August 1, 2016
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Yes, the photo is of Alfred E. Neuman, the fictitious mascot and cover boy of Mad magazine. And yes, the title of this blog is actually a name spelled in Greek letters! What has Alfred E. Neuman got to do with a Greek name? Read on!
Spelled with English letters, the title would be Titedios Amerimnos. It is the name of a man who lived in the second century AD. Archeologists found his grave with his name inscribed on the burial box (called an ossuary). Titedios was his first name, like James or Matthew. Amerimnos was his surname, which is often descriptive of his occupation or his character – like Peter, the fisherman or Matthew the tax collector. In this case, Amerimnos described his character. Merimnos is Greek for worry or anxious care. When Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “…do not worry…”, He us using an Aramaic word that is translated into Greek by a form of merimnos – merimnao. Also, in the Greek language, if you want to emphasize the negative of a word, you often put an ‘a’ before it – in this case amerimnos, which means ‘not to worry’ or ‘not anxious’. Titedios Amerimnos means ‘Titedios, the man who didn’t worry’! How’s that for a tombstone epitaph?!!
We will look at Matthew 6:24 through 34 in the next few blogs. But let’s start with Jesus’ words in verse 24:
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love
the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You
cannot serve God and mammon.
First, I see here the chief cause of worry – you are serving the wrong thing! Now, you will serve something! God designed us to serve someone or something! If you examine what Paul wrote in Romans 6:16 through 20, you will find he inferred the following:
• You will serve either God or the devil!
• You will serve either righteousness or sin!
• You will serve either Jesus Christ or the world!
• You will serve either the things of God or just plain things! (Mammon means money and the things money can buy, including position, power, prestige, a paramour, or possessions!)
If you choose to serve the Lord, your life will be right side up! If you choose something else, your life will be turned upside down!
What might your life look like if you do not choose to follow God through Jesus Christ whole-heartedly?
• The devil only comes “…to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10). He is a liar and a murderer! (See John 8:44). He will lead you into the slavery of sin! (See John 8:34; Romans 6:16-23). And, if you do not turn from following him, Satan will lead you into hell! (See Revelation 20:10, 15).
• In Romans 6:20 through 23, Paul writes of the results of serving righteousness or sin:
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?
For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from
sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and
the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
• The world is at odds with God! For the world system (society apart from the Lord) is under the rule of Satan! (See Luke 4:5-7). James 4:4 says, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself the enemy of God.” And in I John 2:15 through 17 it is written:
Do not love the world, or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world,
the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust
of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father
but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he
who does the will of God abides forever.
Jesus told His disciples in John 15:19 that “…you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world….” So if you choose to follow the world rather than the Lord Jesus Christ – you lose!
• In Matthew 6:19 Jesus said that the treasures of earth can eaten by moths, rust away, or be stolen! In verse 21, He warned that “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (See also our featured Scripture). And even if the things you seek and accumulate in and of this world do survive, it is recorded in II Peter 3:10, “…the earth and the works [things] in it will be burned up.” In Luke 12:20, the Lord called the man who concentrated on things, “You fool!” Do you want to be found a fool before God?
So if you desire to eliminate the chief cause of worry in your life, choose God through the Lord Jesus Christ! Follow Him, and love Him, and serve Him “…with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind…” (Luke 10:27).
By the way, Alfred E. Neuman’s famous saying is, “What, me worry?”