Matthew 6:25-34 ESV Do Not Be Anxious 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. — The last two years has been an interesting time. Media, news media and social media has provided us with a constant barrage of reasons to feel anxious. Social tensions Government Policy changes Cultural changes Changes to the way we life every day Changes to how christians influence politics and culture. With all of these unknowns People all around the world have have experienced moments of anxiety. It’s easy to begin to worry when we feel as though we are loosing control. Humans love to be in control, and when we can’t be in control we like to at least feel in control.
In genesis we see a story of God allowing Adam to name the animals. Adam didn’t create the animals, God just allows Adam to name them as part of his mandate to subdue the earth and have dominion. In a similar manner we all love to try and figure out the real reason. We make theories and ask big questions, whats behind all this? Because if we can explain it, we begin to feel more in control. But instead of getting caught up in trying to theorise everything God has a different approach for us. We can take comfort in the knowledge that we are not the only generation that has faced a sense of unknown and the problem of figuring out if this is the end of the world or not. Jesus of Nazareth preached and ministered to a turbulent society with an unknown future. The social and political landscape was tense. Some in society wanted to resist this pagan evil occupation. Some in society wanted to keep the peace. One person would be trying to gather support for a full military resistance, while another person was thinking about their families safety. If we go to war with Rome, what will happen to my house, my buisness, will I die? Will my family die? You can imagine the conversations at the marketplace at the synagogue, and around the dinner table. for the New Testament generation, Anxiety was a very real experience. It is this generation that Jesus teaches not to worry about tomorrow and promises that their Father in heaven will provide for them everything they need. Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. The difference between you and everyone else is that you have A God that cares about you, and is willing, and able to meet your needs.
When we are faced with real anxieties, we can find real confidence in a God who cares about us, and knows our needs
Maybe you feel anxious about new law changes BUT you have a good God who knows your needs and cares about you.
Maybe you feel anxious about getting a vaccination BUT you have a good God, who knows your needs and cares about you
Maybe you feel anxious about your business recovering from lockdown - BUT you have a good God, who knows your needs and cares about you
Maybe you feel anxious about money and all the bills are adding up - BUT you have a good God, who knows your needs and cares about you
Whatever you feel anxious about - you have a good God, who knows your needs and cares about you
In everything we face, we have have God
At the start of the year I spent a couple of weeks in hospital with one of my daughters, Rachel.
I started out with lots of faith, but day after day as the doctors became more and more concerned I became discouraged. Doubts started to affect me and anxiety set in. I realised that I had to shift my focus on to the things I could control:
I could ask for help, and ask others to pray in faith on my behalf.
I could control my tounge get and speak life, faith and hope.
I could make could choose to be present in the moment and make it a fun
experience for Rachel by focusing on playing with her. The experience ended up becoming a precious experience. And through others fasting and prayer Rachel was miracously healed. There are things in our life that we have no control over. With those things we trust in our Heavenly father.
german theologan Reinhold Niebuhr, wrote this famous prayer:
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time...”
Good mental health is to focus on the things you do have control over and trust God with the rest.
When you feel overwhelmed, step back and Ask yourself - what do I have control over?
You can’t control whether you get the job but you can control how you present yourself in the interview
You can’t control how your wife feels but you can control what you say
You can’t control people to like you, but you can control how you treat them.
34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
When things are overwhelming, Jesus calls us to focus in on this day. This moment. be present today.
Be present with family members
Be present with your kids. Put your phone down.
Be present at dinner time
Be present when you go on a date
Be present when your wife has something she needs to talk about Be present
Anxiety steals our peace by stealing us out of the moment we are in
It steals your attention It steals your thoughts It steals you focus
It steals your peace
You must be disciplined to disconnect.
After a big day teaching and feeding thousands Jesus needed to get alone with God
Mark 6:45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
Jesus left the crowd.
Turn to your neighbour and say “What’s your crowd?”
Maybe your crowd is on Facebook
Maybe your crowd is on Tiktok
Maybe your crowd is the staff room at work Maybe your crowd is the Daily news.
Maybe your crowd is YouTube Whats your crowd? Crowds are exiting, it’s the action is, where the entertainment is. Where the controversies are. Debates are held. It the fights happen. In the crowd. Jesus dismisses the crowd. He needs to go away and get in the presence of God. Crowds aren’t always bad. Crowds gather to worship and hear the word. But you can’t live in the crowd. You need to find time to escape the noise, What’s your crowd? Jesus made time for the crowd. He taught the crowd, he miraculously fed the crowd. But he also new when to call it a day. He new that he get alone in the presence of God. To live a peaceful life, free from anxiety, you need to know how to dismiss the crowd, to politely put in a boundary, then to go and meet with God. — The Jesus sets off to climb a mountain There is a journey to prayer. God invites us to seek him. To disconnect, to get alone, and seek him. Luke 5:15-16 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed Where do you go, free from distractions, where it’s just you and God? Maybe it’s hills Maybe it’s beach
Maybe it’s the floor in your bedroom. You have to know where your mountain is Jesus new where to meet with God because he often did. Make a habit of getting alone with God ________________ BAND UP ________________ Philippians 4:5-7 English Standard Version 5 Let your reasonableness[a] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. The peace of God will guard your mind and hear When you let your requests be made known to God through pray and thanksgiving Then you won’t be anxious about anything because you will feel the nearness of God in you situation. That will result in your reasonableness being made known to everyone. If people in your life are giving you feedback that you are not reasonable, it’s very likely because of anxiety. Anxiety can affect all of us. But instead of bottling up that anxiety and blowing up at people you love, God is inviting you today cast your cares up him. Pray, give it to God
You have a Heavenly Father, who cares about you, is willing able to meet you needs. Disconnect from the crowd Get alone with God and pray. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ——————— ALTAR CALL Dear lord Jesus I ask you today to become my Lord and saviour Today I believe that you are God I admit that I have sinned against you. I believe that you died on the cross and rose from the dead to set me free from the power of sin and death. Please forgive me for my sin and receive me as your own. please fill me today with the holy spirit To lead me and guide me all the days of my life Today I become a child of God Amen