Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Not even one thing...

Luke 12:25-30 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, 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? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

Confession time. I have been a worrier all of my life. Let me correct that. I was a worrier, but I am now a new creation. That is the way God sees me, so that is the way I should see myself. But I was thinking a lot today about my history as a worrier. I actually used to think the above verse meant that Jesus said not to worry about those things, but it was OK to worry about other things, the things He did not mention. Things like whether or not people liked you, or whether or not a certain job would come through, etc., etc. That just shows how little I really knew about God. It was pitiful, really. And what a slap in God's face, after all He did for me.

Many years ago, when I was still in elementary school, a kindly neighbor (who I blogged on here about before) had a Good News Club for kids at her home once a week after school. I still remember seeing her face greeting me when I walked in the door. You see, I was worrying back then, in the fourth grade, and she was a good listener. I told her the things I worried about and she helped me with answers from the Bible. The biggest help she gave was telling us all how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Each week we had to learn Memory Verses. My sister and I cheated, we only learned them right before we ran down into her yard for the club meeting at her home next door to ours. But she acted all proud of us anyways, like we had done some great thing learning our Bible verses. Still, we managed to get them all recited, and our prize was a New Testament in a modern version called "The Greatest is Love." She wrote a verse in my Bible in the front that she thought would be a great help to me. Of course, it is a familiar verse:

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7

Now, her fight is over and she is with the Lord, but I remember her kind deeds with gratitude and look forward to seeing Mrs.P on the other side. Somewhere through the passage of years I have lost the Bible she gave me, but I can still see in my mind her giving it to me and the verse she wrote inside it. I thought I "knew" that verse, but every time an emergency came along, it seemed I still pressed the panic button instead of applying Philippians 4:6-7.

Well, let me tell you, I may have been able to recite that verse, but I know I did not "know" that verse. Yesterday, though, I had another little "emergency" come up and I felt like I wanted to press the panic button again. I can't go into detail but suffice it to say I chose to sing songs of praise when I was tempted to panic and I felt the most amazing peace wash over me, in spite of the tight place I found myself in. Suddenly I just wanted to praise Him more and more, He had given me the peace of God which passed all understanding which guarded my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I did not have to strain or struggle to get it either. It was simply a gracious gift. In the smallest way, I experienced the truth of that precious verse.

This morning I read in Philippians 4 and I read again Paul's instructions about not being anxious. He didn't just say, don't worry about things. Kenneth Wuest in his Greek New Testament Expanded Translation said this of Philippians 4:6-7:

"Stop worrying about even one thing, but in everything by prayer whose essence is that of worship and devotion by supplication which is a cry for your personal needs, with thanksgiving let your requests for the things asked for be made known in the presence of God, and the peace of God which surpasses all power of comprehension shall mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (emphasis mine)

Now if anyone reading this does not know Christ as their personal Savior there is plenty to be worried about. Things are getting too crazy to just be passed off as "nothing" anymore. Jesus said of these times: 25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21: 25-26) (emphasis mine)

You, too, can have this peace that passes understanding. Now is the time to believe that Jesus is the Son of God who personally bore your sins on the cross of Calvary. For His return could be at any moment. You do not want to be left behind for the judgement that will follow on planet earth, called the Great Tribulation. Today is the day of salvation! He knew every sin you ever committed and already died for it. He also wants to take your worries and bear those also for you, for they are too much for you.Hear His gracious call today, before it is too late!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

He says to His children and to any and all who are longing to come into His family:

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

And for those of us who are saved, yes, it is really true, we do not have to worry about even one thing! Why? For we have a Heavenly Father who hears us when we call to Him with every single one of our needs. It is a much better way than worrying. Trust me, I know.