Pastor Mac Hammond | September 5, 2021
Read through the parable of the sower and you’ll see three different categories of worldly ideas that will choke out the Word of God: cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things. This week, Pastor Mac focused in on how the cares of this world will choke your faith. That includes both the distractions of this world as well as fear-based anxiety and worry that will keep you focused on what is wrong rather than on God and His Word. We counteract these weed seeds by seeking first the kingdom of God and trusting God to take care of everything else.
Many people have become casual about worry. They worry about this; they are anxious about that. Worry is just a regular part of their day. However, worry doesn’t have to be front and center in your life, for worry is based in fear and a root cause of stress.
God wants us to become more dependent on Him than our worry.
When we worry, it chokes out our faith. When we are distracted by the world, it chokes out our faith. Thankfully, God has a three-fold cord that cannot be broken that will help us overcome worry and fear. Those three things are the power of the Holy Spirit, the love of God, and a sound mind.
When fear overwhelms you, pray in tongues. Put others first. Prioritize thoughts that are based on the Word. These three choices will push fear far from you. They are, you could say, the antidote to fear.
Remember, the thoughts running through your head don’t have to stay there. When negative thoughts or fear-based concern come into your mind, you can run them out by choosing thoughts that are based on God’s Word. How do you take those thoughts? You use your words. As you do these things, you cast your care upon the Lord. When you cast your cares on the Lord, you are choosing to humble yourself before the Lord and trust Him. This mindset is one that will keep weed seeds away from your heart.
Mark 4:18-19 KJV
And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Mark 4:18-19 Amp.
And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries and cares of the world [the distractions of this age with its worldly pleasures], and the deceitfulness [and the false security or glamour] of wealth [or fame], and the passionate desires for all the other things creep in and choke out the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Matthew 6:31-34 Amp.
Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
James 1:2-4 KJV
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
1 Peter 5:6-7 KJV
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1. Has anxiety ever overwhelmed you? What daily practices have you found that help you get rid of anxiety and worry?
2. How can you cast down negative thoughts and instead choose thoughts that point you to God?
3. What can you do today to seek first God’s kingdom?
4. What does humility look like to you?
Rewatch or catch up on the full sermon with the link below!