Don’t Worry Your Life Away – Matt 6:26-27
January 23rd, 2022

26 Look at the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they?

Jesus illustrates that anxiety is __________ because it represents a failure to trust God as provider.  Jesus asks us to consider the birds of the sky. The example that God provides for the animals is used again and again to let us know that we can trust God to provide (see Job 12:7-10; 38:39-41, Psalm 104:25-28).  God, in his mercy and goodness feeds even the birds.  Jesus assures us that God cares for them in Matthew 10:29 saying Are two sparrows not sold for an assarion? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  Birds, except doves, get a pretty bad rap overall in the Bible (Gen 15:11; Lev 14:22; Gen 40 16-19; Matt 13:4, 19 in the Parable of the Sower; Rev 18:2)  

27 And which of you by worrying can add a single day to his life’s span?

We’re going to talk a little bit about worry and anxiety. 

Worry is ineffective

We can ________________ calamity after calamity, trouble upon trouble that could happen-but 85% of it won’t.  Not only does stress not add a single day to our lives, but because of the ______________ of continual stress, it causes us to age faster and die earlier.  Since you don’t have the power to change the things that you’re worried about anyway, why don’t you “cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” 

Worry is disobedient-Philippians 4:6-7 tells us Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

There is a big difference between prudence and anxiety.  Prudence is acting with care and ____________ for the future and necessarily concerns things that we can _____ _______________ about.  The anxiety it’s referring to is that kind of “anxious, harassing concern” that eats away at us.  That _________________ concern of those who are continually full of cares, especially about the future and especially about those things that they can do ______________ about!   Since God commands us not to be anxious about anything, then continually worrying and fretting is ___________________ and therefore sin. 

Worry can become a habit and a vice.

Did you know that you can become __________________ to worry?  Continually asking all of those “What If this happens?” questions can lead to overthinking and worrying that can become a _____________.  Uncertainty is part of life, but when we let worry go into overdrive, it is ______________ to us, and can be a hard pattern to break.  Worry is based in fear, and according to 2 Timothy 1:7 7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.  God will help us discipline our minds not to be consumed by fear and anxiety, if we will _______ him.  We must “take every thought captive” before worry and anxiety takes ___________.  Get rid of the worry, before it becomes a stronghold in your life.  Stop it now.

Numbers 4:13 we read “13 Then they shall clean away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth over it.  The altar was a very important thing—there were many _______________________ concerning the altar. In Exodus 20:24-26, for instance, the altar was to be made “of earth or stone that had not been shaped or cut with human hands” and “there were to be no steps up to the altar.”.  And then, in Deuteronomy 27:5-6 and Joshua 8:31 it says that “the stones were not to be hewn or cut stones because this would pollute the altar.”  There were no ___________ up to the altar.  This is a picture of the fact that we cannot approach God on the basis of _____________—making little steps for ourselves to complete to get closer to God, or making the worship and service of God something we want it to be by cutting the stones ___________________.  The main function of the altar was for sacrifice and worship — and special care had to be taken to keep it Holy. — And part of that special care was to get rid of the ________________ that accumulated on a daily basis.  Now why was that important? Removing the ashes kept the fire burning.

Sitting around worrying is causing many a person’s fire to go __________ today.  Worry and anxiety can __________ the Word if we are not careful, and distract us from what is really important.  Scrape off the ash that causing you to ____________ the joy, miss the peace, miss the deliverance that God wants to give you, and start worshipping God.  Remember that you have been delivered from this body of death and sin, covered by the blood, covered by that purple cloth and stop letting the enemy put out your fire with the ________ of anxiety.  God has provided!  Our brains are such that we can _____________ our brain to stop worrying.  It starts with the decision not to _________________ the misfortune that your worried thoughts see in your future and trust God.  Philippians 4:8 tells us 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

whatever is true-Truth from God’s perspective; absolute truth. 

whatever is honorable-noble or worthy of respect, having dignity, worthy of serious consideration and paying attention to.  This ____________ out much of the news.  But it rules in God’s Word. 

whatever is right- “approved by God”, righteous, or Just in the ___________ of God; Everything God does is just.  He will demonstrate through His Word, or through the circumstances of our life.  And as we think about these things, we learn to ______________ our God more, and love and appreciate His character in a deeper way. 

whatever is pure-untainted, pure, holy, innocent, having integrity, morally upright.  We should consider and dwell on things that are pure, innocent and have integrity; the kind of moral uprightness that God _______________ of His people. 

whatever is lovely-worthy of affectionate caring; so dearly prized, or worth the effort to have and embrace.  If the thoughts going through your head don’t cause you to be joyful that you’re thinking about them before you go to bed at night, or are happy to wake up to in the morning, then don’t dwell on those ________________ things; choose thoughts that you as a Christian can _____________. 

whatever is admirable- “well-sounding”, or “good report”, This idea in English might be:  If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.  The key here is love for people as we’re telling them the truth.  Ephesians 4:15 says 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

if there is any excellence – Areté means moral ____________.  Paul is summing them up by urging us to “look to the good” in any situation or anytime we wander off in thought.  Find the good in the situation and _________ on that!  The great temptation here is to think about all of the bad and evil in a situation—and there’s plenty to choose from. 

and if anything worthy of praise-épainos means appropriately judged as deserving praise—fitting praise, praiseworthy.  Of course, most often when the word praise is used in the New Testament, it’s most often referring to praising God.  In Philippians 1:11 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.  Things worthy of praise are those things that are praiseworthy because we’re acting like God acts, emulating our God. 

 dwell on these things-Now when this verse says “dwell on these things”, it doesn’t mean think on them a little bit, and then go on about your day thinking about __________________ else.  It means let your mind continually be taking these things into ______________.  Continually ___________ on these things. We can think of Philippians 4:8 as a kind of guard checking the credentials of thoughts that come into our head.   If it doesn’t pass this test, it will probably __________ us—don’t let it in—don’t keep dwelling on it.  We will remove the ashes, we will stop this ___________ of anxiety and worry when we dwell on these things, and (2 Cor 10:5) We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  When we do this, we will have victory!  Phil 4:7 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:25-26: Don’t be Anxious; God Will Provide
January 16th, 2022

25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? 

For this reason

Since being greedy for gain is ________________ in disciples, then we can’t act as if our possessions are our be-all and end-all of life.  We cannot let our possessions ________________ us! 

See Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:22 We learned that the seed of the word, when scattered among thorns, becomes unfruitful:  And the one sown with seed among the thorns, this is the one who hears the word, and the anxiety of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.  If we’re busy trying to “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps”.  And so, we look just like the world, who spends it’s time doing the very same thing, then our ______________ for Christ is diminished.  We have a ____________-God or greed.

I say to you

Jesus uses this phrase “I say to you” 14 times in the Sermon on the Mount.  And each time, He uses it to emphasize His ___________________ as Messiah, as the Son of God, One with the Father to correct the people’s misunderstanding of God. 

do not be worried about your life

Jesus calls us not to be worried about our life.  Self-preservation is the most ________________________ of all preoccupations of our existence, and the thing that occupies us, in one way or another, most of the time.  See Matthew 10:37-38. It’s a change of _________________ that Jesus is looking for in our lives.  Let’s get back to what’s really important in our lives.  And the first, and most important thing is walking _______________ with Jesus.   When we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, then everything else will be put in its ________________ perspective.  Hebrews 12:1 12 by saying:  Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us,  Jesus has paid for us to walk in ________________, not to walk encumbered. 

as to what you will eat or what you will drink;

See Genesis 2:8:1:29: If we believe that He created all plants good for food out of nothing, then it goes without saying that we can _____________ Him to be able to supply our individual needs. 

Biblical Examples:  Waters of Mara Gen 15:23-26;  Manna in Exodus 16 beginning with verse 3; God had the ravens feed Elijah in 1st Kings 17; God supplied Elijah and the widow in 1st Kings 17; Elisha threw salt into a poisonous spring in 2nd Kings 2; God provided for a poor widow in 2nd Kings 4 by telling Elisha to have her borrow many jars and containers so that the little oil in the bottom of a jar could be multiplied to fill them all;  Jesus multiplied fish and loaves to feed hungry people (Matthew 14,15,16; Luke 9; Mark 6; John 6). God ordained from the beginning that food would be the key element to nourish our physical bodies.  HE can _____________ for us much better than we can provide for ourselves (Prov 10:3; Psalm 37:25).  : 

nor for your body, as to what you will put on.

Neither clothes nor the present extremes of climate that we experience were originally part of God’s ____________.  When Adam and Eve fell, we find immediately in Genesis 3:7 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves waist coverings.  They made clothes for themselves. Their provision for the covering of themselves was completely _______________.  The first thing that God does for them after the fall is to replace the clothing that they attempted to _________________ for themselves.  In Genesis 3:21 we read:  21 And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. The clothing was needed because of sin.  Man’s inability to do anything about his sin, and his shame because of sin required a sacrifice.  So, when Jesus tells us not to be concerned and worry and fail to trust God about what we will wear, He means that we need to ________________why we’re wearing clothes in the first place—because of sin and shame.  And so, because this was all due to Adam and Eve not _______________ God in the first place, then maybe we shouldn’t _____________their mistake. 

And this is why, in our modern society, we can understand Jesus’ words concerning clothes to stand for any basic ___________in our lives.  God will provide all of our basic needs.  And if we have wants more than these, we’d better be willing to part with them when we see people in __________ around us.  Psalm 41:1-2GOD’S PROMISE TO THE GENEROUS: Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.

 Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?

God created life, so creating food is no _____________.  God created our body, so clothing it is _____________.  We should trust the same God who created everything to be able to ________________ for our needs. 

Spiritual Inventory Part III—Relationships
January 9th, 2022

God came up with the idea of relationships when He decided to create man and have fellowship with Him in the Garden.  Half-hearted allegiance to the _________ of Christ not only robs Jesus of the honor and glory due to Him, but also robs us of the joy and fulfillment and purpose for which He _______us. 

In relationship from the Beginning–God designed us to ________ in relationship.  He desired that we walk with Him, AND in fellowship with each other (see Gen 2:18; 22-23).  It was only after God had created both of them, male and female that He determined that all creation as He originally made it, was _________ Good.  Without relationships with each other, something was _____________.

Jesus as Lord in Our Home

We all want a _____________home, filled with joy. A home that not only meets our basic need for shelter, providing us somewhere to store our water and food, but a place that is our __________. 

God ordained the institution of the ____________ as the place where we model the relationship that we have with Him to those _____________ to us.  Marriage is intended by God to be a ____________ lifelong relationship between a man and a woman enduring through trials, sickness, financial crises and all sorts of emotional _____________. Jesus affirms marriage in Matthew 19:4-6.  The _____________ of Jesus Christ within our homes is the only lasting foundation that can bring the Love that God has shown us into our homes and make our homes a place of peace, joy and love.  By ___________________ to Him and orienting all of our family relationships toward the model that He has given us in His Word, we allow Him to transform our households.  1 Cor 7:14 tells us “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; So as believers we bring holiness into our household, conducting ourselves according to the instructions that God has given us in our relationship with our spouse.  The light of Jesus shines through our lives as a witness to those who spend the most time with us; our __________. 

The Work of God’s Spirit in the Household

See Ephesians 5:21-25 The context of these verses is found in Ephesians 5 vs. 15, and deals with our walk with God, and so our ability to enjoy marriage the way that God wants us to driven by our walk with God followed by a series of phrases which tell us the _____________ of being filled with the Spirit of God Literally, the passage says: “Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord in your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father, being subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.”   It’s the being _____________ with the Spirit that causes the submission!  It’s what Paul means when he says back in Ephesians 4:1–2, “Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called in all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love.” And in Romans 15:2, “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him.” And Romans 12:10, “Outdo one another in showing honor.” And Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in lowliness count each other better than yourselves.”

If we desire to see the Spirit of God __________________ our family life, we must surrender totally to Jesus as Lord and turn all our daily doings into an offering of worship to him. When the Spirit reigns in our life, we do everything with a _____________to honoring Jesus. And in that way Jesus becomes the foundation and focus and goal of the family, and life at home is transformed.  And in verse 25 husbands are commanded 25 husbands love their wives as Christ loved the church.   This first word to husbands is this: Be ____________ with the Spirit! Yield to the lordship of Christ! And then recognize this: your God-appointed headship in the family is to be exercised in love using the pattern of Christ’s _________for the church. In Gal 3:28 we read: 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  That means that all people are ____________ in value to God.  We just have different ___________ within marriage.The husband must be meek, and a _______________ leader within our households, serving our wives, loving them as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for Her. But we must also __________. 

Submission in Context:  Ephesians 5:22 means: if wives are filled with the Spirit and yielded to the lordship of Christ, then you will be _____________ to your husbands as to the Lord. The phrase “as to the Lord” is very important, and has two implications. One is that a woman’s first and ______________ allegiance is to the Lord Jesus and that other allegiances are subordinate to and derivative from this one. The other is that, therefore, the subordinate allegiances are limited by the ________________ will of Christ. This means that the form which a wife’s submission takes will vary according to the ____________ of her husband’s leadership.  If the husband is not following God, her witness will cause him to have to confront it, and he will feel guilty that he is not assuming the role of moral leadership in his house. 1 peter 3:1-2 tells us:  In the same way, you wives, be subject to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your pure and respectful behavior.

And we must always remember that whether or not we are currently married to another person on this earth, we are, each and every one of us who is a believer, the __________ of Christ.  There we are already betrothed (see Ephesians 5:25-32.   As 2 Corinthians 4:14 tells us, we will be presented in Heaven to Him 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus, and will present us with you.  And as the Bride of Christ, we ____________ walk with God.  We must walk as Jesus walked in His life on earth.  1 John 1:6 tells us If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;  And like Or as 2 Cor 11:2 tells us I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. For I promised you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.  But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his trickery, your minds will be led astray from sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  That call to purity as the Bride of Christ, and guarding the flock by continually challenging you to live Holy Lives as revealed in the Truth of God’s word, and ___________________ you to do the same for others, using the gifts that God has given each of you is what Shepherding is all about.

And follows it up in verse 20-21 with 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not antagonize your children, so that they will not become discouraged.  Notice that there is no expiration date on these commands.  God can use our ____________ to teach us long after we have left their household.  We obey God first, but we also obey the first teachers that God put in all of our lives—our parents.  And by the same token, we should not _________________ our children, even if they are all grown up.  Our words ______________ to them more than we know, and our attitudes toward them have an effect on them that is more than they will admit—so we must always be careful to be Godly in the way that we treat, advise and instruct them.

So, I ask you to take spiritual inventory of your relationships, and in particular your family relationships.  Since we ask God as in Matthew 6:12-13 to 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’” And we are told in the following verses 14 For if you forgive other people for their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive other people, then your Father will not forgive your offenses.  And are assured that it is up to us to “go to our brother who has something against us” and ask for forgiveness, then I ask:  Who has hurt you? Against whom have you been holding a grudge?  Who do you have resentment against? Against whom are you seeking revenge? Are you jealous of someone else? Make yourself a little ____________.  These are the people that God wants you to be like Him toward and _____________ and make up with.  And this is so that you may be presented to Him blameless, without spot or wrinkle.  We must also ask ourselves honestly: Who have you hurt? Who do you owe an amends to? Who have you criticized or gossiped about? Have you justified you bad attitude by saying it is “their” fault?  We should ask God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of those we have hurt.  If we will do this, then the Holy Spirit will be free to do His _________ to mend our hearts, and perhaps theirs as well.