Father, I praise You as the great and wonderful Creator of all. Open my eyes to see Your character in Your creation.
Read LUKE 12:22–34
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought / Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; / His hand the wonders wrought.” (Maltbie D. Babcock).
Some biblical passages are so familiar they no longer have any impact on us, particularly when we are detached from their original context. These words of Jesus were not originally said to affluent people who sometimes liked to take a trip into the country to see the birds and flowers. They were spoken to subsistence peasants whose life depended on the day’s wages, or the annual crop, or whether they caught any fish that night. These disciples were told that their trust in the Father is what makes them different from “the pagan world” (30).
They are invited to look at the world they know and see the Father’s hand. He fed the ravens, which were unclean birds, so how much more could they trust him to feed them. He clothes the meadows with flowers, even though it all ends up as fuel. How much more can they trust him to feed them? They have a choice: worry about subsistence, or seek his kingdom. He knows their needs and will provide for them, so let him worry about that while they get caught up in his priorities to put his world right. Faith is not believing that God can care for you; it is trusting that he will (v. 28). If we are secure because he knows and provides for our needs, we are freed to be generous to others, particularly those in special need.
It is difficult to transfer such basic faith into affluent cultures. Sadly, the comfortable are often less generous than the poor. An older Christian who was a great influence on me when I was a student used to say, “My heavenly Father is not deaf,” so he would only ask for his own needs once. That catches the spirit of Jesus’ teaching. How do we view the Father and his world?
Jesus saw the Father’s concern in unclean birds and grass in a fire. Where can you see it? How does that encourage you?
Loving Lord, give me the faith I need to trust in Your faithful care and to go about doing Your will each day.
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