Messages from Pastor Raddatz

February 27, 2022, Other texts for the Day: Deuteronomy 34:1-12, Hebrews 3:1-6 and Luke 9:28-36

Anxious for Nothing, Lucado Sermon Series 4/4


Think about things that are worthy of praise

In Philippians 4:8 we read: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. NIV

Introduction: You can be an air traffic controller of your thoughts.  

            You occupy the control tower and can direct the mental traffic of your world. (Lucado, Anxious for Nothing, p. 121) Intrusive thoughts may seem to flow over you in waves.   During this time remember, you have a choice about what you think about.

The Devil always wants to mess with us.

            He is the father of lies, (John 8:44).  He tries to get you to focus on gloom and doom.  Some of his messages are, “this problem is unsolvable…Your life is not redeemable…Your fate is sealed…you are unlovable.”

            You can’t let that kind of plane land in the field of your mind.  It is not the truth.  This is when you remember the words of truth from Jesus that will set you free, John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

No problem is unsolvable. 

No life is irredeemable.  

No one’s fate is sealed.

No one is unloved or unlovable. (Lucado, Anxious for Nothing. P. 123)

Our problem is not necessarily our problem, but it is the way you look at it.

The Battle is the Lord’s” (2 Chronicles 20).  When King Josaphat was told there was a mighty army coming to fight against him, “He inquired of the Lord, v. 3.  He proclaimed a fast and the people prayed about it.”  He was not told to do anything, but take up their positions and the Lord will fight for them.  This is what the LORD says to you: `Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. ... Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, v. 20

            Our position, of asking God for help is part of remembering to be calm during an attack of anxiety.  Other ways are to recall hymns, words and phrases, possibly singing them as best as we can remember them.  Another way is to memorize or search the Bible for passages regarding God’s grace for us.

FIX your thoughts on…” (NLT of Philippians 4:8)

            When I first moved to Oklahoma from Indiana to take a call as Pastor in Tulsa I learned the phrase “fixin to….”  You know it is used when you are getting ready to do something or are about to do something.  Like when I asked a person during a hospital visit, “What did the Doctor tell you?”   The man said, “Oh they don’t tell you anything.”  I questioned, “Why don’t you ask?”  His answer, “Well, I’m fixin’ to.”  Not everyone talked like that, but this was a very common phrase in Oklahoma, but not in Northern Indiana.  

            When the Bible says, “fix your mind on” it doesn’t mean get ready to, but it means “clear headed logical thinking.  Turns out that our most valuable weapon against anxiety weighs less than three pounds and sits between our ears.  It’s our mind. Think about what you think about.

How do you “abide with Jesus”?

            Many of us will call a friend to “vent” or to “get some support.”  How about slap handcuffs on the invasive thought and march it before the One who has all authority: Jesus Christ.  “Jesus, is this thought from you”?  

            Another idea is to recall the day of your Baptism when God cleansed you from all your sin and adopted you as his.

            Someone else has told me, “Lay claim to every Biblical promise.”  God does not lie.  

            A grape cannot make itself ripe or harvest itself from the vine.  It cannot squeeze itself and make itself into jam, jelly, or wine.   It is through the vine that we receive maturity, John 15:5f.

            When you hear the birds outside or look at a flower remember that if God takes care of these things he will take care of you.  So seek first his kingdom, Luke 12.

Closing: How do we defeat anxiety?  We stockpile our minds with God thoughts.  Draw the logical application, If God cares about the birds and the flowers, won’t he care for you?  (Matthew 6:29ff)

Set your minds on things above and not on things on earth.” Colossians 3:2

Your Fellow Servant, in Christ,

Pastor John F. Raddatz

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