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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sermon on the Mount, Day 31 of 40: Worry, Part II

Matthew 6: 25-34
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?  And why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you- you of little faith?  Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or "What will we wear?'  For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  So, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.  Today's trouble is enough for today.

There was once a Mixed Martial Arts fighter who went deep into the California desert without sufficient water supplies.  He sent several texts to his friends once he realized his error asking them to contact authorities to rescue him.  His trip to the desert was to have been a soul searching retreat after he had lost a fight that he thought he should have won.  Apparently his loss worried him more than the searing desert heat.  After many days of searching, authorities found his body a half mile from his camp.  The autopsy revealed he died of dehydration and heat exposure.

In our ordinary, everyday lives we need to worry.  We need to worry about, if nothing else, the details of survival; planning a safe route through the dangers of life; a route near water sources and shade.

There is a place for worry in our lives, but like anger and money, if we let it consume us it becomes our god; a false idol.  Most people think that they worry too much about things they should not worry about.  How can we avoid this?

Jesus' advise is not to live a life so full of worry that we lose all joy in living.  He tells us to live in the present and concentrate on the Kingdom of God; discovering and doing God's will.

How do we live this way? Even in the time of Jesus a person had to have water and could not wander into the desert without planning a route near a water source. To a certain extent, we have to worry.

We should make plans, then live within these plans one day at the time, trusting in God  and not worry obsessively over each detail. This way we can be at peace in God wherever we are, whatever our plight;  exercising care but living a life of trust.

Tomorrow we study judging others.

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