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Who do you think you are?

CityRise November 25, 2020 Devotionals, sermons, anxiety, jennifer dennis, Matthew, Reset, sermon on the mount, worry,

Each week we will be sharing a post from a staff member in response to the most recent sermon in our “Reset” series. Click to watch, listen, or read the sermon shared by Senior Pastor Roger Patterson on November 22, 2020.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In the beginning of the sermon from this last week, Roger encouraged us to list out some things that we are currently worrying about. Listing those worries came very quickly and easily for me- too easily! There was a part of my brain that lit up and gladly supplied the list, only hesitating to make sure fears were placed in the correct order of importance. My brain spends much of the day ruminating over worries, in a rotational fashion, much like the monitors in the welcome center circling through major announcements, only with less color and positivity. And it is a bit embarrassing to admit, but there are days those perseverating thoughts set the agenda for the day.

As the holidays draw nigh, we are faced with more COVID cases, more cancellations, more uncertainty only to be topped off with increased educational frustrations set across the backdrop of a very divided country. How dare Pastor Roger speak on anxiety! The audacity that we should not be worried in these times, not be consumed with a paralyzing angst over every little decision. Just who do we think we are?! Ah, and there lies the biggest question: Who DO we think we are?

There are times when I bring up worries to staff members or pastors, and they are quick to remind me that God is in control and he will be glorified. Sometimes I am in no mood for reminders. I roll my eyes, tell them they are totally right, and quietly move right back to my worried state, almost as if I am wanting to be worried. Or I feel that I deserve to have some worry time. I know, crazy right?! Roger’s reminder of Jesus as Master was a real self-check moment for me. Who is my master?

In his sermon Pastor Roger asserts Those who have Jesus as their Master are to be:

Freed from Worldly Anxiety

Confident in God’s Love and Provision

Pursuing God’s Reign Before Anything Else

We are told very clearly in Matthew not to be worried, to consider God’s creation as a reminder of who God is and how he cares for us. We are to know without uncertainty that he loves us. We are to be marked by our faith, by our peace, by our ‘NOT WORRYING’.   

In his sermon Roger speaks of Matthew 6:27: And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? A follow-up question: and which of us can help add one lost sheep to the kingdom by being anxious? YIKES! Not only is anxiety wasting our time and energy today, but it is also keeping us from our purpose in Christ.

I love this sermon, it creates a ‘self-check’ moment for me to quickly ascertain if I have replaced Jesus as my master. Many times, I allow control, prosperity, or pride, much like Mammon to reign. I too worry about the state of my life. In a recent study, 83% of Americans say they are very stressed over the nation’s future. So I know I am not alone, but how can my faith be a light, when my faith is clouded with an all too common darkness of worry and doubt?

Who do I think I am? I belong to Christ. He is my master. He will redeem every hurt, restore everything broken and renew everything fallen. He loves me and takes care of me. He is always working, even when I do not see it. Even if I am in no mood to see it! My heart is set on things above and on those who need to find their belonging in him.

My prayer is for our church to be a body filled with people who have Jesus as their master. A family of believers who are marked by faith in Christ, love for each other and filled with hope for a future. Let us be the light in the darkness of worry. Let us always remember who we are and whose we are.

Jennifer Dennis is the Kidstuff Director for the CityRise Network, helping those from birth-5th grade connect to God through small groups, teaching, and events geared toward their spiritual development. Jennifer lives in Houston with her husband, Andy, their daughter, and their “energetic” golden retriever.