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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - Don't Worry

Michael Youssef - Don't Worry

Michael Youssef - Don't Worry
Michael Youssef - Don't Worry
TOPICS: Enduring Wisdom, Worry

In many ways, hypocrisy, which we looked at in the last message, and greed, belong to two different realms of life, two different areas of our life, and yet they're both very essential. Those realms are very essential for our existence. Hypocrisy belongs to the spiritual realm, while greed belongs to the material realm. These two sins are closely related. False religion is the love of biblical error. Greed is the love of having more and more and more and more and more. People can be deceived by false teaching just as they can be deceived by false materialism.

Today, of course, we're actually seeing this with our own eyes and we're seeing the connection between the false teaching and the so-called prosperity gospel. And the Pharisees at the time of Jesus were up to their eyeballs in both sins. I wanna make something very, very clear, very clear. Money is not evil, money is neutral. It is what you do with money that can be evil or can be for good. The Bible makes it very clear that what is evil is the love of money. What is evil is the greed for wanting more and more and more, and never satisfied and never being rich toward God.

The biblical way is found in 1 Timothy chapter 6, verses 17, 18, and 19. "Appeal," that is an important word. The Apostle Paul is writing to the pastor of the church in Ephesus, Timothy, and he says to him, "Appeal to the rich of this world, not to be arrogant and place your hope on uncertain riches, but to be rich toward God". This is the biblical way. The apostle Paul is teaching us what he really read and learned about what Jesus said in Luke 12. Hear me right, please, the Bible never forbids possessing of money or possessions. Deuteronomy 8:18 from the very beginning, "It is God who gives you power to make wealth".

In the Bible, there were so many Godly men and women who were wealthy. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Boaz, Job, Joseph of Arimathea where Jesus's body was buried in his tomb. And the list goes on and on and on. And yet listen to me, the Bible is merciless on the love of money, on those who love their wealth and those who worship and are obsessed with money and their wealth, those who worry themselves sick because of the accumulation and they wanna accumulate and accumulate. Solomon, who was the richest man in his time, richest man in the world, in his time in Ecclesiastes 5:10, he said, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money". In Proverbs 23:4 and 5, he said, "Wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle and flies toward heaven".

With those two eyes, I have seen this happen more than once. Please listen to me. Love of money creates unbelievable amount of pain. Ask Achan the son of Carmi in Joshua chapter 7, he will tell you the pain of the love of money. Ask Balaam in the book of Numbers chapters 22 all the way to 24. He will tell you the pain that love of money brings. Delilah for money sold and betrayed Samson. Judas Iscariot for the love of money betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ and he is in the pit of hell right now. The love of money causes people not only become arrogant but they forget God. The love of money causes people to lie, steal, cheat, and compromise even their own convictions.

The Bible is very clear about the love of money, not money, the love of money. Throughout the scripture you see it. Always leads to pride. Certainly here the Lord Jesus Christ links the love of money to the sin of worry. They go together, they go together. Look at verse 15 of Luke 12. Jesus again focuses on his disciples. He gets over discussion with that knucklehead about the question and he said, "Hey, I'm not gonna be your judge". And then he goes on to the disciples, he looks at him, looks at them and he said, "Now you beware and be on your guard against all forms of greed".

Here's a literal translation: real life is not really dependent on excessive materialism. That's a literal translation. Beloved, a fulfilled life, a satisfying life, a joyful life is not dependent on how much you accumulate, the joyful life, the fulfilled life comes from knowing that you are going to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus. And to illustrate this point, the Lord Jesus gives him a parable. Now everybody, I'm talking about the Bible translations, different translations, always call this rich fool.

Now, but I want you to listen carefully because you need to kind of really analyze it and look at it carefully. The land that this man owned is very productive. And you want to say, "Praise the Lord. Thank you, Father. What a wonderful blessing". Right? Hello, yes. There is no suggestion that this man gained his blessings through dishonest gain or that he did something wrong, no, no, no, no, no. Beloved, listen to me, it is not a crime, it's not a sin to be successful. This might've been blessed of God. Praise God. It's wonderful. He's got a bumper crop. Isn't that great? I mean, this is really so far, so good, so far, so wonderful. Nothing wrong with that. Only after all of this, part of the parable that Jesus gives that you begin to see the foolishness of this man.

You see, so far, so great, so good. So instead of praising God and saying, "Now that I can share these blessings with others. Thank you, Lord, now I'm gonna be rich toward God. Thank you, Lord, now I can help others. Thank you, Lord, now I can contribute to your work around the world. Now I can give to the less fortunate. Thank you, praise you, God". No, instead of that, he started getting worried about how to hoard it, how to keep it, how to hoard it all, how to accumulate it. And he was worried probably that his crop will flood the market and drive the prices down.

So instead of sharing, his selfish indulgence had him tear down his old small barns and build big ones. But even that is not the core of the problem. I think businesses need to plan ahead for the future. I think all businesses need to create space for growth. I think all businesses need to plan on hiring more people and provide jobs for people and their families. But that's not what happened with our friend. In fact, he used the word "my" four times. He used the word "I" eight times. I, my, mine, I wanna say, my, my, my. He said, "I will say to myself, 'Self, live it up.'" And I know we all self-talk. Some people even self-talk faster than others. But the question is, when you self-talk, what do you talk about? I, my, me, or him, his glory, his honor, my witnessing for him. That is the question you must always ask yourself. And when you get going into this, stop, where is God, and begin to talk to him.

The word "fool" here, "aphron" in the Greek is often referred to somebody who's mindless, mindless. Somebody who's lacking in sense, someone who is totally ignorant of the fact, somebody who's totally lacking knowledge of the truth. And you know that and I know that we have an overabundance of these in public life today. Overabundance. This man foolishly had forgotten God and God's ownership not just of his crop but the very breath that he has. And that is why the Bible said, "The fool says in his heart," here's the self-talk again. "The fool said in his heart, 'There is no God.'"

Please listen to me, there is no greater fool than the person who does not prepare for the life to come. That is the ultimate in foolishness. So what is the answer? Verse 21 where the answer, "To be rich toward God is to store up treasures in heaven". Hear me right, please, this is important. The location of your treasure reveals our true condition or the true condition of our hearts. Being rich toward God indicates the degree of our love for God and the degree of our love for God is expressed in true worship. Verse 22, "For this reason," and some translations said, "therefore," what reason? Always remember we said, if you find "Therefore" you find out what is "Therefore" for.

The reason of not being like this foolish man, for this reason, for not being like that foolish man who did not know the true God, who did not trust in the promises of God. He said, "Don't be like him, don't be like him". And when you're not like him, you have absolutely no reason in the world to worry about your needs. Think about this with me. He was just talking to people who barely had food, enough food and clothing. Today, oh my goodness gracious me, our culture has become super neurotic about food and clothing. In fact, our culture is telling us about worries that we did not know we have. And these worries, it can only succeed in killing our discipleship.

Listen, I'm not minimizing the problem, please understand. I said earlier we all worry about certain things, but I'm not minimizing the problem. But it's nearly impossible to live by faith in the culture we are in, they're so materialistic. They're so many Christians actually understand the nature of God, they understand the promises of God and yet they fall in this temptation of worry and stay there. And that is why Jesus said verse 22 all the way to 34, he gives us six, six, mark them down, six reasons why the believer should not worry because we are God's priority one. Did you know that? We are his priority, number one priority. Secondly, because we are the recipient of his provision. Thirdly, because we are divinely privileged. Fourthly, we are God's and the recipient of God's preferential treatment, you notice all the Ps just help you out here. And five, because God has parental blessings to his children, and finally, because we are the source of God's pleasure.

Verses 22 and 23, because we are God's priority, number one priority. Because we are at the center of his attention. Because we are God's, in his sight all the time, all the time. Therefore, we must trust your loving heavenly Father. Can I get an amen? If he feeds the birds and clothes the flowers, how much, much, much, much higher priority are his children for whom his Son shed his blood? Secondly, verse 24, we're always gonna receive his provision. And the reason he chose raven, of all the birds, of all the creatures he chooses the raven, Jesus does this deliberately, because ravens are vultures. They are too dumb to store food yet they survive solely by God's provision for them. How much more valuable we are. Our heavenly Father will never fail to supply all that he knows we need.

David said, "I have been young, now I'm old, I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his children begging for bread". Not only that his children are priority one for him, not only that his children are the recipients of his provision, but thirdly, verses 25 and 26, his children have divine privilege. Oh my goodness, if you're not gonna shout about this one, I don't know what you're gonna do. I did. I think throughout history people always worried about health, I think that's fact if you read history. I mean, it's not a... it's nothing new. Jesus said, "None of us, none of us can prolong our life. It's appointed a day". The Bible says it's appointed a day in which... and then judgment. It's appointed a day, nobody can change that. Nobody can add one hour to their life. In fact, worrying about your health will actually make you sicker.

Fourthly, you have God's preferential treatment. Look at verses 27 all the way to 29. Here you see clear comparison with the rest of creation. God's children, his redeemed believers have a preferential treatment over all created things. Because humans are uniquely created in God's own image, we are created with the capacity to love and to reason. Above all, we are created with the capacity to worship God. And God's compassionate preference is for those he made in his own image. But then it goes a little further, but this is not just preferential treatment because we are created in God's image, we have further preferential treatment because we're the children of the living God.

Beloved, listen to me, some preachers talk about, "We're all the children of God". No, we're not. We're all the creation of God, but only the blood bought children of the living God, they are the children of God. In verse 29, he said, "You of little faith, you of little faith". It means you're lacking in trust in God's knowledge of your needs, you see. But that's not all, that's not all. Lacking trust in his knowledge to know of your need but also lacking trust in his power to meet your needs. Can I get an amen? Such lack of trust, beloved, listen to me, it dishonors God and produces worry and sometimes it even restricts God's flow of blessing. God's priority, God's provision, God's privileged children, God's preferential treatment. Fifthly, God's parental blessing to his children.

Verses 30 and 31. Here for the first time, our Lord Jesus speaks of believers as God's children. That's why I want you to underline it in your Bible. Beloved, the fatherhood of God is only for his believers. This should lift you to the highest level of joy. It does to me. This should lift you to the highest heaven in praise and thanksgiving. Now, I am aware of the fact, and I know that experientially, there are some people who have negative experience with their earthly fathers, I know that. And sometimes the problem and the error comes when you compare your heavenly Father with your experience, the negative experience with your earthly father.

Please listen to me. I want you to imagine the most thoughtful, the wisest, the kindest, the most compassionate father that you could ever imagine having, then multiply that million times and you get close to your heavenly Father. But Jesus is saying more than that, he's saying that you do not even have to ask God for these needs. Why? Why? Because he already knows that these are your needs and he's gonna meet them and meet all of your needs when your focus is the kingdom of God. When you praise him, adore him and worship him and serve him and sacrifice for him and witness to him for him and being obedient to him, he will meet all your needs, he'll meet all your needs, all of them in his perfect way. Six and finally, God takes pleasure in his children.

Look at verses 32 all the way to 34, "Little flock," and don't just go past that very quickly because that is a term of endearment, "Little flock". Jim Elliot who was martyred for Christ, was a missionary in Latin America said the following, he said, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose". I have a dear friend in Australia who said to me through going, went through a horrendous times and then God brought him back. And he said, "I believe in giving with a warm hand, not a cold hand". Another friend many years ago, he used to say to me, he said, "Michael, I like to do all my giving while I'm living so I am knowin' where it's goin'". Beloved, it's a cry of my heart and a prayer of my heart for myself and I pray that for you, that we develop a total trust of our heavenly Father, total trust. Not occasional trust, not when things going well, total trust. So that we can overcome worry God's way.
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