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From the Pastor’s Pen:
“Blessed...” (Matthew 6:27)

Zachery Byrd

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“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
(Matthew 6:27)

As I have often said, “The heart is the principle part of religion.” Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus peels back the layers of our actions to reveal the contents of our heart. Anxiety reveals the object of our trust. How many lap dogs have you seen anxious about their next meal? How many of us grew up in poor families but never once worried about our next meal? Why? Because we trusted those who care for us. As the psalmist says: “These all look to you, to give them their food in due season” (104:27). Then why are we so full of anxiety?

A particular children’s poem stands out for its wisdom: “Said the sparrow to the robin, “I should really like to know/Why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so.”/Said the robin to the sparrow, “I think that it must be/That they have no Heavenly Father such as cares for you and me.”

The wisdom of a child solves the problem of the aged. Anxiety signals that mankind has forgotten their Heavenly Father. Whereas the calm, the serene, the steady person’s field of vision looks outward to God, the anxious person’s field of vision looks only within oneself. But let me simply note the language of Scripture. We read that God is our strength (Ps. 18:1), our refuge (Ps. 46:1), our salvation (Ps. 27:1), our truth (Jn. 16:13), our wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3), and the list goes on and on. When we read that God is all of these various qualities, it is because we are not. God is our strength because we have none, God is our refuge because we have none, God is our salvation because we have none. To paraphrase Augustine, “Sin belongs to us; righteousness belongs to God.”

For the man looking within to add a single hour to his life, he will be find nothing but weakness and waywardness. Do you know what that produces? Anxiety. But for the man who looks to God the Father, who beholds the glory of God the Son, this man will find righteousness, peace, joy, and the plentiful fruit of the Spirit. So why settle today for adding one hour to our life by ceaseless worry when we can gain eternal life from God?

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