Matthew 6:26 New Living Translation (NLT) 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?
If you notice here Jesus is not just making a statement, He is asking us a question. He is inviting us into the conversation. He is asking us to engage in thinking; to consider what He is telling us, to look into our own hearts and see where we have placed our faith. But we are not like the birds. We plan for the future, we have goals. We look ahead.
We do exactly what Jesus says the birds do not do. We invest in the now season to reap later on. We invest in careers, in education, in retirement. We save money for… what? Maybe a house, maybe retirement, maybe recreation, maybe some other sort of other thing. Notice throughout this Sermon on the Mount that Jesus is not saying these things we do are wrong. Giving, praying, fasting, working, planning; He talks about all these things and He is not saying we should not do these things, He is saying we should have our heart (meaning our priorities) in the right place.
I once saw about 50 birds all walking around and pecking at the ground on this lawn area once. As I watched them, I began to wonder, what was so special about this particular area of lawn that all these birds seem to be able to find something to eat in? I waited for a while, as birds normally do, they only stayed a short time then flew away. I went over there out of curiosity and looked for some clue as to what they all were pecking at. And you know what I found? Nothing! I moved the grass around, I poked into the ground a little and… Nothing! It was then that the scripture about the birds came back to me from Matthew chapter 6. Even though I can’t see how God is going to provide for my needs; and even though from an earthly point of view there seems to be nothing there, it is God who is my Keeper and Provider. God provided for those little birds, the provision was not for me, it was for them. So, they were fed, because that was their need and I saw nothing, because it was not for my need. And the message to me was that even though I may work and toil and plan and strive it is still God who decides how and when the provision comes. God is not depending on my work, or on my planning, or on the sweat of my brow to meet my needs. His provision is and always has been by His grace towards us. He causes the sun to shine on the just and the unjust, He sends rain for both. In His mercy He gives of the provision of His earth as He sees fit.
Should I then stop working? Stop planning? Stop praying for wisdom? No, not at all. God has made us to do all these things and more. It is the will of God that we should be doing what He has given us to do. BUT His provision for us is not dependent on us or our performance. It is the measure of His grace and the pleasure of His will to give. So, back to Jesus’ question to us: are you worth more than a sparrow? Does God provide for the birds? – Yes. Will God then provide for you? – Absolutely Yes! And how can we know that God values us more than the birds? – the Cross! Because God gave us His very best, He held nothing back: He gave us His one and only begotten Son. What then is to be our response to the measure of His love? Simply to BELIEVE it. And by believing you will receive all that the Father has to bestow upon you. But in His measure, in His timing, and in His way. Oh, and by the way, Jesus answered that question, with this question:
“Will He not provide for you? O you of little faith?”
Of course, He will.
Blessings to you my brothers this day. Read the scriptures and let God’s Spirit speak to you,