Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Many of us worry all the time, causing stress and eroding our spiritual power. Yet Jesus told us to seek first His Kingdom and let Him handle our daily needs. If we truly do this, our anxieties will be gone.
Want a new outlook or redirected focus? Stay with us. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, you're taking us again into Matthew chapter 6. Help us focus on God's agenda as a way to combat worry.
You know, Dave, this is a marvelous passage of Scripture where Jesus talks about worry, about the fact that we are very valuable to Him, and if God takes care of sparrows, He'll take care of us. Many years ago, I preached this message in a church in Canada, and my mother was present. And later on, she said, you know, I struggled with that message because I know that it's biblical. You have to understand that my mother came through the horrors of World War I. So, she said, it's very difficult when you're in the midst of stress and war and death not to worry. Well, yes, she was right, but Jesus is encouraging us to continue to trust Him in new ways.
And by the way, my mother certainly did. I believe that this message will be a tremendous blessing to you, and we'd like you to have this resource so that you can listen to it again and again. You may need it really often. So, here's what you do for a gift of any amount. You can go to rtwoffer.com.
That's rtwoffer.com, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. I believe that this message on worry from the lips of Jesus will help us navigate the stresses of life. But listen carefully. Our Heavenly Father has an entirely different agenda. His agenda for us is different. You see, His agenda is not to keep us from trials. His agenda is to walk with us through those trials that we might be shaped like His Son. His agenda is to develop within us patience and hope and endurance. His agenda is to cut out from us all those things upon which we depend so that we might learn a whole new dependence upon Him. And that's why Spurgeon said, oh blessed acts of sorrow that cuts a pathway to my God by chopping down the tall trees of human comfort. It is the trees of comfort being chopped down that is that pathway to God.
And that's what he's interested in. Your earthly father, no matter how good, no matter how no matter how predictable, primarily was concerned about this life. Your Heavenly Father is concerned about eternity and therefore has another agenda. And that's why His ways are so mysterious and oftentimes hidden from us. And that's why we have to trust Him even though we do not know in advance what it is that He's going to do. We still have to believe that what He does, He does right.
We still have to believe that He loves us even in the face of some contrary evidence. That's the word you get to know your Father. That's the first word to underline. Let me give you a second word to underline and that's the little word faith in verse 30. Verse 30, notice it says, 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?
That's the word to underline. Father and faith. It has been estimated that only about nine percent or less of all the things that we worry about ever come to pass, all of the things that we have in our minds that we think might take place, all of the diseases that we think we might get, all of the accidents that we somehow anticipate, all of the human relationships, all of the fears that we even write about. And these fears are very, very serious as you know oftentimes. I received a letter this week from a woman who wanted prayer because she's being stalked by someone and I can understand that this dear lady needs the strength and the prayers of the body of Christ. She can't handle this alone.
This is very debilitating. But in the midst of all this, and this is hard for us to get our minds around, but in the midst of all this we have to be convinced that even there, even there, God walks with us. God walks with us. And if Jesus could be nailed to the cross under God's supervision and with his presence in the very same way believers sometimes have harsh, harsh realities that are forced upon them, but blessed is the person who believes that even there God walks with me.
When I pass through the fire, when you pass through the fire, I will be with you and the waters, they shall not overwhelm you. Why? Because I shall never leave thee nor forsake thee, the scripture says, therefore I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Wow. Why? Because man can't do it unless God permits it and if it is permitted by God I can accept it as coming from my heavenly Father even though it is something that is, naturally speaking, terrifying.
Why? Because God is God. God is God. Jesus said do not fear those who are able to kill the body and then after that they're, they've pretty well done what they can do. There's much you can do to them, they can't do much to you after that, but fear him rather who is able to destroy both soul and body and hell.
Wow. Jesus is saying there that what we need to do is to understand that, that if we really do fear God and trust him, we really don't have to fear anything else. Now that's easy to be said and I understand that I'm speaking here very idealistically because in our frailty we are afraid, but with the people of God and the promises of God and the power of the spirit of God and the work of God in our hearts, Jesus can say to us, peace I leave with you, my peace I give on to you, not as the world gives give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
How do we overcome anxiety? First of all, you underline the word father, you get to know your father. Secondly, you underline that word faith and then third, you underline the little word first.
First, notice in verse 32, for the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly father knows what you need, but seek first, there's the word, 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, doesn't it by the way? Why should you borrow tomorrow's troubles? Why should you cross bridges that you don't have to cross until Tuesday morning? Each day has enough trouble of its own and if you're worried today, what you should do is to say, oh God, please give me more trouble today. So that I don't have to borrow troubles that aren't here yet, but I'm so short on trouble that I'm actually dipping into next month already. Doesn't each day have enough trouble of its own?
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. You know these modern cars that some of us drive, they have a little gadget on them that says, check engine. That has been very, very confusing to me throughout the years because I say to myself, check engine. The engine's a big thing. What do you check? What do you check? Years ago, cars you, you know, used to know, maybe it was the spark plugs, maybe it was the carburetor, you had some kind of an idea, and those of us who don't know which end to pick up a screwdriver with, we're not sure anyway, but at least, you know, you heard about things like this in a motor, but now check engine.
Well good, good, where do you begin? I had a car one time that had a lot of things wrong with it. In fact, it's a certain make that I won't mention, but it was, it was just, just a disaster. But one time it was working better and I noticed it always had the check engine sign on, so I took it to the garage and they checked it out and they said, you know, they said, we can't really find anything wrong with your car. We think that it's a short in the check engine sign. Now the fact is that you and I can, um, can drive a car that says check engine and we can ignore that sign, but eventually it will catch up to us.
There's probably something wrong if there isn't a short in the sign. Now here's the point, when we worry, that is like a check engine, that is like a warning light, that there's some part of our life that has not been wholly given to God. In some area of our life, we are not seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. There are other agendas that have piled up and as a result, what God is trying to say to us is, you need to understand here folks, he's saying to you and to me, that when I say seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, I am talking about the need for you to yield every worry and anxiety to me, because you're focused on me and my righteousness. That's why during our prayer times, whenever our mind wanders to issues of anxiety, you have to give those issues to God before you can continue praying.
That's what I do. You just keep giving them to God because the thing to which your mind wanders is the thing that is the very thing to which you must pay attention and give that to God, because that's a burden that's on your shoulders. So what Jesus is saying is this, that you have to understand, worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows. It only increases the sorrows of today. So what you need to do is to get all of those anxieties off your back, off your mind, off your soul, so that you can concentrate on God and the battle is fierce.
It's fierce. What I want you to do in the next few moments is to think of the three anxieties that most plague you, because we're going to give them to you. We're going to take care of them right here so that you can leave free today, okay? What are the three anxieties that plague you the most? You can write them down or you can think about them as I speak, because we're going to give them to the Lord. Why not? But in order to do that, I want to point out two things.
First, to help you to understand our relationship to Christ. You know there is that story about the woman who was carrying a suitcase block after block and she was carrying a suitcase and she was carrying a suitcase block after block and she was so weary. Finally a bus came along and she was so glad to get onto the bus and she paid her fare and then she stood in the middle of the bus and she kept holding her suitcase up. And somebody said, well why don't you put your suitcase down? And she said, well I'm just glad that the bus is carrying me. I can't expect it to carry my suitcase too. Well you think about that a little bit folks.
That's us. If you're a believer in Jesus Christ, you're on the bus. You're on the bus. Why carry the suitcase? You're on your way home to heaven.
You're on the bus. The whole thing is going anyway. Why should you, why should you carry a burden that God is already bearing because of his relationship to the world and his relationship to you as a father child? I mean just put down the suitcase. Put it down. You say yeah but you don't understand there's so many possibilities in this situation and it could go the wrong way.
Yeah I know, I know, but put it down. Remember worry is not going to change it and also is God able to bear the the shoulders? Does he have strong enough shoulders to bear the weight of your anxiety? The answer of course is yes.
How do I know? Well my dear friends the scripture says regarding Christ that the governments of the world shall be upon his shoulders. He's been bearing this world on his shoulders for many years long before you and I showed up and he'll keep bearing it long after we're gone. I mean, I mean he's God. He's eternal.
He is able to bear the burdens that concern you. Yes he is able to do that and he's on the bus. You're on the bus. It's on its way to heaven. Put down the suitcase. Next I have to talk to you about commitment and faith.
If God should will it, this afternoon I'm going to be boarding a United Airlines plane assuming that the expressway is free from here to O'Hare and flying to Washington DC. What if we're in the air a half an hour and I ring the bell and I speak to a flight attendant and say you know I'm concerned about the United Airlines pilots and I would really like you to check on them to see whether or not they're awake. She might look at me you know years ago when their security wasn't a problem you could actually go into the cockpit but they don't allow that nowadays but I say look why don't you just check. So she does and comes back and says well guess what they're awake.
I'm fine. 15 minutes later I buzz her again and say you know I wish that you would check to see whether or not those United Airlines pilots are awake. Well she does it a second time and when I ask the third time she is so angry that she's about to tell me to go outside and get a breath of fresh air and she says to me you don't really trust these United Airlines pilots do you. I say oh oh no no it's not that I don't trust them it's just that it's just that I have this concern about whether or not they're falling asleep and you know she takes it as an insult. Do you know that we do that to God all the time?
All the time. We give God a problem and then we take it back on our shoulders and we say well he hasn't done anything about it I wonder if he's awake I wonder if he's forgotten about it and we keep insulting him because we always are expecting God to to to do exactly what we want and if he doesn't do it by tomorrow we're saying well where was God in this and and is God really awake I mean is he asleep or what what's what is it and and you see what I'm going to do this afternoon is I am going to entrust myself to pilots I have never met and probably never will meet and in fact another problem I'm going to have at O'Hare today is I'm going to have to entrust my entire self. I can't say well you know United Airlines they're only worth about an arm and a leg I'm going to leave the rest here now it's the whole thing and once that jet is in the air I'm trusting I'm trusting and I'm going to relax all the way to Washington DC.
What am I saying? In a moment we're going to have a prayer together in which I'm going to ask you to consciously directly to give those three directly to give those three anxieties to God by name. A scripture says casting all of your care upon him for he careth for you he cares about you number of hair in your head number of drops of water you drank this morning the number that you'll drink tomorrow all known to God. Jesus said your heavenly father knows that you have need of these things and if there are times of deprivation and times of illness and times when he doesn't intervene he walks with us through that as he did the crucifixion of Christ he is there he is there he is there he's there he's there he's there and worry doesn't change a thing.
What can you lose? What can you lose to finally give it over to God? Listen to me carefully some of you students need to give God your careers some of you businessmen have to give God your marriages and your finances some of you parents bless you you have to give God your kids you have to give God your kids to just simply say God they're yours I no longer am going to bear all of the anxiety connected with it I'll be concerned yes absolutely but the anxiety is gone because God listen some of you women bless you you have to give your husbands to God and don't you agree with me when I say good riddance I mean you've been trying to convert them all these years and to change them and it hasn't helped has it you've not done it have you just admit it you've not done it why not just give him over to God let God deal with him stop playing God in his life and to simply say father from now on from now on these anxieties I lay now you say well yeah sure sure but tomorrow morning they're going to be back you know what you do if they're back tomorrow morning you take them again and you say father I affirm the fact that these anxieties do not rest upon my shoulders I reaffirm the fact that they've been given over to you I'm going to memorize a verse of scripture I am going to focus on a hymn I'm going to sing a hymn because I'm going to take your promise that you give peace to those whose mind is focused on you and in the name of Jesus I stand against all of these anxieties that want to rob me of all of my joy and to tear my life in two that's the way you handle it and the beginning is right now right now at this moment would you bow your heads in prayer father forgive us for having borne so many burdens that you did not that you did not create us to bear we know father that there are antibodies to fight colds but there are no antibodies to fight anxiety it was not your intention that we bear these burdens and we think of people for years having worried and now father we know that satan would like to keep them so bound we ask in the name of Jesus that you shall set your people free we pray that people who have never even thought of what it would be like to give their anxieties to God might have to do something like to give their anxieties to God might have the freedom to do so and we pray father that people may walk out of here saying at last I'm at rest oh lord as best as we know how we are so frail we want to give ourselves to you unreservedly to cast every anxiety upon him and now it's your turn friends those three anxieties you name them to God and say from now on in Christ's name they are yours would you give them to him father where there are battles being fought where there is guilt that's tied in with the anxiety we pray that there might be cleansing so that there might be forgiveness and freedom and at last people who've lived their lives fearful that somebody's going to find out about their past we pray father that that too shall be given to you and we pray father that your people shall experience the peace about which your word speaks because at last they have yielded to you they have yielded to you how many of you would say today pastor luther as best as I know how I've given my anxieties to God could I see your hands please how many of you say as best as you know how you've given your anxieties to God father seal these decisions we pray we pray that tomorrow and the day after that there may be a change in people's lives because we come to know you better and can trust you more and leave all of our anxieties at your loving feet do that for your people and for those who do not know you as savior we ask in Christ's name that they shall even now believe on Jesus that they might too know you as father we pray in Christ's name amen well my friend this is pastor luther I feel inspired and burdened to continue the prayer that I just prayed a moment ago because I'm speaking to some of you who are facing the issues of the pandemic inflation sickness anxiety about your future of course we look around the world and there isn't much to encourage us is there some of you are struggling because of natural disasters giving our anxieties to God is a continual project so to speak it doesn't just happen once and then it's over but we do it continually let me pray for you father I want to thank you so much for the promises of Jesus but at the same time we are so reminded of our own anxieties our own lack of faith would you lift up all who are listening right now would you enable them Lord to cast their care upon you to transfer it from their shoulders to your shoulders we all want to do that we want to walk with a sense of joy and confidence that the future is not left up to fate but it is left up to you our father and our God bring deliverance we pray and for those who are so overwhelmed enable them Lord to separate themselves from those thoughts and say Lord they are yours and we'll thank you and we'll give you praise in Jesus name amen. Now my friend I need to ask you a question have you been blessed as a result of this message there are other people in your life that perhaps have not heard it and they also would be blessed and you might want to listen to it again and again maybe you heard part of it but not all of it for a gift of any amount we are making this resource available to you in permanent form here's what you do go to rtwoffer.com or call us right now at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the message about worry and I believe that you will be blessed and let me emphasize that again go to the phone right now and call 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at running to win 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614 in the upper room before the crucifixion Jesus taught his disciples and us how to have a heart like his next time don't miss a series on what happens when Jesus has your heart running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life thanks for listening for Pastor Erwin Lutzer this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-19 01:21:39 / 2023-05-19 01:31:01 / 9