What, Me Worry?
Worry is a word that sounds so negative that we are sure that only other people are doing it. But what is worry, really, stripped of its pejorative connotations? To worry is to furtively plan for possible future contingencies, most of which are not likely to take place. The old King James rendered it as "take thought for the morrow". At its essence, to worry means to be caught up in the cares of this world. Jesus tells us not to.Matt 6:25-26 (TEB) "...Do not be worried about the food and drink you need to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn't life worth more than food? And isn't the body worth more than clothes? Look at the birds flying around: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest, and put it in barns; your Father in heaven takes care of them!"
Matt 6:27-30 (TEB) "Which one of you can live a few more years by worrying about it? And why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow: they do not work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that not even Solomon, as rich as he was, had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers. It is God who clothes the wild grass--grass that is here today, gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won't he be all the more sure to clothe you? How little faith you have!"
Matt 6:31-34 (RSV) "So do not start worrying: 'Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?' (These are the things the heathen are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead, be concerned above everything else with his Kingdom and with what he requires, and he will provide you with all these other things. So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings."
Where Your Heart Is
Luke 12:31-32,34 (Phi) "No, set your heart on his kingdom, and your food and drink will come as a matter of course. Don't be afraid, you tiny flock! Your Father plans to give you the kingdom... For wherever your treasure is, you may be certain that your heart will be there too!"
Oswald Chambers: "The great word of Jesus to His disciples is abandon. Immediately we look at these words of Jesus, we find them the most revolutionary statement human ears ever listened to. 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God.' We argue in exactly the opposite way, even the most spiritually-minded of us--'But I must live; I must make so much money; I must be clothed; I must be fed.' The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God, but how we are to fit ourselves to live. Jesus reverses the order: Get rightly related to God first, maintain that as the great care of your life, and never put the concern of your care on the other things."
Accusing God of Ignorance?
Matt 6:8 (NKJ) "...Your Father knows the things you have need of..."
Luke 12:30 (NKJ) "...your Father knows that you need these things..."
Note the implication: to worry, then, is to accuse God. By worrying we are saying either: 1) "God doesn't know", or 2) "God doesn't care". Think about it. Does God really not know; does He not see it so clearly as we do? Does God really not care; is He so unloving that He will not provide for us? Rather, God knows; and He loves us with great and tender care. Such knowledge needs to course through more than just our heads, it needs to be embraced by the heart--resulting in peace, joy, and love. For if we really know God, then we will really trust Him. God knows what we need. God cares. To suggest otherwise, by worrying, is a tacit form of slandering God. That is why it is forbidden.
Soil Check ...
1 Peter 1:23 (NIV) Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable.
Matt 13:18,22-23 (Phi) "Now listen to the parable of the sower... The seed sown among the thorns represents the man who hears the message, and then the worries of this life and the illusions of wealth choke it to death and so it produces no 'crop' in his life. But the seed sown on good soil is the man who both hears and understands the message. His life shows a good crop, a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."
Mark 4:13-14 (Wey) "Do you all miss the meaning of this parable?" He added; "how then will you understand the rest of my parables? What the sower sows is the Message."
Mark 4:19 (KJV) "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful."
Mat 6:25 (KJV) "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life..."
Oswald Chambers: "'Take no thought...' Don't take the pressure of forethought upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything else that worries us. Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the word He puts in? The devil? No, the cares of this world. It is the little worries always. I will not trust where I cannot see. That is where infidelity begins. The only cure for infidelity is obedience to the Spirit."Luke 8:14 (KJV) "And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection."
Careless Treatment of an Awesome Invitation
Luke 14:16-24 (Jer) "There was a man who gave a great banquet, and he invited a large number of people. When the time for the banquet came, he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come along: everything is ready now.' But all alike started to make excuses. The first said, 'I have bought a piece of land and must go and see it. Please accept my apologies.' Another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them out. Please accept my apologies.' Yet another said, 'I have just got married and so am unable to come.' ...I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall have a taste of my banquet."
Matt 22:4-7 (NIV) "Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready, Come to the wedding banquet.' But they paid no attention and went off--one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city."
Luke 14:26 (NIV) "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple."
Oswald Chambers: "Whenever we put other things first, there is confusion. 'Take no thought for your life...' Our Lord points out the utter unreasonableness from His standpoint of being so anxious over the means of living. Jesus is not saying that the man who takes thought for nothing is blessed--that man is a fool. Jesus taught that a disciple has to make his relationship to God the dominating concentration of his life, and to be carefully careless about everything else in comparison to that. Jesus is saying--'Don't make the ruling factor of your life what you shall eat and what you shall drink, but be concentrated absolutely on God.' Some people are careless over what they eat and drink, and they suffer for it... they are careless about their earthly affairs, and God holds them responsible. Jesus is saying that the great care of this life is to put the relationship to God first, and everything else second. It is one of the severest disciplines of the Christian life to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into harmony with the teaching of Jesus in these verses."Heb 2:1-3 (NIV) We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?
The Martha Syndrome
Luke 10:38-42 (Jer) In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord's feet and listened to him speaking... Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said: "Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me." But the Lord answered: "Martha, Martha," he said, "you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her."
There is nothing morally wrong with doing household chores, or of eating or sleeping. The point is what comes first when the Lord is speaking? Shall we live at the level of mere instincts, or live in the Spirit and abide in the Lord's presence? For dishes and food and beds can wait, and will all one day be destroyed. Let us begin living our eternal life now by sitting at the Lord's feet, listening to Him, in the day of visitation. In such moments our priorities come into sharp focus. And what is truly "needed", really? Let us choose the better part that can never be taken from us.Mat 6:20-21 (NAS) "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
1 Cor 6:13 (NKJ) Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them.
2 Pet 3:10-11 (NIV) ...The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?..
The Better Part
Ps 27:4 (NAS) One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple.
Ps 27:8 (NIV) My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Isa 26:3 (NKJ) You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Ps 119:103 (NAS) How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Job 23:12 (NIV) I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
The Cares of This World
Matt 6:24 (Jer) "No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn."
Ps 39:6 (NIV) Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
Ps 127:2 (Mof) Vain is it to rise early for your work, and keep at work so late, gaining your bread with anxious toil!..
1 Tim 6:8-10 (NIV) But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Phil 3:19-20 (NAS) ...whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Matt 16:23 (NIV) Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Out of my sight, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
When Consumed With Cares
Phil 4:6-7 (Phi) Don't worry over anything whatever; whenever you pray tell God every detail of your needs in thankful prayer, and the peace of God, which surpasses human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.
1 Pet 5:7 (Phi) You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.
Heb 13:5 (NIV) Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Col 3:1-4 (Wey) If, however, you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, enthroned at God's right hand. Give your minds to the things that are above, not to the things that are on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ appears--He is our true Life--then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Ps 42:5 (NIV) Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
What God Cares About ...
2 Tim 2:4,7 (NIV) No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer... Reflect on what I am saying... the Lord will give you insight.
1 Tim 6:11 (NIV) But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
Luke 10:33-35 (NEB) "But a Samaritan who was making the journey came upon him, and when he saw him was moved to pity. He went up and bandaged his wounds, bathing them with oil and wine. Then he lifted him on to his own beast, brought him to an inn, and looked after him there. The next day he... said, "Look after him; and... I will repay you on my way back."
2 Cor 11:28 (NIV) Besides everything else, I [Paul] face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
1 Cor 7:32-35 (RSV) I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
1 Pet 5:7 (LB) Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.
Since God Is Watching Out For Us ...
Luke 12:37 (Jer) Happy are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at a table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.
Matt 24:42 (Jer) So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming.
A.W. Tozer: "The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One; and he has it purely, legitimately."Luke 21:34-36 (TEB) "Watch yourselves! Don't let yourselves become occupied with too much feasting and strong drink, and the worries of this life, or that Day may come on you suddenly. For it will come like a trap upon all men over the whole earth. Be on watch and pray always that you will have the strength to go safely through all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Matt 6:30-34 (Jer) "...you men of little faith?.. Do not worry; do not say, 'What are we to eat? What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?' It is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. Set you hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow: Tomorrow will take care of itself."
Extra Stuff on Cares