• Retief Burger

Look at the birds DAY 34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:25-26 Today we went on our own little bird-scouting trip through our lovely estate. Being a bird lover since childhood it was amazing to see old familiar species with new lenses. Our grand prize was searching for the usually nocturnal Spotted thick-knee (Gewone dikkop) during day-time. And we found them, hiding in a garden near the dams! This excitement in the Burger family made me think of the well-known passage in Matthew 6. Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? As we watched our feathery friends continuing with life without a care about what tomorrow might bring, I thought about so many financial challenges facing people. The birds might ‘know’ something we tend to forget in times like these: your heavenly Father feeds them. Jesus goes on asking if we aren’t of more value than them. Off course we are and therefore if our heavenly Father will provide for them, how much more will He provide for us. If only we would trust Him and not become anxious. Anxiousness and worry has become a close friend to many people during this Covid19 crisis and yet Jesus is saying here we should not be anxious. Verse 25 starts with this command (note - it’s not a suggestion) and quantifies this anxiousness to some of the most basic human needs: food, drink and clothing. But to understand the gravity of what Jesus is saying here we need to look at the verses preceding our text and those concluding it. Whenever a verse starts with the word therefore it would be wise to look at what is written before that passage. 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also You cannot serve God and money. Jesus commands us to not to turn our hearts to earthly treasures… if this is our only goal or main concern in life, then naturally worry and anxiety will follow when it is suddenly taken away. It asks the greater question: who are we really serving? God or money. Who has the final say in your life? He calls us to rather store up treasures in heaven – where it really counts. Kingdom work, his mandate to go and make disciples of all nations, wherever we go in life! A call that is not just for pastors of full time ministers, but also for businessmen, teachers, housewives and every other profession on the planet. Therefore Jesus ends this part of the sermon on the mount with these famous words, hopefully understood better now in the context of challenges we are all facing right now: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. I would like to challenge you to give your anxiety and fear over to God, take Him up on his Word and seek first his kingdom above anything else right now! Stay safe and stand strong. Retief Burger

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