Birds, Flowers, Moths, Rust, Thieves, and You (Matthew 6:25-30)

““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?” (Matthew 6:25 ESV)

devo_16JUN2017As a gracious master, our God provides us with an abundance, more than we could ever hope or ask for. We have no cause, no reason to be anxious if we are in Christ.

But, knowing our frame, that we are but dust, in His kindness and mercy He seeks to bolster our faith, to persuade us of His care.

This is important, because we all tend to be control freaks to one degree or another. How so? When something seems out of our control (and to be honest, isn’t EVERYTHING out of our control?) if we don’t immediately panic and worry, then we try to figure things out, to work our “control” systems and plans and do our research, to attempt damage control, and then, when there is nothing else we can do, we fall back to worry (and sometimes pray).

We also worry because we tend to value the wrong things, to love these things. Again, we have this tendency to attribute to or expect from people and things fulfillment and what we perceive is happiness – unrealistic ideation, the counselors call it. If we’re looking for this from these things, they will fail us – moths eat, rust corrupts, thieves break in to steal. Friends fail us, foes assail us. Yet we trust in these things, and because we know that they fail, we sometimes will be consumed with worry, with anxiety, over their potential loss. The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. And this drives us to all sort of excesses. Only the living and true God, who is eternal, who alone can fulfill all his promises, who loves His own everlastingly, can truly and wonderfully fulfill.

But, knowing our frame, that we are but dust, in His kindness and mercy He seeks to bolster our faith, to persuade us of His care.

We are given four reasons to trust Him:


REASON 1 – “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (v25)

The comfort and peace that knowledge (and acting upon that knowledge) of the doctrine of God’s Providence provides us is this: God’s got this. Jesus will now bring home this point again and again. Our Father will and does provide. If he has the big stuff covered, life itself, then he also cares for the little stuff as well.


REASON 2 – “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?” (v26)

We and the birds enjoy God’s Providence. And notice – it is not some impersonal force of nature – Your heavenly Father feeds them. His direct, personal, intention and guidance, directed, focused, on each and every one of them. And so it is for you.


REASON 3 – “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (v27)

What does worry accomplish?


REASON 4 – “And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (v28-30)

So – life is fleeting and feeble. We’re defenseless – but Jesus directs us to look at what our heavenly Father does:


Psalm 103:13-19 (ESV)

“As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. 

For he knows our frame;

he remembers that we are dust. 

As for man, his days are like grass;

he flourishes like a flower of the field; 

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

and its place knows it no more. 

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,

and his righteousness to children’s children, 

to those who keep his covenant

and remember to do his commandments. 

The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,

and his kingdom rules over all.


– John Butler