Memphis Belle

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Matthew 6:25-34


“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”


God’s Cure For Worry


“Open our Bibles to the book of Matthew, the Gospel of Matthew.  As we look at God’s cure for worry.  How many of you ever worry?  [laughter]  How many of you are worried that you don’t worry enough?  [laughter]  OK, the message is for everyone tonight.  Matthew chapter 6, verses 25-33,  Jesus speaks, saying “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious, or don’t worry for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor for your body as to what you shall put on.  Is life not more than food, and the body than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air.  They do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not worth more than they, much more than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit, foot, to his lifespan?  And why are you anxious about clothing?  Observe the lilies of the field and how they grow.  They do not toil, nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.  But if God so raised the grass of the field which is alive today, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not much more do so for you, oh men of little faith?  Do not be anxious, don’t worry saying ‘What shall we eat?  What shall we drink?  With what shall we clothe ourselves?’  For all these things Gentiles eagerly seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the His kingdom, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  (verses 25-33).


First four things about worry


#1 Worry is unhelpful and unhealthful


In verses 25 and 26, we see the first of four things about worry, and why we shouldn’t worry.  1), We shouldn’t worry first of all because worry is unhelpful.  Verses 25 and 26, “For this reason I say to you, don’t worry for your life, as to what you’re going to eat, or drink, or wear.  Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, they don’t sow, or reap, or gather into barns.  And yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not worth much more than they?”  Worry is unhelpful.  Because worry isn’t going to cause anything to happen.  Your Father values you, is the bottom line.  If you want to underline your heavenly Father, because he says that twice in that section here in verse 26, and then in verse 32.  See, part of the antidote we’re going to see for worry is to really understand that Daddy knows what you need.  Your Father in heaven is in control.  When’s the last time that you saw a bird wringing its wings, ‘Oh, my, my.  What am I going to eat?’  They are just flitting around, just sort of doing their bird thing.  They’re not with their little bird-brains worrying about anything, are they?  They’re not trying to figure out ‘What are we going to do tomorrow?’  God takes care of them.  And the Bible says that your heavenly Father feeds them, and you don’t have to worry about that.  If he does that to birds, what about you?   In other words, if he takes care of the lower creatures in the lower creation, how much more is he going to take care of you?  I mean, we’re made a little lower than the angels.  He sent his Son to die for us.  He’s going to take care of us.  Now some people say, ‘That’s right, don’t worry about eating, drinking, wearing clothes, don’t worry about it---what are we supposed to do, Go starve and go naked?’  That’s not what Jesus is saying, because he says in verse 32, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”  There’s certain basic human needs, food, clothing, drink, God knows that we need these things.  They’re necessities.  Now, whether or not you get them at Neaman Marcus or Sax Fifth Avenue or Target might be up to the Lord’s will, you know, dependent on your cash.  But God is going to provide those kinds of things for you.  So worry is unhelpful.  It’s not going to cause anything to happen.


#2 Worry is unreasonable---it won’t add to your lifespan


Secondly, in verse 27, it says “And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit or foot to his lifespan?”  Worry is unreasonable.  It really doesn’t make any sense, because actually the very opposite happens when you worry, you actually can decrease your lifespan, can’t you.  You can develop high blood pressure, develop heart diseases, develop different kinds of illnesses [ulcers].  [I knew a wonderful eye-doctor, and he used to use Dr. Paul Dudley White as a heart physician, getting regular EKG’s as part of his physicals.  And when ‘Doc’ Rogness became born-again, as a member of the local Sabbatarian Church of God congregation I used to attend, Dr. White noticed on ‘Doc’s’ next EKG and blood pressure readings, a pronounced lowering of blood pressure and signs of stress.  ‘Doc’ confided to me that his worry about his future since accepting Christ had gone away, and he said this actually showed up in Dr. White’s readings of his heart signs and blood pressure.  ‘Doc’ has since passed on, and I’m sure when he did, it was without worry for his future, but instead a great joy and hope.]  Anxiety can kill you.  People who have great anxieties sometimes feel like they’re going to die.  And the Lord says, ‘Look, it is not reasonable, really, worrying isn’t going to help.’  I’ve talked to people, and they said ‘I just have to worry about it.  I have to worry.’  I say ‘You have to worry?, I mean, this is like a requirement or something? What’s the matter?’  And I don’t know what it is about certain kinds of, I’m not going to say that, better not go that way [laughter].  But it seems like there are certain types of people, at least, that almost are proud about their worry.  ‘Well I’m Italian, I have to worry about my son.’  I said it [laughter].  It’s like, no, because you’re that doesn’t mean you have to.  You know what I’m saying?  ‘Well, I’m a mother, I have to worry.  Well everything is dependent on me, I’m providing for my family, I have to, if I don’t worry, whose going to!?’  Well exactly.  If you don’t worry, maybe life would be a lot easier on everybody else too.  What does worry accomplish.  Does it make anything happen?  No.  In fact it will diminish your productivity. 


#3 Worry is unfaithful


Verses 28-30, “So why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin: and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much  more clothe you, O you of little faith?”  Thirdly I see in verses 28 through 30 that worry is unfaithful.  It’s unfaithful.  Look at verse 28.  “And why are you anxious about clothing?  Observe how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not toil, nor do they spin.”  You know, some of you are wondering, what is spinning?  It’s talking about the making of fabric, spinning cloth, ok, making fabric on a loom [actually spinning thread on a spinning wheel, before that thread is woven into fabric on a loom, it’s the first part of the process of fabric manufacturing].  And he’s saying ‘Look at the lilies of the field.’  Now when you think of a lily you think of lily like an Easter lily.  That’s not what he’s talking about, they’re like these beautiful poppies, big poppies in Israel.  And they’re brilliant red.  And in the spring, like in March if you go to Israel, that’s the time to go.  You go to Israel, and all the lilies of the field, that’s what he’s talking about, are in bloom.  And they’re absolutely beautiful, it’s just like God took a paint brush and just brushed the hillsides red and yellow and blue with the lupine, it’s just gorgeous.  And he’s saying ‘Are they worrying about what they’re doing?’  Is anything more beautiful than this, can anybody have, if you could take up those hillsides and put them on, you couldn’t find any more of a beautiful garment anyplace, is what’s the Lord is saying.  And he’s probably sitting in the field with the flowers, and he’s pointing them out while he’s teaching, he’s a great teacher that way, giving an illustration all around him.  He says, ‘and you’re worried about what you’re going to wear, look these lilies of the field, they’re not worried, I mean, God’s just providing for them, they get the rains when they need it, they sprout up, they blossom, they get all the care from the Father, verse 29, “Yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory didn’t clothe himself like one of these.”  “But if God so raised the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not much more do so for you, oh man of little faith?”  Worry is faithless, it’s unfaithful.  It’s unfaithful.  I think of the times that Jesus speaks to his disciples about being men of little faith.  And I never really think that Jesus is condemning when he says that, ‘Oh men of little faith.’  I mean, that’s going to help my faith a lot, isn’t it?  But actually in the Greek sometimes it says ‘Oh you little-faithers.’  Isn’t that funny, ‘Oh you little-faithers.’  You don’t have big faith, you have little faith, wished it was bigger.  Worry doesn’t take into account that God is going to take care of you.  You see, to the extent you worry, to that same extent you are not depending upon the Lord.  Your God is very small when you worry.  You’ve lost perspective when you worry.  Instead of having a mountain-top high view of the world, looking down on life, you’re down in it and can’t see where you are.  And what you need to do is by faith get God’s view of the situation, and say, “With God all things are possible”, the Scripture says.  God can work for us, even when we can’t figure out how we could do it.  It’s not a matter of ‘Can God do this?’, it’s a matter of our trusting the Lord “To do it.”  And not being so afraid, and thinking that we’ve got to try to make it happen, thinking ‘I’m going to help God out.’  How big is your God?  Is he the awesome Creator who is majestic, who can hold the world in his hands, who speaks worlds into existence?  What is your God like?  Or is your God some little god that you carry in your pocket and you hope that he can help you out when you need help?  Worry is an evidence that we’re just not trusting, it’s faithless.  Worry is unfaithful, worry is unhealthful and unreasonable and unfaithful. 


#4 Worry is unBiblical and worry is sin


And verses 31 through 32 say worry is unBiblical.  It’s Pagan.  Verse 31, “Do not be anxious then saying ‘What shall we eat? What shall we drink?  What shall we wear?’  For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”  The Gentiles are constantly running after all this stuff, constantly making that their number one priority, eating, drinking, wearing, the material life is all they seek.  Sadly, Christians are looking the same way.  The material life is what they seek the most.  Now listen, there are things on the horizon that people are worrying about, ‘What’s going to happen?’  On the evening of 1999, December 31st, 1999,’What’s going to happen?  Is everything is going to collapse or will everything be OK?  What’s going to happen!?’  I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know a lot of people are worrying.  Correct?  I know a lot of people are stirring up a lot of worry, frantic.  I wish the energy I see, Christians throwing into preparing themselves, I wish I could see this kind of energy going into the Gospel [and it’s promulgation, thereof.  Amen, Pastor Martin!], and this kind of energy going into, and the kind of money they’re going to spend, going into furthering the work of God.  [see to see a few ideas on how to cover these bases God really cares about.]  But see when it comes to worrying about ourselves, man, we’ll dump everything, to make sure that we’ve got everything we need!  Now I’m not saying not to be prepared, I’m not even trying to make a statement right now about that.  Except, if you’re worried, you’re in sin.  ‘Well it’s Godly concern.’  [laughter]  We have all sorts of ways to prance around sin.  Now maybe it is just Godly concern, and hat’s off to you if you’re there.  But I know a lot of people that are just flat-out worried, panicked, stressed, anxious, and Jesus says in verse 25, “Do not be anxious.  Do not worry.”  OK, prepare yourself, do whatever you want, but don’t do it in a worry-mode, you do it with perfect peace.  “Great peace have they which love thy law, and nothing shall offend them.”  “Thou shall keep them in perfect peace whose mind is staid upon thee.”  Perfect peace is God’s will for your life, perfect peace.  Worry is unhelpful, it’s unreasonable, it’s unfaithful, it’s unBiblical. 


What’s the antidote for worry?  Three things

#1. Prioritize your life


What’s the antidote for worry?   Three things.  Number one, prioritize your life.  Verse 33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”   Prioritize your life.  Put as your number one priority the kingdom of God, the Work of God, the desires of God, put those things first.  Put as much energy and effort into the Work of the Lord as you do into what you’re going to eat and drink and wear.  Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.  Actually the Greek says “Be seeking”, it’s an ongoing process, it’s not “seek, I’ve done it, that’s it”, it’s ‘Be seeking, it’s the road you’re on, it’s the path you’re taking, it’s the journey you’re on.’  Be seeking, this is the route your life is on, it’s what you are, we’re seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness.  “Aim at”, you could translate it even.    “Strive at” you could translate it as, ‘Strive after, aim after the kingdom of God first.’  How many people are aiming at other targets first?  But God says ‘If you hit the bulls-eye here, all the other prizes fall down.  All these other things will be added unto you, seek first my kingdom, my righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’  Prioritize your life, put the Lord first.  Are you worried about finances?  Have you put the Lord first in your finances, or is he last in your giving?  [see]  ‘Well you know I only have so much to do, so I give God what’s left, if I have any left’, so you toss God $5.00.  You know, God doesn’t need your money, but you need to give to the Lord because in giving you will find God’s blessing if you give to the Lord first, then you will have the opportunity to watch the Lord provide for you.  It’s an incredible thing to watch the Lord provide.  Get into the habit of seeking him first in that area.  In your family, seek the Lord first.  Put as your priority Godly goals, not the soccer team, not the football team.  If you put the energy and effort that you put into the sports for your kids into teaching your kids about the Lord, you’d have tremendous eternal benefits to that.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t do the sports things, but I know parents that are going all over the world with their kids with this stuff.  But they won’t take the time to sit down and pray with their kids, or open a Bible with their kids, or prepare their kids, or prepare their kids to know how to live. They just think their kids are going to someday wake up and know it. [Deuteronomy 6:6-9, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”  Also read verses 20-25 of same chapter.  God commands you to teach your children out of his Word, it is part of his Law, it isn’t a light suggestion.]  Seek first, prioritize what’s most important.  You know, this world, this life is so busy, and getting busier still.  Correct?  I mean, the days fly by, don’t they?  Life’s getting faster and faster and faster.  And it’s not because I’m getting older.  I think it’s because its really getting faster.  And you have to prioritize, you have to stop and say ‘Well what’s important?  What do I really want to do?’.  There are so many selections now.  What do I want to do in life, and what do I don’t want to do in life?  What’s going to be my priorities as an individual, as a Christian [or Messianic Jewish believer in Yeshua], as a husband, as a father, as a man of God, what am I going to do?  And what am I not going to do?  I’m going to have to say no to some things.  You are going to have to say no to some things, pursuits and people, some things that take time, you’re going to have to say no if you’re going to put the Lord first.  But the wonderful thing, you guys, is that when you do put him first in any area of your life, he blesses that area.  You put him first in time, you’re going to end up seeing God use the time you have and multiply it.  He’s just going to sort of multiply that somehow.  You put him first in finances you’re going to watch the Lord, he’s going to bless you, he’s going to supply your needs.  You put him first in your family, and you’re going to see the blessing of the Lord in your family.  You put him first in your career, the Lord’s going put his blessing on that.  It’s just the way the Lord works.  It’s his plan that you put him first, and then he blesses.  “Those who honor me, the Lord says, I will honor.”  I put that before myself every day.  As you go into my office, it’s on a plaque, just before you walk into the office, because I want to remember that.  The Lord told me that just about the time, it was the very same time we started Calvary [Calvary Community Church, Phoenix, AZ], the Lord gave me that promise, he says “If you will honor me, I will honor you.”  And I’ve just seen the blessing of the Lord, not that I’m saying that I’m such a great honor to the Lord, I’m just saying he has certainly done more than I ever would ask or hope or deserve.  So, the first antidote for worry, prioritize your life.


#2. Second antidote for worry: Pray

(God’s in control)


Verse 6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And then secondly, pray.  Man, anxiety, worry, can be a terrible, terrible plague.  Look at Philippians chapter 4, Philippians chapter 4.  Philippians 4, verse 6, “Be anxious for nothing…”  It could be translated “Don’t worry about anything.”  Does that sound crazy to you?  Then you don’t get it yet.  “Don’t worry about anything.”  “Be anxious for no thing.”  I remember once years ago, we were getting ready to have a huge Resurrection Sunday service out at the Desert Sky Pavilion.  And things were starting to fall through on us.  Mike and I were, Pastor Mike and I were the pastors on staff and I was organizing stuff, Mike was doing the work, and things were falling through.  They were not coming through on some things they [the Pavilion] had said they were going to do, and it just looked like ‘Oh no, what’s going to happen?’.  And I remember I was just a bundle of anxiety over it.  And that morning in my devotions, the Lord through his Spirit took me to this verse, and I was reading it I think in the Living translation, Bible, and all he gave me for that morning was “Don’t worry about anything.”  [Living New Testament: “Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers.”  King James Version: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”]  And I walked into the office and I remember talking to Mike and I said, you know Mike and I were talking about what was going on, and I said, “Well Mike, you know what?  Don’t worry about it.”  And he, knowing me, must have been thinking I must have figured it out or there was an answer or solution or I knew something he didn’t know.  And he said, “Oh.”  And I said, “Don’t worry about it, nothing to worry about at all.”  And he said, “Why, something…”  “No, nothing’s worked out [laughter].  But this morning the Lord told me, ‘Don’t worry about anything.’  So let’s do it, let’s don’t worry about it at all.”  And you know, it was so nice to sort of lay it to rest, and to move on.  And we saw God move in a powerful way through that celebration, it was just an incredible thing that the Lord did there.  And the Holy Spirit just moved and had his way.  And you know, that is when I realized, as part of the process of beginning to see that, you can either worry your way through something and God will do it, or you can trust your way through it, and God will do it, but God will do it.  And so do you want to go through the wear and tear and worry of ‘Oh!  What’s going to happen!?’, or do you want to just rest, and trust.  Because you’ll probably get to the same point.  And you’ll be there perky [laughter], instead of getting there with your tongue hanging out and just ‘Aggh…what’s going to happen?’.  God’s in control.  Write that under this point.  God is in control.  You see, when we worry, we forget he’s in control.  As you see the year 2000 coming, and you get a little panic in your heart, God’s in control!  He planned year 2000 if it happens---if we get to 2000.  God has.  Will he forget about us in the year 2000?  I don’t think so.  Ok, so as I make plans, as I think, I don’t have to panic, I can keep a cool head, I can keep calm, I can stay stable, because God’s in control.  God doesn’t say ‘Oh my land, Y2K is coming!  Gabriel, do we have the computers running!?  What are we going to do!?’  Heaven shuts down for a quick overhaul [laughter], no prayers are answered, light of the Scripture goes out, no Water of Life, can’t feed on the Word, no promises delivered.  No, I think not.  God is in control.  And so we trust him.  Again, there’s a difference between preparing and being panicky, there’s a difference between anxiety, worry, and knowing and discerning the times and being wise.  But we are not to be motivated by fear in anything that we do.  God has not given us a spirit of fear.  If that spirit is coming over you, it’s from the enemy.  He likes to get his kids running in fear, because we do stupid things when we’re scared.  We make misjudgments when we’re afraid.  We don’t think clearly when we’re afraid.  We forget when we’re afraid.  Pray.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything” verse 6, “by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”    Prayer is a powerful antidote for worry.  You can come to the Lord, and as Peter says, you can cast all your care upon him, for he cares for you.  Last chapter 1st Peter.  “Cast all your cares upon him.”  The word “cast” in Greek, ekbolo, it means to throw out, to throw upon the Lord, cast on him all your cares.  All your worry, all your anxieties, heave them over to the Lord.  [I don’t get ekbolo, but I get Strongs # 1977, epirrhipto; to cast upon, throw upon.]  It’s like there’s this great big fence, and you throw it all to the neighbors yard [laughter].  Took care of that.  Cast all the cares unto the Lord, over into the Lord, cast all your cares upon the Lord.  Be anxious for nothing.  Make known all your requests by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving.  Hey, pour it out to the Lord in prayer, supplication, bring him your needs.  Bring him your insecurities, bring him your anxieties, but bring them to Jesus [and God the Father], and let the Lord Jesus minister to every single one of them.


The Key: When you pray, do it with thanksgiving


And do it with thanksgiving, he says, with thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving reminds you of what God has done in the past, because worry is forgetful.  Worrying never remembers what God has done, worry is like it has no memory at all.  It has amnesia.  It doesn’t remember what God has done in the past.  How often in the wilderness journeyings of Israel they began to worry, and their worry caused them to forget what God had already done for them, because they worried they forgot the promises of God, and in their worry they sinned, and many times brought judgment upon themselves.  We don’t want to repeat that kind of history.  We want to with thanksgiving make our requests known---‘Lord I praise you that you have promised to be with your children, I thank you Lord that you will supply my needs, I thank you Lord that you have never forgotten me.  Lord I need this, and I know that I’m your child, and you’re my heavenly Father, and because you’re my heavenly Father, you know that I need these things.  I’m not reminding you of anything.  You want to give me these things.’  How about you and your children, don’t you know what they need?  I look at my children, and I see their needs before they realize them.  I see they need new shoes, or I look at them and I think, ‘You need some new clothes’, or ‘I bet you the kids are getting hungry, we’d better feed them.’  You realize these things before they do.  You realize they need to take a nap.  [laughter]  They never realize that, do they?  It’s not until you get older that you realize what a blessing naps are [laughter].  You wish someone would say, ‘Mark, it’s time for you to take your nap.’  [laughter]  It just doesn’t happen when  you want it.  And when you don’t want it, everyone’s telling you to.  Right? 


Results of praying with thanksgiving---the peace of God


And then let me say, verse 7, it says “And the peace of God”---the results of praying, bringing your anxiety to the Lord through prayer, is that---“the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  The peace of God, not just any peace, but God’s own peace.  Does God ever get frustrated, worried?  Is he wringing his hands right now over the world situation?  Is he trying to figure out how things are happening?  No.  God is absolutely at peace.  [And to answer that question, one third of the Bible is prophecy, and a good amount of that prophecy is already fulfilled and in the history books, God is telling us what is going to happen before it happens.  So is God frustrated over the world situation that he predicted from the beginning?  I don’t think so.  He’s got it all planned out and figured out, and this before man was created.  That’s God.  Enough to blow our human minds just thinking about it.]  And the peace of God, God just wants to flow into your life.  It’s very easy, because you’re already connected to him.  Right?  God’s Spirit dwells in you, and the peace of God, he wants to just flow through your life, the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension.  Don’t try to figure out---‘Well I’m be at peace when I get this all figured out.  If I could just get this figured out, I’ll have some peace.’---Isn’t that the way you think?  That’s the way I think.  And God’s saying ‘No, you’re not going to figure it all out, but you’ll have peace.’  You’re not going to comprehend peace, ‘Why am I so peaceful right now?  I should be panicking.  Maybe I’ve lost it [laughter], that’s why I’m so peaceful.’  No, it’s God’s work in your life.  It must be something.  And it says ‘The peace of God, which you can’t comprehend, will stand as guard, it’ll watch like a sentry watches, the idea is an armed guard at your heart’s door.’  And when worries, anxieties, fears want to come in, it moves in front of the door and says ‘You cannot pass in here.  You cannot come in here.’  The peace of God stands guard over your heart, and over your mind.  You see, the emotions and thought-life are where worry happens.  Right?  Imaginations, thoughts, and emotions, and God says “I want to watch over that, my peace will help calm your mind, and calm your emotions, and I’ll watch guard over you.”  Isn’t that awesome, the promise of God?  Look again at Psalm 34:4, another verse that has to do with praying.  Psalm 34, verse 4, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and he delivered me from all my fears.”  I think so many times, because we don’t come to the Lord, as the hymn says, ‘Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’  Go to your knees when worry hits.  Give it to the Lord.  “I sought the Lord, he answered me, and he delivered me from all my fears.”  Prioritize your life, pray, and finally, proof. 


#3. Prove the Lord


There’s a whole lot of promises that you can claim, and you can prove that God is faithful.  Look at Psalm 55, verse 22, prove the Lord, Psalm 55, verse 22, “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you.  He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”  Cast your burden upon the Lord, the term burden, the word in Hebrew for “burden” means “the portion assigned to you.”  Everyone in life has a different load, so to speak.  Some of us would think another’s is light, you’d say ‘Oh man, I wished I had his life, I wished I had her life…’  But you don’t, you have the life assigned to you, and for some of us it’s a heavy burden, and you know, I think everyone’s yoke is tailored to every individual.  You know what I’m saying?  But the Lord says ‘Take your burden, the lot assigned to you, and cast it upon me, and I will sustain you.’  God just doesn’t want to carry your burden, he wants to carry you.  You hear that?  God just doesn’t want to carry your burden, he wants to carry you.  The Lord has such a heart for us.  He doesn’t want to see us striving and agonizing and worrying.  You know, he really did that in the Garden for us.  You know, that anxiety experience that he had in Gethsemane, where he sweat great drops of blood.  He was doing that for us.  He was taking every person’s worry upon himself.  Every person’s load, every person’s burden was placed on him, and now we do have in Christ, a rest, a freedom, a lightness, if we will plug into him, if we will attach ourselves to him, if we will throw this on him.  We can’t carry it, you’ll get crushed trying to.  You know how I injured my back?  Stupidity, we bought this huge antique solid mahogany table for our dinning room.  It’s huge, it’s a huge old table.  We wanted a big table that we could seat fourteen people around, and we got it.  It has four leaves, I think, it’s huge.  But I didn’t want to bother anyone.  I was going to do it myself.  And you know I’m such a body-builder myself, you know [laughter].  We picked up the table from the yard sale that we had bought it at, estate sale that we had bought it from, and borrowed a truck, and I had help getting it up into the truck.  But when I got home, Leslie said ‘Mark, why don’t you call so and so and let them come over and help you.’  ‘No, I don’t want to bother, I can do it.’  Macho, ‘I can do it.’  And so I remember getting underneath that stupid table that weighs tons, I remember getting underneath that thing and beginning to with my back doing stupid moves, trying to carry that burden into the house, and feeling something squish in my back.  And I’ve never been the same since, had problems ever since, because I wouldn’t let someone else help carry my burden.  Had I known about the weakness in my back and what it was, I should have let someone else entirely carry it for me.  I was too dumb.  I think some times we don’t understand how weak we are.  We’re trying to do it ourselves and we’re hurting ourselves.  And we do damage to ourselves, when the Lord is saying ‘Hey, can I do this for you?  I’d love to carry this for you, I’d love to take this off your shoulders.’  We’re under the table ‘No, it’s ok, aaah, I’m doing it myself, aaah, auugh, whack!’  you know, and we’re squished underneath something.  ‘Now do you want me to help you?’ [laughter]  ‘Ah, just a little [laughter].’  Cast your burdens upon the Lord, prove the Lord.  Philippians 4:19 says “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  That’s a promise, it’s a promise to those who are putting the Lord first.  Paul is talking to people who are putting God first, this time in their finances, because they’re supporting missions outreach is what he’s talking about here.  That’s the context from verse 10 through 19.  And he says “And my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Prove me, let me show you I’ll do this, God seems to be saying.  Prove the Lord, that Romans 8:28 is true, ‘God is able to make all things work together for good, to those who love God and are called according his purpose.’  Prove it!  Let him show himself able to work all these circumstances in your life that might be worrying you.  I mean, if we really look back in hindsight, and we say ‘Oh, look at that, oh look at that.’  Ever watch a scary movie?  Never.  Ok.  We’ve all watched a scary movie, haven’t we?  We’ve all watched something that just keeps us in suspense.  And I can’t remember the last one I watched, but it was really scary, and when it’s done, it’s like ‘Take me someplace’, you’re just shaking, is it only us, Leslie and I have cold feet and cold hands, we’re sort of shaking, and we have to actually get under something while we’re watching it, somehow the blood leaves and goes to the core, because your body is in ‘fight or flight mode’, expecting to be killed or something, I don’t know, your body thinks.  But the movie was so good, ‘Let’s watch it again tomorrow night.  OK?’  When you watch it tomorrow night, it doesn’t hit you the same way, does it?  Why?  You know what’s going to happen.  You know he’s not going to get killed.  She’s not gonna die.  They’re all going to get through it ok, possibly, but ok.  My kids, when they see scary parts of the movie, this is how they deal with it.  They see something scary that they’re watching on TV, they say “Daddy, it’s OK, because this person is the hero and the hero cannot die.”  [laughter]  It’s OK, we’re just reassuring ourselves, the reality is it’s OK.  And you know what the reality is, saints?  That the outcome is, no Christian has ever died [that will not be resurrected in the first resurrection to immortality—so in God’s eyes, they’re not dead, but merely sleeping, as Paul calls it].  God’s in control.  And no believer ever dies.  Oh you might leave this earth.  [He’s talking from the point of view of those denominations that believe in the Rapture and that believers who do die, their spirit-in-man remains conscious upon death, up in heaven.  Other denominations, having other interpretations based on what Solomon says about the dead in Ecclesiastes, believe the spirit-in-man, the human spirit God places within all humans, goes unconscious upon death, until the resurrection, when a person’s spirit and body are reunited.  So that is where this pastor and all Calvary Chapel pastors are coming from doctrinally.]  Might exchange addresses, change addresses.  But you don’t die.  [The other interpretation, if true, and the dead know nothing as Solomon says, don’t even know the passage of time.  And since they don’t know the passage of time, the time span from their death to their resurrection to them is like an eye-blink, a nano-second, from the point of death to the point where they’re rising from the grave, alive and well.  So in a sense, no matter which interpretation you chose to believe, it’s like you never died.]  God is in control.  As I look in the past over my life, and I see all the little disasters and the hurts and the conflicts in life, and then I look at the hand of God, working all that together.  And I see now, I’m saying, ‘Why did I go through that so worried?  Why did I go through that so stressed out?  Why did I go through that so fearful?  God brought me through, God had a plan, God was in control.  God brought me through.  And I wish now that I would have gone through those times at peace.  I know some of you right now are in the midst of heavy-duty trouble.  Worry could be your first option right now.  But don’t let it be.  Let the peace of Christ control you.  Let God’s peace rule in your heart and mind.  You can choose that now.  Let’s pray…[expository transcript of a sermon on Matthew 6:25-34, given by Pastor J. Mark Martin, Calvary Community Church, 12612 N. Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix, AZ  85029]


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