Principle for Bible Reading
When you think about the future, what makes you most anxious? Jesus gives us plenty of reasons not to fear. In Part 1 of this series, John Piper identified nine arguments against our anxieties. In this lab, he slows down over the first five to highlight how they each help us.
1. “You Cannot Serve Both God and Money” (03:00–05:11)
- The “therefore” at the beginning of Matthew 6:25 communicates the previous verse is an argument for what comes after (“do not be anxious”).
- Do not worry yourself with money and the things money can buy. Do not calculate your life to maximize money and possessions.
- You can’t love money as the goal of your life and God as the goal of your life.
2. “Is Not Life More Than Food?” (05:11–07:04)
- You do not lose your life when you lose food, drink, or clothing. Life is more than those things.
- Saving your life ultimately is not about keeping yourself alive here.
- Do not worry yourself with the things that keep you alive physically, because life is more than physical.
3. “Look At the Birds of the Air . . .” (07:04–08:45)
- Birds do not have a way to store food. They receive one meal at a time, and they are not anxious about that.
- Where do the birds get this food, meal by meal by meal? Your heavenly Father provides for them.
- If your Father cares even for the birds in this way, will he not do the same and more for you?
4. “Which of You Can Add a Single Hour to His Life?” (08:45–09:22)
Anxiety does you no good. It does not effectively help your circumstances in any way.
5. “Consider the Lilies of the Field . . .” (09:22–11:47)
- The lilies do not make their own clothing. The point is not that they are lazy, but that their garments come from somewhere else (God).
- The lilies’ clothing is not only effective, but beautiful.
- The lilies are here today and gone tomorrow. Their life is short and seemingly insignificant.
- Therefore, if God cares for the lilies like this, will he not do this and more for you?
- Explain the “therefore” at the beginning of Matthew 6:25. How does what come before support what comes after?
- Read Matthew 6:26–30, and explain the logic under the birds and the lilies illustrations. How do those picture help us not fear?
- Jesus says, “your life is more than food” (Matthew 6:25). In what way is life more than food? How specifically does that speak to our anxiety about food?
Piper: “Saving your life is not about keeping yourself alive here in this life.”