December 11, 2015
A Gift from God: A Relationship with the Father
By Skip Heitzig
One of the great things about watching my grandson, Seth, grow up over the last several years is seeing how he doesn't worry about where his next meal is coming from or if he'll have clothes for tomorrow. He has Mom and Dad; there's a relationship, there's going to be care, and there's going to be provision.
Last week, we looked at the gift of carefree living that Jesus promised us. This week, let's look at another gift Jesus gave us in Matthew 6—a relationship with the Father—that's tied to the first. Instead of just saying, "Don't worry, be happy," Jesus gave us reasons why we shouldn't worry.
But before we jump into that, there's a premise that this is all based on. Reread verse 25: "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life." What's the first word? "Therefore." You don't begin a thought with "therefore"; it's tethered to a previous thought in verse 24: "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon," or money.
So Jesus was saying, "I am to be the Master of your life. If I am the Master of your life, worry is absolutely unnecessary." And it's true, right? If Christ is the Master of your life, what do you have to worry about? "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1). Just think about it: if He created everything and owns everything, that means He can resource people with everything. He can provide.
But He's more than your Master; He's your heavenly Father. That implies relationship. In verses 26-27, Jesus compared us to lower creations: "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?"
The idea is, "Which one of you can add any length to your life by worrying?" Last time I checked, you can't lengthen your life by worrying, but you sure can shorten it that way. "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?" (vv. 28-30).
There's a phrase I don't want you to miss. It tells the whole story: "your heavenly Father." What did it cost God to make you His child? His Son. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). If God spared no expense in saving you, don't you think He'll take care of you? Think of how irrational our thinking can be: We believe that God can save us from hell. We believe that God can break the shackles of sin. We believe that He can take us to heaven. Yet we're not so sure He can take care of us this week.
If He can do the big stuff, then the rest of the stuff follows. Romans 8:32 puts it this way: "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" When you receive the gift, Christ, all the other gifts come with it.
And no bird can claim that relationship. No bird has been redeemed. No lily was created in the image of God. God gave these promises to you. These things have a temporary nature; we have an eternal nature. We, as God's kids, shouldn't worry.
I challenge you to personalize God's care this next week. Next time you see a bird, I want you to stop and say, "He's not your heavenly Father; he's my heavenly Father. He's your Creator; He's my dad." If anyone overhears it, they might think you're weird, but you won't forget it.
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