Sermon for Sunday, 11/25/2018
Text: Matthew 6:25-33
Theme: “God’s Provision for Our Everyday Need”
Ralph Phelps tells a story of the clock which had a nervous breakdown. This new clock was ticking away on the shelf two ticks to the second as any good, self-respecting clock would tick when it began to think about how many times it was going to have to tick. “Two ticks to the second means 120 second to a minute,” it mused. “That’s 7200 ticks per hour, 172,800 ticks per day, 1,209,600 ticks per week for 52 weeks, and a total of 62,899,200 per year.” Horrors! Straightway, the clock had a nervous breakdown.
Like this clock, and more often than not, the things that worry us are not things we are faced with now, but things we imagine we may face tomorrow. We worry about the things that may happen to us, and the truth is, we may never face most of the things we worry about.
That is why Jesus gives us the injunction: “Therefore do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, what you will wear. Everything here is a future tense. What you will………. We often worry about situations in the future.
Unlike our society, obtaining these physical needs was a major challenge for the folks of Jesus’s day. Their life expectancy was around forty. They never had the freedom that we have today. Obtaining their physical needs like food and clothing was a major struggle So, Jesus told them, not to worry about food and clothing.
Thank God that many of us in the US don’t have to worry about food and clothes. We have more than enough; that is why we must be thankful and care for those who don’t have. But in spite of having abundance, we too worry about some things; for no one is immune to worry.
In his article, Why Worrying Does More Harm Than Good, Psychologist Jim Taylor writes, “Worry is a natural part of the human condition.”
We all experience worry, because to be honest, we live in a world of real and present danger to our wellbeing and livelihoods, and we want to be concerned about those things and take reasonable precautions against illness, injuries and accidents, etc.
Therefore, these words of Jesus are not a call to a carefree or careless living. We must take those reasonable steps to keep us and our family safe. If you want, you may call this healthy concerns or healthy worry.
But Jim goes on, “when our life becomes preoccupied with perceived threats that are credible unlikely” and may I add, things that we don’t have control over, the author continues, “this can make us miserable and sucks the joy out of our lives.”
This is where the meaning of the old English word, “wrygan” (strangle) from which we have worry, comes true. Worry strangles the joy out of our lives.
As middle class of this developed county, many of us don’t have to worry about food and clothing, but we have other objects of worry.
A list drawn from the book, Inside the Broken Heart, and other sources, we tend to worry about things like:
- Financial Security (Will I have Enough money to live on when I am retired?)
- Who can I trust my money with?
- Health (What will happen if I get sick? When we are ill, “am I going to die?)”
- The Future, when a spouse is ill: (What will life be without my spouse?)
- Will my children be there to love and support me as I age?
- Perfectionism (If I make mistake, I will be a failure)
- Social comparison (People may think that I am a failure or loser)
- Insecurity (People are coming after us).
The issues of college admission, sports recruitment, physical appearance, bullying, dating, and many others, can cause anxiety and worry for young people.
So, when Jesus calls us not to worry, he teaches us some reasons why we shouldn’t.
- In verse 25, Jesus points out that that God gives us life, and surely
we can trust God for all the necessary things that support this life.
- In verse 27, Jesus points us that worry is useless because it does not change
anything about our situation. So, it’s meaningless to worry. It just hurts us.
- From verse 28-30, Jesus states that if God can care for the created
things, which are less important, we can trust that God will care for us who are his image bearers.
- In verse 32, Jesus tells us that worry should not be for people of faith like
you and me. People without faith in God have no one to turn to and nothing to hope on in times of adversity. But you and I have God to turn to and hold onto.
- Finally, in verse (34), which was not read by the way, Jesus tells us that
worry can be defeated if we live one day at a time. Lord give us this day our daily bread, we say each week. Indeed, God can Provide our Everyday Need.
Therefore, let’s not be like the clock which was not worried about the two ticks at present but the many ticks it would have to make in a day, a week and year. This would cause us a nervous breakdown, as it did the clock.
Let’s be concerned with the ticks now, doing the best we can and trusting God with the future. God wants us to do our best about the future and trust the rest with him. Let’s not worry about tomorrow.
This will save us from the unnecessary anxiety and stress we experience when we worry. It will make us to live in peace and joy with a heart full of gratitude to God for each day, trusting that God can Provide Our Everyday Need.
God bless you.