"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"
Winning The War Over Worry (6:25-34) INTRODUCTION 1. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus exhorted His disciples to... a. Lay up treasure in heaven (by helping others) b. Keep your eye good (guard what you allow to influence your inner man) c. Make God your Master (and you will not be able to serve another Master) -- Which we examined in the lesson "Gaining Mastery Over Mammon" (Mt 6:19-24) 2. But if we do what Jesus says, what about the future here on earth? a. If we lay up treasure in heaven instead of on earth, how will we provide for our future? b. Where will our physical necessities like food and clothing come from? c. How can we keep from worrying about such things? 3. Jesus' discussion concerning material riches (i.e., "mammon") did not end with verse 24... a. It really continues on to the end of the chapter b. In which Jesus addresses such concerns regarding the future [Beginning with verse 25, Jesus gives several reasons why we should not worry about such things. In so doing, He establishes two important principles that are crucial to "Winning The War Over Worry". The first principle might be stated as...] I. HAVE FAITH IN GOD'S PROVIDENCE A. JESUS TELLS US NOT TO "WORRY"... 1. The word in the original means "distracted" 2. I.e., don't let anxiety about food and clothing distract you from more important things in life (like Martha did - Lk 10:38-42) B. JESUS MAKES FOUR ARGUMENTS WHY WE SHOULDN'T WORRY... 1. Is not life and body more important than food and clothing?- Mt 6:25 a. This is an argument from the GREATER to the LESSER (similar to Ro 8:32) b. Life and body are certainly more important than food and clothing c. Who provides our lives and our bodies? God! a. If He is powerful enough to create life... b. Isn't He also able to provide food & clothing to sustain that life? d. "He who has displayed so great goodness as to form the body, and breathe into it the breath of life, will surely follow up the blessing, and confer the smaller favor of providing that the body be clothed, and that life preserved." (Barnes) 2. Look at the birds of the air, are you not more valuable than they? - Mt 6:26 a. The birds are an example of God's ability to provide 1) Through His providential workings in nature, God provides for their needs 2) This does not mean they do not work for their needs (indeed, they are often very busy, gathering food, preparing nests, caring for their young) 3) But they are not guilty of overdoing a good thing (as the rich fool was in the parable of Lk 12:16-21) b. We are certainly more valuable to God than birds! 1) This is an argument from the LESSER to the GREATER (cf. verse 25) a) If God through His providence provides for their needs, will He not for you? b) A similar argument is found in Mt 10:29-31 2) How are you more valuable than birds? a) You were created in the image of God! b) You were redeemed by the blood of His Son! c. Why, then, let concern over physical needs distract you from what is really important in life? 3. Can you grow simply by worrying? - Mt 6:27 a. This argument illustrates the helplessness of man 1) There are many things in this life which we cannot affect by "worrying" 2) For example, worrying will not make our bodies grow any taller b. The implication of this argument seems to be: 1) "Worrying" about food and clothing cannot guarantee that you will have them tomorrow 2) As victims of "Hurricane Hugo", the "Great Quake of '89" and "Hurricane Andrew" have come to realize 4. Consider the lilies, won't God provide for you also? - Mt 6:28-30 a. Another example of God's ability and willingness to provide 1) Like the argument in verse 26 (the "birds of the air") 2) It is another argument from the LESSER to the GREATER b. Look at how they grow... 1) Without any "toil" whatever on their part, nor any "care" bestowed on them by any human agency 2) Yet their glory surpasses Solomon in all his glory! How? a) Through God's providential care! b) By so ordering the affairs of this life to assure that they accomplish what they were designed to accomplish! c. Will God not much more clothe you? 1) If God is able to so clothe the grass of the field... 2) Is He not ABLE and WILLING to do so for you? a) You who are created in the image of God? b) You who are designed to spend eternity with God? C. IF WE WORRY, WE ARE OF LITTLE FAITH... 1. If we worry about food and clothing, then we are "little faith" - Mt 6:30 2. We have "little faith" in God's... a. Promise to care for us! b. Power to deliver that promise! D. JESUS' SUMMARY CONCERNING GOD'S PROVIDENCE... 1. Don't worry about food and clothing - Mt 6:31 2. People without God (e.g., the Gentiles) naturally worry about these things - Mt 6:32 3. But we have God as our Heavenly Father, and He knows that we need such things! [So we need to develop faith in God's providence, both in His ability and willingness to provide for His children. But the promise of His providence is conditioned upon our willingness to...] II. MAKE GOD'S WILL YOUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY A. SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD... 1. This is the second key to "Winning The War Over Worry" 2. We must make the will of God the number one priority in your life - Mt 6:33 3. We do this by: a. Serving God instead of "mammon" b. Letting the "lamp" of our body be a "good eye" (i.e., focused clearly on that which is good, true, and righteous) c. Laying up treasure in heaven (by using earthly treasure to help others - Mt 19:21; Lk 12:33-34; 1Ti 6:17-19 4. Do this, and God will provide for your physical needs a. For He is certainly "able" b. And He is certainly "willing" B. DON'T WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW... 1. Today has enough trouble with which to concern yourself - Mt 6:34 a. We are not capable of handling tomorrow's worries 1) We have no control over the future 2) And worrying about the future only distracts us from the duties of the present b. Today's problems are all we are capable of handling without becoming distracted 2. Let tomorrow take care of itself a. By trusting in God! b. By doing God's will today! 3. Let your undivided attention be given to seeking God's rule in your life... a. Make His kingdom the number one priority in your life b. Concern yourself with His righteousness, not your riches CONCLUSION 1. The motto of many is "Don't worry, be happy!"; but Jesus qualifies that motto by saying: "Don't worry, seek God's will first, and you will be happy!" 2. If we take to heart what Jesus says, then our lives will be like homes built on a rock (cf. Mt 7:24-25)... a. No matter what "storms" of life may come our way... b. ...our treasure is in heaven and our Father will provide for us during our earthly sojourn! 3. If we don't heed Jesus' teachings, if we allow ourselves to serve perishable "mammon"... a. Then we must go through life on earth without God's help b. And we have no hope of eternity with God when we die That is why we must "Seek first the kingdom of God..."!
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016