Anxious Living

How did this message impact you? Share your testimony

Manuscript:

Introduction:

How many of you consider yourself a worrier?

How many of you consider yourself to not be much of a worrier?

I come from a long line of worriers!

Personal story of worry or anxiety? Worry when Angelia doesn’t answer or text back within 5 minutes, worry about the kids, worry about failure, or saying the wrong thing. I worry about if I am making a difference.

What is the last thing you worried about?

Multimillion dollar industry.

Anxiety

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Current estimates put this number much higher – approximately 30 percent – as many people don’t seek help, are misdiagnosed, or don’t know they have issues with anxiety.
  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
  • People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
  • Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one third of the $148 billion total mental health bill for the U.S.
  • Another report found that more than half of college students sought help for their anxiety issues. Research has found that anxiety can impede learning, which often leads to lower academic achievement and performance.
  • 1 in 13 globally suffers from anxiety.

The past two weeks we have been talking about how Jesus calls us to handle our stuff – our time, possessions, and money. At the heart of what Jesus is trying to help us understand is that whatever we have been given, we need to use it for God’s purposes in our world. As God speaks to us, we need to be obedient to what he asks.

One of the driving forces in our quest for security is worry, anxiousness, and fear. We try to eliminate our anxiety by securing the things we are anxious about.

Today’s words of Jesus are tied to the last two weeks and summarizes the ‘why’ regarding his teaching on material wealth and possessions.

“To become preoccupied with material things in such a way that they engross our attention, absorb our energy, and burden us with anxiety is incompatible with faith in Christ.”

Matthew 6:25-34 New Living Translation (NLT)
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life— whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they
are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Movement 1:

Our life is spiritual and material.
Worry does not add to our height, age, or life-span. In fact, it can detract from it.

Simplicity of trust! We can trust that God knows our needs and will meet them.

Child-like faith. When I look at Maisie and Hendrick, they are fearless. We would say that they do not know better. But in reality, they are fearless because they have not had the time in their little lives to experience various things and effect their natural propensities. It is so easy for us as we get older to reflect on our life experience and talk ourselves out of truly being people who trust. And in the absence of trust, we have much to worry about.

We must work for our living.

  • God provides through normal means of farmers, millers, market gardens, fishermen, butchers, grocers and the rest.
  • God provides but we must co-operate.

We have a responsibility for others.

  • If God promises to feed and clothe, why is that there are so many in our world who are malnourished and naked?
  • The earth and sea produce ample resources to feed and clothe every person.
  • But people hoard or waste these resources.
  • USDA estimates that between 30%-40% of all food is wasted.
  • 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. This amount of waste has far-reaching impacts on food security, resource conservation and climate change.
  • In his book “American Wasteland,” activist and author Jonathan Bloom estimated that the United States could fill a college stadium with the amount of food it wastes … in a day. Imagine trying to fit 365 Rose Bowls into Pasadena, or any city for that matter, to hold a year’s worth of American food waste.
  • Food waste isn’t just big and heavy. It’s also very expensive. $165 billion / year expensive (Update: the more recent NRDC report placed this at $218 billion / year). For context, that’s almost as much as the State of California’s entire budget last year.
  • The amount of food thrown away in the United States in 2012 would have been enough to feed 190 million adults every day that year.
  • Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth.
  • This is not a problem of inadequate divine provision but of inequitable human distribution.
  • No one is exempt from experiencing trouble, including believers in Christ.
  • Being free from worry and free from trouble are not the same things.
  • 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
  • There will be trouble each day so why worry about it?
  • Freedom from worry is not a freedom from trouble.
  • “I think we must stop and listen when this man, whose life on earth was anything but birdlike and lilylike, points us to the carefreeness of the birds and the lilies. Were not the somber shadows of the Cross already looming over this hour of the Sermon on the Mount?” – Dr. Helmut Thielicke
  • “God’s children are promised freedom neither from work, nor from responsibility, nor from trouble, but only from worry.” John Stott
  • When we are anxious, we are upset in the present about something that might happen in the future.
  • Many worries, perhaps most, never materialize so then worry is a waste of time, thought, and nervous energy.

Movement 2:

Jesus is calling us to a broader love for others and deeper relationship with Him. Verses 32-33 call us to a higher ambition.

32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

  • Our worry is driven by what we seek – our ambition.
  • Our ambition can focus on material things which will lead us to worry.
  • Our ambition should be focused on Christ
  • We should energetically seek spiritual values and the kingdom righteousness of God, not material things, or food and clothing.
  • God’s Kingdom is people who have Christ ruling in their hearts. Seeking this Kingdom is the desire for Christ and for the spread of His ruling in people’s hearts.
  • Such a desire will start with us personally with our life – home, marriage, and family, personal morality, professional life and business ethics, finances, lifestyle.
  • It will lead from our personal lives then to our immediate environment – relatives, colleagues, neighbors, friends, and extend beyond.
  • Seek the Kingdom and live righteously are said for us to embrace our evangelistic and social responsibilities, much like the ‘salt and light’ metaphors in Chapter 5. The Gospel of Jesus Christ must be preached, heard, and obeyed and it must get lived out through engagement in social action.

Ambition

  • Everybody is ambitious. Maisie and Hendrick follow the usual stereotypes – Maisie wants to be a Dr. like Dr. Donna and Hendrick…
  • I wanted to be a NBA basketball player. Then I wanted to be a vocal artist. I pretty much wanted to do anything but ministry but eventually I surrendered to His will for my life.
  • What did you want to be growing up?
  • There are really only 2 ambitions that we can seek – self-centered ambition and God-centered ambition. We are either concerned about my comfort, my wealth, my security, my status, my power or we are concerned about loving our neighbor, feeding and clothing the needy, using what we have been given for the glory of God.
  • We should be eager to develop our gifts, widen our opportunities, extend our influence, get that promotion at work, and get the raise so that God can receive glory and not for some ego boost or selfish accumulation.

Movement 3:

How can we be free of worry?

It is a gift from God that we can receive
John 14:27 (NLT)
27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

It is a command from God that we can practice
Isaiah 41:10 New Living Translation (NLT)
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Hebrews 13:5-6 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” 6 So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

It is a reality that we can surrender to

Psalm 34:4 (NLT)
4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Conclusion:

What does all of this have to do with Kingdom Culture?

God’s grace meets us right where we are but often we do not go to God’s grace. We go to lots of other things.

We worry about things that we care about.

It’s not a question of emotion, it’s a question of devotion. What we are devoted to will be what keeps us up at night worrying.

Jesus has just told us not to try and store up wealth on this earth where moths and rust destroy or thieves steal. Because He knows that when we work on securing our earthly lives that are hearts are consumed with things which causes us to worry.

Worry is a warning signal that our hearts devotion has begun to shift.

Life is more than any human relationship (who am I going to marry?), more than what is in your bank account, more than what clothes you wear, or what food you eat.

Too often we get caught up in the daily problems that we lose sight of the big picture.

Oh you of little faith…do you trust me?

Response:

Application for Lent (back of sermon notes)

Lent is a time where we take off something or give something up so that we can pick up something. When we consider our ambitions, the things that concern us, what does God desire for us to surrender so that we can become more of who He is calling us to be?

What are your ambitions?
What do you spend your time, your thoughts, and money on?
What priorities of your life are revealed through this reflection?
What do you find yourself worrying about?
What would it take for you to not worry about those things?

Communion:

As we continue to reflect on these questions, we will be well-served to remember that being formed into being more like Jesus is a process that takes place over time. There will always be areas of our life that need to be worked on but the Good News is that the love of Christ and his provision for us is always enough to speak truth to us, meet our needs, and give us strength to live out this faith.

It is through the receiving of communion that we intentionally remember His provision for us.

The Communion Supper, instituted by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a sacrament, which proclaims His life, His sufferings, His sacrificial death and resurrection, and the hope of His coming again. It shows forth the Lord’s death until His return.

The Supper is a means of grace in which Christ is present by the Spirit. It is to be received in reverent appreciation and gratefulness for the work of Christ. We have an open table, so you do not have to be a member of GracePoint to receive communion. Everyone who acknowledge Christ as Savior or who desire to believe in Christ and receive His grace and forgiveness are invited to participate in communion.

We come to the table that we may be renewed in life and salvation and be made one by the Spirit. In unity with the Church, we confess our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

And so, we pray:
Holy God, we gather at this, your table, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who by your Spirit was anointed to preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, set at liberty those who are oppressed. Christ healed the sick, fed the hungry, ate with sinners, and established the new covenant for forgiveness of sins. We live in the hope of His coming again.

Words of Institution

On the night in which He was betrayed, He took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread, gave it to His disciples, and said: “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Likewise, when the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks, gave it to His disciples, and said: “Drink from this, all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Epiclesis (Prayer of Consecration)

And so, we gather as the Body of Christ to offer ourselves to you in praise and thanksgiving. Pour out your Holy Spirit on us and on these your gifts. Make them by the power of your Spirit to be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the Body of Christ, redeemed by His blood. By your Spirit make us one in Christ, one with each other, and one in the ministry of Christ to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Receiving of Elements

Body of Christ

The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was broken for you, preserve you blameless, unto ever- lasting life. Take and eat this, in remembrance that Christ died for you.

Blood of Christ

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for you, preserve you blameless unto ever- lasting life. Drink this, in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you, and be thankful.

Kingdom Culture Sermon Series Graphic
Kingdom Culture Sermon Series Graphic
Kingdom Culture Sermon Series Graphic