What a great day! We are watching God work at Grace!
So many of you walked out today saying that this message hit you where you live. It did me, too!
I've inherited my parent's worrying habit. Only they never admitted to worry - they'd always say, "I'm not worried; just concerned." That's because they refused to admit that they were caught in the sin-trap of worry.
A recent study estimates that we spend 1 hour and 45 minutes A DAY worrying. (Don't forget: you can multi-task on this!). That adds up to a whole lot of wasted time and energy. Let's say that, for you, it's only half-true. That still means that you spend around an hour a day in worry.
What if you could reclaim that hour? What if that "twenty-fifth" hour a day you spend in worry could be spent more productively?
In his most famous sermon, Jesus spent a few words on worry. You should read it. When you do, notice how often time comes up in Jesus' message: Matthew 6:25-34.
Jesus knows that worry and time go together. Not only does worry steal time, it also damages it. Worry uses the past as a weapon to wound the present and discourage hope for the future.
So, what can be done to tame worry? Here are a few practical steps to reclaim the twenty-fifth hour:
- Schedule your worry. Limit your emotional investment. Jesus said that our troubles are "sufficient for the day . . ." So instead to investing an hour or more all through the day, carve out five minutes and sit down to worry.
- Pray. So, you're not really going to spend that five minutes fretting. You're going to spend it praying about your worries. This is the most consistent recommendation of scripture: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, with prayer and supplication, let your requests (problems) be made known to God."
- Release. We must deliver our problems to God, who is waiting to take our worries. "Cast all your anxiety upon him, for he cares for you." Do you make a grocery list? Why? Because you want to make sure you've remembered it all. So make a worry list and deliver it to God.
- Divide and conquer by making a plan. There will be a whole lot on your list that you cannot control, and that's why God wants you to surrender that stuff to him. But sometimes, something will show up on your list that really is within your responsibility. So make a plan, under God's guidance, to do something about it. Take the one step you can take today; don't worry about tomorrow.
- Make God's agenda the first thing, the priority. Listen to him. Ask yourself this: "If God, my King, were sitting here next to me, what would he suggest about my worry list?"
Don't let worry steal the twenty-fifth hour. Let God redeem that time.
Next week we'll wrap up our series, "It's A Matter Of Time" with a message about seizing every moment, and we'll take a look at the ONE BIG THING that you could do with a moment of time that would make a huge difference forever. THIS IS A SERVICE THAT WOULD BE GREAT TO BRING A FRIEND ALONG.