Do Not Worry

Worried

Many of us find it easy to worry about things in our life. Matters that relate to our jobs, families, finances, and more can cause anxiety. But Jesus told his followers, “Do not be worried about your life” (Matthew 6:25). Sometimes this is easier said than done. But notice what Jesus said about this subject:

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not the life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25-27).

In these verses, Jesus asked three questions. As the master teacher, He was able to ask questions in a way that was more instructive than inquisitive. Notice the three points Jesus made that will help us deal with anxiety.
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Prayer and the Christian Soldier

Last month I wrote an article about putting on the armor of God. I briefly covered the items mentioned by Paul – truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God (Ephesians 6:14-17). Some include prayer in this list as well, as it is mentioned in the next verse (Ephesians 6:18) and may wonder why I did not mention it when discussing the other items.
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Prayer

Christians are to be known as a people of prayer. Why? We are children of God (Romans 8:16). Prayer is how we communicate with our Father (Philippians 4:6). Prayer is to be part of our lives as individuals (Matthew 6:6; 14:23) and our collective assemblies with God’s people (Acts 2:42; 12:12). It is important then to study the topic of prayer to learn and to be reminded how to be most pleasing to God in this area of our lives.
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Praying to Jesus

Prayer

Prayer is one of the great privileges we have as Christians. Through prayer, we are able to make our requests known to God (Philippians 4:6), ask for help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), cast our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7), and ask for forgiveness of sins (Acts 8:22). We are not to be negligent in this, but instead we ought to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

The Scriptures teach that we are to pray to God (Romans 10:1; 15:30; 2 Corinthians 13:7). Nowhere does the Bible command or authorize us to pray to any other. Some believe in praying to saints or deceased family members. The word of God speaks of no such practice in the life of a Christian. Though there are three persons of God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), brethren typically think of the Father as the one to whom prayer is addressed. When Jesus taught the multitudes about prayer in Sermon on the Mount, He presented a model prayer. This example prayer – which some refer to as the “Lord’s Prayer” – was addressed to the Father: “Our Father who is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9).

Does this serve as an exclusive pattern for our prayers today? That is to say, are we only authorized to pray to the Father? Many believe this is the case. They believe that whenever we pray, we are to pray to the Father. What about praying to Jesus? Some say we cannot do this. What do the Scriptures say?
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Every Good and Perfect Gift

Sunrise over the mountainsAs human beings, we have a tendency to compare ourselves with others. We want to be better or better off than those around us. If we do not believe that we are, we can become frustrated and unhappy. This is often true when it comes to our physical possessions. We want to have what the other guy has. We often compare ourselves to those who have as much or more than we do. But if we stop comparing ourselves with others and consider the blessings we have, we can easily see how blessed we are.

To keep things in their proper perspective, we need to remember the source of our blessings. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17). God knows better than we do what is good for us. He has promised to provide us with our necessities if we follow His will (Matthew 6:25-34). But He has blessed us even above our necessities. He does so according to His will (James 4:15). We should not feel cheated if God blesses someone else more than He does us. Instead, we should be “giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God” (Ephesians 5:20).
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