What are you worried about right now? What did you come to worship with this morning that is weighing heavy on your heart? Is there something going on tomorrow, or sometime this week that has stolen your attention from the things of God? If I took a poll, would many of us be worrying about the same things? Kids, grandkids, work, MONEY? Well, Christ talks about money, and especially about worry, in our passage today from His Sermon on the Mount.
READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
Money is connected to this entire section of the Sermon. The Lord has already talked about storing up treasures in heaven and not on earth. He has openly talked about serving God and not money. Now He says, “Therefore. . . .”
Jesus begins His discussion with the necessary things of life: food, water, and clothing. He directly says, “Do not worry.” Then He asks a blunt question, “Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?” It usually helps to have such a clear wake-up call. Some of the simplest statements make us pause and say, “Well, when you say it like that. . . .” We spend a lot of valuable time deliberating about meals and fashions. Yet, when we stop to think about it, we admit that it is foolish.
God loves us and cares for us. He wants to provide for us.
The Lord gives us a few examples:
Birds neither sow nor reap nor gather, but are fed.
Unlike birds, we have the ability to plant, grow, and harvest food for ourselves. We have the God-given ability to manipulate our surroundings so that we can feed ourselves.
So, if the birds are fed, we should not worry.
Lilies neither toil nor spin, but are beautifully arrayed.
“Labor and spin” probably refers to both men’s and women’s work. The word “lilies” can mean any kind of wildflower. Out in the grass of the fields, these beautiful flowers are found. What was King Solomon known for? He requested great wisdom from God and received it plus great wealth! Yet, Christ says, Solomon could not even dress himself as lavishly as one of these wildflowers out in the grass of the fields. So, why do we worry so much about fashions and fads? God will provide for you.
Christ also makes a brief comment about stature. This has been translated in several ways because the word can mean both length of life or one’s size. It probably means something like worry will not add a single step to your life’s journey. If you worry you’ll do the opposite, shorten your life. Recent studies prove Christ’s statement true. We must picture a man walking down a path which symbolizes his life-span. Christ is telling us that worrying will not add one step to that journey’s path!
At the root of our issue is a lack of faith. We may try to skirt the issue, but Christ recognizes that we are weak in faith when we worry. We are not trusting God to take care of us tomorrow when we are overwhelmed by it today. “Much anxiety, Jesus says, comes from little faith” (John Piper). We must trust that what Christ says is true and that God is able and willing to fulfill those promises that He has made to us.
How can we be salt and light if we are pursuing the same things as the pagans around us? (Mark Moore). For example, when an unbelieving family loses a loved one, they mourn not only over the death but also because they have no hope. Unbelievers also worry about the future because they have no hope. They are forced to rely only on themselves. Yet, we are the children of God! We do not mourn as those who have no hope. We do not worry as if we have no help. God is our strength and our strong tower. He is our refuge. He is our hope and trust for tomorrow!
Have you ever heard it said that worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair? It gives you something to do, but you don’t get anywhere. Listen, each day demands our best attention. If there is no need to worry about the most necessary things of life, then there is most definitely no reason to worry about the peripheral things.
In the Scripture, God often calls us to quit something, and He often gives us something else to do instead. Here, Christ tells us to not worry, but to seek. Don’t worry about tomorrow, but seek His kingdom and righteousness today. We would do ourselves well to spend our time on eternal, significant things than to worry.
Let me also say that God often fulfills His promises to meet daily needs by using people like you and me. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, yet some go hungry. Why is that? People do not meet the needs of others in the way for which we are called. God has promised to give Jane her bread for today, and He will move John to take it to her. Do you see? We are to bear one another’s burdens, care for one another, and pray for one another.
Life is more than deciding which restaurant you are going to eat at for lunch and the body is more than making sure that you are keeping up with the latest trend. Christ has said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” He has not said, Blessed are those who worry about tomorrow, for they will be satisfied. Trust God, not goods.