Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
Christian Pitfalls (Part 10)
Therefore I say to you, do not worry 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? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:25-27,31-34 (NKJV)
'Yes, but Jesus, if You only understood what's hanging over my head...' Yes, but Christ-followers, if you only understood Jesus hanging on the Cross... and what it really means.
Sometimes I speak about my dad, Jack Lewis. After World War ll, he became a stunt pilot for the Air Force. He met my mom, Millie Lewis, when she was hired as a model to stand by his plane in a New York City air show.
Undoubtedly, war was the highlight of his life. He was a fighter pilot in the China-Burma-India theater. He flew a lot of missions and won some big medals. I asked him how he got his medals. His response? 'I survived. All of us won medals.'
My next question: 'How did you survive? Were you a better pilot?' 'No,' he laughed. 'If I had to give one reason, it's because I never worried. A lot of the other guys had girlfriends and wives. I didn't, so I didn't have anything else on my mind when I flew. I lived for the moment.'
This lack of worry characterized the rest of his life. His strengths were many, but among his challenges was money management. He wasn't good at it, and our family stayed in debt. My parents divorced when I was a teen, and my dad remarried. I love my stepmother, Betty Jane (BJ), but she lived in fret over my dad's debt.
Towards the end of his life (after I became a Christian), we spoke of her concerns. I said, 'BJ, look at your house: a town home on a golf course. You have beautiful furniture, lots of clothes and plenty of food. You've never lacked for anything. When you think about it, God always delivered--in spite (or because of) Dad's lack of worry.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: don't worry. Don't sit in it. Don't lie with it. Don't even regard it. Worry opposes faith, and Satan is thrilled to give you an endless list of concerns to prevent your faith from its inevitable conclusion: success.
So cast all your cares, and 'Throw all your worry on him, because He cares for you' (1 Peter 5:7 ISV). But here's the thing: to become a star for God, you also must become a major-league pitcher and a world-class fisherman. To be all of these things, you need to practice--and it won't come easy.
To rid yourself of worry, consider five steps: 1) Remember your Goal: Jesus; 2) Remember His plan: 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven' (Matthew 5:16);
3) Remember His Power: 'Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you' (Luke 10:19);
4) Remember this process: 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:6-7).
5) Remember the Mind of Christ: 'Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things' (Philippians 4:8).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Christian Pitfalls series.