Anxiety and the Christian

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Solomon wrote, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad” (). In , Jesus provides a good word to His people. There are many things in life that consume are thinking and can weigh us down. The pressures of these things can cause a strong sense of fear, anxiety and worry. As citizens of the Lord’s kingdom, the people of God are called to live in total dependence on the Lord, which means they are to trust Him in all matters. This includes the worries of life. Three times in this passage Jesus says, “do not be anxious” (vv. 25, 31, 34) clearly indicating an important emphasis. The three-fold repetition of this command provides three reasons why the believer should not worry.

The first reason why the believer should not worry is because of the Father’s Provision (). By arguing from the lesser to the greater, Jesus demonstrates the Father’s provision for the birds () and the lilies of the field () as a proof of His provision for His people. The Lord cares for animals and nature, but He His care for humans is greater for they are created in His image ().

The second reason for not worrying is because of the Father’s Promise (). The Father knows all that we need, so as we “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness“, He promises to grant us what we need (). To seek His kingdom and righteousness means to pursue those things that conform to His will.

The final reason why we ought not to worry is because of the Father’s Plan (). Only God knows what will happen tomorrow so we must rest in His sovereign plan.

Anxiety is something we all battle with. Despite the reality of the constant cares and concerns of life, it is wonderful to know that we have our Heavenly Father loving us and caring for us according to His Holy will.

25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Fearing God puts our Worldly Fears to Rest

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I was recently reading and was struck by an aspect of our relationship with God that we maybe don’t talk about enough… fearing God. This doesn’t seem to be spoken of much in Christian circles, as more often than not, people tend to focus on the “God” of love always being there for us and providing for us. However, this passage takes a different approach. Luke bluntly says, “don’t fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” This sort of teaching about God can sound unfamiliar and foreign to many church congregations today.

However, we must remember that although God is merciful, gracious and loving… clearly highlighted by Jesus’ sacrifice for us, not to mention continual patience to the Israelites in the Old Testament… God is also to be feared and revered. He is righteous and holy. He hates sin and will punish it… His nature demands it. He will cast into hell those who choose to turn from Him and not to accept Jesus as their savior (, , ). That last statement sits very uneasy with many people. ‘A loving God will not send people to hell??!!’ However, in thinking that we miss two points: Continue reading Fearing God puts our Worldly Fears to Rest

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

Stranger Evangelism

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I’m always amazed at the capacity we Christians have for justifying our own sinfulness and apathy.  I have done my fair share of stranger evangelism in the past.  It’s not easy, but almost always rewarding (and easier than you think it will be!).  Stranger evangelism is basically the idea of walking up to someone you don’t know and sharing the gospel with them.  This could take the form of door-knocking or walk up evangelism at University or the shopping centre, etc.  But it’s amazing how many reasons Christians can suddenly think of as to why we shouldn’t do it!

This week I was out at the University campus, not doing stranger evangelism, but inviting strangers to Continue reading Stranger Evangelism

Regrets, I’ve had a few ….

This post was contributed by Lindsay, Trustee at HBC


Regrets, I’ve had a few, sang Frank Sinatra – but then he did it “his way”.

A blog receiving attention from columnists recently is one by Dr. Bronnie Ware, who worked in palliative care for many years and spoke to many dying patients. She has shared what they told her and reports that the top five regrets of the dying are:

 

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. (This was the most common regret of all.)

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Continue reading Regrets, I’ve had a few ….

Anders Berhring Breivik (Norway Killer) – Christian Fundamentalist or Religious Tyrannist?

Our deepest condolences to the people of Norway as they struggle to cope with this national tragedy. It is our prayer that in their sorrow many will turn to God for solace and comfort.

The following is an article from Lighthouse Trails.

*****

The man who committed the atrocities on Friday, July 22, 2011 in Norway is being called a “Christian fundamentalist,” and already, stories are hitting the mainstream media telling the world to look out for Christian fundamentalists. Frank Schaeffer, son of theologian Francis Schaeffer, has likened the Norway killer to those who oppose abortion in his article on Saturday titled ”Christian Jihad? Why We Should Worry About Right-Wing Terror Attacks Like Norway’s in the US,” saying ”the terror unleashed on Norway” is “the sort of white, Christian, far right terror America can expect more of.”

But is the Norway killer a fundamentalist Christian (someone who follows the fundamental teachings of the Bible)? The answer to this is a resounding Continue reading Anders Berhring Breivik (Norway Killer) – Christian Fundamentalist or Religious Tyrannist?

Liar Liar

*Lying seems to be a way of life for many people. We lie at the drop of a hat. The book, The Day American Told the Truth, says that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, and 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lie regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses.

*Our Daily Bread

**The three most commonly told lies.

1. “Gee, you haven’t changed a bit”

Continue reading Liar Liar

We Don’t Walk Alone

‘Lord, if it’s You’, Peter answered Him, ‘command me to come to You on the water.’ ‘Come!’ He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’

Here we see Peter stepping out boldly in faith because of his trust in Jesus. He was focused on Jesus and knew that through Jesus enabling Him, he could walk toward Continue reading We Don’t Walk Alone

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

The Middle of the Night

We all know what it’s like to get that phone call in the middle of the night. This night’s call was no different. Jerking up to the ringing summons, I focused on the red illuminated numbers of my clock. Midnight. Panicky thoughts filled my sleep-dazed mind as I grabbed the receiver.

“Hello?”

My heart pounded; I gripped the phone tighter and eyed my wife, who was now turning to face my side of the bed.

“Daddy?” I could hardly hear the whisper over the static. But my thoughts immediately went to my daughter. When the desperate sound of a young crying voice became clearer on the line, I grabbed for my wife and squeezed her wrist.

Continue reading The Middle of the Night

Don’t let Worrying Hold you Down

Your heavenly Father already knows all you needs, and He will give you all you need from day to dat if you live for Him and make the kingdom of God your primary concern. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it’s own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Worry… surely one of the basic banes of humanity. How much time and energy do we spend worrying? Where does it get us? What good does it pose?

Continue reading Don’t let Worrying Hold you Down

32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.