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Diane Avenue Church of Christ Why do we Worry, When we can Pray ? Matthew 6:25-33 Preface.

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Presentation on theme: "Diane Avenue Church of Christ Why do we Worry, When we can Pray ? Matthew 6:25-33 Preface."— Presentation transcript:

1 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Why do we Worry, When we can Pray ? Matthew 6:25-33 Preface

2 Diane Avenue Church of Christ What Does the Bible Say About Dealing With Worry? Life's daily challenges and troubles very commonly lead to feelings of worry. However, the Bible provides very effective tools for avoiding worries as well as responding to these emotions when they occur. We should also recognize that more severe forms of anxiety can lead to or be caused by certain psychological disorders. I would encourage anyone suffering from severe anxiety to seek the guidance of a trained counselor or mental health professional in addition to applying the biblical tools discussed in this study.

3 Diane Avenue Church of Christ What Does the Bible Say About Dealing With Worry? As you explore the Bible, you will find that God wants you to experience the tremendous joys of life as He created it, without the detrimental effects of anxiety. His Word is full of instruction, advice and wisdom on this topic. Let's look at some relevant scriptures

4 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Philippians 4:6 (NIV)  6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

5 Diane Avenue Church of Christ One half of all African American women will die from stroke or heart disease. African Americans are twice as likely to die from stroke as Caucasians. The rate of first strokes in African Americans is almost double that of Caucasians, and strokes tend to occur earlier in life for African Americans than Caucasians. Additionally, African American stroke survivors are more likely to become disabled and experience difficulties with daily living and activities. The statistics are staggering -- in fact, African Americans are more impacted by stroke than any other racial groups within the American population.

6 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Why ! Because we worry!! What is a primary cause of anxiety? Read : Proverbs 29:25

7 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Read : Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

8 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Snare H4170, Hebrew- mowqesh 1) bait, lure, snare, brings us into evil or in this case brings distrust of God

9 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Proverbs 29:25 There is a right and healthy fear of physical and spiritual dangers that keeps us safe. But when our minds focus on improper fear (being fretful or frightened) of physical things rather than proper fear (reverence and awe) of God, worry is the sure result. Likewise, allowing our minds to focus on doubts and uncertainties will fill us with anxious care. As 1 John 4:18 says, "Fear involves torment."

10 Diane Avenue Church of Christ 1 John 4:18 (NIV)  18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

11 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Can our actions or lack or actions give us things to worry about as well? Read Job 4:8 & Proverbs 27:12

12 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Job 4:8 "Even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same." Proverbs 27:12 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.

13 Diane Avenue Church of Christ One cause of anxiety is foolish, imprudent or evil (sinful) behavior. The Scriptures counsel us to employ foresight to steer clear of such actions; being prepared to do so helps us to avoid much worry.

14 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Is anxiety caused only by "wrong" thoughts and actions, or are there other sources? Read Proverbs 13:4 & Proverbs 23:4

15 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Proverbs 13:4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. Proverbs 23:4 Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!

16 Diane Avenue Church of Christ In addition to learning the difference between right and wrong, the Bible teaches us to have balance in all things. These two verses provide an example. Hard work is an excellent tool for avoiding anxiety, but only in balance—too little of it leads to unmet basic needs such as food and clothing, while too much of it leads to unhealthy stress and neglect of other priorities. Both extremes cause anxiety.

17 Diane Avenue Church of Christ The real question is “Do you trust God”?

18 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Introduction: Today’s lesson In His sermon on the mount, Jesus exhorted His disciples to… 1. Lay up treasure in heaven (by helping others) 2. Keep your eye good (guard what you allow to influence your inner man) 3. Make God your Master (and you will not be able to serve another Master) 4. “Gaining Mastery Over Mammon” (Mt 6:19-24) B. But if we do what Jesus says, what about the future here on earth?

19 Diane Avenue Church of Christ These are all good qualities a Christian should have. But really how do we master these things. Look at the following:

20 Diane Avenue Church of Christ If we lay up treasure in heaven instead of on earth, how will we provide for our future? Where will our physical necessities like food and clothing come from? How can we keep from worrying about such things? Jesus’ discussion concerning material riches (i.e., “mammon”) did not end with verse 24…

21 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Let’s take a break for a minute, let’s take another look at the previous slide. Have you ever worried about such “things”. Have you ever worried about your loved ones, your job, your health, etc?

22 Diane Avenue Church of Christ 1. It really continues on to the end of the chapter 2. In which Jesus addresses concerns regarding the future D. Beginning with verse 25, Jesus gives several reasons why we should not worry about such things. In so doing, He establishes two important principles that are crucial to “Winning The War Over Worry”. Turn you Bibles to Matthew 6:25 The first principle might be stated as…

23 Diane Avenue Church of Christ DO NOT WORRY, HAVE FAITH IN GOD’S PROVIDENCE

24 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Said the robin to the sparrow, "I should really like to know Why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so." Said the sparrow to the robin, "Friend, I think that it must be That they have no Heavenly Father, such as us that cares for you and me."

25 Diane Avenue Church of Christ DO NOT WORRY, HAVE FAITH IN GOD’S PROVIDENCE V25. Jesus tells us not to “WORRY” The word "worry" (Greek--merimna) means,” anxious, "anxiety, care, that which divides, distracts the mind and which draws a troubled person’s mind in different directions." Sometimes the word is used of a healthy and helpful concern and care (1 Corinthians 7:32,34; 12:25; 2 Cor. 11:28; Phil. 2:20), but it is also used of an unhealthy and harmful concern and care, which we call "WORRY."

26 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Matthew 6:25 (NIV) - 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?

27 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Scenario One. A hard working Christian husband and family man, three small kids. Life is good, he is blessed. He does good works in the church and is very active in the church. One day his wife told him the she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. His is devastated. A week later day he goes to work his boss calls him in the office and explains there has been cutbacks and he will be laid off. Remember v25

28 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Now Let’s be honest, how would you react? Does the Bible tell us what to do? I already know he should pray, but what else ?

29 Diane Avenue Church of Christ In v 25 there are three very important words Worry (Thought- KJV) Life Body

30 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Jesus makes four arguments why we shouldn’t worry… a. Is not life and body more important than food and clothing? – Matthew 6:25… notice “therefore” (6:24) 1) This is an argument from the GREATER to the LESSER 2) Life and body are certainly more important than food and clothing 3) Who provides our lives and our bodies? God!

31 Diane Avenue Church of Christ If there is nothing to be gained from anxiety, how does it really affect our lives? What is the difference between ‘concern and worry’ ? From a Biblical perspective if you worry continually, being anxious, who are you really serving?

32 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Satan’s role - Satan wants to destroy Christians. He wants them to be ineffective, powerless and defeated. He may be a fool, but he knows that one Spirit-filled Christian, walking in faith, has the power to move mountains and deal a severe blow to his kingdom. He knows that faith is the key. His only hope is to destroy faith...but how?

33 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Satan is deceptive. Many times he turns us away from God by turning us toward something else. This is his plan concerning faith. If he can cause a Christian to turn toward worry or fear, then that Christian is without faith and has left himself unshielded against demonic attacks. Worry, stress and fear breed worry, stress and fear. We must break that cycle and here's how.

34 Diane Avenue Church of Christ We must daily walk in faith. We must decide not to worry. It is a choice. Jesus would never command us to do something that we did not have the ability to do. That would be cruel and not His nature. When Jesus said "Do not worry," He knew we had been given the power and authority to not worry. We must make our choice: worry or faith. Choosing faith may not always look easy, but that doesn't matter. We are to walk in faith and not by what we see anyway. To stand in faith is to stand in truth, and linking ourselves with the truth will always break bonds and set us free.

35 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Scenario two - If you are like most people, you believe that once you die, your soul or spirit goes somewhere. The logic flows goes something like this; there is a God who lives in a place reserved for good people. Obviously the criterion for making it to this place is to be and do good. So generally speaking there are certain things you must do and there are things you must not do. Being rewarded for our good deeds is a human experience and an expectation. Do you every worry that what you do on this side of life is enough? Remember v25

36 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Dealing with anxiety

37 Diane Avenue Church of Christ If there is nothing to be gained from anxiety, how does it really affect our lives? Read Proverbs 12:25

38 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Proverbs 12:25 (NIV) 25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

39 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Anxious feelings that are not properly dealt with cause us to have the unhappy and disheartened feelings associated with depression. In contrast, focusing on good and positive things makes us glad and cheerful. The Nelson Study Bible explains that anxiety "loses some of its force in the face of a positive, encouraging word."

40 Diane Avenue Church of Christ What is the core problem with worry and anxiety? Read Jeremiah 17:5-8 & Proverbs 3:5-6

41 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus says the Lord: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit."

42 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Worry and anxiety are often the result of our being overly focused on our physical capabilities and limitations—what we or others can do humanly— rather than on the awesome and limitless capabilities of God, and what He can do for us and through us.

43 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Worry and anxiety are often the result of our being overly focused on our physical capabilities and limitations—what we or others can do humanly— rather than on the awesome and limitless capabilities of God, and what He can do for us and through us.

44 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Our Value How much of my care and worry should I throw upon the Lord ? 1 Peter 5:7 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

45 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Imagine if you could hire one of your friends to do all of your worrying for you! It would be wonderful if he could handle all of your cares. Whenever a problem or difficulty should arise, all you would need to do is tell him about it, and he would worry about it for you! You would not have to worry about it at all! That would be his business. You would then be free to live as if you did not have a care or worry in the world! You have thrown all your care on another person. You do not even need to worry about how much money you should pay your friend for doing all your worrying for you. That is his worry!

46 Diane Avenue Church of Christ That person is God, if you sincerely trust in him he will take care of you!

47 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Look at the birds of the air, are you not more valuable than they? – Matthew 6:26 1) The birds are an example of God’s ability to provide a) Through His providential workings in nature, God provides for their needs b) This does not mean they do not work for their needs c) But they are not guilty of overdoing a good thing (as the rich fool was in the parable of Lk 12:16-21) 2) We are certainly more valuable to God than birds !

48 Diane Avenue Church of Christ This is another argument from the LESSER to the GREATER – If God through His providence provides for the needs of birds, will He not for you? How are you more valuable than birds? You were created in the image of God! You were redeemed by the blood of His Son! Why, then, let concern over physical needs distract you from what is really important in life?

49 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Scenario two - If you are like most people, you believe that once you die, your soul or spirit goes somewhere. The logic flows goes something like this; there is a God who lives in a place reserved for good people. Obviously the criterion for making it to this place is to be and do good. So generally speaking there are certain things you must do and there are things you must not do. Being rewarded for our good deeds is a human experience and an expectation. Do you every worry that what you do on this side of life is enough? Remember v25

50 Diane Avenue Church of Christ What did Jesus Christ do when He felt deep anxiety before His greatest trial ? Let’s read Matthew 26:37-39

51 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Matthew 26:37-39 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

52 Diane Avenue Church of Christ When He experienced tremendous anxiety over what He was about to suffer during His trial and crucifixion, Jesus wholly committed Himself to the will of God. He knew that the direction God had set for His life would ultimately produce the best possible outcome. Even if suffering had to be endured for a time, He trusted that it was a necessary but brief step on the path to a permanent, glorious future.

53 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Breaking free of Worry

54 Diane Avenue Church of Christ When we are distracted with worry what happens?

55 Diane Avenue Church of Christ It is important for us to distinguish between worry and legitimate concern. We undoubtedly want to be reliable and responsible members of God’s kingdom. So, that we will carry our load and correct the things that need to be corrected. But worry is more than that – it’s a corrosive poison that eats away at our trust in God. What can we do about our anxiety?

56 Diane Avenue Church of Christ To start with we need to understand the difference between a believer in Jesus and a follower of Jesus. A believer is someone who has placed his trust in the Lord for salvation, and believes that by that he will have eternal life. He is limited and will worry (or be anxious). A follower goes beyond that and attempts to know and obey God. This person is more mature and will have concerns but won’t be anxious. Through the Word of God and we become more knowledgeable we will become fully convinced that our God keeps his promises and we will surely avoid the ways of worry.

57 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Overcoming Worry

58 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Overcoming Worry Ye of little faith” Matthew 6:30-32 - 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.

59 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Notice Jesus’ summary concerning God’s providence… a. Don’t worry about food and clothing – Matthew 6:31 b. People without God (e.g., the Gentiles) naturally worry about these things – Matthew 6:32 c. But we have God as our Heavenly Father, and He knows that we need such things! 5. So we need to develop faith in God’s providence, both in His ability and willingness to provide for His children. But the promise of His providence is conditioned upon our willingness to…

60 Diane Avenue Church of Christ What should we do? DO NOT WORRY BUT MAKE GOD’S WILL YOUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY

61 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Seek first the kingdom of God – Matthew 6:33 a. This is the second key to “Winning The War Over Worry” b. We must make the will of God the number one priority in your life c. We make God our priority by: 1) Serving God instead of “mammon” 2) Letting the “lamp” of our body be a “good eye” (i.e., focused clearly on that which is good, true, and righteous) 3) Laying up treasure in heaven (by using earthly treasure to help others)

62 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Do not worry about Tomorrow – Matthew 6:34 a. Today has enough trouble with which to be concerned 1) We are not capable of handling tomorrow’s worries a) We have no control over the future b) And worrying about the future only distracts us from the duties of the present 2) Today’s problems are all we are capable of handling without becoming distracted

63 Diane Avenue Church of Christ Let tomorrow take care of itself 1) By trusting in God! 2) By doing God’s will today! c. Let your undivided attention be given to seeking God’s rule in your life… 1) Make His kingdom the number one priority 2) Concern yourself with His righteousness, not your riches


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