Why Christians Should Not Worry / Luke 12:22-34 NIV
#1 - Because worry ___________________ .
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you eat; or about your body, what you will wear.” Luke 12:22
Worry is a choice. Jesus opens up his worry sermon with this: “Don’t!” That’s it. Don’t worry about your life. Eating. Dressing. Christmas. Marriage. Children. Job. You name it, you could worry about it and Jesus says don’t. Bottom line for Christians - this is a command from Jesus. He doesn’t say you SHOULDN’T. He says it is not a Christian thing to do. If you’re in Christ, don’t worry!
#2 - Because worry ____________________ .
“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.” Luke 12:23
We are spiritual beings too! Our lives are more than here and now. They are eternal. So when we worry, we take away the life we should be enjoying. Joy and worry are incompatible. Even when your physical life suffers, your spiritual life can rejoice.
Besides all this - most of what we worry about isn’t worth worrying about in the first place. Robert Leahy PhD, who wrote The Worry Cure, reports one study in which participants were required to write down everything they worried about and predict what they thought would happen. 85% of the things they worried about actually had positive outcomes.
#3 - Because worry ________________ .
“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” Luke 12:24
Jesus says that we are valuable! God takes care of the ravens and you are so much more valuable than the ravens. Worry hides that value from your life. Here’s why: Worry Devalues The Value Giver! When we worry about how things are going to turn out for us, we demonstrate NOT ONLY a lack of trust in God’s ability BUT ALSO a lack of trust in God’s evaluation of us.
#4 - Because worry ___________________ .
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:25-26
Worry is unhelpful because it never accomplishes anything, it never solves anything. Worry has never solved a problem. Actually worry can exaggerate your problems. The more you review something when you're worried about it, the bigger it gets. To worry about something you can't change is useless. To worry about something you can change is stupid -- change it.
#5 - Because worry _________________ .
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you - you of little faith!” Luke 12:27-28
When we worry about the things that are here today gone tomorrow, we discount the long term of our eternity. These years on this Earth are such a small, minuscule part of our forever life with God. Not only does worry create doubts about our eternity, but it also creates doubts about the Eternal Creator God!
Thanks to the Hubble telescope we now know there are (conservatively) 350 BILLION galaxies. Why would God make so many? Could it be so we would know just how BIG He is? Or consider the opposite extreme. Did you know that a caterpillar has 228 separate and distinct muscles in its head? Yet Jesus tells us this God also knows every hair on your head and will take care of you! Do you believe that God is big enough and loving enough to take care of whatever worries you?
#6 - Because worry ___________________ .
“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.” Luke 12:29-30 NIV
Worry is not for Christians. Worry is for pagans. Those aren’t my words. Those are Jesus’ words. “The pagan world runs after all such things” that cause worry. Remember you as a Christian are supposed to be the light of the world that points people to Jesus. So when you worry, your light is not shining like it should!
Worry is one of those things in your life that should be like the warning indicator of your car. When the “worry” light goes off in your life, it’s a sign that you need to get to the throne room of God. You need to stop, slow down, examine your life. What is it that you are running after that might be causing you to be stressful or to worry? Then ask yourself, what is this compared to my God Father, Who loves me with His all-powerful, caring love? I don’t need to worry. I’m better than that!
#7 - Because worry _________________ .
“But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:31-32 NIV
The kingdom of God is our first and greatest joy. We share in God’s work, in His will, and we are citizens of His kingdom. What a great privilege! But when we are in a state of worry, we cannot see God’s kingdom. We cannot see that we are citizens of His kingdom. We are blinded by worry. It’s like when you’re driving at night and someone comes at you with their brights on. You are temporarily blinded. The road is still there, you just can’t see it. Worry temporarily blinds us from being able to see God’s kingdom. It’s still there, but we can’t see it.
Jesus also tells us two things - #1 the fact of the kingdom and #2 the reminder to seek for the kingdom. Remember the analogy of the bright lights hitting you when you’re driving? What are you supposed to do? Close your eyes? Give up trying to steer straight? No! When you’re blinded, you have to work extra hard to see what you can see - the edge of the road. Same with kingdom of God. Our Heavenly “Father has been pleased to give [us] the kingdom.” He would not want it hidden from us. So look for it. Look for any sign of it. Because when you see even a glimpse, you’ll realize you don’t have to worry or be afraid by what you’re facing. It’s temporary. It’s nothing compared to the eternal joy prepared and waiting for us!
#8 - Because worry ______________________ .
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.” Luke 12:33-34 NIV
The last reason that worry is something to be avoided by the Christ-follower, is not just that it HIDES the kingdom of God, but actually ROBS me of the treasure that I could be enjoying in the kingdom of God. You need to meditate on these verses for awhile to fully grasp everything Jesus is telling us.
Let’s try to summarize.
#1 - It’s possible that the actions we take now here on Earth have an impact upon our eternal wealth in the next life.
#2 - When we are worried about things here on this earth, it’s most likely because our focus has been taken off of the eternal things God is providing us.
#3 - It would be better to sell off anything that is taking our focus off of Christ, because we are giving something else a higher priority.
#4 - Of course we would worry about any temporary treasure because its very nature is to be lost - to fail, to be stolen, or to destroyed.
#5 - Treasures in Heaven are exactly the opposite - it will never fail; it will never be stolen; it can never be destroyed.
#6 - There is no fudge factor here. If I want to really know where my heart is I have only to look at where my treasure is. Easily measurable. My calendar, and my checking / credit card statement - where is my money going? See where my time is spent and where my money goes and I’ll truly know where my heart is.
Conclusion - We are going into the Christmas season, for many the most stressful, worrisome time of the year. God wants to give you a present! He wants to give you everything - His kingdom! The greatest gift imaginable. To receive it, you’ll have to open your hands. For some that will mean letting go of the lesser things we’re holding on to so tightly.