Keeping Ourselves Unspotted from the World (Lesson 04)
1. According to James 1:27, "keeping ourselves unspotted from the world" is an important part of "pure and undefiled religion before God." 2. One key to keeping ourselves unspotted from the world is "controlling anxiety [worry]."
I. LET US FIRST EXAMINE THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN IN PHILIPPIANS 4:6
A. The first part of this verse says, "Be 'careful' [anxious] for nothing." B. The alternative to anxiety is given in the latter part of this verse -- "in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." C. These instructions are not hard to understand, but practicing them may be challenging.
II. A HELPFUL ILLUSTRATION IS FOUND IN 1 SAMUEL 1:9-18
A. These verses show how Hannah reacted to a difficult situation. B. Hannah had a problem (vs.6). 1. Because of her problem she was filled with grief. 2. Vs.7 shows that "she wept, and did not eat." C. Hannah set a great example in the way she reacted to her problem. 1. She talked to God through prayer and asked Him to give her a son [a supplication]. 2. Eli the priest assured her that God would fulfill her request. 3. (vs.18b) After praying and talking to Eli, Hannah "went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad." D. Hannah shows us how to practice the instructions given in Philippians 4:6. E. Let us turn our attention to . . .
III. THE LORD'S TEACHING ABOUT WORRY IN MATTHEW 6:25-34
A. (vs.25a) Jesus began by telling His followers not to worry about things such as food, drink, and clothing [the necessities of life]. B. Jesus continued by giving 6 reasons why we should not worry about such things. 1. Reason #1 (vs.25b): Our lives are more valuable than food and clothing. a. We need food and clothing to live, but they only benefit us while we live here on earth. b. According to Ecclesiastes 12:13, we live to fulfill a higher purpose. c. Fearing God and keeping His commandments will allow us to live forever. 2. Reason #2 (vs.26): Human beings are much more valuable than the animals God created. a. Jesus mentioned the birds of the air and how God cares for them. b. A human being is certainly more valuable than a sparrow (Matthew 10:29, 31). c. Jesus used this line of reasoning to show that God will provide for His children; therefore, we should not worry. 3. Reason #3 (vs.27): Worrying will not change anything, as illustrated by a person's height. 4. Reason #4 (vs.28-30): Human beings are more valuable than the plants God created. a. Jesus mentioned the lilies of the field, and He showed how God cares for them. b. A human being is certainly more valuable than a plant. c. Jesus used this line of reasoning to show that God will provide His children with things such as clothing; therefore, we should not worry. 5. Reason #5 (vs.31-32): The Lord does not want us to be like heathens in the world. a. When Jesus mentioned "Gentiles," He was referring to unbelieving pagan people. b. Such people are only concerned with things this world has to offer. c. God's people should have higher priorities than heathens. 6. Reason #6 (vs.34): We have enough to be concerned about today. 7. After giving these 6 reasons why we should not worry, . . . C. (vs.33) Jesus told us what to have as our top priorities. 1. We are to seek God's kingdom and His righteousness first. 2. Those who do so will be blessed with the necessities of life.