Friday, October 9, 2020

Matthew 6 - Part 4


Read Matthew 6

Some of you may know and many more may have guessed that I have TSDS.  That’s Teacher Spouse Derangement Syndrome.  For more years than many of you have been alive, I have heard my wife asking children, “Can you tend to your own business?  Can you take care of yourself?”

And you think that that stuff stays at school?  Really.  How many times have I been told to tend to my own business or ask if I can fix myself?

 I needed a little extra money for the electric bill this month so I decided to worry about it.  Sure enough, that extra money showed up on my doorstep.  The UPS guy rang my doorbell and was three blocks away before I opened the door, but sure enough, there was an envelope of cash from the Amazon Fulfillment center.

I was running out of time to study for my online midterm exam, so I decided it was time to worry.  Just like that, it was 2020 and they days never seem to end.  I had all the time I ever wanted and now you know why 2020 is such a mess.

I needed to go to Walmart and didn’t have anything to wear so I decided to worry.  My worry must have caused a tremor because my pajamas that I hadn’t seen in 20 years fell out of the top shelf of my closet.  I was good to go.

Do you know why you have never heard these stories before?  It’s because they never happened.  Worry can take away but it never gives.

Worry can be debilitating but never empowering.  Worry has nothing good to say on its own resume. It has nothing to offer, yet people worry all the time.

Why?  It comes down to trust and courage.

Jesus would use the phrase, O ye of little faith.

Will we not trust God?  Do we not have the courage to trust in the very One who made us, died for our sins, and rose from the dead to give us hope and a future with him?

Is our faith so weak?  Do we trust so little?

Earnest Hemmingway in A Farewell to Arms wrote that a coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one.  He was likely inspired by Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in which we read: The valiant never taste of death but once.

You get the meaning.  Worry can only debilitate.  Quit living out every worst-case scenario in your minds.

We will have trouble in the world but we are told to take heart for Jesus has overcome the world.  We, like Joshua, are to be strong and courageous. 

The Lord, our God, is with us wherever we go.  Quit living in fear.  Quit living lives full of worry.  Why?  It doesn’t do any good.

Consider the lilies of the field.  If God invests so much in their splendor, how much more has he invested in you?  Jesus will come back to this topic and use the analogy of sparrows, but that’s in chapter 10.

Several of us here have gone through the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, many more than once.  There is one quote that probably was not unique to Warren, but his book was where I first took it to heart.

He noted:  If you can worry, you can pray.

So, if you find yourself about to launch yourself into a course of worry, pray instead.  Don’t worry.  Pray.

I believe that Jesus would approve of this course of action, but he gave us another verb to govern us.  What verb?


Jesus had been talking about the things that the pagans sought after in their lives.  For those who longed for God’s ways and blessings and protections, he offered these words.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Seek first, desire first, long for first the things of God and those things that the godless world has made into their gods will be given to us. 

Don’t let the things the world holds in high esteem become your god.  You know the one true God.  He is a jealous God.  Have no other gods beside him or before him or in the way or your relationship with him.

Jesus wraps up what we label as chapter 6 with these words.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

If we start to worry, then pray.

If we think we are about to worry, then change our focus to the things of God.  Seek him, his kingdom, and his righteousness.

Leave worry to tend to its own business.  Tend to your own business worry.  I’m praying and seeking.

Worry: Tend to your own business!



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