Discuss with your family and friends: What are some common fears that people are facing right now? How are those fears shaping their lives?
We have many sources of fear. Some of these sources are tied directly to the outbreak we are now experiencing. Some fear the loss of a job, the loss of income, and just the general loss of normalcy. Fear, as a human emotion, has a way of hyper-focusing our mind and hijacking our strength. Feeling fear is a normal part of our existence. You cannot get rid of fear any more than you can rid your life of sadness, joy, or anger. So we will all have fear, but experiencing fear is not the same thing as being controlled by fear. This is where Jesus helps us. Jesus helps us elevate our vision when we are in fearful circumstances.
Warning: Jesus’ words are extreme, but that’s where the point is.
1. Jesus draws the battle lines inside of our hearts—God vs. Stuff – Matthew 6:24, 21
- Key Words
- Money (μαμμωνᾶς) – treasure, including money and property; often used in terms of the public display of wealth
- Devoted (ἀντέχομαι) – to adhere to, to hold fast to, to support
Key Observation — Jesus list some things that produce fear and worry. And these things need to be replenished because they always diminish – Matthew 6:25
Discuss with family and friends: Identify some things that bring temporary happiness (for example: haircut happiness caffeine happiness, clean car happiness, etc.)
2. Jesus wants to change our confined, limited perspective – Matthew 6:26
- You are more valuable than the rest of God’s creative order
- Your worry/fear can’t increase your age
Paul Lives This Out
Paul gives us a real life example of what this looks like and wraps this real life example around one powerful word (Philippians 4:10-14).
Keep these three things in mind:
- He is in prison
- He has some kind of illness
- He is beginning to realize his fate
Enough is good. But enough is more than just good.
Wanting enough is better than wanting excess.
Because excess leads to stress.
Application: What area of your life do you need to introduce the concept of enough-ness?
- Home Décor
- Side job
- Making money
- Acceptance from other people
Matthew 6:24-27, Philippians 4:10-13
TALK IT OUT
- Everyone experiences fear at times. Before the COVID-19 crisis, what would you say were the most common fears people faced? What would you say they are now?
- Read Matthew 6:25. Many times our fears revolve around the loss, or potential loss, of our “stuff.” What reality check does Jesus provide us with in this verse?
- It could be said that one of the goals of marketing is to try to make people feel discontent with their present circumstances in some way. Give some examples.
- In Philippians 4:11, Paul tells us that he “learned” to be content in all circumstances. Read 1 Peter 2:11, 1 John 2:16 and Galatians 5:16-17. According to these passages, why doesn’t contentment come naturally to us in this world?
- In Matthew 6:26, Jesus tells us that we are much more valuable to God than all the rest of creation. Read John 3:16, Romans 5:6-8 and Romans 8:32. How did God demonstrate your worth to Him? How does that affect your ability to trust Him with every other issue that concerns you?
LIVE IT OUT
- What fear are you presently struggling with? Take a few moments right now to ask God to calm your heart and help you rest in His love and care for you.
- Name one area of your life in which you tend toward excess. What step can you take this week to start practicing contentment in this area?