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January 28, 2020 8:00 pm
In spite of all of our modern science and technology.
Our world still doesn't offer a lot of serenity a lot of rupees. I mean their yard, sipping your diet soda was saccharine sitting in your asbestos line building talking on your cellular phone right next to high voltage wires right under the hole in the ozone layer you've given up high fat beef that laced with antibiotics for low fat fish laced with PCBs or Chinese food as MSG.
Your bacon is nitrites your apple juice has Alor, your milk has growth hormones.
Your water has chloroform you tan for years without sunscreen, and your short mail with a bald spot, which means you're right for a heart attack. Now that's, when the world goes on. Every time I read the paper. It's like not another one and the more we learn, it seems like the more reason there is to worry if I would ask you what defined worry to be interesting. Probably what definitions we got wooden people would say things like, well, I don't know anxiety and fear of the future. That feeling of uneasiness down in the piteous stomach that you get some time fretting the jitters lot I can't define it exactly, but everybody knows what it feels like. And you're right most of the world knows exactly what it feels like because our world is full of people who are so burdened down with the cares of life that they've lost the joy of living in this is what we want to talk about this morning we want to talk about worry, because that's what Jesus talks to us about in our passage, worry and how to beat it in our lives and the message that seer is really a liberating message.
If we really get a hold of it and make it real for our lives, which is what I want to try to do with you this morning. Let me just say before we begin. There's a difference between worry and legitimate responsibility. Let's make sure we understand that legitimate responsibility means I have certain obligations, certain duties that I need to carry out and do the best of my ability. Worry goes. The next step into fretting about what the outcomes going to be were not talking about responsibility being bad were not trying in any way, nor is Jesus to convince you just delay at home and pop chocolates and watch the prices right there are legitimate things to get out there that you and I are responsible for doing the reason that were talking about worry is that worry goes. The next step. It goes to the step of them fretting about how it's all going to work out okay like what Stonewall Jackson said. He said duty is hours consequences as God's duty is hours consequences are gods and that's kind of the right balance. So were not talking about duty now were talking about fretting over the consequence.
So let's look at it together.
Here we are. Luke chapter 12 beginning in verse 22 then Jesus said to his disciples not stop right there for sick salon really got into the six words I know. Her second it's important we understand the audience to which Jesus is addressing this over narco interpreted right Jesus said to his disciples, if you look out in verse 30. You'll notice that Jesus is talking to people for whom God says is their father down in verse 30 Jesus is addressing his comments here to a very restricted audience and that audience is the audience of people who have embraced Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and their personal savior.
The Bible tells us that to those people. John chapter 1 God gives them the right the authority to become the children of God, and as I told you many times in the Bible.
The Bible teaches that all people are God's creation, but not all people are God's children. God's children are those people who have uniquely put their personal faith and their personal trust in Jesus Christ as their personal savior will lawn than what you're saying is that Jesus is talking about worry here only to Christians. That's right. Is there why do they love the rest of the world surely loves the rest of the world. But the reason that these words are addressed to Christians only is it Christians have a special relationship with God that allows us to manage anxiety in a way the rest of the world can and Jesus's words here are going to be talking about that way of managing anxiety that comes from our relationship with him if you're here and you've never trusted Christ in a real and personal way to be your personal savior then may I say to you that the first step to your having real peace in your life. The first step to your beating worry in your life and being able to be calm and serene even in the middle of the worst storm is not therapy. It's not drugs. It's not hypnosis is not meditation but it's a new relationship with Almighty God, you're here and you never embrace Christ as your personal savior.
I want to invite you to enter a whole new dimension of living where anxiety and where stress does not have to control your life. Where does that relationship come from what is that new dimension of living come from it comes from knowing Jesus Christ in the real and personal way. If you've ever done that. I hope it is. I talked to the rest of the people here who have that you really think about it because it's one of the great byproducts of knowing Jesus Christ in a real way. Now for those of us who have trusted him.
What is Christ say about worry well he wants to tell us.
Verse 22. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life. Do not worry about your life. Jesus said there is a distinctive lifestyle that he wants Christians to lead a lifestyle that has some very noticeable elements, one of which is peace and serenity and called and an absence of fretting and worrying in the worst storm. This is a distinctive part of the lifestyle he wants us to live. And then in telling us about how to live that way. Jesus in this passage.
In a sense dissects worry and tells us that worry is based on a wrong view of four things he wants us to see why worry makes no sense.
The whole basis of worry is all wrong.
It's based on a wrong view of four things a let me show you what they are number one worry is based on a wrong view of God a wrong view of God.
Verse 24 Jesus said, consider the birds, the ravens, they don't so they don't agree they don't have storerooms or barns. Yet God feeds them. Jesus said, look how God runs zoology friends Burgess go about doing what God created them to do. The birds don't get all stressed out about life in the room is the last time you ever saw a bird carrying worry beads, birds don't do that Burgess do what they're supposed to do and God meets their every need.
True and God does the same thing in the world of botany.
Look how he runs the world of botany verse 27. Consider how the lilies grow they don't labor they don't spin. Yet I tell you that even King Solomon in all of his splendor was dressed up like one of them. God orchestrates the rain, the sunshine, the pollination and the seasons so that the vegetation of the earth has everything that it needs now.
The point is, if God runs zoology that weight of God runs botany. That way, why would God run his family any differently. And Jesus says he doesn't look at verse 28. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown in the fire. How much more will he clothe you his own children who are worth much more to him and birds and lilies are worth. How much more will he clothe you when we as Christians fret and get all stressed out about whether God is interested in whether God's involved whether God cares and whether God's gonna take care of my every need.
We have a wrong view of God, the right view of God is his eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me in on the first time I ever heard that song was a 1971 as a brand-new Christian I've been a Christian.
Maybe two months I was hitchhiking around the country with my dog and I was here in Alexandria just stopping over and I met a man, he would invite me to his house. I think I look like too much of a shady character, but he let me spend the night down in his storefront which was down in Alexandria and there was a television in there.
It was in the evening I was sitting there and I was feeling real lonely you know what my family would not doing flips because I made this decision to become a Christian and I felt like I had no money, I had no job. I had no family ties. I felt all alone had no direction from a life us 21 years old.
I didn't know where my life was going. I was scared.
I felt insecure and I turn on the television.
And guess what was on television. Billy Graham Crusade was on television. So I turn on the Billy Graham Crusade, I began watching the Billy Graham Crusade on Kane.
This woman named Ethel Waters.
She was an elderly calorie challenged black lady and she came on television and she was a descendent of slaves and she told a little bit about the suffering that she'd been through and then she opened her mouth and she begins why should I be discouraged, why should the shadows come. Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home. When Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is he for his eye is on the sparrow, and she was right. The Cameron said in children I know he watches me. I tell you I got chills up and down my spine. I got tears in my eyes and is like God was speaking to me through this woman. In fact, every other time I ever got to watch Ethel Waters. I did it.
I love that woman.
She's dead now with the Lord. I love that woman. She ministered to my heart and she said to me, Lon.
I watch every little bird every one of those things got a number in heaven and I'm watching you relax.
Now Dean sang that song I my request this morning.
Ethel Waters EA but considering that his mail is that a female in white instead of black and youngest that old skinny is that of fat. All things considered.
He did a great job. I mean really, but no matter who sings that song the message is just as powerful that there ain't no Mountain high enough, and there ain't no Valley low enough, and there ain't no River wide enough that Almighty God will meet your every need. If you want history and friends. If you think anything different. Number one, you have a wrong view about God.
Number two. Worry is based on a wrong view about life. Look at verse 23 here. Life is more than food and the body is more than close and skip down to verse 29 and do not set your heart on what you eat or what you drink.
Jesus said don't worry about it for the pagan world runs after all these kinds of things. Your father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and all these other things will be given to you as well. God will take care of that what Jesus is trying to tell us here is that life is more than just the physical that there is a spiritual side to life as well and that of the two of the physical side is really the less important side. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 4 that man does not live by bread alone, but he lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and have you learned yet that worry takes a lot of emotional energy that worry takes a lot of concentration. Worry takes a lot of effort. Worry takes a lot of focus and what Jesus wants us to see here is that it's much more important to spend all that energy and all of that concentration and all of that effort, and all of that focus on the spiritual things of life on our relationship with him on our walk with Jesus Christ on our obedience to the word of God on our personal holiness and our personal integrity and making our lives count for eternity that this is where our energy and our focus in our concentration ought to be, not on the physical things of life.
And Jesus said when you concentrate on the spiritual issues of life. Don't worry about it. I'll take care of the physical thing friend when we let the physical issues of life become uppermost in our lives. Instead of concentrating our energy on our relationship with Jesus Christ.
We have a wrong view of life. Third, worry is based on a wrong view of the future. God's promise to us as Christians about the future is look at verse 28 right here. If God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown in the oven tomorrow like he does, then how much more will he clothe you and skip down to verse 31 Jesus said seek his kingdom, and all of these things will be given to you as well which Jesus is promising us about the future is when you need anything at all. I'll take care of it.
Whatever you need to care. I'll be there right on schedule.
I will be ahead of schedule, but I'll be right on schedule. Maybe I'm weird and you say you are well okay accepter but I'm always thinking about things in the future and thinking I don't think I can handle that like that.
I go to visit people in the hospital who have cancer and who we are taking chemotherapy and they've lost all their hair. I will Not go. I think I can handle that God I don't think I can handle that. I want to die in an airplane crash but don't look me up to chemotherapy.
Don't put me in the hospital.
I don't think I could deal with that is, let me die in a plane crash by my wife gets very nervous flying with me when I say stuff like that but I don't think I can handle stuff like that. I see people who lost a wife or they lost a child or they've gone through some horrible loss to someone in death and I say I don't think I can handle that. I look at people about financial disaster. The whole world is falling apart and say I don't think I can handle that or will having surgery or health problems. I pray with people who were going in the major surgery to go and cut them open and pulled her heart out there chest cavity at all and I go now. I could not do that I would be a basketcase in the hospital or have a pregnancy.
I know that you every pregnancy we had. I worry whether not the baby is going to be okay Aminah my going to have a Down syndrome baby is the baby going to be normal and off. I must've think if we had a baby that was it. I don't think I can handle any other people think like that what you know I got a painting. Somebody gave me one time and here's what it says it says the will of God will never lead you where the grace of God won't sustain a great painting the will of God will never lead you with the grace of God won't sustain you know the problem we begin looking at life and begin say I could handle that.
I could handle that owner I could do that. The problem is looking at the future but were looking at the future without God's grace being you understand what I'm saying friends you don't get dying grace into your what you're dying right you'll get cancer grace until you've got cancer. You'll get go broke grace until what you're proud. Then you get go broke grace I'm telling you we have a handicap little girl now and God is given us handicap grace.
I didn't think we'd ever be able to deal with this, but we have been in.
You see, when we worry and we fret about the hypothetical future. We got a wrong view of the future. There is no future.
Listen to me there is no future that you and I as Christians will ever get to where God's grace won't be there at the same time to see us through and we worry about these hypothetical future things.
You know what we got wrong view the future. Fourth and finally worry is based on a wrong view of worry one know it is look. Verse 25. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life.
Well, if you can even do something like this and you can even add 60 seconds to your life by worrying about it. Then Jesus said, why worry about anything anything or I mean, the point is that worrying has a wrong view of worrying worrying implies that by worrying you can do something about it but the truth is by worrying you can't do a thing about it worrying won't change one single thing. Jesus said it won't even make you live one second longer you look, friends of worrying because people live longer.
Felix Unger would be 200 years old. True and so would Dr. McCoy rabbit radar George Costanza Martha in the Bible, and every Jewish mother alive what all live to be 200 years old, but they don't, why because worrying doesn't change anything, it never has and never will. Jesus's point is, people worry because somehow they feel that worrying about it will help it but it doesn't.
It makes a positive difference. Also, these people have a wrong view of worry, but summarize what we learned.
We learned that the Christians worry number one has a wrong view of God, worry, says God is not going to take care of us and that's not true.
Number two, worry has a wrong view of life, worry, says the physical issues of life are the most important. I gotta get all stressed out about making sure I got all of them and that's not true. Number three worry has a wrong view the future worry says that God's grace won't be there when we need it and that's not right and forth and finally worry as a wrong view of worrying, worrying, says if I worry it'll make some positive difference in how things go. And that's not true. So if worry is based on all four wrong presuppositions.
Jesus said, why do it.
It's based on everything that's not true that's the end of what our passage tells us, but it leads us to ask the really important question and you know I don't. What is so one that's right, you know, a few years ago we took a poll in our young Mary's class about what things they worried about now that was number years ago.
They're all old married now, but they were young Mary's back. And we said what are some of the things you worry about it was a very interesting poll. I kept the answers put in my file because I figured one day that I would need it again. You want to hear some of the things they said they worry about know I can make the sermon a lot shorter if I skip this you're okay let me tell you some of things that showed up. What are some of the things you worry about Freddie first one money and they didn't mean that there would have to much of it you know I'm trying to say here money is the mothers losing your husband or your child or some loved one in death.
That was some else they worried about failing at work and having the boss yell at you getting up, speaking in front of people like people worry about that, becoming disabled and having to be put in a nursing home. Now why would people 25 years old. We were dressed up like that. I don't know.
They said they were worried about having babies and having to go through labor a ladies don't worry about that. I didn't do it four times with Brenda PCK making bad decisions and really screwed up their life letting God down in their lives. Some of them worried about flying your board of flying you member the white knuckle club by wife presently revised me. Here's one Bulldogs that was on their word about bugs types, people worried about heights. The question we ask is what the people worry about the answer is just about you got it just about everything that how you going to beat this in your life to be worrying your life will Jesus gives us the answer right here in this passage is a really I didn't see it was here, maybe catch it watch. It's right in verse 28. If this is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown in the fire. How much more will he clothe you here it comes, all you of little one.
Ha ha what's the solution to worry, faith, right, what's the solution to fear say that's right. Jesus says that worry comes from unbelief, worry comes from unbelief and you can be sure if you're worrying and you're fretting you're not really believing God and if you really believe in God and you're really trusting God you won't be worrying, and you won't be Freddie.
So how do we be worry in our lives we deeded with faith is their will on faith and what well faith in an all sufficient God, a God who is engaged in his creation down to the level of the sparrows a God was in control of his creation down to the level of sparrows, a God who's interested in his creation down to the level of the sparrows and a God was promised.
Every Christian's presence is power his provision is protection his partnership, his peace and his providential control of every detail that comes into our life, friends, light and darkness cannot exist in the same space at same time and this kind of faith in this kind of God cannot exist along with worry in the same space at same time their mutually exclusive. If your believing a God like this is running your life you're knuckle worry if you're worrying then there's obviously a dip in your believing that a God like this is really running your life how we gonna confront worry we confronted with faith to say yeah but Lon, that's kind of dude dude dude dude to comment on the new account of the cereal and I can't really, lock on to that help make a clock on the this thing okay I like to do that Nortel people. Preachers are no good unless they tell people so what and how the bridge until you so what and how he's no good getting talk told you so, what now try to tell you how how q. week lock on to this thing so that it works in our life give you some handles long. Give me some some practical steps that make this work in my life okay in closing, let's do that hi even a fight.
Worry with faith give me some practical steps I got five real quick.
Number one when you're there and you get ready to threaten you get ready to worry and you can just see them start the cycle down-fight it. Step one. Remind yourself worrying doesn't do any good anyway. That will. Jesus said, worrying then do any good anyway. The only thing worrying will do is make you sick and may not lengthen your life, but it very well could shorten Corrie 10 boom a great woman of God said, worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength as a great quote listen to it again worry doesn't empty tomorrow of its troubles done to change that, but it will empty today of its strength from the one remind yourself worrying. I will make a difference.
Don't do it makes a difference. Number two. Remind yourself that God is an absolute control that was happening to you now what you are afraid of happening to you in the future that it's not a matter of accident.
That is not a matter of fate that whatever happens to you in the future will not be something where you are at the mercy of people at the mercy of circumstances no way that God is involved and engaged and interested in his creation down to the level of the sparrows, his eyes on the sparrow, his eyes on you and he's got your whole life in his hand. It's all part of the master plan. God is in control. You're not the victim of circumstances or people of faith or accidents or anything else. God is running the show.
Third, make the decision that you're going to trust God. Okay, remind yourself that worrying the annuity good. Remind yourself God's in control and running your life according to the master plan. Third, you gotta make a decision if I go to trust God or not. I'm say you want to be worry in your life you have to make a decision. I'm going to trust God may not understand how is running my life. I may not like I was running my life.
I may not be able to figure it out. I may not even agree with what he's doing in my life but I'm gonna trust the trust. All of this is working out according to his plan and for my benefit.
Peace comes to the Christian who trusts forth if you're ready to trust God, then lay your burdens down at the foot of the cross eyed. Some people come up after the last service and say was that really means at me like the same thing as taking a cottage is given of the God same thing same thing take him and visualize your burdens as a box or visualize your burdens as a bowling ball or visualize it as a backpack that you're carrying on your back is causing you to bend over and stoop over under the weight and take it to the foot of the cross, but that bowling ball down put that box down take that backpack off and laid there and say God I can carry the stuff is too much for me. I will leave it right here and let you deal with God. I want to exchange it for the peace of God, you take the bowling ball.
Give me the peace of God, you take back to me the peace of God, and friend. When you do this. The issue is surrendering control understand that this is what has to happen at the foot of the cross, surrendering control, surrendering our own way in our own wheel which is clearly not what's best for God would've done it your way. But you know the gap GAP the gap between the way we wanted to be in the way God knows it needs to be that gap in between is where worry… And you learn that is like a spiritual petri dish in between those two poles were worry breeze and it spawns and it grows and if you want to get rid of worry in your life you got to close that gap. Get rid of it.
How do you do it you do it on your knees in an attitude of surrender at the foot of the cross, would you lay your burdens down and give them to God and exchange them for the peace of God, the Bible says that if we will do that we will get the peace of God.
Philippians chapter 4 that passes all understand God's willing to trade you your bowling balls for his base. He's willing to trade you your backpacks for his peace. All you gotta do is go to the foot of the cross in an attitude of surrender and say God computer trade my problems my burdens for the peace of God.
Fifth and finally, once you laid your burdens at the foot of the cross. What leave them there leave them there.
Far too many of us as Christians play this game you know this game led now pick it up lay it down pick it up lay it down pick it up laid out to give you know that Gabe is a miserable day, if they box it and put it on the market at Toys "R" Us it would never sell the body would buy that game. It's a terrible game lay down pick it up laid down pick it up and that's what we do we take our things to God. We land out five minutes later there we are again ready to pick it up. We fight all day long and finally lay it down one more time. 10 minutes later were back to get it up again related backpack now pick it up, laid a bowling ball down pick it up when a terrible game. God ready to stop.
If you are God ready to stop. If you are I the lady called me on the phone I was talking to her and she's got terrible problems.
I had terrible burdens in civil what you need to do is visualize him like a big old backpack on your back. Take little for the cross take the backpack off now trade at the pizza got she's a lot I do that all the time and I come right back bile the next round. I go around the circle next time around. I reach out to Gupta backpack, back again.
She said I can't stop doing that is okay I got a suggestion next time you go, go get on your knees and you visualize that backpack okay and when you take it off. Don't just lay it out the foot of the cross, but visualize yourself taking a hammer and the biggest nails you can find out your pocket and nailing that backpack to the cross. Don't just lay it down nail that thing to the cross. But as many nails did you get.
I and the next time you come by. Just remind yourself you don't own a crowbar. She said hello and sounds profound.
Actually, I just thought of it but anyway she said I'll try it. She called me back about a week later and she said it's amazing. It's great.
She's I even wrote a little tiny card called I don't have a crowbar and I keep a right where I pray and every time I pray look at something I go that's right. I don't have a crowbar. I don't know about not going anywhere with that but it works and it'll work for you friend, you don't have a crowbar you don't need a crowbar you don't want a crowbar nail those things to the cross with the biggest nail you can find and invite a bingo sign on the top it says no crowbar as well. I one guy come about second service that will log I still try to peel it off with my fingers.
Will you try but you will get those nails out which fingers don't let yourself try. The point is, when we lay it down and we give it to God, leave it there.
Leave it there, you can carry those birds they'll kill you they will kill you and I love you.
Jesus said in Matthew chapter 11. He succumbed to be all you who are labored down and heavy burden he said and I'll give you rest. You'll find peace for your soul to listen to what he said. He said for my burden is light and my yoke is easy, know what he was saying he was saying there's a lot of problems that come our way there too much for your shoulders to care. You can't carry but he's got big shoulders bigger shoulders than anything you ever thought or dreamed of heat and carry them for you. So he's inviting you to come and give them to a set of shoulders was big enough to really carry them because yours are, they'll kill you. You're my little girl has epilepsy and I don't know what the future holds for her. She's two years old and many times I allow myself to begin thinking will.
I wonder what the future holds a wonder she will ever be able to go to school. I wonder if she'll ever be able to hold a job. I wonder, shall ever be able to earn a living. I wonder, shall ever marry. I wonder after I'm dead, who take care of her. I take some.
That is a guaranteed formula for spiritual disaster. What I just laid out for you. I can deal with that burden, I'm telling you within a matter of a few seconds. I have spiraled down so bad that I'm in bad bad shape and what I gotta do is take those things in whereby gotta take him friend home where you tell me to flee across and what I gotta do I gotta nail him right in right I can carry that burden is no way I can deal with that will kill me. My shoulders are big enough to carry that kind away. I got a leave that was God. And you know what there's a lot of things in your life that if you try to carry them on your shoulders. They'll kill you. All the joy out of your life. All the vitality your spiritual walk. They will destroy your life in the need to. God made a way you don't have to carry that's what knowing Jesus Christ in a real and personal way is all about is you got access to the foot of the cross. The rest of the world doesn't, but you do so use it use take advantage of take all those bowling balls and backpacks that you got and go take him and leave let the bottom of the cross for you look like a big junk pile you ever saw. With all of the junk in your life, just pile it up down there and let God give you the peace of God that passes understanding, it'll work to make you a happier person and it'll make you a better representative for Jesus Christ as the world watches your life but spell together and pray I want to give you just a moment of silence. I suspect there's probably a lot of us here who got all kinds burdens and problems that were carrying and I suspect that maybe some of us this morning need to take them and deposit them at the foot of the cross, nailing their so that you and you need to do that then let's give your moment of silence and give you a chance to heavenly father. I'm so grateful that your eyes on the sparrow, and we know as Christians that you watching us or forgive us for. Of the many many times that we allow ourselves to be consumed with worry and fear. Forgive us for the many times we allow our life to spiral down and unravel. Lose all our joy in all our resiliency because we're worried about things we have no business worrying about forgive us Lord for the many times we let our lives be a very poor picture to the rest of the world of what Christian ought to be, because we let ourselves get caught up in fretting.
I pray this morning you would remind us, dear Lord, that there's another way to live that you have for us as Christians a better way to make us happier people around us happier and allow you to use our life more significantly, to draw people to Christ. But I pray that you would teach us this little simple steps where we can convert our burdens into the peace of God in our life.
Thank you that you love us so much that you made a way for us to make a transaction and I pray Lord that we would not be so foolish that we wouldn't take advantage of each and every day father I pray you change the way we live because of our being here and being in contact with you and the word of God today, we pray these things in Jesus day a man