Sunday, March 12, 2006

One Day at a Time

Don't forget the ETSOPM lectures start Sunday. See you there! Kirk

One Day At A Time
Matt. 6:25-34
I. Introduction
A. Ann Landers wrote, “To be a parent is to worry.”
1. Many of us have broken that rule - whether parents or not, we worry.
B. Our lesson is quite simple today - we will examine the need to take life one day at a time.
C. From time to time every one of us need to be reminded:
1. GOD KNOWS OUR NEEDS this is why you should take it one day at a time.

2. GOD MEETS OUR NEEDS so why would you want to take it more than one day at a time
3. GOD EXCEEDS OUR NEEDS therefore, let us take it one day at a time
II. Since God knows your needs - let us take it one day at a time.
A. The text contrasts worry and reliability. Man worries - but God is reliable.
B. The text proves this by noting how nature relies on God a man without God becomes self reliant.
1. Until we as humans interferes, everything in nature works together, because all of nature trusts God. Jesus was saying God has built into His Creation the means by which all things are cared for. The birds are fed because they diligently work to maintain their lives. They do not store up great amounts of food, but continually work! The lilies grow daily through a natural process. The grass land greens during the rainy season and browns during droughts, yet the whole of earth is a planet of greenery.
2. Morgan Freeman in the Shawshank Redemption said, “You either get busy living or get busy dying.” In other words, you’re going to live today or die today - there’s nothing you can do about it. But the wisest thing to do is get busy living because death comes too soon regardless what age you attain. So Jesus says that nature teaches man all birds die and so do the plants but they don’t worry about it. They sing today and bloom today for their creator today, for by his grace, they are living today. God knows their needs, and he knows your needs - so take it one day at a time.
C. Man worries, about..... Terrorist, gas prices, retirement, beauty, popularity
1. Survey says.... 40% of the time we worry about things that will never happen, 30% concern things that can’t be changed, 12% center in on criticism, mostly untrue, made by people who feel inferior, 10% relate to health which worsens when you worry, And only 8% are legitimate concerns which you can do something about. Most of the time we worry about things that never happen.
2. What secret does the grass, birds and lilies have that we have yet to discover? Live one day at a time, because you are just given one day to live at a time.
3. If a terrorist strikes - be ready to meet God, if gas increases - conserve, if retirement benefits fold - be thankful you made it to retirement age - you’re beauty will fail, your popularity will fluctuate - be a man after God’s heart where beauty and popularity is weighed on a spiritual scale. Because God knows what you need - so take it one day at a time.

II. God meets your needs - So why would you want to take it more than one day at a time.
A. You recall the story of the rich fool (Lk. 12:16-21)?
1. Here we see the demise of a man who did not take it one day at a time.
2. He thought only of self - he used the personal pronoun “I” six times.
3. This rich man had only one day to live and he wasted it on himself
4. Song - Tim McGraw “Live like you were dying” speaks of the self seeking and self serving ideals we possess. “I went sky diving, rocky mountain climbing, 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu, loved deeper, spoke sweeter, gave forgiveness I’ve been denying. Hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.”
5. Jesus - “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” The rich man spent those final few hours of his life grasping the things of the world and not looking up to God.
a. He thought of Gold - instead of God.
b. He thought of Pleasure - instead of People.
c. He thought of Ease - instead of Eternity.
6. God meets our needs Psalmist writes “I’ve been young, now I am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken nor his descendants begging bread.”
7. Remember the Lord’s Prayer. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus didn’t say anything about accumulating bread for tomorrow. He didn’t say anything about having a bread bank from which to draw. No, he said, “Give us today what we need today.” Focus on what we need now, not on what we feel we will need in the future.
B. God has met the needs of his people ever since they were alive.
1. Adam & Eve - Israel in captivity and wilderness; church in growth and persecution.
2. Ever wonder why God permitted Stephen to be stoned, Polycarp and others to be executed for his cause? Did not God see their need? Why did he let them die and others live?
a. War is war whether it be physical or spiritual. Causalities of war is inevitable. The cost of spiritual freedom is as great as the price of democracy - at times blood must be shed. So when my faith grows weary and my prayers appear to go unheard, I reflect back to savior who gave his life and those men and women who paid the price so truth may continue to spread and see....... God meets my needs, in life, in death... so why would I want to live life more than one day at a time - the worries of this day are great enough.

III. God exceeds your needs - Therefore, let us take it one day at a time.
A. Ten times God exceeded the needs of Israel by plaguing Egypt.
1. They still worried when they came to the Red Sea. “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”
2. Later, even after they had seen the miracles, God coming upon the mountain blazing in glory, they built an idol proclaiming, “This is what delivered you!” Why? Because they worried about Moses being gone 40 days saying this God must have killed him.
3. We read about God exceeding their need but they worried about giants in the land, bread to eat, water to drink and because of it, died in the wilderness - there’s a story here brethren - listen up! Worry will get you killed!
B. What the Matthew text tells us is that when we worry about things in which we have no control, we put ourselves in the same category as those who don’t know God verse 32
1. The unbeliever lives in a way in which he relies on himself.
2. Its sad to know that some Christians are still self seeking instead of seeking the kingdom.
3. Daniel wasn’t going to worry in the lion’s den he just kept on praying - Shadrack, Meshack, and Abindigo wasn’t going to worry when they had to take the high ground even if it meant the fiery furnace. Paul wasn’t going to worry even if going to Jerusalem would mean bondage. The apostles wouldn’t stop preaching even though it cost them their life. When they hid behind closed doors after the crucifixion Jesus appeared to them even behind closed doors to encourage them to get out and get busy living or my church will be dying. Seek first my kingdom - Worry kills the church.
C. Hasn’t God exceeded our needs? Shouldn’t we be about seeking the kingdom first?
1. The Greek word translated ‘do not worry’ literally means “to be drawn in different directions.” Thus, worry pulls us apart.
2. One of the things lion tamers carry into the cage with them is a chair. I understand that the chair is the most important piece of equipment they have. They will point that chair at the lions and the animals will try to focus on all four legs at once and become sort of paralyzed. Their attention is fragmented and they are disabled and weakened. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
3. So when we get focusing on too many worldly things we forget to seek out the one thing which is most important - the purpose of the kingdom in our life. Satan causes one to loose sight of the goal of Christ by pulling and drawing us in different directions - thus making us infidels - people who don’t trust in Yahweh Jirah - (the God who provides).
4. God exceeds our needs so lets take it one day at a time.

So there you have it. Jesus says, that if you are seeking the kingdom, you have very little to worry about. Nature is taken care of. The heathen are fed and clothed. Why worry about tomorrow when you may not even be given tomorrow. Today’s concerns are enough - live one day at a time for God and you will be a happier, healthier, and prosperous Christian.

A story is told about a man who came face to face with the dangers of worry: Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked, "What are you going to do?" "I’m going to take 100 people," Death replied. "That’s horrible!" the man said. "That’s the way it is," Death said. "That’s what I do." The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan. As evening fell, he met Death again. "You told me you were going to take 100 people," the man said. "Why did 1,000 die?" "I kept my word," Death responded. "I only took 100 people. Worry took the others."

Now, if you knew that you had only one day to live, what would you do? Would you worry about it? Get busy living, or get busy dying. Seek the kingdom of God first or get busy preparing for an infidel’s reward. Live one day at a time because:
God Sees your needs
God meets our needs
God will exceed your need.
Thanks to HOWARD MCGLAMORY, SCOTT CARMER & TONY BRITT for several thoughts scattered throughout this lesson.

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