Main Street UMC, Kernersville, NC

Don’t Worry ’Bout a Thing

Matthew 6: 25-34

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Treasure Week 4
Don’t Worry ‘Bout a Thing
Matthew 6:25-34
So, we come to the end of this series called Treasure. And our Scripture for today is Matthew 6:25-34: 25 “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? 26 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? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed 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 oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Jesus says, “Do not worry” and already, I’m worried!
I’m worried about …
o ISIS – the attacks in Paris, and possible attacks here.
o The breakdown of morality and the breakdown of the family.
o Young people leaving church.
o The ugliness I see on social media.
o My dad, who’s been in the hospital all week.

And I’m not alone in my worries. Psychologists say there is an epidemic of worry in this country. 40 million people have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder. And that says nothing of the countless more who deal with worry everyday

A recent study showed that on average, people spend 14 hours a week worrying. That means if you’re an average person, you’re going to spend 744 hours a year worrying. And if you live an average life span, you’re going to spend five years of your life worrying!
According to this study, the top worries include:

– Being overweight – Getting old – Lack of savings – Overdrafts and loans – Credit card debt – Paying rent or the mortgage – Job security – Keeping the house clean – The question, “Does my partner still love me?” – Parenting skills – Driving – Pet’s health – Child’s health (Interesting that a child’s health came second!)

– Dress sense – in other words do my clothes match, am I dressed well enough? – Worrying I’m ill but yet to be tested

I won’t embarrass you by asking for a show of hands, but I feel certain that if I said how many of you worry about at least one of those things, every hand would go up!
As long as there have been human beings, there has been worry–which is one reason why people write “Don’t worry songs.”

Do you remember the Beach Boys song, “Don’t Worry Baby?”
“Don’t worry baby, everything will turn out alright.”
How about the reggae song by Bob Marley that says
“Don’t worry about a thing – ‘cause everything little thing gonna be alright”
Or Bobby McFerrin’s song in the 1980s “Don’t Worry be Happy” Ain’t got no place to lay your head Somebody came and took your bed Don’t worry, be happy The landlord say your rent is late He may have to litigate Don’t worry, be happy.

Here’s the thing:
Those are great songs, catchy tunes, fun lyrics –and singing those songs does improve your mood—but those songs don’t really give you a reason not to worry!
The Beach Boys sing, “Don’t worry baby,” and I say, “Why not?”
Bobby McFerrin sings, “Don’t worry, be happy” and I say, “HOW?”

Jesus also wrote a “Don’t worry” song, which we find in today’s Scripture. And while his tune may not be as catchy, his song is infinitely better–because he gives you a reason not to worry.
Now. This next bit is very important. Pay attention to this, because this is going to tell you how you can not worry.

Understand that Jesus doesn’t just say, “Don’t Worry.”
Jesus says “Don’t Worry” in the context of the Sermon on the Mount, and specifically in the context of his teaching about TREASURE.
So that you can understand the context of Jesus’ “Don’t worry” song, let me do a quick re-cap of what we’ve talked about so far in this series:

1. We talked about storing your treasure in heaven, which means invest in the things that matter.
2. We saw that Jesus wants to be your master, and that the main competitor for Jesus’ Lordship in your life is money. “You cannot serve both God and money.”
3. We talked about reasons to pray and reasons to give, and we said that you do those things because you love your Father – it’s about relationship.

SO: When Jesus says, “Don’t worry” it’s in the context of those teachings. The people who don’t have to worry are those who:

1) Are seeking treasure in heaven
2) Have made Jesus their Master
3) Are living in a love relationship with God the Father
Do you understand what I’m saying?
If you are not seeking treasure in heaven
If you have not made Jesus your master
If you are not in a relationship with God
–Then you should be worried!

You should be freaking out, because there are no guarantees in your life. You don’t know what’s going to happen, or where you’re going to end up, and you really ought to’ be worried about that.

ON THE OTHER HAND,
If you’re storing treasure in heaven where not even death can destroy
If you’ve committed your life to Jesus Christ as Lord

If your most important relationship is your relationship with God
THEN, you don’t have to worry. “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing.” Because you know that whatever happens, in the end, you’re going to be OK.
If God is your father, he promises to provide for you.

If Jesus is your Lord, he promises to be present with you, and give you peace.
And if your real treasure is in heaven, then you can go through life knowing that no matter what you have to face, in the end, “it’ll be alright”—because if your treasure is in heaven, nothing can take that away from you—not illness, not injury, not job loss, not loss of a loved one, not even death itself can take your treasure away.

So let me ask you:
Do you know God as Father?
Have you made Jesus your Lord?
Is your real treasure in heaven?

To people who have made those commitments, Jesus says in Matthew 6:25: 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?
This is Jesus’ “Don’t worry song – but it’s more than that. It’s also a statement of values. It’s a comment on what really matters in life.

Look at the next section: 26 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? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed 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 oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Understand: Jesus is saying, “Don’t worry.” He’s not saying, “Don’t work.” This is not an invitation to be lazy. It’s an invitation to trust God.
Check out the next two verses:

31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. In other words, it’s people who don’t know God who spend their whole lives thinking about food and clothes and houses and cars and computers and iPads and cell phones and all the stuff of this world. Jesus says, “You’re supposed to be different! You have a Father in heaven who knows what you need. So you go and invest your life in the things that really matter.”
And in v. 33 he tells you what those are: 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

If you will put God first … if you will invest your time, money, and energy in advancing the kingdom of God … if you will invest your time, money, and energy in pursuing the righteousness of God … then God will give you everything you need. Maybe not everything you want – but everything you need.
Finally, I love how Jesus ends this passage: 34 So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Do you see that? Jesus doesn’t promise you a trouble-free life. He does promise a life of meaning—a life that counts for something—a life that never ends—a life in which your needs are met.

BUT AGAIN: This promise is only made to people who
1) Are seeking treasure in heaven
2) Have made Jesus their Master
3) Are living in a love relationship with God the Father
So I urge you to think about these three questions:
1- Do you know God as Father?
2- Have you made Jesus your Lord?
3- Is your real treasure in heaven?
I’m going to give you a moment of silence to think about those questions. LET’S BOW OUR HEADS.
6

COMMITMENT TIME: ONE WAY to respond to what Jesus has said in Matthew 6—one way to show that Jesus is our Master, and God is our Father, and we’re not worried about the future—is to make a commitment to support the ministries of the church financially.
In just a moment we’re going to invite you to bring your 2016 commitment card and lay it on the altar. What I hope you’ll do is not just set your card on the communion rail, but kneel down and pray and make this not just a financial pledge but a commitment to serve Jesus as Lord and trust God as your father.

If you’re here with your spouse, I hope you’ll come down and pray together. If you’re here with your family, I hope you’ll come down and pray together. And that means this may take a while, so be patient, take your time, and let’s make this a significant time of worship and commitment.
Our hymn is number 92. The altar is open while we sing.