"Does God care?" "How much does God care?" "Is this "concern/worry" too insignificant for God to care about?"
Read this excerpt from a sermon by Rev. Tracy L. MacKenzie pastor at Horseshoe Drive Methodist Church in Alexandria, LA
"Think about this. What DO we gain by worrying? We actually know that worrying is a major health issue in our society today. More than the massive number of anxiety disorders that many people suffer from… worry, stress, anxiety are contributing factors to cancer, heart disease, alcoholism and chemical dependencies. There are case studies that state that people with early onset of Alzheimer's tend to live longer lives. To what is this attributed? As they detach themselves from "this world" they detach themselves from the "worry" of this world. BY worrying, we compromise our health."
Luke 12:22-34 (HCSB)22 Then He said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds? 25 Can any of you add a cubit to his height by worrying? 26 If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the wildflowers grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! 28 If that’s how God clothes the grass, which is in the field today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will He do for you—you of little faith? 29 Don’t keep striving for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious. 30 For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. 32 Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make money-bags for yourselves that won’t grow old, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In this passage from Luke (there is a corresponding passage in Matthew 6:25;34 of this same sermon), Jesus is talking to hundreds maybe even thousands of people for all walks of life; some rich others poor, some well-fed others hungry, some Pharisees, some not religious at all and here’s what He says;
Matthew 6:25-29 (HCSB) 25 “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth more than they? 27 Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these!
His examples were the birds and the wildflowers. He said they don’t have to worry so why should you.
Matthew 6:31-33 (HCSB) 31 So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. (Emphasis mine)
In our worrying, we ask, "What will I eat? What will I drink? What will I wear?" And, Jesus tells us to seek God. He says to "seek first" and God's kingdom and God's righteousness, and, all these things will be given unto you as well." What God wants, is that He is our highest priority, He is our highest goal.
The Cure for Worry
The passage at the beginning of this post starts with “Then He said”, meaning that there was something before what he said next. He had just told the parable about the rich fool who built bigger barns to store up all that he had so that he could take it easy for the next several years, perhaps for the rest of his life and lo and behold, that night, he died.
Luke 12:16-21 (HCSB) 16 Then He told them a parable: “A rich man’s land was very productive. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? 18 I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. 19 Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be?’ 21 “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
His focus was on what he had for himself and he gave no thought to the kingdom of God. Notice Jesus never said that the material things were bad, in fact the Bible tells us that we should save not only for ourselves but so that we can leave an inheritance
Proverbs 13:22 (HCSB) A good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
The problem is the accumulation for self, before all else. In doing that we often create stress and anxiety in the accumulation of wealth or material things. The greedy person can never get enough to satisfy his own desires
What is it we are not to worry about?
Jesus tells us to not worry about the necessities of life. God knows that we need food, shelter, and clothing. Life itself is more important than any of these things.
Birds don’t plant seeds to grow their food and they don’t go the the market. God has provided for the birds. People are of more value to God than birds. He will take care of those people who trust him.
Worrying doesn't accomplish anything anyway. The rich farmer couldn't change the time of his death even by one hour. Things like the time of death or changing your height are beyond the control of men. They are small things to God but they are impossible for men.
Then Jesus talks about the flowers. These flowers were probably anemones, or windflowers. They grew profusely in the fields of Galilee, coloring them brilliantly with reds and purples, the royal colors. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
Flowers do not have to work to be beautiful; they don't have to go to Macy's or Nordstrom's. They don’t do anything to become beautiful. God gives them their beauty. The most expensive clothing that we can buy, although very beautiful is nothing next to the beauty of a radiant flower. With all this beauty they don’t last very long, they are temporary, alive today and gone the next. If God provide all this beauty for flowers that last such a short time what will He do for you.
What does worry about the necessities of life indicate about us?
Worry about the necessities of life indicates that we may not trust God. We are not really sure that He meant it when he said:
Hebrews 13:5-6 (HCSB) Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. 6 Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Flowers have a very short life. The birds that Jesus was talking about have very short lives. If God is willing to clothe the flowers with brilliant and gorgeous colors and to provide food and shelter to the birds, how much more care will He lavish on man, whose spirit lives forever! Certainly, he will provide the necessities to his own people. God is our Father. And he knows what we need.
Romans 8:16-17 (HCSB) The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children,17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
If God doesn't want us to worry about the necessities what does He want us to concern ourselves with?
Luke 12:31 (HCSB) “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you.
We should give their attention to the kingdom of God. God is our Father. He knows what we need and, He will take care of His people and nothing is too small or insignificant for any of His children.
Let me give you an example of how important you are to God. This is a message that I got today, from a good friend.
"I was not overly concerned about what I would wear to banquet until nothing purple I had fit or felt right, so Saturday I started to worry a little and decided to go online and look for a tea length semi formal I could rush order. Found nothing I wanted to spend money for. Now I heard the Holy Spirit day at least three times say, go check the other closet to which I replied, I know what's in that closet. Finally, in exasperation I went to the other with a couple outfits in mind that I didn't want to wear! But I went!
I started thumbing through and saw something purple with jewels on it. I pulled it out. It was a beautiful top I have NEVER seen before, But then I noticed something on hanger that was underneath the top---a gorgeous skirt that matched! I put them on; they fit like they were custom made!!!!! Had shoes and bag and jewelry that matched it! And the price tag was still intact! Take no thought for what you shall wear...for your heavenly Father knows and will supply....
"Does God care?" "How much does God care?" "Is this "concern/worry" too insignificant for God to care about?"
Yes. God cares. What He wants us to do is to make Him our highest priority and He will take care of all the rest. When it comes to you, His child, nothing is too small or insignificant!!
Are you God's Child?
I've talked about God being our Father and that we are heirs with His Son Jesus. That’s only true if you are a part of His family and in order to become part of His family you must do it through His Son.
John 14:6 (HCSB) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ into your heart and made Him your Lord and Savior I invite you to do that today. Then you will no longer have to worry about the necessities of life. Here’s all you need to do:
Romans 10:9-12 (NLT) If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.
If you want to receive all the benefits that God has promised to His children then pray this prayer in all sincerity (only you and God know if you’re really sincere);
“Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.”
If you have just prayed this prayer, in all sincerity, call, text, email, Tweet, change your Facebook status and tell somebody, leave me a comment here or send me an email with this Link. Then find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers. Welcome to the family of God.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at email@example.com
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.