Lesson 102—February 21, 2016
Audio commentary by Life Focus Leader David Daniel
The Worth of Worry
Scripture: Matthew 6:25
Lesson Goal: To learn the importance of trusting God and overcoming worry.
Introduction: Based upon the past lessons of Matthew 6:19-24, please prayerfully and thoughtfully answer these questions.
Which world are you living for?
Which master are you serving?
Jesus’ words instruct us and serve as a constant reminder that we must choose which world we are truly living for and which master we are truly serving.
John MacArthur explains, “We cannot claim Christ as Lord if our allegiance is to anything or anyone else, including ourselves.”
(V25) “Therefore I say to you…,” or “For this reason I say to you….”
Jesus begins this verse by referring us back to the previous verse/verses in which He declares the true loyalty of His followers, acknowledging the Lordship of only one Master – God. We must not minimize, or in any way make insignificant, the importance of Jesus’ first words in verse 25. “Therefore I say to you” is all important to us, as we study the next verses of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
Only when we have grasped with our minds the comparative durability of the two treasures, (verses 19-21) corruptible and incorruptible; the comparative usefulness of the two eye conditions (verses 22-23) light and darkness; and the comparative worth of the two masters (verse 24) God and mammon, are we ready to make our choice. And only when we have made our choice—for heavenly treasure, for light, for God—“therefore I say to you” (Stott).
Why do you think 16 of the 38 parables of Jesus deal with money?
What is your personal explanation for the fact that Scripture offers about 500 verses on prayer, fewer than 500 on faith, and over 2000 on money (Stott)?
“Worry,” Greek, “merimnate” means “anxious” or “anxiety.”
Questions for the Heart
Please read Matthew 6:33.
What are you really seeking in this life?
Where do your absolute honest loyalties lie?
Where are you spending your greatest investments of time, energy, finances and effort? And what is your ultimate goal for these investments?
What are your true heart motives of the aforementioned investments?
What does the truth of a pure heart reveal, as we answer the previous questions?
Jesus laid down the principle that our heart will be where our treasure is.
What does your heart truly seek?
How do you define “worry”?
John MacArthur states: “For believers to worry is to be disobedient and unfaithful to their Master, who is God. For Christians, worry and anxiety are forbidden, foolish, and sinful.”
(V25) “Do not worry about your life.”
Before we continue to look in depth at this passage, I would like to offer a scriptural observation. Jesus is not giving us these words, suggesting that we should not work and prepare for life. He is not condoning laziness, slothfulness or idleness. Please read Proverbs 27:23 and 2 Thessalonians 3:10-11.
Again, I remind you of one of my favorite sayings of life: “God gives every bird its food, but He doesn’t throw it into the nest.”
Understanding the truth of God’s provision for us as His followers, we must not worry about the necessities of life (V25)—“what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” We must remember the truth of one of God’s ancient of names. He is our “Jehovah-Jireh,” which literally means: “the Lord who provides.” If we look back to Genesis 22:14, we find the God of provision. Please read Philippians 4:19.
What does Philippians 4:19 say to us as followers of Jesus Christ?
What does Philippians 4:19 NOT say to us as followers of Jesus Christ?
Do we ever get our needs and our wants mixed up?
An Important Thought
In verse 25, Jesus specifically mentions the most basic needs of life. He mentions what we “eat,” what we “drink,” and what we “put on.” As we think on these things, it is helpful to remember the day and time Jesus spoke these words. In the days of the Bible, food and water would not be taken for granted. Often there was a shortage of water, which brought a shortage of food, and thus affected all of life. In our day and time, most of us (western world believers) have these basic needs in such abundance that we often take them for granted.
The Life Application Bible Commentary tells us:
The command “do not worry” does not imply complete lack of concern, nor does it call people to be unwilling to work and supply their own needs. Instead, Jesus was continuing to highlight Kingdom priorities – the attitude toward life that His disciples should exemplify. They need not be overly concerned about food or clothing, because they know God will care for them. Because God sustains our lives and gives us our bodies, we can trust Him to provide the things He knows we need. When we worry over our lack of food or inadequate clothing, we immobilize ourselves and focus on the worry. We refuse to trust that God can supply these most basic needs. Worry immobilizes us, but trust in God moves us to action. We work for our money to supply food and clothing, but we must always remember that these ultimately come from God’s hands. Jesus made it clear that worry takes away from life rather than adding to it. We can counteract worry by doing what we can and trusting where we can’t. When we seek first to honor God as King and conform our lives to His righteousness, worry will always find us otherwise occupied.
This past week, did you spend more time worrying or praying?
How much sleep did you lose because of worry this past week?
What does worry accomplish in our lives?
What are the benefits of worry in your life?