems so simple. So even insignificant. Let me tell you.

There are times when you do something that seems simple and insignificant, but it makes a world of difference in your life and the lives of others. In his book, The Fall of Fortresses, Elmer Bendiner tells the remarkable story of a B-17 flying fortress that flew a bombing mission over Germany toward the end of Second World War. The bomber, while flying, took several hits from Nazi anti-aircraft. A few actually hit the fuel tank, but there was no explosion. No explosion. In what many would call a miracle, the crippled aircraft literally made it back without exploding, and as the engines were sputtering, having just then run out of gas, just enough to land without crashing, all the crew was safe and amazed that they hadn't gone down over Germany. After landing, 11 unexploded 20mm shells were carefully removed from the bomber's fuel tank.

Listen to this. Eleven shells were removed from the tank. To everyone's amazement, all of them were empty of explosive material. Why?

How could it be? Why would the enemy fire empty shells into the American bomber? The mystery was solved when a small note was found inside one of the casings, handwritten in Czech, the language of Czechoslovakia. Translated, it read, This is all we can do for you now. The note was quickly folded and left in the casing.

This is all we can do for you now. They spent time studying the note and thinking, and some insightful individual realized a member of the Czech underground, captured by the Nazis and working in the Nazi munitions factory, had deliberately committed, had deliberately omitted the explosives in at least 11 of the shells on his assembly line. Not knowing if this sabotage effort would prove effective, he decided to write a note quickly and slip it into the empty shell and sealed it, hoping that someone one day who benefited from his secret efforts might that day discover why. That same person may have later died when he was found out by the Nazis and killed. He may have wondered if his secret work ever made any difference. As he did his best to subvert the Nazi war machine, would it ever make any difference that simple little act of sabotage it did for the crew of the Flying Fortress? It saved their lives.

The entire Flying Fortress crew who had this unknown brave workman who spoke a language they didn't even understand, they had him to thank for their lives and for their future. Never underestimate the power of what seems small and insignificant. Never. Those who learn to live like that find that their worry world decreases because they're spending time doing first things first and living today today. I speak to men and women alike. Some of you are, you've got your master's degree in worrying.

Others of you don't worry as much as you used to, and I commend you, but you still are nagged by worries. I want to rid you of all of them. So I want to make you a deal. Okay?

Here's the deal. All through this week, before you or I get out of bed, before we ever put our little tootsies on the floor and go to the bathroom, or whatever we do first, before we ever step down, we're going to pray. Lord, I want your will today, and I want it your way, and I want the contentment of trusting you to do what is best for me. That's the prayer. I want your will, Lord, and I want it to be done your way in your timing, and then I want you to give me a contentment of peace that I've rarely had as I live this day.

Remind me through the day that the day is in your hand. Deal? Five people said, deal. I'll give you one more chance.

Deal? Now you're talking. Okay. Now, if you don't do it, you're going to be hit by lightning. Just kidding. Come on. Wouldn't it be great if thunder hit and you forgot to pray and you stepped down?

Boom! You know, like last Sunday I'm preaching and all of a sudden there's a pause and thunder! We go, thank you, Lord, and we go right on with our point. May you be reminded of the deal. And I give you my word, every day this week, I will begin it just like I described it.

You and I are in this together. Okay? I will guarantee you your worry will be less. I want to say it'll end.

Some of you have been carrying those skunks a long time and you've gotten attached to them, but little by little you'll learn to live without them and you'll find out what you've been missing for most of your life. You know what? You won't even care how old you are when you really deal with this matter of worry. You won't.

But you're going to keep on picking out my clothes. I just want you to know that. Let's bow together.

Lord, you've heard everything that was said. May any part of it that wasn't from you be quickly forgotten. And may the truth that has lifted from the print on these pages take root, make sense, and make a difference each day of this coming week to start with. Remind us, Lord, of this commitment we've made. And as we meet with you, even though it's very brief, we're meeting with you to introduce a wonderful sense of peace and contentment that you are in charge and you do all things well. We trust you for this, Father, in the name of Jesus, our Master, our Savior, our Lord. Everybody said?

Deal? All right, get out of here. At Insight for Living, our prayer is that today's message and the hope Jesus offered in His Sermon on the Mount allow the burden to be lifted from your shoulders. Chuck Swindoll titled his study in Matthew chapter 6, Our Favorite Sin. And to learn more about this ministry, please visit us online at Whether you're wrestling with worry today or trying to control the uncontrollable, I'll remind you Chuck has written an in-depth book on this topic and others.

It's all based on Jesus' teaching through His Sermon on the Mount. Chuck's book is titled Simple Faith. In Simple Faith, Chuck dispels the myth that spiritual maturity means that we relinquish our brains to a faith that has no intellectual basis or that we somehow dismiss the concerns that obviously deserve our complete attention. Balancing between faith and concern is a delicate process and we believe that this classic book about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount will guide you. Again, Chuck's book is called Simple Faith. To purchase a copy right now, call us.

If you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888 or go directly to slash store. In addition, you might like to add the message called Finding Healing Through Forgiveness. This is a complete unabridged recording of a message Chuck delivered, including a stirring personal testimony from his wife, Cynthia. In this message, Chuck describes a deeply troubling season early in his marriage when he was worried about his family and his future.

Cynthia also describes how she found emotional healing through a humbling process of seeking the forgiveness of her in-laws. So two resources at your disposal today. First, Chuck's book on Jesus' Sermon of All Sermons called Simple Faith, and second, a message called Finding Healing Through Forgiveness.

To purchase either resource or both, call us. If you're listening in the U.S., dial 1-800-772-8888 or go online to slash store. To support Chuck Swindoll's Bible teaching ministry with a voluntary donation, we invite you to go online to Tomorrow we give our complete attention to the miracle of Easter. Don't miss Chuck Swindoll's message Wednesday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Our Favorite Sin, was copyrighted in 2015 and 2021, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. The implication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-10 05:56:25 / 2023-12-10 06:05:14 / 9

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