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What, Me Worry? - Matthew 6:26

Audio Sermon

What, Me Worry?

"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?" (Matthew 6:26)

Have you ever wanted to be a bird? I didn't, except I have thought it would be nice to be one of the "eagles" mentioned in Scripture.  Too often, though, we're like those helpless little baby "eaglets" from God's perspective, and not truly soaring eagles at all. But one morning, while I was typing away at my computer keyboard, I glanced out the window and saw a little sparrow who was pecking at something. The bird was outside and all it had to do in life was eat, but I was stuck inside, concerned about something that seemed important. I thought - it would be nice to be "free as a bird" and fly away!

The true problem with work, whether you do it in a building or you're outside, is that the worker is a servant. Even if you're the boss, you serve your clients, or in some manner serve the needs of society. Servitude is hard for us, but we of the church are supposed to be servants to God and to other people.  As it says in Philippians 2:5,7: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus… who made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant and coming in the likeness of men."

Pastor Dave Rader once said, "Everyone in the church says they want to be a servant until you start treating them like one." That kind of attitude (I was tired that morning) filled me as I looked out the window, saw the little bird, and wished for a moment that I could fly away.

But God has so much more in store for us than pecking the ground for seeds or flying from tree to tree. As Hannah Whitehall Smith pointed out, the "birds of the air" in today's Scripture represent the material universe. We look at the universe and marvel at its beauty, its depth, and the physicist will glory in the mathematical precision of it all. For every star that explodes into a fiery nova, there are billions that follow intricate paths around some point for seemingly endless years. The universe is run like a complex, fine-tuned, and wonderful clock. The human race, by comparison, seems like a pack of mice let loose in a pantry. Everywhere you don’t want us; there we are!

Yet we, His people, lowly though we may seem, are of infinitely more importance in God's sight than the entire material universe. It's essential to see God's perspective, by the way, which reveals that Jesus Christ created the universe and all that is in it. In Psalm 102:25 we read, "You (God) laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of Your hands." Hebrews 1:8 speaks to God the Son, Jesus Christ, and in that context, Verse 10 quotes Psalm 102:25, identifying Jesus as the One who created the interstellar vastness of untold galaxies in far-distant space.

Jesus Christ the Creator, did not directly die for the physical universe, though the material realm will benefit enormously from His act. But He did personally die for you and for me. And we (as a group and as individuals), didn’t particularly care for Him when He was here. Governor Pilate of Judea pronounced Jesus "innocent" (Matthew 27:19) of all charges against Him. The onlookers were the representatives of every sinner in the whole human race at that moment, and the shout in response to His innocence was "Crucify Him!" (Matthew 27:22-23).

It wasn’t just those at His trial who caused His death. It’s you and me: "ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and He died for OUR sins. I am the problem and so are you, but He is the wonderful Solution, the Cure for our need: "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). We as a race did not like Him or want Him, but He gave up His life so that we might live.

The context of our Scripture for today (Matthew 6:26 – the "birds of the air") is about worry. Jesus started the immediate context in Matthew 6:25, with the surprising statement, "Do not be anxious..." I say "surprising" because we are thought to have a "screw loose" mentally, if we aren’t worried about safety, money, health, and the like. A famous character from the "Mad" magazines of my teen years seems ridiculous because he smiles a silly smile and asks, "What, me worry?" Reasonable concerns are not what the Lord was speaking about. In fact, that whole section in Scripture concludes on just the point: "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).

Seek the Lord! Bring your worries to Him. Stop carrying the burden yourself on your comparatively small shoulders. Shift the weight to Him and you will begin to find that He is carrying the load of worry, of guilt, frustration and fear with you – everything that you never could bear anyway! He died for your worries. He died for you.

From the Lord’s perspective, you and I are the little bird on the ground or the mouse in the pantry. Actually, He refers to the people of this earth by the unflattering name: "grasshoppers" (Isaiah 40:22). If you are annoyed by His comment, you just don’t understand God. He is eternal, beautiful, wise, all powerful, infinitely loving – and we are not! From His vantage point, we are far less than we think we are. And yet, He Himself became a "grasshopper" (a man) and died a miserable grasshopper death, so that we might live!

We tend to think highly of ourselves, and that is why we often tend to resent our jobs, our monetary situations, circumstances and even our bodies. We think we deserve more. The person who doesn’t "like themselves" really feels life (God) owes them – big time! So we want to "fly away" from who and what we are.

Don’t run away. Instead, take your worries to the Lord. Martin Luther was once talking to the birds as he walked through the woods: "Good morning, theologians! You wake and sing. But I, old fool, know less than you and worry over everything, instead of simply trusting in the heavenly Father’s care." Trust in the Lord. We really are like birds, mice and grasshoppers in His sight, yet He loves us.  Don't worry - trust in the Lord.

Lord, I trust in you now. Thank You for dying that I might live. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. I give you my worries, repent of my sins and place my faith in You. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

Write to: Letters@FridayStudy.org

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

Donations to this ministry may be sent to:
Friday Study Ministries
P.O. Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131 USA

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