Paul David Tripp says the biggest challenge facing the church today – busyness. We are soooo busy! You would think it wouldn’t be so busy w/ technology that allows us to: Mow our lawns & sweep our living room rugs with remote controls, research a topic on our phone in 2 seconds what it used to take a trip to the Encyclopedia section at the library to figure out, and microwavable everything” – bacon, eggs, mac n cheese, pizza…even salmon says the internet.
44% of Americans call themselves “workaholics”. We spend 4.7 hours a day on our cell phones. The average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21. Maybe it’s not we’re too busy…but we’re too busy with the wrong things. Read Matthew 6:19-21 as a refresher of what we should be doing.
We worry so much about the temporary – How our lawns need more rain, the weird noise coming from our car, or the upcoming election. Sure, those are legitimate concerns–but how much of our focus & efforts are on the eternal. Is our concern about the waitress at lunch today – “Why is she not bringing the rolls?” or is it “I wonder if she knows the Lord?”. Is it how fast I can leave church on Sunday OR who can I ask how they are doing/who can I pray with that needs encouragement?
“It’s Only Temporary” – It’s a phrase we use when we: talk about a job we don’t like or a cast that we have to wear…it doesn’t phrase us when we believe it is only an issue for a short period of time. Here’s one for ya – LIFE is a short period of time – why don’t’ we feel this way about our difficulties, our trials here on earth and say “It’s only temporary”. Why do we worry so much about the temporary tomorrow when we can affect someone’s eternity TODAY!
Where your heart is – will be what determines what you do next. If your heart is on earthly things – money, success, sex, pleasure…you will pay a great price. But if you choose to give your heart to God…that which you LOSE will be much greater than EVERYTHING you could ever gain with these things…I promise you that!
Go back to Matthew 6:33-34. 2nd reason we are too busy – we worry so much about tomorrow. How does this happen? Why do we worry so much about tomorrow? Why do we put so much time, energy, and so much worry in things that in the end – are only temporary?
Randy Alcorn defines worry as – “momentary atheism crying out for correction by trust in a good and sovereign God.” When we worry about tomorrow – the symptoms and prescriptions are found in these two verses. The symptoms of worry: Memory Loss, Anxiousness, and Disorientation. (Sounds like those commercials on TV: This pill may cause blindness, dizziness, and you may see penguins in the road while driving)
Memory Loss – Worry is a result of forgetting what God has done before. We worry God won’t provide, or help us, or that He doesn’t know what He is doing. But when has He failed you in the past, when has He forgot to have a plan, when has He lost control. Prescription: Seek God first in your busyness. Let him be the first place you go, not the last resort, the last priority, or the “if I have time”.
Anxiousness – Our mind gets filled with the “what if’s”. Sure, it’s good to be prepared, but when we are consumed and anxious about what might happen tomorrow…is when worry can paralyze us. Prescription: Put God in the driver’s seat of your life. Only God can control the future, let it go. Give God your life and let Him lead.
Disoriented – As we discussed before, we get in trouble when we don’t look up. We start trying to control things ourselves and try to be in control – we can easily get lost. Prescription: The saying goes “the average person is crucifying himself b/t two thieves: the regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow”. Ask God to do something with you TODAY. Tomorrow will worry about itself.
Stop worrying about what will happen tomorrow and DO SOMETHING today. This means you will have to get rid of your selfishness. This means you will have to love others that may seem unlovable. This means you will give more of your time and have less of “me time”. This means you will have to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Ask yourself these questions this week:
- What can I do for my neighbor?
- What can I stop doing today? Maybe you need to delete an app or game on my phone. Maybe I need to stop watching a TV show. Maybe I need to use this time to Facebook a friend, bake cookies for my neighbor, or prep to teach a children’s ministry class.
- What is missing in your relationship with God? Am I too busy to spend time in God’s Word and prayer? Do I have room in my schedule to serve God, love others, & volunteer in a ministry?
Never Be Too Busy to Get to Tomorrow…there is so much that needs to be done TODAY…
Back in the ‘70s, Princeton social psychologists asked seminary students to participate in their study on “religious education.” 1st part of the experiment – answer a whole bunch of demographic questions. 2nd part of experiment – walk across campus to another building to give a sermon on “The Good Samaritan”. ½ of the participants were told they were behind schedule and needed to get to the classroom as quickly as possible to give their sermon – their audience was waiting. Other ½ of participants weren’t told they were behind. Here’s where it gets interesting – On their way to the other side of campus – each student would walk by a man struggling in the alleyway. He was moaning and coughing as the students walked by. Ironically – the seminary students who were about to preach on the Good Samaritan, were passing a real test of their sermon material. Results – 63% of participants who were not in a hurry – stopped to help the man; BUT, only 10 percent of the participants who were in a hurry stopped to help the man—even though they were walking with their notes saying how important it is to help people in need!
I’m ashamed to say, I can relate to these seminary guys…
On the way to the church, several days in a row I drove by a couple who were in a car in front of the Subway. As I drove by once more, the man waved at me, probably to get me to stop staring at them. My heart was gripped and I turned around. Turns out he recently lost his job, and he and his wife were homeless. I was able to get them something to eat, and help them make some calls to help them find a home. I could not help but thank the Lord for teaching me this humbling lesson.
How will you let God use you today?
- Step one – is to not be in such a hurry….stop letting “Busy” be your answer to when someone asks you “How are you doing?”
- Step two – if you feel God leading you to do something, and you can do it, and then do it.
- Step three – stop worrying about the temporary.
- Step four – praise the Lord for having the opportunity to share His love.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LISTEN TO THE SERMON…YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.