THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT #23
Winning The War Over Worry
A. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus exhorted His
1. Lay up treasure in heaven (by helping others)
2. Keep your eye good (guard what you allow to influence
your inner man)
3. Make God your Master (and you will not be able to serve
4. We examined this in our last lesson – “Gaining Mastery
Over Mammon” (Mt 6:19-24)
B. But if we do what Jesus says, what about the future here
1. If we lay up treasure in heaven instead of on earth, how
will we provide for our future?
2. Where will our physical necessities like food and clothing
3. How can we keep from worrying about such things?
C. Jesus’ discussion concerning material riches (i.e.,
“mammon”) did not end with verse 24…
1. It really continues on to the end of the chapter
2. In which Jesus addresses concerns regarding the future
D. Beginning with verse 25, Jesus gives several reasons why
we should not worry about such things.
1. In so doing, He establishes two important principles that
are crucial to “Winning The War Over Worry”.
2. The first principle might be stated as…
A. HAVE FAITH IN GOD’S PROVIDENCE
1. Jesus tells us not to “WORRY”
a. The word in the original means “distracted”
b. That is, don’t let anxiety about food and clothing distract
you from more important things in life
2. Jesus makes four arguments why we shouldn’t worry…
a. Is not life and body more important than food and
clothing? – Matthew 6:25… notice “therefore” (6:24)
1) This is an argument from the GREATER to the
2) Life and body are certainly more important than food
3) Who provides our lives and our bodies? God!
4) If He is powerful enough to create life – Isn’t He also
able to provide food and clothing to sustain that
5) “He who has displayed so great goodness as to
form the body, and breathe into it the breath of life,
will surely follow up the blessing, and confer the
smaller favor of providing that the body be clothed,
and that life preserved.” (Barnes)
b. Look at the birds of the air, are you not more
valuable than they? – Matthew 6:26
1) The birds are an example of God’s ability to provide
a) Through His providential workings in nature, God
provides for their needs
b) This does not mean they do not work for their needs
c) But they are not guilty of overdoing a good thing (as
the rich fool was in the parable of Lk 12:16-21)
2) We are certainly more valuable to God than birds!
a) This is an argument from the LESSER to the
GREATER – If God through His providence
provides for the needs of birds, will He not for
b) How are you more valuable than birds?
You were created in the image of God!
You were redeemed by the blood of His Son!
3) Why, then, let concern over physical needs distract
you from what is really important in life?
c. Can you grow simply by worrying? – Matthew
1) This argument illustrates the helplessness of man
a) There are many things in this life which we cannot
affect by “worrying”
b) For example, worrying will not make our bodies
grow any taller
2) The implication of this argument seems to be:
a) “Worrying” about food and clothing cannot
guarantee that you will have them tomorrow
b) As various tragedies clearly illustrate
d. Consider the lilies, won’t God provide for you also?
– Matthew 6: 28-30
1) Another example of God’s ability and willingness to
provide – It is another argument from the LESSER to
2) Look at how they grow…
a) Without any “toil” whatever on their part, nor any
“care” bestowed on them by any human agency
b) Yet their glory surpasses Solomon in all his glory!
(1) Through God’s providential care!
(2) By so ordering the affairs of this life to assure that
they accomplish what they were designed to
3) Will God not much more clothe you?
a) If God is able to so clothe the grass of the field…
b) Is He not ABLE and WILLING to do so for you?
3. If we worry, we are of little faith…
a. Matthew 6:30
b. If worry we have “little faith” in God’s…
1) God promises to care for us!
2) God has the power to deliver that promise!
4. Notice Jesus’ summary concerning God’s providence…
a. Don’t worry about food and clothing – Matthew
b. People without God (e.g., the Gentiles) naturally worry
about these things – Matthew 6:32
c. But we have God as our Heavenly Father, and He knows
that we need such things!
5. So we need to develop faith in God’s providence, both
in His ability and willingness to provide for His
children. But the promise of His providence is
conditioned upon our willingness to…
B. MAKE GOD’S WILL YOUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY
1. Seek first the kingdom of God – Matthew 6:33
a. This is the second key to “Winning The War Over
b. We must make the will of God the number one priority
in your life
c. We make God our priority by:
1) Serving God instead of “mammon”
2) Letting the “lamp” of our body be a “good eye”
(i.e., focused clearly on that which is good, true, and
3) Laying up treasure in heaven (by using earthly
treasure to help others)
d. Do this, and God will provide for your physical needs
1) For He is certainly “able”
2) And He is certainly “willing”
2. Don’t worry about Tomorrow – Matthew 6:34
a. Today has enough trouble with which to be concerned
1) We are not capable of handling tomorrow’s worries
a) We have no control over the future
b) And worrying about the future only distracts us from
the duties of the present
2) Today’s problems are all we are capable of handling
without becoming distracted
b. Let tomorrow take care of itself
1) By trusting in God!
2) By doing God’s will today!
c. Let your undivided attention be given to seeking
God’s rule in your life…
1) Make His kingdom the number one priority
2) Concern yourself with His righteousness, not your