Part two of four. Read the first part here.
The Father takes care of the flowers; He takes care of the birds. You are more valuable than a flower; you have more value than a bird.
In Matthew 6:25–34, we find Jesus describing the Father:
“‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
“‘Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“‘Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’”
We should confidently expect help from our Father when we are in need, be that a need for protection, guidance, clothing, food, or any other necessity. Jesus said the Father takes care of the flowers; He takes care of the birds. You are more valuable than a flower; you have more value than a bird.
As I write this, things are blooming all around my yard, more fruitful than they normally are at this time of year. There are more wasps out, more bees out, more squirrels out. I’ve got these beautiful flowers that have gone crazy this year—and there are honeybees all over them! My azaleas are just popping. They’re amazing!
I often go sit in the yard and read my Bible. And every time I go out there, I have a little bird friend that comes and visits me. I was out in the yard yesterday, just sitting in a pair of shorts, getting a little sun, reading my Bible, and my little friend comes.
There’s a little place he perches right next to me. And as long as I’m there, he stays there. I talk to him a little bit—though he never says anything—but every time I come into the yard, the little bird comes right to me. I don’t know where he comes from, I don’t know where he goes, but as long as I stay, he stays right next to me. He’s been visiting me for a solid year. And you know what? I don’t even feed him, but he’s very plump and happy as ever.
Look: I’m more valuable to God than a little gray bird with a black head. I’m more valuable to God than the most beautiful azaleas in the backyard. He will give me much more because I am loved by Him. Matthew gives us two important principles in connection with the Father supplying our every need. The first one is that we must get our priorities right. In verse 32, Jesus says, “After all these things the Gentiles seek.” In other words, that’s their priority, and they scrounge after these things.
God knows exactly what you need. He says, “But seek first the kingdom … and all these things shall be added to you” (v. 33). Kingdom first. Spiritual over the material. I know for some people, they think, “Oh, man, that’s just too simplistic,” and they want to brush it aside as some childish notion. But that’s a great mistake. Never underestimate the power of obedience to God. When you get your priorities in order, it unlocks and releases amazing blessings.
My wife has one of those newer cars. It doesn’t even have a place to put a key in; it’s just an electronic key. You’re supposed to bring the key with you into the car, depress the brake pedal, push a button, and the ignition will start.
One day, I got in the driver’s seat and tried starting the car. I pushed the button, but it wouldn’t start. I said, “Oh, right, the brakes.” I pressed the brake down first, and then I pushed the ignition button. The engine roared to life. You see, there’s a sequence to it. You have to have the key inside the car somewhere, and you have to press down on the brake and then push the ignition button. When you do, the engine roars to life. Do you see the point? If you want the engine of God’s miraculous supply to roar to life, get the sequence in order!
Seek first the Kingdom. Putting God’s Kingdom first translates into something practical that you can begin doing—now. I don’t know what that might be for you, but if you will earnestly pray, God will show you.
- It may be beginning your morning with prayer and Bible reading instead of opening the newspaper.
- It may be starting to honor God with the first part of your income the way the Scripture teaches.
- It may be using your vacation time to go on a short-term missions trip with your church.
- Or?? Seek God and He will show you.
That’s one of the principles Jesus outlined in Matthew 6:25–34. The second is found in verse 25 of the same chapter. He said, “Do not worry.” In verse 31, again He said, “Do not worry.” In verse 34, He said, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.”
There was a couple that I read about who had a mutual understanding for how to handle every problem they had. Every time they faced a difficulty, they would sit down at the kitchen table together, grab a little pad of paper, and write down their issue. They would then tear it off of the pad, lay it down, put their hands on it, and in prayer, commit it into God’s hands.
Once they prayed over their issues, they would fold the paper in half and put it in a paper bag labeled: GOD. The act of putting the paper into the “God bag” symbolized that they had given that problem—and all of the worries associated with it, to God.
He cares for you and there are no problems too difficult for Him to handle. If we want to experience the “much mores” of God, we need to put things in His hands and cast our cares upon Him.
Like this couple, it may be helpful to write down something that’s been bothering you—big or small—and pray over it. Then, give it to God. Leave it in His capable hands and get ready to see Him do much more in your life.
Continued in part three.
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