Antidotes to worry - Part one
Friends, I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, I want to share with you, what I will call, the last words on the issue of worry or anxiety; better still: the Antidote to Worry. It surprises me why those who call themselves children of God should worry. Why worry when God is your Father?
Text: Matthew 6:31-34.
31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘what shall we drink?’ or ‘what shall we wear?’ 32For after all these things the gentiles seek. For your heavenly father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow shall take care of its own things. Sufficient for the day, is its own trouble.
Father, we want to thank You for today. We want to thank You for all the blessings we have received so far in life, including Your precious Word which we have the privilege to study. We invite You, Holy Spirit, and ask that You take charge, and cause Your Word to come alive to us, in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
By way of refreshing our memory, the command of Jesus is clear: ‘do not worry or be anxious’. Why? In our earlier discussion we saw three reasons why we should not worry or be anxious.
- Worry is useless or unnecessary
- Why worry over the past you cannot change?
- Why worry over a future you cannot predict?
- Why worry over a present you cannot control?
Worry or anxiety is unnecessary.
- Worry or anxiety is blind
- It does not see how God takes care of lesser creatures like, the birds of the air and vegetation. And if God takes care of them, how much more you?
A sparrow had a conversation with another sparrow. And one sparrow said to the other, ‘I wonder why these humans are so anxious and so worried about their lives’. And the other sparrow answered, ‘I guess, it’s because they don’t have the kind of heavenly Father we have’.
- Worry is heathenic. That is, those who do not have God as their father have every right to worry…but not God’s child.
Let me now go to the antidotes to worry. Jesus shows us how to neutralize and restrain the destructive effects of poisonous worry. This is what I mean by the antidotes.
Antidote number one: serve the right Master. If you want to kill worry; if you want to neutralize worry in your life, make sure you serve the right Master.
24No one 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. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Mammon is more than money. It is anything – any material thing of value: mammon. And, the Lord Jesus says, you cannot serve God and serve material things of value simultaneously. It is impossible. The impossibility lies in the fact that the demands both of them make on any individual are diametrically opposed to each other. So, there is no way you can combine serving the two at the same time.
- So, antidote number one is:
To make sure that you will serve the right Master. And, the right Master is God
- Antidote number two:
Trust or have faith in the wisdom, power and faithfulness of a loving heavenly father.
30Now 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?
31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘what shall we drink?’ or ‘what shall we wear?’ 32For after all these things the gentiles [nonbelievers] seek. For your heavenly father knows that you need all these things.
Note the difference between the two: heavenly Father and earthly father. Earthly father is limited by his sinfulness and his humanity. Yet, he knows how to give good things to his children. How much more a limitless super-abundantly rich heavenly Father who will never be reduced to poverty and who will never die.
- Antidote number three
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. That is, put God first, for He is in a class all by Himself
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Seek first the kingdom of God. God is the King, for a kingdom presupposes a king. Kingdom is simply the domain of a king. God is the king of the universe. God was king over Israel until they rejected Him and sort an earthly king. God is king over the church: the redeemed. God the Son is the soon coming King, according to Revelation 19:11
11Now, I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. 14And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself threads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This is antidote number three.
As King, God is responsible for His subjects. That is why He commands the redeemed to live a worry-free life because He will more than adequately provide for them. As King, His subjects are responsible to Him. You see, you cannot have a privilege without responsibility. And the responsibility that the citizens of the Kingdom of God have is to obey Him, to seek the righteous demands of His Kingdom. His righteousness is the outworking of His holiness, which is inward dedication of one’s life exclusively to God. But what does it mean to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?
To seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is to concentrate on knowing and accepting the righteous demands of God and doing them. Notice that the same word that describes what the heathen do about materials things is what God wants His children to do with His Kingdom and righteousness; and that is, to seek. You find this in verses 32 and 33.
Do you seek God and His righteous demands with the same dedication and zeal nonbelievers display in the search for creature comfort; in their search for material things? I doubt it. God wants to be the dominating power of your life. Such a life does not need to worry.
We will conclude on this topic in our next program.
Father, we want to thank You for another time we have had. And now, dear Lord, I want to commit the readers into your hands. And I am asking that You will set us free from worry and anxiety, this plague that has created so much problem in our lives, inducing all kinds of sicknesses and diseases. May You rescue Your people and heal the sick, even now. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
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