Three words that live in the hearts of all of us: Forgiveness, Prayer, Worry and Money.
In Mathew 6: 6-15, Jesus teaches us:
“When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father who sees everything, will reward you.
“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think that their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need before you ask him!
Pray like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon,
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
About forgiveness, Jesus explains in Mathew 6:14:
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
In my life, there are two family members that I have had difficulty forgiving. I have made some progress in forgiving them, but it seems like I am still hanging onto some resentments. I believe that I must give these resentments to Jesus, because they are more than I can handle by myself. Resentments eat their own container and they are poisonous, like toxic arrows that we have allowed to enter our heart. We must get rid of this poison, so that we can give our love to people who need our help.
Now about money. Jesus teaches us, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be…….. No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
For ten years, I was obsessed with money. Chasing money, making money, accumulating money. I made a lot of money, but I was miserable. My health steadily deteriorated. My blood pressure was sky high, I gained 35 pounds as I used food to sooth my pain. I was going against my own personal standards and morals. I was having trouble sleeping at night and I developed shakes in my hands and other body tremors.
After ten years on the job, one day, I walked into the office, walked over to my cubicle, picked up my stuffed animal and walked out the door, never to return. The company is happy to chew people up and then spit them out like a used piece of gum. It was a churn and burn company. Over a six month period, Jesus gave me little nudges to get out. I felt increasingly stressed and decided that I was going to take control of my life, and get out while my health was still intact. Do you remember this Bible verse; “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” Money can be an evil thing and a distraction to our faith in Jesus.
Here are seven reasons not to worry:
Mathew 6:25 — The same God who created life in you can be trusted with the details of your life.
Mathew 6:26 — Worrying about the future hampers your efforts for today.
Mathew 6:27 — Worrying is more harmful then helpful.
Mathew 6:28-30 — God does not ignore those who depend on him.
Mathew 6:31-32 – Worrying shows a lack of faith in and understanding of God.
Mathew 6:33 – Worrying keeps us from real challenges God wants us to pursue.
Mathew 6:34 – Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry.
The moment that Jesus died on the cross to give us forgiveness for our sins, the long 30 foot curtain that separated the people from the Holy of Holies, was torn from the top of the curtain all the way down to the ground. At last, the wall that separated us from direct communication with God was taken away. The Old Testament covenant was brushed aside, and the new covenant was born. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. All we have to do is to ask Jesus to come into our hearts and to live inside of us. Jesus gave up his life to save us, to give us forgiveness, eternal life and a joy that surpasses all understanding.
Every sin that all of us have ever committed was nailed to that cross, so that we can have forgiveness for our sins and eternal life with God who loves us so much. Jesus defeated sin and death and He was resurrected by our Father. We owe everything to Jesus. All we have to do is to accept Jesus into our heart and we will be given new life.
Jesus is the answer to Forgiveness, Prayer, Worry and Money.