Thursday, May 7, 2015


There is a saying that goes something like this, “Yesterday is just a memory, tomorrow is only a wish.  All we really have is today.  It is a gift, and that is why we call it the present’.”  It is a cute little saying, and true to life.  The reality of every day life is that we often times find ourselves wondering and worrying about the future.  If we are wise, we make plans for the future, but if we are realists, we know that the future is uncertain and unseen.  

For some people this gives a sense of adventure to everyday life.  The future becomes a canvas upon which they can paint the story of the desires of their heart.  For others, the hidden dangers of things not yet seen can themselves become a dark cloud of doubt and anxiety.  Fear, worry, doubt- all troubles of the heart, rob us of the joy we are intended to experience.  We do not need to continue in fear and worry.  Jesus has given us the keys we need to rise above anxiety and enjoy His abundant life.

I would like to share with you six lessons that Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:25-34 about a right response to anxiety:

  1.  “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? (Matt. 6:25).  First of all, Jesus commands us not to be anxious.  Specifically, he tells us not to worry about food or clothing, which is typically not the main concern here in America.  As an affluent nation, our concerns are usually for other things, but even if we lived in an impoverished third-world nation the command remains- do not be anxious.  Jesus then follows with solid reasons we can rest quietly and wait for Him.
  2. "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?" (Matt. 6:26)  God provides for the animals of the earth.  He gives them food, water, and various shelters.  If he cares for them, will He not also care for us who were fashioned as the crowning peak of His creation, made in His image?
  3. "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matt. 6:27).  Here Jesus points out the utter futility of anxiety and worry.  Concern for the future may be beneficial if that concern becomes action to make diligent provision for the future, but when we just sit and allow worries to overwhelm our thinking, we effectively rob ourselves of the very joy we long for.  
  4. "And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  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?” (Matt. 6:28-30).  Much of our culture in America has moved away from the enjoyment of the simple and profound beauty of natural things.  Being content with simple beauty removes us from the endless pursuit of things that only have temporary value.
  5. "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:31-33).  God knows what we need.  We tend to focus on what we want.  God tells us to seek Him, and He will take care of what we need.
  6. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matt. 6:34).  We have enough to do each day to be diligent, work well, be at peace with our neighbors, and enjoy the gift of life.  There is no need to borrow trouble from tomorrow.  
I would like to invite you, if you don’t already have a church home, to visit with us some Sunday at Northwood Community Bible Church.  You can find out more about us at  Have a great summer!

Still I Will Trust You

Still I will trust You.  Still I will follow.  Still I will listen to Your every calling.
While the storm rages on, and I cant find my way, still I will trust You Lord.  
When in my dark hour You restored my weary soul You led me to that resting place and made me whole 
Now I cannot question, though stormy billows roll 
My faith is secure, safe is my trust in You alone.

These words, penned by songwriter Vonnie Lopez, are a declaration of trust and reliance upon God that echo the heart of millions of Christians over the 2000 history of the church.  They are an anthem declaring the worthiness of God to receive our honor and allegiance, despite the circumstances we may be going through.  I would like to take a moment to share what makes God worthy of our trust, through good times and bad.

The psalmist, David, writes in Psalm 40, "I waited patiently for the LORD, he inclined to me and heard my cry.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD”  These brief verses are a song of praise from a man who had been pursued by enemies who hungered for his death.  He acknowledges the desperation of his life and the extent to which God pursued him.  He felt as though God had followed him even to the bottom of a destructive pit, so that He could save him.  

Notice the words in that psalm, “…you drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of a miry (muddy) bog, and set my feet upon a rock”.  There is something unsettled and unstable in David’s imagery of the pit he was in.  This picture of a muddy hole in the ground where he awaits his doom is desperate and exhausting all at once.  One can almost feel the panic from not being able to escape and the exhaustion of trying to even stand on miry, unstable ground while calling out for help.  However, not only does God pull him out to help him, He sets David on a “solid rock” to stand.  

Spiritually speaking, there are a lot of people who find themselves in a deep pit of unstable ground.  Their self-styled spirituality doesn’t stand up to the demands of real and difficult life situations.  Their attempts to gain ground with God only end up digging them in further, they call out for help, but no one is able to save them.  But God shows His mercy to us, even when we were still enemies with Him, He died to save us from our sins, and it doesn’t end there.  

As this psalm shows, God not only pulls us from the pit, He sets our feet on solid rock.  No more are we treading on the shifting sands of spiritual uncertainty, without any hope to lean on.  If we are “in Christ” we have a confident and joyful expectation of God’s presence in our lives.  Jesus is that solid rock.  In Christ, we can have assurance of salvation, confidence in uncertain days, hope amidst trial, and joy amidst grief.  

Psalm 40 continues, "But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”  As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me.  You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!”  We have every reason to find our hope in God, every reason in the world to obey Him and trust Him regardless of our circumstance.  Still I will trust you, still I will follow, still I will listen to Your every calling.  While the storm rages on, and I cant find my way, still I will trust You Lord.