December 5, 1993 & December 12 (Worry 2, Mat 6:28)
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Worry 1

Mat 6:25

Mat 6:25 through the end of the chapter deals with the providence of God and worry. By providence of God we mean God's sovereign control of all that takes place in this world, and especially what takes place in the lives of His people. We could easily define Divine Providence from Romans 8:28, 31

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. ¶ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. ¶ What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?

The words of our Lord here are some of the more difficult of His commands to put into action because it speaks so distinctly against worry. It shows us that the habit of worrying about the future is an evidence of distrust of the Father's goodness and Divine Providence.

This passage also strongly speaks against coveting the things of this world. (Covetousness: compromising God's word &/or will to obtain the desires of our heart.) We will deal with 25-32 as a unit, then 33, 34.

This section contains one of the Lord's strongest sermon on the providence of God, but the Lord is not at all calling on His people to be slothful with a false confidence that He will still provide. In other words, this section does not permit presumption, "God will take care of it; therefore, there is no need for me to make plans and do what I can."

Ps 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass.

Worry about things of this world causes us to serve the god of money, and prevents us from seeking to please God first and foremost with our life.

Geneva Bible, "The froward caring carefulness for things of this life is corrected in the children of God by an earnest thinking upon the providence of God."

We cannot cover it all at once, so we will start and go until we get to a good breaking point.

1) Notice how this section starts: Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought…

Therefore… He has just told His disciples how foolish & impossible it was to serve two masters, God and money. Now He says, Take no thought… He makes this reference to worry 5 times in the next 9 verses. Sometimes He uses the same wording, vs. 25, 31, 34. The word of God is not in the habit of needlessly repeating Himself; therefore, obviously one of the major problems of His people is worry about the future!

When we worry, we will end up serving money in order to prepare for the future instead of serving God now.

We live in a worrisome day when people worry about having enough money to retire. Today's emphasis on retirement has robed society of a tremendous work force. The Biblical plan is for the older generation to train the younger. Therefore, when the worker gets over 50, he should go into supervisory and training of the younger workers, and he should stay there as long as his health permits. This would not only pass on the skills of his generation to the next, but it would permit the next generation to build on the previous generation's skills.

2) v. 25, notice the Lord said there is more to life than money and what it will buy, both in the present and future.

The Lord did not forbid all concern for the things of this life because He said, more than… What He did forbid was, as the margin reads, anxious care or worry over these things. He forbids:

1) being consumed by the desire to accumulate worldly goods.

2) worrying, or fearful concern, about where these material things will come from.

3) worrying, or being tormented, over what might happen tomorrow.

4) compromising the word of God for personal goals.

Christ tells us that worry clearly distrusts God. Worry influences the covetous heart to use unlawful means to obtain worldly things.

Included in these unlawful means is lying, fraud, false weights, oppression of the weak, sabbath violation, failure to tithe, sacrificing the family and responsibilities to God in order to increase our worldly goods.

Life for the child of God is seeking to please the heavenly Father today, doing God's will today. One who builds his life around the things that the world builds around, seeking after worldly goods, has not only an empty life, but a wasted life, v. 25.

Only a life that seeks to please the Heavenly Father has any meaning.

3) The Lord did not forbid making physical preparation for the future here on earth. The wise, godly man looks ahead and plans accordingly. Presumption, not faith, leads to carelessness and neglect of the future when the Lord provides the means to prepare for the future.

4) Both the rich and poor are caught up in covetousness. The rich store up treasure on earth at the expense of "seeking first the kingdom of God," and the poor worry that the Lord will not be able to provide enough for them. Worry is as fatal to our Christian life as is gloating over wealth.

5) Clearly, the Lord here requires every person to live within his income:

Ro 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Our society is built on the very unstable foundation of debt that is subject to collapse at any moment. It cannot stand. Notice how the Lord ended His message, 7:24-27.

6) Not only does the Lord forbids spending the present for the future (debt), but He also forbids spending the future for the present. The Lord condemns failure to store up for the future. This includes both physical and spiritual storage.

Physical: as possible, we should store up today for our needs latter in life.

Spiritual: we should lay up treasure in heaven today for our needs after death.

But our fallen nature demands that we spend both the physical and spiritual treasure on the desires of our one heart. The advancement of the Kingdom of God is very far from our mind and actions so we spend our treasure now.

7) Lack, even poverty & affliction, is often better for God's people than is prosperity,

Ps 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

8) v. 26, Are ye not much better than they? Man is the peak of God's creation. It is the devil's crowd that seeks to reduce everything to one level. The birds feeding on a cold winner day should speak to our hearts of God's loving providence for His people.

Ps 8:3, 4 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

One of our problems is that we do not take time to consider the Lord and the works of His hand. We should gain much encouragement by considering the works of God's hands. What more assurance do we need of the Father's care?

9) worry does no good, v. 27. He compares the Father's divine providence in feeding His children to the Father's divine providence in feeding the birds (& the rest of His creatures).

Worry will not gain food or clothing. The Lord feeds [and cloths] the birds by their working from daylight to dark. Birds do not sit still and wait for someone to feed them. The birds do not use the means listed in v. 26, but God feeds them. On the other hand, Man is required to use the means of v. 26 to obtain his food.

The point is that if man will be as faithful to God's order for his life as the birds are to God's order for their lives, will He suffer His people to hunger?

Certainly, the word of God requires man to work hard at everything his hands find to do, but only the Lord can cause him to prosper.

 

Hag 1:6-9 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages [to put it] into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. Ye looked for much, and, lo, [it came] to little; and when ye brought [it] home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that [is] waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.

Worry will not change the length of life.

Job 14:5, Seeing his days [are] determined, the number of his months [are] with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

Divine Providence has decreed the number of months we will live and worry will not allow us to pass that number.

How much will medicine change the length of our days. Only God knows. We must be careful of presumption: saying that we will only live so long, so we avoid medical care.

Worry will not change:

one hair of our head

one silly centimeter of our height.

our station in life, Ps 75:5-7; 1 Sam 2:7.

Psa 75:4-7, I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak [not with] a stiff neck. For promotion [cometh] neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God [is] the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

1 Sam 2:6-9, The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set [them] among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth [are] the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

Mat 6:28, we will consider the lilies next time.

December 12, 1993

Worry 2

Mat 6:28


We mentioned last time that starting with v. 25‚ the Lord deals with theprovidence of God and worry. Jesus points out in this section that God is in control‚ especially of what takes place in the lives of His people.

Worry is one of our major enemies. Worry denies that God is in control. But the condemnation of worry by our Lord in this passage does not mean that we can just sit back and relax‚ doing nothing.

This passage makes it clear that only as God's people fulfill their God give responsibility‚ can they expect God to supply all their needs. Probably the passage that best describes this section is Ps 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass.

This passage also strongly speaks against coveting the things of this world. Worry about the things of this world causes us to serve the god of money, and prevents us from seeking to please God first and foremost with our life.

5 times in vv. 25-34 the Lord will speak against worry. Worry destroys our relationship with God. Notice the Lord said that life is more than physical things which we can and do worry over. But He did not say that we should not make preparation for the future in areas we can. He is condemning compromising our responsibility to the Heavenly Father in making those plans for the future.

Those with earthly goods worry about hanging on to their goods‚ and those with very little earthly goods worry about not having enough. Both brands of worry are a denial of the Christian faith.

I believe we can say dogmatically that this nation is now a welfare state because of the violation of the Lord's words in this section.

In v. 26‚ the Lord points to the fowls of the air. They go about doing what God has ordained for them to do‚ and the Father takes care of them.

In v. 27‚ the Lord points out that worry will not change a thing. Worry will not gain food‚ clothing‚ nor will it gain physical change. That change must come out of a bottle of die for the hair‚ high heel shoes‚ or a bottle of makeup.

I.

The Lord has called attention to the fowls of the air; He has called attention to the uselessness of worry; now He calls attention to the lilies of the field‚ v. 28.

Consider the lilies… They fulfill God's purpose in creation. They grow, are clothed in great glory and their end is the grave.

With a small flower, a lily, the Lord condemns all who make an idol of beauty: beauty is only skin deep, and quickly fades with time.

Illustration:

There is nothing sadder than those who try to hang onto their youth. 30‚ 40 & 50 year old men and women trying to look and act like teenagers. Those who refuse to grow old are only rebelling against their Creator and His order of life.

1) Notice the first thing Jesus told us to consider about the lily…

how they grow… They grow by the command-word of God.

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

The same God Who spoke them into existence and by Whose word they grow, is the same God Who promises to supply the every need of His faithful people. If God, by His Divine Providence, provides the needs of the lilywhich today is and to morrow is cast into the oven‚ how much more will He provide for us by His Son?

2) The second thing Jesus told us to consider about the lilies. Theygrow‚ yet they toil not‚ neither do they spin…

We tend to go to extremes; we either serve the god of money and worry, or we have no concern at all about the future and make no preparation.

3) The third thing Jesus told us to consider about the lilies. He tells us about their beauty and glory: their beauty and glory is greater than was Solomon's in all his glory.

The Lord does not condemn beautiful‚ expensive clothing; rather‚ He condemns the pride &/or worry usually associated with beautiful‚ expensive clothing.

In vv. 25‚ 26 & 30‚ the Lord covers the two basic promises of the word of God to the people of God as found in,

1 Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Vast sums of time and money has been and are being wasted on outward adornment.

1. Time and money which can not be afforded wasted in a vain attempt to keep up with the latest styles. Those styles are developed‚ by and large‚ by sodomites and imported from countries with notoriously corrupt morals.

2. Moreover‚ God's word and will is compromised to have the funds to keep up with our own desires.

4) The fourth thing Jesus told us to consider about the Lilies… The worldly glory being condemned by the Lord is from without‚ but the lilies'beauty is from within.

Note the inward glory that the Lord urges upon His people,

1 Pet 3:3, 4‚ Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

When is hair‚ gold and apparel extreme? When attention is detracted from the inward beauty and directed to the outward appearance‚ then this passage is violated.

The Lord is not restricting His comment to women, but He, through Peter, speaks to people in general. The Lord condemns the use of outward appearance to draw attention to one's self.

How many people compromise their responsibility to the Lord and to the kingdom of God in order to have better food and raiment? Is it not foolish to compromise our relationship with the Lord for something that is easily outdone by a flower and is soon to be cast into oven.

Pr 31:30 Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

My, how important it is to lay up treasure in heaven. How many have been deceived by the vanities of this world!

5) The fifth thing Jesus tells us to consider about the lilies: Thelily's life is very brief, and the grave is its end.

The time in this life is extremely short, and we need to be laying up treasure in heaven, not on earth. How? By doing as the lily: minding our own business and fulfilling God's purpose for us in our creation.

Life is brief‚ and it will soon be past. Only what is done for Christ will last.

6) The sixth thing Jesus told us to consider about the lilies: Thelilies are cared for by God, as is the grass. How much more does He care for us,

1 Pet 5:7, Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

II.

The Lord talks about clothing. Clothing was given to Adam and Eve as a covering for their shame. They did not need the clothing until they sinned. Thus clothing is a badge of sin; it is not something to be proud of any more than a criminal should be proud of his prison uniform. (Pink)

Solomon was wise, and his clothing was glorious. If we would spend as much time seeking God's wisdom as we do seeking the glorious clothing, our lives would be much different. Our ambition should be directed far more toward Solomon's wisdom - wisdom to do our duty in our place - than toward the glory of Solomon which was outdone by a simple lily.

III.

V. 30‚ the Lord now defines the lack of confidence in the Father's ability to supply the needs of His faithful children‚ O ye of little faith.

Notice that the Lord here is chiding His disciples. He is not rebuking them for no faith‚ but for little faith. Thus the measure of our faith is shown in our ability to not worry after we have done the will of the Father.

The disciples' worry about these things mentioned by the Lord prohibited their total and wholehearted obedience to their Lord's will and purpose for their lives.

Look around, He tells them, at the birds, flowers and grass; God's providential care as seen in these areas proves His providence in the care of His children as they move in obedience to His will and purpose for their lives.

(a few words on faith removed from this place and placed at end.)

IV.

V. 31, take no thought… Jesus does not say, "Whatever will be will be;" therefore, the child of God should be indifferent toward material things.

Rather, Christ is contrasting the attitude of the Child of God toward the temporal things of this world with the attitude of the children of this world with the temporal things of this world‚ v. 32.

It is important to see here what the Lord tells us in this verse. He tells us that our attitude toward Himself‚ toward the heavenly Father and toward eternal things is obvious for all to see by our attitude toward material things. Do we have the same attitude toward the things of this world as do those who make no profession of being born again?

Luke 16:10-13, He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true [riches]? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 25 gives the same basic thought. A person who does not properly use the material things given to him by the Lord for God's glory, cannot expect to have the true riches, i.e.‚ the wisdom and grace of God to do God's will.

There should be an obvious difference between the child of God and the children of this world in their attitude toward money.

V.

V. 32, the Lord is condemning pagan, distrustful anxiety over temporal things. Such distrust of the Father's loving goodness is covetousness, paganism and no less than the black sin of unbelief. Such worry isneedless, senseless, useless, faithless and Christless (which is the implication of Gentiles). (Pink)

The promise of the context is that as the child of God faithfully seeks and does the will of the Father and puts the good of the Father and His kingdom first, the Father, in His Divine Providence, will supply all these things that the Gentiles seek.

A) for your heavenly Father knoweth... As we have already mentioned, far from the Lord discouraging prayer, this chapter emphasizes prayer: He encourages prayer. Christ is pointing out that the Father already knows what we need, and will provide our needs on His conditions.

We also mentioned that the Lord (through His spirit, Rom 8:29) must teach His people to pray. So Christ is not teaching that the Father meets our needs without prayer.

Our Father already knows, but we cannot presume that He will provide apart from our following His will (on earth as it is in heaven), including His will in our actions, in our praying and in studying of His word. This verse urges the child of God not to be overly concerned about the temporal, material things of this world because his Heavenly Father knows his every need.

Our concern is centered around knowing and doing the will of the Heavenly Father. Then the Father will, through His Providence, supply the needs if His children have the proper priorities.

B) v. 32 emphasis the need to be content with such things that Divine Providence has provided (food & raiment). We seek and do His will, He knows what we need and will supply accordingly.

C) some excuse worry and anxious care with "Well, it's my temperament or circumstance that causes me to worry." Not only are we promised the grace of God to overcome the sin of unbelief, but we are commanded to overcome these sins of the flesh,

Titus 2:11-14, For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Phil 4:11. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.

Are we controled by Worry?

Are we inclined that way?

If so‚ we need to consider the words of the Lord Jesus here and consider the lilies.

Faith:

A) faith is authoured by the Spirit of Christ, Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

B) of course, we cannot think of faith without mentioning saving faith,Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

C) faith is a result of the word of God heard by the heart, Ro 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

D) not every one has the same amount of faith, Ro 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

E) faith is increased through trials and tribulations. I will only place the one verse here, but check its context, 2 Th 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

1 Pet 5:8, 9, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

F) faith is increased through use, Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (Note that faith is no more than doing what is required of us by the word of God, 1 Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.)

G) I think it is important to note that faith is soundly connected with love: love for those whom Christ loves, Col 1:4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love [which ye have] to all the saints...

H) faith is indispensable in our Christian warfare, Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

I) our access to the Father is through faith, Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

J) the object of our faith must be the Tri-Une God, 1 Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. And this point is exactly what the Lord is making. Where is our faith in the loving Divine Providence of the Father?

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