Alêtheia Christian Fellowship – 120207
Joke about the Worrywart… “That’s his worry!”
Two major areas of defeat – the unprofitable reliving of the past and unwarranted preoccupation with the future.
:Matthew 6:19-21 ~ 19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Materialism has nothing to do with how much you have; it is an attitude toward money and material regarding their importance.
People think that materialism is an undue desire for luxuries, but our Lord identifies it with undue concern over necessities, such as food and clothing. As such we are all materialists.
A preoccupation with hoarding earthly treasure makes little practical sense. Eternal investments are far more profitable. They are certain, and the benefits long-lasting.
The first principle undergirding the precept “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,” is: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Where we spend our money, material goods time and efforts, is where our heart will be.
Practical Application Example: Marriage – the more heavily we invest in our spouse, marriage and home-life the more developed our affections and committed our resolve.
We also tend to put our trust, our confidence and hope in our ‘investments.’
We must make the choice between immediate and short-lived, pleasures and greater, more permanent pleasures. We encourage our children to choose to do without candy and bubble gum in order to save for a trip or some item of clothing.
We are not forbidden to enjoy many of life’s pleasures, but that we view them as temporary and, in the long term, unsatisfying. Consequently, we choose to deny ourselves of some things in order to gain that which is greater cf. Moses,
:Hebrews 11:24-26 ~ 24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
:Poverty is no better: Proverbs 30:8b-9 ~ Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
Work is good: Genesis 3:19a ~ By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 ~ If a man will not work, he shall not eat.
Work is ministry: 1 Timothy 5:8 ~ If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Hoarding bad, saving good: 1 Corinthians 16:2b ~ Each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
Enjoy God’s gifts: 1 Timothy 4:4 ~ For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.
:Matthew 6:22-24 ~ 22“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
In the Bible the ‘eye’ is reflective of a man’s character. A man with an ‘evil eye’ is explained to be one who is greedy and miserly when confronted with the need of another:
:Proverbs 28:22 ~ A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth, and does not know that want will come upon him.
Proverbs 22:9 ~ He who has a good eye will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.
The one whose heart is set on worldly riches has an evil eye. In looking out for himself he fails to see and so neglects the needs of others.
The one who is generous with others has a healthy eye. His vision of the needs about him is not distorted. He views his material wealth as belonging to God, and he quickly and willingly employs it to help those in need.
Like a drop of poison contaminates the entire glass of water, so materialism corrupts the whole man and affects the Church.
The point of this principle is that materialism is not some minor flaw in one’s thinking. It is like a virus which has entered into one’s bloodstream.
: “No one can serve two masters…
Put in its simplest form, the principle could be stated: ‘Money is either your slave or your master.”
A slave had no time of his own to serve another master.
At first, a man begins to use drugs, but eventually they use him.
For the Jew the pursuit of financial gain and the practice of righteousness were thought to be synonymous. Our Lord said they were antithetical.
:Matthew 6:25-27 ~ 25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
Notice what Jesus told us not to worry about: food and clothing
The King James Version (‘Take no thought,’ verse 25), Jesus is not discouraging the use of our minds here. Faith is not contrary to sound thinking; rather it is to be rooted in thought. In fact, our Lord is urging us to use our heads and not to panic. We are to consider the birds of the air (verse 26) and the flowers of the field (verse 28). We are shown that worry is both illogical and unprofitable.
25 mh> merimna>w oJ yuch> uJmei~v,
Not have-anxiety in-the soul of-ya’ll
Worry is not to be confused with thinking and planning to meet future needs. Worry is not to be confused with genuine concern. Rather, worry is the preoccupation and dissipation of our mental and physical powers with things that are future, hypothetical, and beyond our control. Worry is the antithesis of faith. Faith perceives potential problems with a view to the infinite power and fatherly concern of the God Who has saved us. Worry sees only the obstacles (actual or imaginary) and meditates on all the possible disastrous possibilities, while neglecting the fact of God’s divine care and control in our lives.
(1) Worry is a distortion of values and a reversal of priorities, Jesus simply calls upon us to rethink our priorities.
(2) Worry is a failure to see things as they really are, God is our Heavenly Father - dare we doubt His care?
(3) Worry is a waste of energy - it accomplishes nothing but unbelief, doubt and fear. It distracts our attention from matters of higher priority and paralyzes us from doing what is needful at the moment.
:Matthew 6:28-30 ~ 28“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
(4) Worry is an act of unbelief, the issue, then, is more than one of mere lack of knowledge; it is lack of faith: “… will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith?”
Worry is a serious sin because it doubts the goodness and the integrity of God. We question His sovereignty, His omniscience, His omnipotence, His tender love and care for His own. Worry is a kind of backhanded blasphemy, totally unbecoming to the child of God.
:Matthew 6:31-34 ~ 31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.