Sermon Notes

Be not afraid


  • It is a befitting passage that we have before us today, on the final Sunday of this year. For our fears are deep and our anxieties are plenty, given that this year has brought out more fear in us than many of the previous years combined.
  • Last year, around this same time, we were all so excited, making many plans for our families and for the church. And God has brought the entire world to a standstill using agents so small that you can’t even see them without a microscope.Make no mistake about it. The coronavirus is God’s judgment upon a sinful world. He means for all people to take notice of it, especially the church, that we may not take for granted all that the Lord has given us, but instead that we might be careful to walk in His ways for the glory of His name.
  • The passage we are about to read is a passage on anxiety.
    For many of you in this meeting, anxiety is no strange word. Whereas for some of you, it is something that you are yet to be acquainted with.But let me come out and tell you that there have been very few sins in my life as vile, as notorious, as debilitating or weakening, as anxiety.
    And this passage is Jesus telling us, in His sermon on the mount, that we should not be anxious.
  • Before we move into the text itself, let us first understand what anxiety is.
    The word itself in the original Greek, means to be pulled apart, to be divided.Anxiety is a kind of fear, a worry that pulls you apart and hinders you from moving forward. Now, I call it a kind of fear because of a preacher I heard recently who gave a very helpful distinction between general fear and anxiety.
    He said that fear is being afraid of imminent danger, of visible suffering. Whereas, anxiety is a kind of fear where you are afraid of things that have not yet occurred. It is a worry of what might happen rather than a worry about what is happening.Consequently, the younger ones in this call will probably not know anxiety as much as the older ones. Because the older you grow the more you tend to worry about what might happen.Of all the people I’ve known, I’m the worst that I know of who handled that transition from youth to adult most poorly, especially with regards to anxiety.
  • Beloved, anxiety is not the inevitable outcome of growing up. That’s not what it is. Let me tell you what it is. It is sin!
    It is a stubborn unwillingness to trust in God and His goodness. It is an evil temptation that aims at bringing God down low in our lives. For those who swim in the pools of anxiety will drown.
  • Therefore, in this passage, Jesus exposes the source of all our anxieties and He gives us the means to fight it.


  • v25 – “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?
    • Therefore
      • Here, in this word is the root of all our anxieties. Whenever you see the word ‘therefore’ in the Bible, remember that the passage that precedes it has much to do with the passage that follows it.
      • And here, the instruction ‘do not be anxious’ comes out of that which was preached before. And if you remember what we saw last week, God has made us, His children, to sow and reap heavenly treasures, not earthly ones.Earthly treasures are passing, destroyed by moth and rust, and stolen by thieves. It is prone to decay with time and destruction by men. Whereas, heavenly treasures are eternal, unaffected by time, and protected from all external forces.
      • Yes, beloved, a failure to treasure heavenly things is the root of all our anxieties. The more we treasure earthly things, the more anxious we become.[It is a sad thing that many of us fail to see that we train our children as they grow, to be more anxious than godly. We emulate worry and our discipline is based on those worries, and we train our children to fear the world rather than God – Studies, Job, Marriage, Children]We must be training children to study because studying glorifies God, and not simply keep telling them that they’ll be sweeping the streets and cleaning toilets if they don’t. The picture we constantly keep painting for our children is not a picture of heavenly treasures, but a picture of earthly ones. We train them to look at the world, delight in the world, desire the world, pursue the world, and obtain the world, and then pat ourselves on the back for graceful parenting and sincere discipleship.
      • Children, listen to me, Jesus is more delightful than all the treasure of this world put together, multiplied by infinity. Love Him more than studies, love Him more than jobs, love Him more than marriage, love Him more than parents, and most of all, love Him more than yourself.
      • Take your eyes off of the world, off of earthly treasures, and look to Jesus who is seated at the right hand of God, look to heavenly treasures, and then you will find your anxieties fail.
    • 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.
      • The basic anxieties of life begin with eating, drinking, and clothing because they are the most basic earthly treasures.
        Now, does that mean we ought not to eat or drink or put on clothes? No. Because it is one thing to have earthly needs and another to treasure those earthly needs.
        As Jesus pointed out, in verse For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.If we so delight in earthly treasures, whether in things we need or in things we want, this delight will drive us to anxiety.
        Therefore, eating, drinking, and wearing clothes are all needs, and yet if we so delight in them that they become our treasures, then we treasure things that pass away, that are destroyed by time, and are prone to be stolen.
      • That is why so much of our joy is fleeting. Because our joys are contingent on earthly treasures.
        [God is good if … job, marriage, kids, etc]
      • Eating, drinking, and clothing become the anxieties about your life, as Jesus puts it here when we have treasured these earthly things in a way we shouldn’t.
        And Jesus’ instruction is to not be anxious in this manner.
    • Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
      • And that is as practical an exhortation as anyone could receive about anxiety. We are ever so often prone to be anxious over things in a way that we feel that our lives depend on it.
        When you’re anxious about your job security, you fail to have family prayer, do the regular routines, and to be kind to your family. You begin to fail at things that have nothing to do with your job. Why? Because your anxiety makes you feel like your whole life depends upon it.How many times have your anxieties kept you from doing other things? You can’t seem to study, to work, to enjoy your family, because you’re overcome by anxiety that has nothing to do with it.
        How many times have you felt unable to pray, to sing, because you’re anxious?
      • Remember, the enemy uses your anxiety to make you feel that your whole life is falling apart when in fact it is far from the truth. Always ask the question, Is not my life more than whatever anxiety is taunting you.
  • v26-30 – 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? 7 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?
    • The second way that Jesus helps us fight anxiety is by pointing to nature. The birds of the air and the grass of the field do not reap, gather, toil nor spin. We do. As the only creatures made in the image of God, we were made to work. It is our sin that has made us work hard.In this comparison, Jesus is not saying that we shouldn’t work. Rather, Jesus is saying that if God so cares for the things in this world that are of lesser value to Him, even things that do not work like we do, how much more does he care for us who are of great value to Him.
    • Your anxieties cannot keep you safe or provided. You cannot add a single hour to your life by being anxious.
    • King Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like the lilies of the field. We always to those more privileged than us and assume that if we had what they have that our anxieties might be less. No, that’s a lie. That even if you had all that Solomon had, you still would be an anxious wreck. But right before your eyes are things more beautifully provided for than you would care to see.
    • Oh, you of little faith! Your anxieties weaken your faith when your faith ought to be weakening your anxieties.
  • 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.
    • It is in the nature of those who are without God, to seek after earthly treasures. Are you of the world? Are you without God? Then it will be displayed to those around you in what you treasure.
    • Your Father who is in heaven, not only knows what you need in heaven but knows all of what you need on earth. Seek Him and His kingdom and His righteousness, and He will provide for you.Anxiety is a direct breaking of this sacred trust. It is the opposite of worshiping God
    • Notice the use of the word ‘all’ here.Gentiles seek after all these things…. Father knows that you need them all…. Seek Him and all these things will be added to you.Nothing of what you need will be kept from you. For all you need, He will give to you.
  • v34 – “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
    • Trouble follows us daily. There are plenty of things that draw out our worries daily. And God does not mean for us to defeat anxiety once and for all, for all time. This is a daily affair.
    • We defeat the enemy daily by trusting God for all our needs daily. There is no position for us where if we had this or if we become this, where all our anxieties will be gone.
      Rather, we take stock of our faith today and trust God for today. Tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
    • Christian living has never been a long term plan. It is always a short term, day to day, living for the glory of God.


  • In the last couple of days, I journeyed nearly 600km, traveling up and down hills and mountains all over Munnar, and saw such stunning beauty that I cannot express. The hills, brown and green, rose and fell like waves, one behind another. We’d turn roads and reach bends where the clouds fell beneath us. We’d cross lakes so clean, they appeared mirrors on the ground reflecting all of that scenic beauty.And after days of being awed by the mastery of God’s hands, we went on a boat ride across the lake, and I could it all before me, the hills, the trees, the rocks, all of it.
    But this time, instead of remarking at God’s glorious work, I saw the scars. All of this beauty that I was looking at with awe was not the same beauty as when they were created. The mountains bore the marks of man’s sin. I looked upon a mountain and said, “You saw the flood of Noah’s time, didn’t you?”
    The trees were marred here and there, some withering away, as they sheltered animals that survived on the death of other animals. They kill to survive.
    For a moment, I saw all of that scarred beauty looking at me, part of the cause of all this corruption, and at the same, the hope of their restoration. For us, the masters of this world have driven it to corruption.
    For once upon a time, they lined up before Adam, to receive their names. And now they line up in groaning, waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. And that was not the mindset with which I began the journey. I was worried sick thinking about all the driving, how I’d handle nausea from the winding roads, of how we’d take every precaution because of the coronavirus. I had plenty of what-ifs, some that brought reasonable precaution and others that brought sinful anxieties.
  • And then I remembered, that anxiety is a wake-up call that one must pray. So I prayed, and God met my needs. I prayed again and God met my needs.
  • How will this God not meet my needs when the evidence shows that He has met my greatest need by slaying His only begotten Son. The cross of Jesus Christ is the greatest display of how much our God values you and me. And consequently, if we distrust God’s care, we make little of God’s great sacrifice and sin against the cross of Christ.
    Michael Teddy Fernandez

    Author Michael Teddy Fernandez

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