August 5, 2016
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Titedios Amerimnos – the man who didn’t worry! That’s what was written on his second century burial box which archeologists unearthed. I wonder what they will inscribe on my tombstone – “Chip, the man who sometimes didn’t worry, depending on circumstances”? I think an inscription like that might apply to a lot of us.
There are many Scriptures that tell us not to worry (see, for instance, Psalm 56:3; Philippians 4:6, 7; I Peter 5:7). But let’s concentrate on the passage that speaks the loudest on this issue of not worrying, Matthew 6:24 through 34. We have seen in the two previous blogs…
• One cause of worry in Matthew 6:24 – We worry because we are choosing to serve things instead of the Creator of things!
• The first three of eight arguments for not worrying in Matthew 6:25 through 27:
✞ Matthew 6:25 – The first argument – You are created for more than to just seek “…what you will eat or what you will drink…or…what you will put on.” We are eternal, and if we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our Savior, God has heaven awaiting us, and will provide all that we need to live this temporal life! (See Philippians 4:19).
✞ Matthew 6:26 – The second argument – We are made in God’s image! Man is the crowning achievement of all creation! (See Genesis 1:26). So Jesus presents to us this logical argument – If God takes care of birds and flowers, “…will He not much more…[take care of] you? ” (Matthew 6:30 – see also Matthew 10:29-31; Luke 12:6, 7).
✞ Matthew 6:27 – The third argument – “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? ” We can’t grow an inch by worrying! The only thing we can add to our lives by worrying is a whole host of diseases!
This is just a review so far. Here are some more reasons not to worry…
✞ Matthew 6:28 through 30 – The fourth argument:
So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that
even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now,
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?
This (like the first and second arguments) is based on our originally being created in God’s eternal image! While sin destroyed that original purpose, Jesus Christ came to restore what our first parents lost! (See I Corinthians 15:21, 22, 45-49). It cost the Savior His life’s blood to pay for our sins! But He did it willingly! (See John 10:17, 17; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 12:2; I John 2:2; 4:10).
Solomon was the richest and most glorious king who ever lived! (See I Kings 10:1-29). Yet Jesus said a simple flower outshines all of that great king’s glory! Flowers are only here for a short season, especially when compared with man’s eternal existence. Flowers and grasses don’t worry! And, obviously, we human beings are of a much higher order than flowers! “…if God so clothes the grass of the field…will He not much more clothe you? ”
✞ Matthew 6:30 – The fifth argument – “O you of little faith…”! Just five little words! But what an indictment! It is not that Christians don’t have faith, or even don’t have enough faith. In Romans 12:3 we are told, “…God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” The problem is that we do not develop and use the faith we are given! It doesn’t take much faith either. Jesus said in Matthew 17:12 (God’s Word to the Nations):
I can guarantee this truth: If your faith is the size of a mustard seed,
you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will
move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
A mustard seed is really quite small. According to Wikipedia, “The seeds are usually one to two millimeters (0.039 to 0.079 inches) in diameter.” So it doesn’t require much faith to move mountains (or uproot Sycamore trees – see Luke 17:6)! But faith must be developed and used!
▸ You develop the faith God has given you by “Let [ting] the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Colossians 3:16). For “…faith comes…by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). To grow your faith, get into your Bible!
▸ You use your faith as you believe the promises of God and live those promises out in your Christian life! As it says in I Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Faith allows no room for worry! For you are trusting God to “…work all things together for good…” (Romans 8:28).
There are three more reasons not to worry, and we will examine them in the next blog.