Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011 … Observing the Flowers

Passage of the Day: Matthew 6: 28 – 30 … 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?”

My Journal for Today: Again we read Jesus using an argument from the lesser to the greater to make His point about our attitude toward God’s providence and material things. In an earlier devotional I pointed out that one could imagine Jesus using word pictures available to all who were there on that hillside that day when our Lord delivered His Sermon on the Mount. In Matt. 6: 26, He had referred to the “birds of the air;” and it is easy to imagine Jesus pointing to sea gulls from the nearby Sea of Galilee flying there on the mountain near the crowd. In today’s passage, He refers to “lilies of the field,” which were likely there growing on the hillside for all to see. I’ve been to that hillside near Capernaum; and have seen the wild lilies growing there; and so it’s very easy for me to imagine this scene.

Jesus made reference to flowers, which were quite lovely, but were very common and plentiful; and were even used by some in those days as fuel for fires when the flowers had died and dried up. Jesus, in referring to their beauty and plenty was calling attention to a principle of God’s providence. If man was willing to trod on or burn such beautiful creations of God for comfort or security, would not God not value mankind more than those flowers? God created mankind in His own image, creating him (and her) to tend His garden, … which included the flowers.

Think about how often we’re anxious about what we wear. We stand in front of mirrors imagining how others will see us when we’re about to go out in public. Some even fret deeply over such things. And Jesus pointedly says, that His flowers are lovely; and we don’t even think twice about picking them or even throwing them away after they have served our purposes to share God’s beauty with others. What a shame it is that we waste such worry over our own appearance, when God has created mankind for far greater loveliness and beauty; and that beauty is what we ARE rather than what we wear.

And yet, look at how much we primp and prepare – and even worry – so that we’ll impress other people whom we really don’t know and who likely really don’t care what we’re wearing. Would we not do well to heed Jesus’ teaching … toiling in this life only to honor Him rather than to adorn ourselves for personal glory?

My Prayer Today: May others see Your beauty in and through me, Lord, and not what I wear! Amen

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