On Sunday, Aug. 3, Rev. Lois Blakey-Paige, pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia gave the congregation tools to eliminate worry. This was in light of the upcoming 40th church anniversary and revival. In fact, Pastor Paige entitled her sermon, "A Pre-Anniversary to Remember" based on Matthew 6:25-34.
She introduced her sermon by saying so much is happening in the world today that we can't know what to believe. There are killings and kidnapping and chaos all over the world. If you listen to the news and you are not grounded, certainly it will make you depressed. Also, many of us today are worried about finances, our health, our hurts, our habits and our hangups. Jesus addressed these issues in the text that is part of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus preached this at the beginning of His ministry because He knew He Himself would go through these things.
The pastor gave three major things she wanted the congregation to remember about this text: the consideration, the preparation and the summation.
First, the consideration is that we must consider who we are serving since we cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve God and mammoth. Mammoth is anything that takes your focus off of God. It is anything that keeps your attention and your time. In the text, Matthew tells us "Take no thought for what you will eat or drink or what you will wear." In other words, don't even think about it.
Consider what you think about and capture the thought when it is a negative one that will take you some place you don't want to go. Pastor Paige suggested when bad thoughts come into your mind, use a prayer cube in your left hand that will bring you back into the now.
Here's the preparation. When we become obsessed with our thoughts and rehearse them over and over in our mind, we need to capture those thoughts. Prepare in advance when you know those thoughts are coming.
Why can't you get rid of some things that you focus on? Many times we confide in things in our minds. That's when we need to seek the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is already in our midst.
Pastor Paige concluded her sermon by repeating the words of Jesus when He told us do not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has its own trouble. In order words, stay in the now. Take one day at a time. Depend on Jesus. Cast your care on Him because not only are you valuable, but He cares for you. When your struggles come up, look to the cross where Jesus died for you. That will put things in perspective for you.