Friday, August 26, 2011

August 26, 2011 … A Lesson from Nature

Passage of the Day: Matthew 6: 26 [see in bold/underlined] … “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?”

My Journal for Today:
Yesterday during my quiet time with God, in His Sermon on the Mount (in Matt. 6: 25), Jesus, as John MacArthur reminded me, argued from the greater to the lesser to teach His truth involving our use of the life He gave to each of us. Today, in this devotional, in Matt. 6: 26, He argues from the lesser to the greater to drive home His truth.

MacArthur imagines that Jesus, as He spoke to His listeners that day on the hillside near Capernaum, might have looked up to see birds flying overhead. Maybe he even pointed to the birds as He delivered this point in His sermon; and He used the word picture of God taking care of those “lesser” creatures, the birds, providing them with all the food they need. And if God would provide for the bird, would not our God provide for His created children (i.e., you and me). In His words, “Are you not much more valuable (to God) than they [i.e., the birds]?” Having been on that very hillside outside Capernaum, I can imagine Jesus, surrounded by the wild lilies He also referred to in His illustration, I can imagine Jesus pointing to the sea gulls flying overhead – as they do there – creating this word picture of God taking care of His created beings. So, His argument was, if God would take care of the lesser creatures of His, why wouldn’t He also take care of His greatest creation, … mankind?

There are those who claim that animals are just as valuable as humans in God’s sight; but this is not supported by God’s word. No bird was created to be joint heir for eternity on God’s throne as was His mankind as His church. It is true that like the birds, we were created to labor for God’s providence; but as Jesus points out in the word picture in today’s highlighted verse, mankind was created with special value in God’s plan; and therefore, would not God provide all that man needs for life?

Certainly we have no reason to be lazy, especially when it comes to the use of God’s providence (see that in Matt. 25: 14 – 30 – the parable of the talents). And, as we’ve seen in past studies this month, any attitude of greed or covetousness is most certainly against God’s view of our importance. God will - and does - provide all we need (again citing Phil. 4: 19 and 2nd Pet. 1: 3 – 4); but for us to have all we need, God clearly wants us to look to Him first for these provisions by doing His work of stewardship for His kingdom (see Matt. 6: 33).

My Prayer Today: You bless me, Lord, with all I need! Amen

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