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Do Not Worry

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Do Not Worry
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
11 August 2013
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References:

Luke 12:22-46
Hebrews 11:1-16

We always tell people “do not worry” because worrying accomplishes nothing and it can even harm our health.
 
Worry is an inward state of unrest about something we are concerned about, such as the horrible way animals are treated in factory farms, laboratories, sports and entertainment, and the indifference of most people to the plight of animals.
 
However, all this worrying does nothing to help end the suffering of the animals.
 
Instead of worrying about situations like this and other things, we need to pray and ask God to help us use these concerns to set goals for changing the things and situations we worry about.
 
So, do not worry; take action, for when we do, the worries change into challenges for us to accomplish.
 
And most importantly, have the faith in God and yourself that you can make a positive difference in the world that will help end the things and situations we were previously worrying about.
 
Jesus teaches us about this in Luke 12:22-46.

22. Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
 
23. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

Jesus says “do not worry” about the personal things, because most people are concerned about themselves in a more selfish way, rather than about the ungodly problems in the world that cause so much pain and suffering; that is, unless those things affect them in a personal way.
 
It’s a learning process, for if we do not worry about the personal things in our lives, we will find that we do not worry about the major problems affecting the world, because we have learned to take positive action to help end the problems.
 
So, Jesus continues and gives some examples.

24. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

Way back in the Garden of Eden, God put humans in charge of protecting the whole of creation.
 
Why?
 
Because God created us with the ability to change things and situations in ways that the other animals cannot do, and even though most people only further corrupt the world, we can make a positive effort to lead the world back into the heavenly will of God.
 
Therefore, do not worry; take action.

25. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
 
26. Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

This is common sense.

27. "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
 
28. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!

Faith is also an action word; it is acting upon our beliefs.
 
If we just sit back and do nothing, it is a sign that we also lack the faith to make changes.

29. And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
 
30. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
 
31. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

There is something wonderful about abiding in the kingdom of God with all its peace and joy inside us to energize us, so we can accomplish a lot of good in the world around us.

32. "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
 
33. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

And if our hearts and souls are set upon freeing creation from its present corruption, and bringing God’s heavenly kingdom to earth, then the wealthier ones among us can invest their wealth to fund ways to accomplish these goals well into the future.

34. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

And while we are doing everything in our power to accomplish these goals, we are to always be ready for Jesus Christ’s return, and even looking forward to it.

35. "Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,
 
36. like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.
 
37. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.
 
38. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.
 
39. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
 
40. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." 

This is living in the heavenly will of God, so do not worry, God is in control.

41. Peter asked, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?"
 
42. The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?
 
43. It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.
 
44. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

These servants are those of us who are truly trying to help end the corruption of creation, and end all the violence, pain, suffering, and bloodshed.
 
These are the children of God, for whom the whole of creation anxiously awaits.
 
But what is the fate of those who live in the world and continue to contribute to the corruption of the world?
 
Jesus tells us…

45. But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk.
 
46. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
NIV

So, do not worry, and don’t be caught up in the ways of the world, but instead take action to correct the things and situations that are wrong in the world.
 
And, as we said above, faith is acting upon our beliefs just as we are to turn our worries into actions. Note what we are told in Hebrews 11:1-16 about faith.

1. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
 
2. This is what the ancients were commended for.

Just as we should be!

3. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

This is an important verse for us to remember, because it shows us both the physical and spiritual realms.
 
God spoke the physical world into existence from the spiritual realm.
 
This is also the way we can overcome the ways of the world and help free creation from its present corruption, by calling upon the power of the Holy Spirit (from the spiritual realm) to help us accomplish our tasks here on earth (the physical realm).
 
For if it wasn’t for the children of God taking a stand against the forces of evil, things here on earth would be a lot worse.
 
So do not worry about the big things we cannot do immediately, but be thankful for the good things that happen all the time.

4. By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

It wasn’t a blood sacrifice that God wanted; He desires a faithful, righteous and repentant heart and soul.

5. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
 
6. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

We hope we all heard this: “without faith it is impossible to please God,” for it leaves no place for worry.
 
This is why we tell people “do not worry, but turn your worries into action.”

7. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

We also can help save the animals just as Noah did, and we can do it by living as faithful children of God.

8. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
 
9. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
 
10. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
 
11. By faith Abraham, even though he was past age-and Sarah herself was barren-was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
 
12. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

And we can do similar things if we really want to.

13. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

And we should be doing the same thing.

14. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
 
15. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.
 
16. Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
NIV

In other words, they were looking for a better world, a world that was living in the heavenly will of God.
 
So, even if we don’t see all we desire accomplished in our own lifetime, others will, and together we know that they will happen for God is with us, and all that we desire is in His heavenly will.
 
So, do not worry, and turn your worries into faithful action.
 
Amen.