If I could ask you all if you are worried about something right now, I bet many of you, if not most, would have to say “Yes.” We have no shortage of things we could worry about these days: finances, health, elections, our kids, our marriages…but for Christians, worry is something we should never do. Sound impossible? Well in today’s lesson, “Living a Worry-Free Life,” our favorite teacher is back with us to tell us exactly how to do just that. Author of the book Broken Yet Blessed, we welcome back Kathi McCarty.
Table Talk Notes
Stats on Worry/Anxiety
40% of the time we worry about things that will never happen
30% of our worries are about things that can’t be changed
12% of our worry centers on criticism, mostly untrue, or made by people who don’t even really know us
10% of our worries relate to health, which worsen when we continue to worry
8% of our worries are legitimate concerns which we can actually do something about.
Matt 6:24-34 | “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Jesus commands that we not be anxious
“For this reason, I say to you, do not (you must not) be anxious…” For what “reason?” We have a good Father….
Phil 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”
1 Pet 5:7 “Give all your worries to God; He cares for you.”
worries – Gr Merimna – to have a double mind; a split devotion (two thoughts can’t occupy same space – the more important one takes precedence)
What does our worrying say to the world?
Worry exhibits a lack of trust in God
Matt 6: Our Father gives us our daily bread
Phil 4: Our Father supplies all of our needs
Worry affects our temple Don Colbert, “Deadly Emotions”
Job 5:2 “To worry yourself to death…would be a foolish, senseless thing to do”
Worry literally changes our biochemistry
Worry hinders our witness
Titus 2:10 – we need to make Jesus & His teachings attractive to people
What causes us to worry?
1. The Affluence of our Age
Ecc 5:12 “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, but the abundance of a rich man provides him no rest.” (Our security cannot be in our money/belongings or the recognition they get from the world)
2. The Influence of the Media (as a man thinks…)
Junk in, junk out. Unplug world, plug in to Jesus.
3. Our Life Experiences
The Lord sees the beginning from the end
4. Our Pace of Life
The work of the Lord v the Lord of the work
The most significant cause of worry?
WE DON’T KNOW GOD’S CHARACTER.
Jesus was telling us about our Good Father
- Jehovah Jireh = Our Provider
- Jehovah Shalom = Our Peace
- Jehovah Rophe= Our Healer
- Jehovah Shammah – Ever present God
- Jehovah M’Kaddesh – Our sanctifier n
- El Shaddai=Almighty God, sufficient and bountiful
- El Elyon=God Most High who possesses heaven & earth
How then shall we live?
Slow down, live one day at a time, keep an eternal perspective
We can’t know what the future holds, but we know WHO holds our future!
Remember God’s Faithfulness & His Word
Pursue the right ambition
Seek the Kingdom of God. Make it a priority to pursue intentional righteousness, desire to see people come into the kingdom. When we care about God’s business, He takes care of our business.
The Peace of God – the Rx for Anxiety
Phil 4:8 “…and the peace that surpasses all comprehension will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus…”
Guard – military term meaning garrison, “to rope off or put behind barriers…” The peace of God, found through worship, prayer with a grateful heart, keeps our emotions and thinking from doing battle with the truth of God’s Word and the Spirit that dwells in us can then rise up and guide us as we find ourselves wanting to “worry” about things.
Surrendered to the Father’s Care
Our Father clothes us in joy and peace because we are rooted in Christ. Our Father’s love will flow through us like living waters, refreshing us and our thirsty world. We should be astounded, thrilled, humbled by such extravagant love, that meets our every need, that gives us our true identity, that keeps us in Peace through all we face. Jesus has already destroyed worry at the cross.
Will you respond?
We do not fight our battles alone. If God is good, and He is for us, who/what can be against us? We are a part of a family, an army, willing to stand with us as we face the battles of life. And Jesus is the Captain of the Host!