We all worry at some point in our lives. But, worrying is one of those things Jesus told us not to do. Several times in Matthew 6 he says “Do not worry.” In verse 25 he tells us not to worry about food or clothing. He is the giver of life. In verse 26 he reminds us that worry is irrational. If he cares for even the smallest of birds, will He not care for us as his own children? Jesus also tells us in verse 27that worry is ineffective. None of us can add to our own stature by worrying about it. Verse 28 reminds us that worry is also illogical. God takes care of His own. So don’t worry about tomorrow, and don’t even worry about today. Our father knows our needs, and we are held securely in His hands. Instead of using your energy worrying about life, use that energy to worship the Savior.
The last fruit of the Spirit mentioned by Paul and demonstrated by Jesus, is self-control. Self-control is the ability to restrain inappropriate passions and appetites. This may be one of the most difficult qualities to maintain as a worshiper primarily because in America, we have so much. Material temptations, all kinds of food and drink, and internet immorality is readily at our fingertips, so to maintain the discipline needed to live a Godly life can be incredibly difficult. The only way you will ever develop the discipline to practice self-control is to start with another discipline in your life…time alone with God. Schedule it like you would a doctor’s appointment. Except instead of getting a check up on your body, its a daily check-up on your soul. Self-control is hard, but it is a true mark of the worshiper’s lifestyle.
I was recently at a church and met the largest man I had ever seen. He was almost 7 feet tall and had muscles bulging even from his earlobes. He was absolutely huge. Yet when I talked to him and observed how he interacted with others…especially children, it was very clear to see that this man was deeply loved and respected. His pastor later referred to him as a “gently giant.” I love that phrase. In two words is says, “this man could crush you with one blow from his forearm, but has the power within to control his reactions and his strength.” That’s what gentleness is. The power to control your reactionsto difficult people and situations. To respond with meekness rather than might. Gentleness should never be confused with weakness. It takes great strength and great discipline to live gently. Practice that today!
Worshipers are faithful. It’s that simple. If you know God and claim to love Him, you will be faithful in your service to Him. I used to have a pastor who always made this statement, “the faith the fizzles in the finish, had a fatal flaw from the first.” Although there are some theological arguments one could make about that statement, one thing is for sure. True worshipers remain faithful to their God. And when you consider all He has done for us..it is the least we should do. “Great is thy faithfulness, oh God my Father. There is no shadow of turning with thee. Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not. As thou hast been, thou forever wilt be!!!” God is never going to turn His back on you. So don’t turn your back on Him. Trust Him. Serve Him. Love Him. And do it faithfully for the rest of your days.
Over the last several days we have been talking about the fruit of the Spirit and how it relates to worship in our lives. Today i want to mention goodness. Goodness is another outward quality of the character of God, but it is different that kindness. Kindness is based on our actions toward others. Goodness is a direct reference to our moral excellence. So goodness goes beyond kindness and moves into the realm of being morally blameless. Another mark of a worshiper is that we stay in good moral standing with others around us and that we operate our daily lives living in such a way as to keep our Godly reputation intact. This means that we must be the same person in private as we are in public. It also means that we must treat others the way Jesus would treat them. Paul tells us “do not grow weary in doing good, for in due time you will reap the proper reward.”