Matthew 6:25-34

Introduction: As it relates to life and especially our spiritual lives, there are constant (everyday) matters of choosing God’s ways vs. going about it on our own (so to speak).

In Matthew 6 Jesus tells us not to worry…

  • Concerned? Sure!
  • Aware? Of Course!
  • Actively working toward solutions? Absolutely!

Luke 14:28

Worrymerimnao {mer-im-nah’-o}

Meaning:  1) to be anxious 1a) to be troubled with cares 2) to care for, look out for (a thing) 2a) to seek to promote one’s interests 2b) caring or providing for

Origin:  from 3308; TDNT – 4:589,584; v

The thought for me is ‘taking my life and my needs into my own hands, by my own doings!’

Gentiles are referring to those without faith in the living/true God.

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Chronic worrying can affect your daily life so much that it may interfere with your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationshipssleep, and job performance. Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifestyle habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, or using alcohol and drugs.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Ongoing anxiety, though, may be the result of a disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or social anxiety. Anxiety disorders are commonplace in the U.S., affecting nearly 40 million adults. Anxiety manifests itself in multiple ways and does not discriminate by age, gender, or race.

Stressful events such as a test or a job interview can make anyone feel a bit anxious. And sometimes, a little worry or anxiety is helpful. It can help you get ready for an upcoming situation. For instance, if you’re preparing for a job interview, a little worry or anxiety may push you to find out more about the position. Then you can present yourself more professionally to the potential employer. Worrying about a test may help you study more and be more prepared on test day.

But excessive worriers react quickly and intensely to these stressful situations or triggers. Even thinking about the situation can cause chronic worriers great distress and disability. Excessive worry or ongoing fear or anxiety is harmful when it becomes so irrational that you can’t focus on reality or think clearly. People with high anxiety have difficulty shaking their worries. When that happens, they may experience actual physical symptoms.

https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/how-worrying-affects-your-body#1

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Transition: But we have the option. We have a choice. Our choices often place us in predicaments that need to be dealt with.

I want to look at two ‘predicaments.’ One in the old testament and one in the new.

Turn to Genesis 3

  1. Old Testament – Garden of Eden

Couple of important factors:

  • Serpent more cunning = subtle, shrewd, crafty, sly, sensible 1a) crafty 1b) shrewd, sensible, prudent
  • Eve and Adam, both knew what God had said, forbidden!

Predicament: (1) you wont die; (2) your eyes will be open; (3) you will be like God.

Question? Who do we believe? What do we know for sure? Who do we listen to? Why do we choose to challenge what we know is harmful and disobedient?

Predicament: (1) it was pleasant to the eyes; (2) good for food; (3) desirable to make one wise.

Question: Which one is more tempting to you of the 3?

Results?

  1. Eyes were opened (conscience? Failure? Guilt?)
  2. Knew they were naked. (Shame? No longer invisible?)
  3. Afraid – fear, doubt, paranoia, etc…

Eve and Adam were faced with a predicament (unpleasant, difficult, perplexing, dangerous situation) a dilemma.

They had to choose….and they did!

Transition: Let me know take you to a narrative in the NT….another dilemma.

Mark 10:17-27

2. New Testament Dilemma – Rich young ruler

  • Acknowledges Jesus’ significance.
  • Whether sincere or not who knows.

His predicament wasn’t keeping with rules / traditions / religion it was a total change of priorities.

Leave what you know / think / believe / have worked for/ etc…

  1. Give / distribute your wealth.
  2. Take up the cross – ways of self-sacrifice, pain, inconvenience.
  3. Follow me – become a disciple of whole of Jesus’ teaching and training.

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Back to Text: Matthew 6: Don’t worry…..

Luke 12:15, And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness1, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (NKJ)

Romans 14:17 ‘for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (NKJ)

For the Christian our predicament is:

  • Letting go
  • Believing and Trusting God
  • Making God and His ways our Priority

Matthew 16:25 “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (NKJ)

Question: So why don’t we?

  1. It’s about our rights.
  2. It’s about control.
  3. It’s about power.
  4. It’s about direction.
  5. It’s about intentions.
  6. It’s about outcomes.

Question: There was a television series that ran from 1954-1960, entitled, Does ‘Father know best.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH-fPkdu5aA – Play first 13 seconds

The Question is, does Father Know Best?’

Conclusion: Difficulty of the Simplicity

  1. Do we really believe God is who He says He is?
  2. Do we really believe God’s Word is God’s word: Promises, covenants, miracles, etc.?
  3. Can we really let go?
  4. Can His Priorities become ours despite predicaments?