27 Jan 1989
THE DESTRUCTIVENESS OF WORRY
Robert C. Newman
Matt 13: Parable of the Sower
3rd type of soil (vv 7,22) plant choked by thorns, never bears fruit
Jesus tells us that this represents person in whom God's Word never bears fruit (like 1st and 2nd soil), but the reason here is competition from two things:
worries of this life
deceitfulness of wealth
Want to look at the first of these two today
Worry as a Destructive Temptation
Not here concerned with whether 3rd person really saved or not (Arminians might say once saved, later lost; Calvinists of various sorts: saved but carnal, or never really saved); I suspect not really saved.
Rather this is a problem that can affect us as Xns if we are not careful; though it might not destroy us, since we are kept by God, it is a constant danger that can rob us of our effectiveness.
Worries of this life are such that they can consume so much of our time and energy that if we succumb to them we will accomplish far less than would otherwise be the case.
Dealing with Worry: Matt 6:25-34
Opening Summary (25): Don't worry
About life which depends on food & drink
About body which depends on clothing
Life & body more important than food & clothing
recalls Jesus' answer to Satan at temptation
Example re/ Food (26): Birds
They don't raise own food, but are fed by God
Not encouraging laziness or improvidence
But showing that success ultimately depends on God
Don't birds sometimes starve?
Yes, don't humans in spite of all their concern for security?
Aren't you more important than birds are?
Argument from lesser to greater
Refrain (27): Worry is useless
Worry can't even add second to your lifespan
(helikia - stature or lifespan)
Probably the figure here is that of life as a journey, and a cubit is one step on that journey, so about one second.
Example re/ Clothes (28-30): Lilies
They don't buy or make own clothes, but are clothed by God
Aren't you more important than flowers are?
Are we afraid he won't clothe us the way we'd like?
Closing Summary (31-34)
Don't be like pagans, worrying about food & clothing
God your Father knows you need them
Instead seek first God's kingdom & righteousness and he will provide food and clothing.
Don't worry about tomorrow, concentrate on today
Worrying takes away time & energy needed to deal with today's problems.