It kind of feels like nothing’s happening in the world. Every day is a blah news day. But is it really? Well, there’s nothing much to read in the newspapers, except your everyday burglaries, etc. No big headlines. And nothing much is on TV, except the news by the ever-observant reporter of the almost daily killing of a black man by the white police. Oh, that’s big news! The biggest news of our day.
But there is nothing quite as big as it used to be—about what Trump has done! All the news about Biden is fairly good and what is expected of a president—so the news says.
The answer to these blah days is that there really is big news, but the media is not reporting it. They are fairly silent. And if they do report something that is legitimately bad news (evil activity) they will report it as good news, or as common stuff.
Oh, how I long for Trump again. Then there will really be HEADLINE NEWS. They will report it as terrible. But we (most people) will know better. We will know that it is really good news, that something good is being done; or that it is good news made by the press to look bad.
I hate these prolonged cover-ups, these on-going-deceptions. When we have these quiet times, these slow news days, I feel uneasy. I fear for the country. I fear for so many good people who think that all is well, that no news is good news. They are so wrong! They are so deceived!
What can we do? What can I do? As Christians we should keep in prayer, asking God what to do and how to live. We should be vigilant in everything, keeping on guard against every kind of evil. And we should joyously live from day to day with an expectation of His return. Now that will be big news!!
The verse we will consider today is Matthew 6:34.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
This verse is a concluding verse on the subject of worry, which Jesus has been preaching on from the preceding 14 verses (vv. 19-33); hence, He uses the word “therefore” to begin the verse. The verse also extends the teaching. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, whom I have been following, says this: “[Jesus adds] an extension of His teaching…In adding this [verse] He carried the teaching [about worry] one step further.”
Here we see that Jesus personalizes worry. In effect, worry seems to have its own power. I would say that worry teams up with the demonic; the demons mean to use worry to overpower us and defeat us. Almost all of us are familiar with what worry does to us. It argues with us and tries to convince us to overthink things, to over-plan for tomorrow. And it has a very active imagination, and it will come up with all kinds of possibilities—things that could happen, troubles! I am a house painter. And when I have a job coming up that I think will be difficult, I tend to want to sit and plan it all out. Some of that wise—I’m not against planning—but when it keeps me up half the night, its not good. I really don’t need that much thought on all the potential problems.
Jesus here tells us that worrying about the future is futile and achieves nothing. It is pointless because we can’t do anything about it until we get there. We are to live one day at a time, dealing only with the worries of the day—the present. But when we stack onto our present worries tomorrows worries, we are overburdening ourselves for that day; we are lessening our efficiency for that day.
We could look at it this way. God has given us twelve hours in each day. In order to be efficient in doing the tasks for that day, we must learn to concentrate most on that one day, blocking out the past and also the possible future. Oh, I know that it is wise to do some planning and reflecting. But when we have finished doing that—and it shouldn’t take that much time—we must move on and concentrate on the now. And one reason why we should do that is because thoughts on the past and the future are not always reliable. I think it is better to take things (problems) to God in prayer as they arise. It is better to live adventurously, and in faith and obedience.
We should say to ourselves, “Here is a day which is going to bring me a few problems; I will need God’s grace and help along the way.” And we could claim certain promises, like 1 Corinthians10:13:
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.
In conclusion, here are one or two thoughts:
Know that worry is always a failure to grasp and apply our faith. We apply it by learning to talk to ourselves and to convince ourselves to live by faith. We could say to ourselves with the Psalmist, “Why are thou cast down, O my soul? Hope in God…” (Ps. 43:5).
Then refuse any anxious thoughts. Faith in God is refusing to think about worrisome things and to set our mind toward God and trust in Him for today.
A small group prayer ministry may not appear to be that productive, but with the right leadership it may be very effective. Here are a few ideas on how to design this ministry.
1. I think a small group ministry will operate best with two or three leaders. These are the people that have the vision for this ministry. Though everyone in the group will have responsibilities, the leaders will do most of the planning and organizing. They should meet regularly, at least monthly to evaluate the groups progress, to plan events and strategies, and to pray together.
2. As to its location, I suggest that the group always meet in the same place so its members always know where to go. Since this will be a serious prayer group it must be a place without distractions.
3. Though many from the group will probably attend the same church…
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In the millennium Christ the King will break the staff of the wicked who have continually persecuted and oppressed Israel; and He will give them rest for a thousand years (Isa. 14:3-6). And all during that long period the Lord Christ will be their refuge and stronghold (Joel 3:16). And He will camp around them, and the oppressor will no longer come near them (Zech. 9:8). And the beasts of the earth will not devour them; but they will live securely, and no one will make them afraid” (Ezek. 34:28).
So it seems that in the millennium God will bring comfort to all those who have been oppressed (Isa. 61:2); but He will bring a special comfort to Israel. They will receive “a double portion.” Here are a few passages that describe this.
Isaiah 51:3 Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places. And…
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I have been writing on the subject of worry. We are still on that subject, from Matthew 6; this time our emphasis is on not living like a Gentile (a non-Christian), but rather like a Christian. In Matthew 6:31 through 33 Jesus said,
“Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ 32 “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
We Are Not to Live Like the Non-Christian
In verse 32 Jesus mentions that the Gentiles (non-Christians) are always seeking food, drink, and clothing, and yet they always seem to be worried over it. It is because they have a wrong view of life, a view that leaves open the door to worry. Here are two life views of the non-Christian.
1. The theory of contingency. This view holds that everything in life is accidental, that things happen without rhyme or reason and we never know what will happen next.
2. The theory of fatalism. This is the idea that whatever happens we can’t do anything about it. It is the belief that there are unknow powers, good and bad, controlling things, but we can’t do anything about it—whatever happens, happens; whatever will be will be. Doris Day use to sing that song, remember?
When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty
Will I be rich
Here’s what she said to me
Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be
The non-Christian still has these views about life, and so you can see why they worry. And many will try to overcome worry by one of two way.
1. Party it up. They say, we don’t know what’s going to happen, so we might as well live it up now, for tomorrow we may die.
2. Suicide. There are all kinds of suicide. There is drug overuse, or immorality, both are used to blot out a depressed life. And some go crazy and just flip out, killing others and themselves.
Living by Faith
The Christian view of life is quite different than the non-Christian view. We could call it…
The doctrine of certainty. In this view things are certain because we are in the hands of the living God.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that l all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Therefore, we believe that God has a perfect plan for our lives, and much of that plan we see from day to day as we read His word and walk in His Spirit.
But why do so many Christians still worry (like me)? The answer is easy. Though they are believers and have the Holy Spirit, they unknowingly live not by the Christian view of life, but by the non-Christian view. And sometimes what they may say in ordinary conversation betrays them. They may say something like, “Well, we never know what the future holds.”
The answer to a worried life, of course, is to build up our faith; to constantly remind ourselves that we are a child of God and that we were meant to live by faith. Here are four things you can do to build up your faith in God.
1. Put every crisis in the context of your faith.
2. When faced with a crisis ask yourself, will my conduct show me and others that I am a Christian and that I belong to a higher realm.
3. Know that you will never be in any situation that is outside of God’s love and care.
4. When faced with any situation in life, know that you should seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and then believe that all other things will be taken care of by God (read Matthew 6:33).
Confidence is an essential ingredient for prayer, as well as for Christian living. In my study of this topic, I found seven different Hebrew and Greek words that could be translated as confidence (Hebrew: mibtach, betach, and batach; Greek: peitho, tharreo, parrhesia, and elpidos). In these words, I found five basic meanings: confidence as security and safety, as assurance, as courage, as hope, and as trust. We will now take a look at these meanings from a few verses of scripture.
Confidence is security and safety. In Proverbs 14:26 it says, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence [mibtach], and His children will have a place of refuge.” Also in Proverbs 1:33 it says, “But whoever listens to Me will dwell safety [or confidently, betach] and will be secure, without fear of evil.”
Confidence is assurance. In Philippians 1:3-6, Paul, beginning his letter…
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Since people everywhere need prayer, we need prayer ministries everywhere. The design of your prayer ministry will be determined by two things: (1) by what the needs are, according to the location and type of ministry, and also (2) by whom your leaders are, according to their gifts and how God is calling and directing them. In this blog post we will address the prayer ministry of the local church.
There is no right or wrong way to design any prayer ministry. There are so many things that can be done. Here are some of my own ideas for a local church prayer ministry—from my own experience and from what I have read and observed.
1. I think the senior pastor should lead the prayer ministry, or at least be a co-leader with another elder.He is the main leader of the church so it fits best if he leads…
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Have you ever considered why God thought it necessary to come to the earth some day and rule over the earth for 1000 years? These five purposes, presented in no certain order, will give you a good foundation of knowledge as to the reasons for the millennial kingdom.
- To restore harmony to His creation. Certainly, all things will be put in order after the millennium, when God creates a new heaven and a new earth. So why is there a need to try to restore harmony to this present creation? Or why is there a need for the millennium at all? I don’t have all the answers, but what I have gathered from my reading is that there is a need to preserve God’s character in our mind, that it will not be said or thought of God that He started a work on this earth that He could not complete. Therefore…
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