Antidote to worry - Part two
Friends, we are back to the discussion we had last time; and I want to conclude it now.
Why worry when God is your Father – if indeed He is your Father. We were considering or examining: the Antidotes to Worry, the antidotes that Jesus Christ gave us. And He showed us how to neutralize and restrain the poisons and destructive effect of worry or anxiety. And we read from,
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 will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day, is its own trouble.
Father we have come again; and we have come, and that You may speak to us, and that You may really give us the weapon that we can use to neutralize this poisonous effect of worry and anxiety that…it has created all kinds of sicknesses and diseases in the lives of people. We pray, now, that Your Word will come alive, in Jesus name. Amen!
We saw last time that worry is unnecessary, is useless; worry is blind, because it doesn’t see how God takes care of lesser creatures than us human beings. Worry is heathenic, because only heathens (those who do not know God) have the right to worry – not the children of God. Then we looked at the antidotes to worry. By antidote we mean, those things that we find in the scripture, especially in the text where Jesus shows us the way to neutralize or to restrain worry and anxiety. We said antidote:
- To serve the right Master. Matthew 6:24 – THE RIGHT Master is God; not mammon, not things of material values, because you cannot serve both simultaneously
- Trust or have faith in the wisdom, power and faithfulness of a loving heavenly Father. We saw that in: Matthew 6:30-32
- Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness or His righteous demands. In other words, for you to beat worry and anxiety, you have to put God first in your life. And He deserves the first place.
When you place Him in that prominent position that He deserves and desires, then He will show you how to beat anxiety and worry. God deserves that prominent position because He is the King of the universe. He says, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. For God to have a Kingdom it means that He is a King. The word kingdom is the domain of a king. He is the King of the universe. He was the King of Israel before they asked for an earthly king. God is the King of the redeemed. God the Son is the soon-coming King. We saw this in Revelation 19:11-16. And we said that as a King, God is responsible for all His subjects – all who are under His control, all who submit themselves to His rulership. And, the only way you can submit yourself to the rulership of God is through Jesus Christ, by receiving Jesus Christ into your life, as you repent from your sins. As King, His subjects are responsible to Him, they are responsible to obey His righteous demands. And how do we do that? 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. It is not knowing them only – but doing them. Notice also, we said last time that there is one word that describes what the heathens or those who do not know God do with the search for material things; and what God wants His people to do with His righteous demands. And that is to seek. That word says all these things the heathens or the gentiles seek. And then, God said, seek My Kingdom and My righteousness. And the challenge there is that many of us who claim to be citizens of the Kingdom of God do not seek the righteous demands of God with the same dedication and the same zeal nonbelievers display in their search for creature comfort, for material things. God wants to be the dominating power or influence in your life. The secret of seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is freedom from possessions, freedom from things. That is the secret of seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. You cannot seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness until you are set free from possessions and from things. Neither the greedy nor the miserly knows this freedom. And the secret of freedom from possessions is living a simple lifestyle. A number of us want to live complicated lifestyle, especially in our society today where money has become a God.
According to one Richard Ford’s study, the key to living a simple lifestyle lies in the following inward realities:
- Whatever you have is a gift from God.
You need to know that. If you don’t know that you cannot live a simple lifestyle, and you will not be able to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
- Whatever you have, God will take care of it
- Whatever you have should be made available to others.
Foster identifies what he calls outward expressions of a simple lifestyle. We are seeing the inward realities but the outward expression. With this, I will close.
Buy things for their usefulness – not for their status symbol. Houses, shoes, clothes, handbags…some people spend so much money on these things because of their status symbol. Buy things for their usefulness.
- Reject anything that is becoming an addiction.
Anything that seeks to control you. It could be such simple things as television, radio, food – anything that is becoming an addiction.
- Develop the habit of giving things away.
Friend, have you noticed that whatever you have not used in the past six months or one year, that is, whatever you have not missed, but is in your house within the last six months or one year, you do not need? Develop the habit of giving things away.
- Refuse to follow the urging of advertisement – especially those that urge you to act now.
Any advertisement that wants me to act now, to act quickly, to rush me to do things without stopping to think, I will reject, I will refuse, because that is the wrong direction to go. Refuse to follow the urging of advertisements.
- Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
You can enjoy things without owning them. Like, somebody says, you can enjoy the beach without owning a piece of it.
- Exercise extreme caution before incurring a debt; especially, higher purchase.
Be very careful before you incur a debt, because it can ruin you.
- Never seek to dominate or oppress others through influence of money or position.
And, on this I will call the attention of husbands, and the attention of fathers, even the ministers of the gospel, and of course politicians. Never seek to dominate or oppress others through the influence of money or position. Some people use their wealth…use their position to dominate people’s lives and dictate for them and treat them as slaves or as second class citizens.
- Turn down, reject, run from anything that distracts you from seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Anything that is a distraction, anything that will impede your progress for the search of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. You must run from it. You must reject it, you must turn it down, no matter what it is because in the final analysis the Kingdom of God is the most important thing in the life of any human being for if you miss it, you are finished.
Father thank You for Your Word. I thank You for those who have read and those who have been reading. I’m praying for Your blessings upon their lives in more ways than one, spiritually, physically, materially, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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