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Senior Pastor Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


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Matthew 6:25-34
          Anxiety is defined as feeling threatened when no threat is apparent. It is being torn in one's inmost being from feeling In Control and feeling Out-of-Control almost at the same time.
The American Psychological Association puts it this way.
"Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. (An involuntary adrenal response) People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat."
          As Americans we agonize and are torn over friends and loved ones who face suffering and premature deaths, yet up to half the premature deaths in the U.S. each year are from preventable causes. He's a few we CAN do something about:
1. Smoking increases the risk of early death from cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Heart disease kills 700,000 of us annually.
2. Physical Activity cuts the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
3. Untreated High Blood Pressure and Obesity are high risk factors.
          Knowing all this, we fill our grocery carts with fat sodden french fries or salt crusted nachos, ignoring the fresh fruit and vegetables. We are so scattered we put filters on faucets, install air ionizers in our homes, and lather ourselves with antibacterial soap. At the same time, 20 percent of all adults still smoke; nearly 20 percent of drivers and more than 30 percent of backseat passengers don't use seatbelts; and two-thirds of us are overweight or obese.
In short, we choose some of the strangest things over which to be anxious! My sermon this morning is about Christmas Anxieties.
Pastor Phil  <><<
December 18, 2016 - Sheepfold Ministries
                                        Fourth Sunday of Advent - Pastor Phil Roland

Matthew  6:25-34

"There are many reasons people suffer from Anxiety on Holiday Seasons. Reflecting on God's Word and His admonitions can help us get through the anxiety-ridden days."                                                           Pastor Phil  <><<

Psalm 34:4
4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.   Matthew 6:33

3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.
          A. Painful Memories of Christmas Past
                    1. Spirits-Filled Christmas
                              a. Alcohol drunkenness
                              b. Illegal Drugs
                    2. Fighting with substance abuser(s)
          B. Family Trauma - Unresolved Pain from the Past
                    1. Meager food and gifts
                    2. Tragedy at the Christmas Season
          C. Unhealthy Family Scripts
                    1. Labeling and Name-Calling
                    2. Childhood roles are imposed on holidays
          D. Unresolved Holiday Grief
                    1. Holiday Hell for some
                    2. Cannot / Will not deal with emotion about Losses
                    3. Loops back to over-drinking on holidays

2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.        Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

          A. Our Humanity comes with Self-Limiting Liabilities
                    1. Wonder-Woman is a comic book character
                    2. The perfect Christmas is a Martha Stewart fantasy
                    3. No one can do the home decor, baking, shopping, etc.
                    4. We run out of money, time and energy

          B. Self-directed guilt and shame
                    1. Denial and "Should-ing"
2. "I should have done more. . ."

III.  WE ARE  SELF-CENTERED - Philippians 2:3-4
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

          A. American Christians suffer from Narcissism
                    1. Our two favorite phrases are "Get me. . ." and "Buy me. . ."
                    2. Advertising primes us for good feelings through purchases
                    3. Every commercial says, "Need. . .Tension. . .Satisfaction"
                    4. Acquisition minus Divesting equals Hoarding
                    5. Think: Charles Dickens Ebenezer Scrooge
          B. We are born Self-Centered, but healthy people Outgrow it
                    1. Trauma, disappointment pain helps us lose narcissism
                    2. Along with Maturity comes Empathy and Concern for others

19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. . . 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.   Romans 7:24-25 (NIV)

          A. Two Basic kinds of Guilt
                    1. Healthy guilt that says,
                       “I’m sorry, I was wrong. I made a mistake. I’ll do better next time.”
                    2. Toxic shame-based guilt that says,
                      “I AM a mistake. I’m worthless and should never have been born.”
                    3. As adults we usually guilt and shame ourselves
          B. Jesus bore our Guilt and Shame on His Cross
                    1. He BECAME shame so that we don't have to carry it
                    2. The Blood of Calvary covers our guilt and shame
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.   (Live one day at a time.)

          A. Controllers have a strong need to Determine Final Outcomes
                    1. In control of our own lives
                    2. In control of the lives of those around us

          B. We are NOT the Master of the Universe
                    1. Jesus is the Master of us all
                    2. We suffer from a Messiah Complex
                    3. We alone are the rescuer and
          C. Control itself is an Illusion
                    1. Only God's in control
                    2. Only He has the Last Word on anything

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.     Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

          A. Spirit of Independence: We don't need God
                    1. Self-Reliant
                    2. Self-Determined - "My needs are met by my own sweat"
          B. Augustine Quote,
              He who has God has everything; he who has everything but God                  . . .has nothing.
                    1. It's not WHAT you have
                    2. It's WHO you have and who has you
          C. Have Jesus. . . Know Peace - No Jesus. . .No Peace

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.








Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.   (Live one day at a time.)






Closing Illustration

             One of the greatest theologians that ever lived, Karl Barth, was asked to be a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Divinity School.  At the end of a captivating closing lecture, the president of the seminary announced that Dr. Barth was not well and was quite tired, and though he thought that Dr. Barth would like to be open for questions, he shouldn't be expected to handle the strain. Then he said, "Therefore, I will ask just one question on behalf of all of us."
He turned to the renowned theologian and asked, "Of all the theological insights you have ever had, which do you consider to be the greatest of them all?
It was the perfect question for a man who had written literally tens of
thousands of pages of some of the most sophisticated theology ever put into print.  The students held pencils right up against their writing pads, ready to take down verbatim the premier insight of the greatest theologian of their time.
Karl Barth closed his tired eyes, and he thought for a minute, and then he half smiled, opened his eyes, and said to those young seminarians, "The greatest theological insight that I have ever had is this: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
My dear friends in Christ, I submit to you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest love story ever written!

Karl Barth held the key to relief from Christmas Anxieties: Relax into Jesus' Love. . .

Pastor Phil  <><<


          Bible knowledge is important. So you can understand the new pastor's quiet pleasure when he took a tour of his church, on his first Sunday at work, and saw many children in Sunday school, all of them apparently hard at work learning Bible stories.
          The teacher in one of the children's classroom was excited to see her guest, and she introduced the pastor to all the children. Then she said,
"Pastor, this morning we're studying Joshua."
"That's wonderful," said pastor. "Let's have a pop quiz. Who knocked down the walls of Jericho?"
Little Johnny - a boy known to be a bit rambunctious shyly raised hand and offered, "Pastor, I didn't do it."
The pastor chuckled and said, "Come on, now, who knocked down the walls of Jericho?"
The teacher was a bit unnerved. "Pastor," she said, "little Johnny's a good boy. If he says he didn't do it, I believe he didn't do it."
          Flustered, the pastor went to the Sunday school director and related the story to him. The director, looking worried, explained, "Well, sir, we've had some problems with Johnny before. Let me talk to him and see what we can do. But to tell you the truth, I really don't think he knocked any walls down."
          That afternoon, the pastor met with his deacons for the very first time. He related the entire story, and his concern that a child, his teacher, and even the Sunday School director didn't know who knocked down the walls of Jericho.
          There was silence for a few moments. It was an awkward silence. Finally, the oldest deacon in the room stroked his chin and said, "Well, Pastor, I'll tell you what. I move we just take the money from the general fund to pay for the walls and leave it at that."
          Somewhere along the line, those folks were missing their Bible knowledge. They were also missing one of the most incredible truths to be found in their Bibles . . . the secret of being "anxious for nothing."

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;



John 14: 27 (NKJV)
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Luke 12:24-34 (NIV)
24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Psalm 34:4 (NIV)
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Few of us are strangers to anxiety. It creeps in over big and little things, gnawing away at our insides. Someone graphically described anxiety as “a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained” (Arthur Roche, Reader’s Digest [6/88], p. 64).

the Christian psychiatrists, Frank Minirth and Paul Meier, say that anxiety is the most common mental disorder they encounter at their network of clinics across our country (Worry-Free Living [Thomas Nelson], p. 17).

ANXIETY is a general state of fear of a perceived, but non-existent threat that leaves a person's adrenal system on full alert.   When this state is achieved, the body's "fight or flight" defense system is fully activated.   The anxiety person will be full of negative energy and find it increasingly difficult to maintain or control the increasing "hyperness."

Panic Attacks are the result of spontaneous episodes of the "fight or flight" defense system kicking in without a conscious act of the will.  Something will trigger the attack, but sometimes the trigger is unknown to the sufferer.  The following things may happen:
          1)  Hyper-Ventilating;
          2)  Heart seems to race;
          3)  Dizziness;
          4)  Weakness, inability to walk or move;
          5)  Feeling out-of-control.

Victims who suffer from anxiety feel out of control and, as a result, have a strong need to control others and their surroundings.  Reclusing, withdrawal from family and/or the work place, limiting people contacts is a self conscious effort to regain lost feelings of control.  Depression often follows long bouts with anxiety.








1.   I often feel tired even though I have had a good night's
2..  Sometimes my heart seems to race out of control even          though my doctor says I don't have a heart problem.
3.   I often have insomnia.
4.   I have bouts of backache that hit me for no apparent reason.
5.   Indigestion, diarrhea, or headache frequently keep me from
functioning at my best.
6.   I can face some situations in my life without hyperventil-     ating, or "going all to pieces" only with the help of a    tranquilizer or a good stiff drink.
7.   I have one or more relationships that cause me to feel           nervous at times.
8.   I frequently work later than my co-workers and often                     bring work home .
9.   1 have at least one bad habit that I have not been able           to       break.  Secretly, I just don't believe I measure up to other   people I see.


If you marked 7 or more of these statements as true about you, you definitely have a anxiety problem. You could have the beginning stages of a panic disorder. Anxiety and panic attacks can put you on a roller coaster. Jesus has come with us love to set you free.