And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, 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, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
These words follow on directly from the parable that the Lord Jesus told about the foolish farmer who thought that he was going to live for ever and that his wealth would satisfy his soul. Christians can make the same mistake as the farmer, and that is why the Saviour turns his attention to his disciples in verse 22.
Anxiety about the things of this word, as well as worldliness, often stem from the same source – a lack of faith. The encouragement we receive in verse 29 to live without anxiety is central and the word conveys a small boat in a storm on the sea being tossed about by the waves. But the divine reasoning in this paragraph can bring us back from a far-off place spiritually to a sure faith and peace in the things of God. Notice: –
Consider the ravens. There is a manifest order in creation and in nature. The laws put in place by God mean that crows have their food – this is not mere random chance. Our life’s chief work is not to gather food and clothing but to discern who this God is and what He is like.
Consider the lilies. In its perfection and beauty, it tells us something about the greatness, glory and yes, the beauty of the God who created it. The lily tells us that it is worth our while to try to get to know the God who created it and clothed it.
Your Father. It is possible to come to know God as a father, indeed this is the essence of the relationship between the Christian and God. The Christian does not have to worry about food or clothing because the God who is responsible for creating and sustaining the world is his father, through the Lord Jesus Christ. The relationship between the Christian and God is a two-way relationship because God also knows the Christian as his child! This is the nature of the relationship and this truth can sweep away all fears, insecurities, worries and doubts. This all comes to us through faith but how can we receive that faith?
Instead, seek his kingdom. The word “seek” means the deep desire of the heart to put God first and everything else in second place. We must focus on God and being in a relationship with him. This means repenting of our sin and accepting what God has for us, which is the gospel. The good news that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived and died for us.
Fear not. How many times does the Lord Jesus Christ have to say those words to his disciples? Jesus wants us to concentrate, not on what we have not got but on what we have in Jesus Christ. If we do this, we will receive the kingdom and everything else we need. In Jesus Christ everything is ours. “Everything of any value lives in him. “Every Grace…. All shall I have, all shall be mine, If I but have Thy grace divine.”
If the Lord is my Shepherd, “I shall not want”.
Keep safe, body, soul, and spirit!
Dewi Tudur, Eglwys Efengylaidd Ardudwy