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August 23, 2022 4:00 am
You struggle with anxiety. If you do, you're not alone.
Even Jesus disciples regularly expressed their concerns. So how did Jesus instruct them, and how does he instruct us to deal with worry and fear find out today on Truth for Life. Alistair Begggest teaching from chapter 12 in the book of Luke focuses on verse 22 Jesus here is giving instructions to his disciples he has addressed the crowd he's told the story of the rich fool and now he says directly to his disciples. I want to tell you not to worry about your life's the word which is used here for worry.
The root meaning of it means to divide when we worry when we allow ourselves to go down that road, then we are drawn in different directions. One of the things that happens with worrying is that we are just not exactly sure how we are placed or where were headed. Our thoughts are divided to become distracted and it actually has a debilitating effect upon us and makes it difficult for us to complete. Even ordinary tasks, and particularly in the matter of discipleship, it prevents the kind of wholehearted devotion which Jesus looks for in those who are his followers.
Worry is something that we all face, anxiety, fear is commonplace, and it would seem just from observation that living on the edge of the 21st century. There is plenty of cause for worry. Talking with someone this morning we were remarking on the fact that life is increasingly rootless and as more and more communities dissolve in our society, individuals feel, and legitimately so that they need. Somehow or another defined means of coping with circumstances that are increasingly bleak at the same time, political structures are fragile at best. Violence is not decreasing people feel themselves increasingly trapped and powerless in modern society is comprised of individuals who are drifting like corks on the ocean unsure just what it is that moves them. These deep irresistible currents that they cannot quite explain how it is in that context that we live and as we live in this environment so we move into this first century environment, and Jesus speaking to his disciples in his day gives them a word which is immediately applicable to them.
And surprisingly, are not surprisingly, we find that 2000 years later, it rings out with tremendous clarity and he's calling his disciples to do two things.
First, to face the facts.
And secondly, to put first things first. First of all, then face the facts of the underlying fact we saw last time. In verse 15, where Jesus at the end of verse 15 points out to his listeners a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions and it is in light of that principle there that fact in verse 15 a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions that Jesus is first of all, warned his disciples against greed and covetousness, and now he flips to the other side and he says therefore and I was in light of what I've been saying to you, you shouldn't be greedy.
Let me turn it all the other wins in you and you shouldn't worry because the root cause of greediness and worry is the same. They both emerge from a failure to trust God and the connection is clear. Since life does not depend upon staff.
Jesus says is a dumb idea to worry about stuff like one. Our lives do not consist in the abundance of our possessions fact to worry is a fact of life.
Worry is a fact of life and not just for the pagan world.
But for the believer.
Also, Jesus is not here addressing a theoretical situation is not giving them extraneous instruction is not telling them about something that they don't know anything and so in verse 22 says I do not worry. In verse 25 he says does worry and work in verse 26 he says, why do you worry that are to be an immediate encouragement to some of us who have been terrorizing ourselves because of the fact that we worry and we decided that if you are a genuine Christian, you wouldn't worry at all.
Here Jesus is speaking to those who actually live with them sweet with them. Listen to them and he said I had to talk to us on the here I want to talk about the problem of worry not something that is unknown to them, something that is experienced by another way in which Jesus does is very straightforward. He issues a call to his disciples to think that's the significance of the word consider the verb at the beginning of verse 24 and again at the beginning of verse 27. Consider the ravens and consider all of these lovely flowers. He says the word consider means Luke pay attention perceive, think about, so he provides them with facts in order that they might then order their thinking on the basis of what is true most of our worries have to do with allowing our minds to be ordered by thinking that is untrue.
There was Mark Twain who said I have had many troubles in my life. Most of them I've never experienced fact number three. I'm simply reiterating the text since God created your life in your body says Jesus and since your life in your body are more significant than food and clothes your to recognize that having given your body. He's not gonna fail to clothing or defeated think it out. He says if the creator went to the extent of making you so that you could live life.
Do you think having made you, he would then drop out of the point where you needed food and clothes so straightforward. Even a child linens.
Fourthly, he says, God looks after the birds and you are more valuable than birds. Verse 24. Remember, I've suggested to you in the past you may want to put that on your CV.
I can guarantee you will probably get your call back just so that somebody can has what in the world is that about maybe the key to getting a job you never know physically. He says you can add height or tying into your life.
Which of you by worrying can grow to the size of Michael Jordan antichild and uncertain on which of you by worrying can extend the length of your life. Answer not some old fellow once said that worry is like sitting in a rocking chair gives you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere et al. as appointed Jesus is making six lady says despite the brief lifespan of flowers were in verse 27 now despite the brief lifespan of flowers. God still makes them absolutely beautiful and so he's going to take care of you as well 731 so that the roots of worry is the absence of trust the end of verse 28 wonderful phrase, all you of little faith. See when the disciples worried what they were saying was God you can be trusted in the situation. That's what worry really it's God you cannot be trusted in the situation and there are many places which we might turn most obviously will come to many of your minds is when they are on the boat in the middle of the lake. The storm comes. Jesus is asleep in the stern is on a pillow wake him up to inform the creator of the universe were all about to drown including him. Jesus stands up. He rebuked the winds and the waves there's an immediate camp. The end and they look at one another and this is what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the waves obey. Now when troubles overwhelm us.
When circumstances emerge in our lives as we follow Christ in many of these circumstances, we cannot routinely get out of them or get rid of right in the circumstance itself. Let's see his illness. Let's say it is bad working situation. Let's say it's a breakdown in a precious relationship or friendship and the circumstance itself. We cannot extricate ourselves from it is clear that we are going to have to experience the circumstance. The issue is not getting out of her getting rid of that which troubles me but what we can and ought to get rid of is the worry that accompanies the circumstance and that is what Jesus is pointing out so he saying that I want you to consider these things and think it face the facts, and then he says, put first things first verse 31. The principal seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. We I paraphrase it by saying you take care of my things and I'll take care of your things. In other words, let us give up on the side of fear and let's move into the realm of faith, let us recognize that God is capable for all of our circumstances and don't let's allow ourselves to be so proud is to assume that we've actually found something here that God is unable to cope with. Now you see this is the absolute reverse of the contemporary approach to the problem of worry. There's nothing that really experimental to me that I can lay hold off and lean upon these people are essentially saying, and so I decided that I will trust the only one that I can trust and I will take refuge in the only one in whom I can take refuge in Husak myself and so you've got all these people paralyzed by fear anxious about life disbanded in the relationships and when it all crumbles around them.
The psychologist on the only retreat you have is run into yourself and since they sleep with themselves.
They know what horrible suggestion that is because the same self into which there's a poster crawl is the self that wakes them up in the night and they lie, looking up at the ceiling overwhelmed by the circumstances of their days as her Jesus does the absolute look away from yourself.
Seek first the kingdom. In other words but I will before the king, Jesus acknowledged that he is sovereign over the affairs of time that he has mastered over our destiny that he knows our names that he sees each tear that falls that he hears us when we call using this is a very important when we are thinking about witnessing to our neighbors and friends as well. When our friends and neighbors give expression to their worries into their fears. I hope none of us are smarty-pants enough or smart enough or silly enough to suggest that we know nothing of what they're describing right so the person says you know I'm so anxious about this wizard all anxious. Are you all so that's a dreadful thing. Anxiety know there's no no I'm not anxious so Mrs. I'm so worried about my appointment tomorrow so worried I can't believe you're worried you know if you're like me you wouldn't worry you.
If you knew Luke 12, you wouldn't worry know if you knew first Peter 570 wouldn't worry and so was on is absolutely no help at all to the person because first of all, it concluded that we don't were talking about. There were not even living in the real world that we've never had an experience that is back in our heels and a summer another. We are immune to the rigors of life that is not Christianity.
That is falsehood. There is no single person in this room tonight can stand up and say they know nothing about worry, everybody knows what it is to worry, everybody knows what it is to be fearful. Everybody knows what it is to be anxious. That's why Jesus has to teach his disciples about the subject. If it was alien to them, then why would you give them instructions about not worrying and asked him what does the prophet and worry and suggest to them that they take a course in looking out on the universe and realizing the fatherly care of God when you're driving down the road will have the traditional chili cutting experience of going out to our cars and saying oh no, here we go and saying I should listen to my wife when she said, put the scraper in the book, put the scraper in the trunk. One of these days you're going to need it and I said not yet. I don't need it, and then I'm out there with a credit card scraping's scraping the windscreen like a strange man to get all of the ice off and then the second thing is, I should have paid attention when she said now don't bypass the BB again. Get some of that blue stuff in the bottle and reset all the blue stuff in the bottle. There's plenty of time for that. And so now were down to her fingernails scraping the windscreen. Now we have no blue stuff in the bottle. Now we start off on the street. Now we start the windscreen wipers going the wintry wipers simply move the ice around a little bit and then I get a fiendishly impervious little piece and the just correct and it's a damn noisy like fury you want to get out of the traffic lights pecan time enough to run out and scream and then get back in. And so it just is there and it says Nana Nana. I know you love this picture okay this is a matter for when the windscreen of our life.
Ice is up, thus making it difficult for us to see and to make forward progress and to prevent ourselves from hazard and disaster we need to see to our neighbors and friends not all windscreen never iced up that's not true. We need to be able to tell them about what we have learned about God and his word soars we have on methodology for dealing with the ice that windscreen and what is it while it is actually the solvent of the word of God itself and it is the work of the Spirit of God to bring the solvent of the word of God into the ice stop windscreen of our lives. So when our friends ask a reason for the whole that we have when we been honest enough to tell them that when we sat in the doctor's office and he went out into the corridor taking the pathology report and we knew that he was talking to one of his colleagues, and we wish we could hear other dorks, but we were frightened to open it and we were pretty sure that if we all knew we would know what he was saying. In any case that we were honest enough to say to our friends that scared me speechless. I stood in that room and I looked out the window and I imagine that there was no tomorrow and that Brandon says to us.
So what did you do at that point I spruced the windscreen with what with the word of God. I reminded myself God you are sovereign in this circumstance, God, you know, this report God you walked this earth in Jesus. Now I want to suggest to your loved ones that this will give us great credibility than in speaking to our friends because what they don't need to know is that we never had the windscreen ice. They need to know that we have, but they don't know about the solvent and what we need to tell them is about the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ that's actually where we go. Because it is the cross which ultimately arrest my fee because my greatest sense of what is what and what is theirs.
Although they don't know is the fighter going to sit eternity in my heart and I know that I'm going to live forever somewhere, and I know that I have an appointment with the living God. And I'm pretty dead certain that the appointment was tonight. I will be able to face the appointment. I'll have to go to it and I have nothing to say that's why I feel alienated. That's why I feel disconnected.
That's why I can make sense of the jigsaw. That's why I look up at the ceiling and one stem a bunch of silly stuff. Teachers and pain scale of statements and little notes quotes an anecdote take them. The only place that's worth taking them take them to the cross.
So why would I go to the cross because you need a Savior. You see your alienation and your sense of rootlessness is actually because there is a rootlessness that comes as a result of our being disconnected from God's friends and what I never understood that is and I know you didn't. I didn't myself and then you just go through the material from the school. The historical Jesus.
The theological significance they offer of forgiveness and a fresh new start and a brand-new power on a whole new life and a heart transplant and the person says or does that mean you never worry anymore so don't know you still working but the difference now is you understand that worry at its base, is a sinful failure to trust on five it is futile.
It is unnecessary. It is debilitating but it is normal. Therefore, we need to go to so it's all in the Christian life is not a life free from worry but when we ice up and return to the solvency of God's truth. Let me tell you how I do it not just give you these I'm going to wrap it up when I'm worried about my complete sense of weakness I scored on two Corinthians 12 nine my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness so paralyzed by the worry I will bill the call, I will build to do this are not capable of this square on the solvent when I am worried about dying. I scored on the solvency of Romans 14 and I remind myself that I will live to myself and I don't die to myself I scored on the solvency of Romans eight there is neither death nor life, nor angels or demons or principalities know about their nakedness, nor peril, no sort can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And so I say okay let's take all that I'm feeling over here and let's counterbalance it with all the weight of the wonder of the solvency of this when I'm worried about making shipwreck of my faith that I scored on the solvent of Philippians 16. I am confident that he was begun a good working you will bring it to completion of the day of Jesus Christ.
That's a lot more sensible approach I suggest to you than the silly nonsense about somehow we live above it all. You know the know we don't experience this OIC not know we don't ISA that kind of repression will put you in a home where they turn the door on your you stand there for a long time. The perspective is wonderful. That's why he moves and he says in verse 32.
Don't be afraid little floppy since I know you look apparently ineffective.
The father's plans for your glorious. So instead of hoarding and coveting and being like the guy in the parable, I just stole told you instead of worrying about whether you got enough or if you move it on if you can keep enough for what you do with your stuff. He says instead of doing that. Don't hoard give be prepared to be outlandish in your generosity sells stuff as it seems necessary given to the poor Bank you can bank on your treasured in that bank because the place where your treasure is, is the place where you most want to be and is actually the place where you are going to end up face the facts. First things first, seeking his kingdom. If I'm going to seek the kingdom of God. I'm seeking God's control over every aspect of my life. God is not interested.
Christ is not interested in becoming second in command in your army is not interested in writing in the backseat of the car of your life. He is King and Lord, and seeks the throne of your heart and one of the reasons for worry in my life is when I am tempted to read take areas of my existence into my own domain and sometimes it's almost as if he likes me so that he can say to me again. See what a dumb idea that let me sit back up here where I should be seeking God's control over me and seeking God's character in me. Each of us needs to face the facts.
According to the Bible. First things first seek God's kingdom.
That's the clear teaching of Scripture today from Alastair big on Truth for Life, relying on the truth of God's word helps us face our fears.
It also provides opportunities for us to share the gospel with others who are anxious that's why it's our passion here at Truth for Life to teach the Bible every day. We believe the Scripture teaches us all we need to know about life and about God and we trust God works through Alistair's Bible teaching to bring unbelievers face-to-face with Jesus to help believers grow deeper in their commitment to him and help establish and strengthen local churches when you donate to Truth for Life. This is the mission that your supporting bringing clear relevant Bible teaching to others through this daily program and when you give today we want to say thank you by inviting you to request a terrific book a devotional book titled God is a devotional guide to the attributes of God request a copy of the book God is today when you give a donation to Truth for Life. You can tap the image on the mobile app or visit firstname.lastname@example.org/donate. I'm Bob Lapine. It would be a mistake for soldiers who are headed in the battle to intentionally leave behind her critical weapon, so why would we join us tomorrow as we hear about an often neglected weapon of spiritual warfare Bible teaching of Alastair big is furnished by truth for line Learning is for Living