#2 "Rules For The Redeemed"




TEXT:         Matt. 6:25-34   Philip. 4:6-7


INTRO:       There is one characteristic of human beings that we are pretty sure does not exist among animals ... WORRY!  I have yet to meet a dog or cat that was worried!  My dog Domino never acted worried over food or heat, water or shelter ... she never worried about politics or the neighborhood or whether she was going to be taken care of!  I don’t think she ever once wondered if the dog food companies were going to go on strike!  Yet, we humans worry about everything!


The reason animals don't worry is because they don't have a sense of time, of future vs. the present.  When we worry, it is usually about the future, what will we do next, or "how am I going to handle this situation when it comes" or "will we have food tomorrow?"  "What next?"… etc.


Worry however does us little good, it is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere!


PROP.SENT:    The Bible teaches us that as God's people we are not to worry like the world worries.  If we concern ourselves with the Kingdom of God we will not have to worry about the kingdoms of this world!


I.   LESSER & GREATER    Matt. 6:25-30


A.   Lots of Fear!    Matt. 6:25-27  (James 1:8)

1.   The word translated "worry" in Greek is "Merimnao" which is really two different Greek words: "Merizo" which means "TO DIVIDE" and "Nous" meaning "MIND."  In other words it means a "divided mind" ... certainly descriptive of a worrywart!

a.   Worriers are always going back and forth over an issue they are worried about, one minute they decide one thing, and something else the next!

b.   In James 1:8 we read “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways...”

c.   Worry makes a basket case out of us ... and leaves us very unproductive!  There is rarely any good that comes from worrying!

2.   Worry is the result of fear ... lots of fear!

a.   Fear about loss.

b.   Fear about security.

c.   Fear about safety.

d.   Fear about tomorrow.

3.   Jesus begins speaking about how unnecessary it is for HIS children to be so worried about such basic necessities of life!

a.   The question here is value!

b.   If a God who takes care of birds and other animal life does so faithfully, won't He be willing to take care of humans who are so much more valuable than animals?  We have been made in His own likeness!

4.   The principle is an obvious one; a God who takes great concern on lesser life forms will not ignore taking care of the more valuable ones in creation ... US!

a.   If God created our bodies with skin, won't He also provide clothing which is less valuable?

b.   If God feeds the birds of the air that neither sow nor reap or plan for the future by storing in barns, won't He also take care to meet our physical needs since we belong to Him?

c.   It is explicitly stated here that it is our Heavenly Father who provides for all life forms, how much more He will provide our necessities as creatures of eternal life!

5.  The point here is this ... fear creates worry, faith creates worship!  WE MUST LEARN TO AVOID WORRY!


ILLUS:     Mickey Rivers, at the time an outfielder for the Texas Rangers professional baseball team, stated his philosophy of life: “Ain't no sense worrying about things you got control over, because if you got control over them, ain’t no sense worrying.  And there ain’t no sense worrying about things you got no con­trol over either, because if you got no control over them, ain’t no sense worrying.” -- (reported in DALLAS MORNING NEWS May 20, 1984)


B.   Little Faith     Matt. 6:28-30

1.   Not only can we not add a single hour of life to us by worrying, we actually probably lose much more by worrying.

2.   Jesus adds more examples of how much He takes care of the lesser and therefore will surely take care of the greater.

a.   Look at the flowers of the fields ... not even a man has been so gloriously dressed, yet the flowers did not work to make themselves so beautiful ... they simply are what they are.

b.   IF we are what we are suppose to be ... HIS CHILDREN then the other things we so worry about will take care of them­selves.

3.   Jesus' statement of "little faith" may not be a sarcastic statement ... but meant to tell them that even "LITTLE FAITH" is rewarded by the necessities of life.

a.   It is the relationship we have in Christ that guarantees the basic needs ... even the faith that is small in Christ can keep us from worry if we put it in Christ!

b.   Worry only robs us of the spiritual strength God desires us to have!


ILLUS:      "Death" was walking toward a city and a man stopped Death and asked, "What are you going to do?"  Death said, "I'm going to kill 10,000 people."  The man said, "That's horrible!"  Death said, "That's the way it is, that's what I do."  As the day passed the man warned everyone he could of death's plan ... at the end of the day however 70,000 people had died!  When the man caught up with Death he asked him, "You said you were going to kill 10,000 people today, yet 70,000 people died!"  Death then explained, "I did kill only 10,000 people today, worry and fear killed the other 60,000!" – Source Unknown


4.   Even a little faith can relieve us of great suffering in our souls ... and help us escape the terrible trap that worry creates in our hearts!

a.   There is a great difference between "concern" and worry!

b.   Concern has productive qualities ... it helps us to plan and work, worry however only paralyzes us from doing anything except worry!

5.   God promises to take care of the absolute necessities for those who have eve~ little faith!


II.  LIFE’S GOALS     Matt, 6:31-34    Philip. 4:6-7


A.   Living Faith      Matt. 6:31-33    Philip. 4:6-7

1.   If we belong to Christ then we really have no reason to worry over such basic needs as food, clothing, and shelter.

a.   The Christian's life is NOT to be known by an obsessive worry over basic necessities for that reflects the heart of a secular lifestyle!

b.   Christians are not to be characterized by worry over basic needs.

c.   "Pagans" do this, not God's people.

2.   No loving Father in his right mind would treat his own children to poverty, nakedness, or starvation if he has the means to help!  Neither will our heavenly Father IF we belong to Him!

3.   The key is belonging to Him!

a.   If you are a "pagan" (outside of Christ) then you may have reasons to worry ... you are on your own!

b.   God's children however have been promised a future, and it is the future that is the basis of almost all worry!

4.   Jesus now focuses on the real issue that can help us avoid worry ... WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITY OF OUR LIFE?


b.   This is such an important key to eliminating worry!

c.   "All these things" will be added unto those who are seeking God’s kingdom as a priority in their life!

5.   There might be more reasons to worry if we aren't seeking His kingdom first, then God cannot add all those other things!

a.   The greatest "social" security" is not the government, it is GOD!

b.   Those that put God first in their life will not be left last in His concerns!

c.   Those who seek God's kingdom and His righteousness as a priority in their life will discover that they are the most free from worry!

d.   The less you put God's kingdom first in your life the more you will experience the uncertainty of heart about tomorrow.

6.   This great truth is meant to be a freeing principle for God's people ... Jesus shared this secret with His followers so that they could free themselves from the tyranny of worry!


ILLUS:      Remember the prodigal son ... starving and without anything he finally wakes up in the pigpen.  What was the difference between him and a pig in that pigpen?  No pig could go back to his father, but the prodigal could!  He wakes us to the fact that in his father home even a slave had a better life than he did in this pigpen.  Humbling himself he comes back to His father's home, willing to be a simple slave, just wanted back in.  Instead he finds that putting his father's home back in focus in his life brought him a banquet ... the fatted calf was killed and a big celebration ensued!  God delights in providing the basics and more for his returning son even though he had lost everything through neglect before ... his son would not have to worry as long as he was home!


B.   Liberating our Future       Matt. 6:34    Philip. 4:6-7

1.   “Therefore” introduces a conclusion based on the foregoing teaching about putting first the kingdom ... “therefore” (if we put first His kingdom and His righteousness) we do not have to worry....


ILLUS:      Robert Burdette wrote the following, "There are 2 days in the week about which I never worry, 2 carefree days kept sacredly free from fear and apprehension.  One of these days is yesterday ... and the other day I do not worry about is tomorrow." – Source Unknown


2.   It is senseless and demonstrates a lack of faith when we fret about tomorrow!  There is enough stuff for today to deal with than to waste our energy on the fears of tomorrow!

a.   This is not a plea against planning for tomorrow or being concerned over tomorrow... it is a plea to trust God about tomorrow.

b.   We are to direct our energy into solving the issues of today without undue fretting about tomorrow!

3.   If we are out of work, don't worry about tomorrow, spend today's energy looking for work!

4.   Remember to keep a careful priority on God's kingdom and righteousness in order to have the confidence about tomorrow.

5.   PHILIP. 4:6-7 adds to this the need to ASK in prayer … but with THANKSGIVING!

a.   And if done this way we are promised that the "peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and mind in Christ Jesus."

b.   “Hearts and mind” means our emotions and our will!

c.   With those two elements in their proper place worry cannot consume us!

6.   God’s people are NOT TO WORRY, this is a rule for the redeemed!

7.   The only one who is ENRICHED by worry is Satan!


ILLUS:       The most famous insurance company on earth is the "LLOYD’S OF LONDON."  It has gotten very rich off the nature of humans to worry.  In fact, their wealth was created by betting against the chances that the crazy things we worry over will never really happen ... and they most often don't!  People are willing to pay huge sums of money to insure themselves against wild possibilities, they almost never happen and so Lloyd's of London get rich off of the worry most people are willing to pay to get rid of it!  WHAT IS THE COST TO GOD'S PEOPLE WHEN WE WORRY TOO MUCH?  HOW HAVE WE ENRICHED SATAN AND HOW HAVE WE IMPOVERISHED OURSELVES AND OUR TESTIMONY FOR CHRIST WHEN WE WORRY? – Source Unknown


8.   Remember the prescription to curing worrying is very simple ... “SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS” AND YOU WON'T HAVE A THING TO WORRY ABOUT EVER!

a.   If you choose however to be like the prodigal son and ignore this advice ... then start worrying!

b.   Why invite misery into your life ... trust in God and seek first His kingdom and enjoy the present as well as the future.


CONCLUSION:   Anxiety is a very crippling emotion!  There is a vast difference between healthy concern and irrational worry.  If God's kingdom is first in our life we still will need to plan, but we won't have to worry!  Only those however who put first the kingdom of God get to experience this kind of freedom from worry!  Remember, only if you pray first, "THY KINGDOM COME..." can you then add, "GIVE ME MY DAILY BREAD..."  If God's kingdom is first you have nothing to worry about.