Beauty and the Beast
Saturday, October 31, 2009

 

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?   So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?’   For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (Matt. 6:25-30)

  

         I am not naive.  I see the world torn by terrorism, hatred, greed, and disasters – Satan’s perversions.  Satan loves nothing more than to pervert God’s beauty.  He gives us insurmountable problems, unmovable obstacles, and unbearable heartaches.  And in all that he takes our eyes off beauty and places them squarely upon the things over which we have no control.  There is where the beast comes in.  Over that which we have no control, we worry.

 

            From the period 1941-1945, over 250,000 Americans lost their lives in World War II.  That is a staggering loss of life.  But in that same length of time, over the last four years, over one million Americans have lost their lives to cardiovascular disease, directly linked to stress and worry.  Four times as many as died on the battlefield in the greatest war in world history.  We Americans, the most blessed culture that the world has ever known, are the most anxious people on earth.  Seventy-five percent of all the world’s psychologists, mental, emotional, and spiritual health counselors, and psychiatrists are right here in this land.  And they verify that the number one cause of the disturbances they treat is worry, and the resultant stress and anxiety.   These are extraordinary statistics for a nation that claims to be 83 percent Christian – the very people whom Jesus told, “Don’t worry.”

 

            Everyone suffers from some level of worry – whether it’s dreading tomorrow’s test or fearing a parent’s reactions to bad grades.  However, psychologists tell us that the disorders caused by today’s anxieties are out of proportion to the situations faced.   For Christians, worry not only robs us of our energy and optimism by which God wants us to live, it also violates a command of God.   Jesus uses this word six times in six verses, which means He is very serious about the fact that worry is foolishness, because to a child of God worry is irrational.  Look at the beauty around you.

 

            Jesus began this part of the Sermon on the Mount by saying, “Therefore.”  And it is in the context of that “therefore” that worry is irrational.  Jesus has told us we should store up our treasures in heaven, not on earth.  We should fix our eyes on eternal things, not on earthly things; and we should serve God with all our hearts, because we cannot serve both God and the world at the same time.  Jesus is calling us to an unconditional commitment.  And to those who make that commitment He says, “Don’t worry.”   Let me put it simply; “The more God is a priority in our lives, the less we have to worry about things.”  Worry is the beast that clutches our lives, handicaps our actions, and chokes away our health.

 

            So to eliminate selfish worry from our lives, we must first understand God’s great beauty and provision for us.  He said,   "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than them?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt. 6:25).    If God has provided us with beauty to enjoy Him, life to know Him, and a body to serve Him, He will also provide the fuel (necessities of life) to make those things happen. 

 

            On this magnificent road to the Kingdom, Jesus inches us along.  If God has given us beauty, life, and body isn’t that sign enough how much God cares for us?   Jesus said concerning the birds of the air, “Are you not much more valuable than they?”  And concerning the grass of the field, if God dresses them greater than the splendor of Solomon, “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”  Surely we are more valuable than they.  We are the ones whom God created in His own image; we are the ones for whom He sent His only Begotten Son to die.

 

           Worry is directly linked to whom we serve.    When our hearts are set upon this world we must constantly worry about the moths that can eat, rust that can destroy, and thieves that can steal away our treasures. But if we have an unconditional commitment to God, worry is irrational. He has provided all we need.  He has given us beauty to know Him and life to enjoy Him; He has died to preserve that life eternally; and all He asks is our hearts in return. Can it be that we are beauty in God’s sight?  Is the circle complete, from the beauty given to us, to the beauty we give back?  How beautiful it must be when we conquer the beast of worry and demonstrate our faith in God.  As we take it in, we give it back.

 

            You see, therein lies the answer.  Not my answer, Jesus’ answer.  He said, “Don’t worry about your life, what you will wear, or even what you eat or drink.”  Give your life to God.  Surrender!  Give up! Yield!  Or as Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom and God’s righteousness, and [life, clothes, food and drink] will be given to you.”  Let me paraphrase the Greek here.  “Strive above all else for the reign and sovereign rule of God, and His upright judgment, and there will never be a need to worry about life, apparel, or sustenance.”  God will take care of those things.

             Striving for God above all else carries with it a secret ingredient.  It makes the things of God the most important things in our lives.  And when that happens, coveting disappears from our lives.  What we want in life is precisely what God wants to provide for us.  What we eat or drink becomes a gift of God.   Faith?  Yes.  But it is a faith that comes from making God the center of our lives, and all His beauty, His promises, His glory become our purpose.            

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455
903-262-5088
CONTACT US



    
  To learn more about Bud...

Hosted by Group M7