July 3, 2015
By Skip Heitzig
Have you ever seen a worried bird? Sweating, ringing its little claws, saying, "Honey, the rent on this nest is getting astronomical"?
Jesus said, "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?" (Matthew 6:25-26).
Notice the command in these verses: "Do not worry." The way it was written in the original Greek means to stop an action that is already going on. It's as if Jesus said, "I know most of you folks out there are worrying, so stop it. Stop being weighed down by anxious thoughts. Look at the birds…."
You have a God who promises to take care of you. You know why? He is your Father (see Matthew 6:6, 8-9). God is not the birds' Father; He is their Creator. You, on the other hand, have a relationship with Him as both one who is created and one who is His child. If your Father feeds the birds, don't you think your Father is going to take care of you?
"Which of you by worrying can add one cubit [18 inches] to his stature?" (v. 27). The NIV says, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" You're not going to add to your life—or your height—by worrying about it. In fact, you'll probably live less; studies say that stress will shorten your life.
"So why do you worry about clothing?" (v. 28). Tuck that away in your mind for the next time you go to the store. "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" (vv. 28-29). If you've ever been to Israel in the spring, you'll know that the wildflowers there are amazing. Yet, these wildflowers blossom and dry up a couple of days later. In Jesus' time, they were picked up and used as fuel in bread ovens.
"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…. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things" (vv. 30-32). What were you worried about exactly one year ago today? Some of you will be able to answer that because of an immense trial you were in. But I would wager that most of you are not able to give a clear answer. Now you understand: worrying is a fruitless activity. Why bother engaging in it?
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (v. 33). In other words, Jesus said, "Here's the deal. Just seek Me and My kingdom first, and I'll give you everything you need." That's a great deal. That's a great exchange. Redirect your energy from worrying about your life to working for God's kingdom. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (v. 34). Blessed is the one who is too busy in the day to worry and too sleepy at night to do the same. Work for God. Serve the Lord. Expend your energy for eternal things and fall asleep in peace.
I pray you have a wonderful and blessed Fourth of July celebrating freedom in Jesus Christ, knowing you can face every day without worry or fear.
Copyright © 2015 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.