The next 2 weeks, you will recognize similar passages from the same talk Jesus gave. They are just from different Gospels in the Bible. Instead of having one massive post that overwhelms you with all this information, I’ll be trying to emphasize one of the ideas found in each passage. You will notice a lot of overlap of ideas in each.
I take care of the birds, aren’t you much more valuable?
If you read this section (Matthew 6:25-34 ESV) you will notice among other things, that He cares for the birds by providing food for them even though they don’t work for it by working or filling barns with food. He also reminds us what beautiful clothes He provides for the flowers of the field. But we are much more valuable to Him than they are.
Once again, He reminds us how valuable we are to Him and our anxiety over His provision for us, As we look around us in nature, we can see how well He provides with the animals in nature. If we are more valuable to Him than the animals and plants surely, He will care for us and meet our needs, even providing beauty and things that are not simply the basics. No, I’m not saying we can assume we will have abundant material possessions at all. But God does promise to care for us, meeting our needs as they come.
Do we want to plan ahead? Of course. But it isn’t always possible. God wants us to trust Him whether we know what is ahead or not.
Do we want to plan ahead? I certainly do. I want to know what is going to be happening in the next month, or year or the next few years. But I’m close to 80 now. I have to make my plans very tenuously. I’m not nearly as confident of my plans for the year ahead as I once was. Of course, it is silly for me to ever feel confident making plans for the year. Whether I’m young or old, my plans can easily get interrupted in the most shocking ways.
Even at this late stage of our lives, how many of us have let relationships slide, have not forgiven people we love, have not maintained our relationship with God in ways that would make our lives more fruitful and abundant? We often tend to slide through our lives and let things go, thinking we will take care of those bothersome details another day.
Recently, I have found myself wasting a lot of time while I was sick. I couldn’t do a lot of things while I was dealing with a lot of fatigue. (I have had pneumonia since August. It seems to keep hanging on.) Yes, I used the times for some positive pursuits, but oh my, I wasted an awful lot of time. There were plenty of times that I made awful choices. Believe me, I’m not being humble.
The reminder here is that our anxiety over tomorrow won’t add a day to our lives nor will it improve our situation.
The sad thing is that I miss out on the flourishing I could enjoy in my life if I would rearrange my priorities in some different ways. Specifically, I would suffer from much less anxiety, if I spent less time worrying over the future, or how my needs, physical and emotional, will be supplied, for example. If I remember just how valuable I am to God. I get focused on my perceived needs too often, forgetting what is important in the overall scheme of life and eternity.
It is more helpful to remember who God is. He is large and grand. He can provide all that I need in any area of life. I just need to look to Him for the provision I need whether it be spiritual, emotional, financial, or physical. Over the years, and especially the past few, He has provided from some very unexpected sources. And I have only looked to Him in a few small areas. It challenges me, when I make time to think about it, to spend more time with Him, looking to Him to provide for the variety of needs I have, realizing the importance of my spiritual needs. I don’t often take them seriously enough. But His reminder here is that He cares even about my physical ones as well. They are not unimportant to Him.
- As you read through this passage in Matthew 6 (highlighted and linked above), what catches your attention? Jot it down. Is there anything in this passage that either underlines this idea or contrasts it to emphasize it? Jot it down.
- Are there any ideas here that show you who God is? Jot them down. (Remember that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity and is equal with God. He is God the Son, but is no less God than God the Father or the Holy Spirit.)
- Did you find any promises in this passage? What are they? Jot them down.
- Can you come up with a brief statement that integrates what you learned from this section today that will also include how it would apply to your life? Jot it down.