The Lord Will Provide

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Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your hearts will be also… Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life… 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?” Elsewhere He said, “fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” What we worry about reveals at least two things about us. First, what we value. Second, what we trust will give us rest for our souls. 

Jesus says that our emotions are expressions of what our heart treasures. So it can be true that where our emotions are out of control, there lies a potential, if not likely, idol that we will seek to use to acquire what our heart most desires. In this sermon, Jesus is speaking of earthly provision. He uses the image of flowers in a field. All they ever are is flowers. They don’t try to be more than they are. They root in the good ground of God’s creation and receive what he gives them from the sun and soil and clouds. These seemingly insignificant parts of creation receive everything they need. They do not toil or spin and they live a life adorned with beauty.

Jesus gives a second image to us - the birds of the air. These small, almost trivial creatures are just like the flowers. They do not try to be more than they are. They do not sow seeds or store their annual harvests, and yet they never go without. All they ever try to be are birds, and our Heavenly Father provides for all of their needs.

Jesus says that we, people made in the imago dei, are of infinitely more value than both the birds and the flowers. We are his “workmanship,” his “poema,” so how could He fail to take care of us? Our worry that we will lack what we need is not benign. It is a malignant kind of unbelief. Jesus calls it “little faith.” He says that when we have this “little faith,” our heart acts like there is no God.

So, what solution is there for our worry, our anxiety? Do we simply need to work hard enough to acquire what we need? If we are honest, this is often our default response to our worries. However, Jesus says that the solution to our worry is to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Our worry reveals that there is a different kingdom we are seeking apart from the Kingdom of God. And when we seek it we will reap the fruits of it - worry, doubt, anger. But when we seek the Kingdom of God by the help of the Holy Spirit of God, the fruit of that Spirit will be ours - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, & self-control -  and we will receive all that we need.

Our seeking of this Kingdom cannot and will not be in vain. God is not reigning in heaven working to make it difficult for us to receive and enter into this Kingdom. He is not a miserly deity, hoarding His holiness and goodness for Himself. He is not a God who sees us in the difficulty and toil and pain and scarcity that can come to our lives and remains indifferent. No, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who cares for His flock. And it is His and our Father’s good pleasure to give to us the kingdom. 

This Kingdom where there is goodness, fullness, joy, abundant life, and blessing, is available to any who would look to Jesus by faith. This is true not just for the unbeliever who can trust in Jesus and by doing so become a believer. No, this is for us who already belong to the Kingdom of God because there are still times and ways when we need to trust the Lord. There is an opportunity ahead for all of us to become a bit more of a believer than we are today. By singing this Scripture we can help the truth to come home in our hearts.

For we know that “God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” If this is true, then we can turn from the other kingdoms that we are seeking and instead seek first the Kingdom of God. In doing so, everything we need will be added to us.