Lent Devotional: Matthew 6:25-34
by Jonathan Haefs
**Note: there is a typo on the Lenten Reading Guide. Today’s text is Matthew 6:25-34**
Today’s devotional is authored by Allison Davis
Matthew 6:25-34 (click here to read the entire passage)
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? 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)
I grew up in a small, Southern Baptist church where we would periodically have a soloist sing a special song during Sunday worship. This is how I became acquainted with the gospel hymn “His Eye is On the Sparrow” originally by Civilla D. Martin and Charles H. Gabriel. The music we listen to forms us. Now, 15 or more years since I’ve heard that song sung by Mrs. Tina Green on the platform of Crestview Baptist Church, I can still hear her voice in my head…
“Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
This hymn was clearly based on Matthew 6:25-34, where Jesus comforts his audience with the assurance that there is no need to be anxious. God intimately knows and takes care of every bird on the planet. Don’t you think he’ll take care of you, too? You, a person made in his image?
Oh, do we need this text and that song today. I believe the enemy wants us to live in a constant state of fear and anxiety in these days. COVID-19 is an illness to be aware and cautious of, absolutely. I am thankful our government and church are taking precautions to keep us safe. We must be careful, however, to not fall into the sins of despair and worry during this season.
Matthew 6 reminds us that what really matters, what should be sought first, is God’s Kingdom and his righteousness. Everything else is secondary. May your Kingdom come, O Lord, on earth as it is in heaven. Remember with me today that God is in control. The God who takes care of birds and flowers is going to take care of you too. That care may not come in the timing you would like or in the way that you prefer, but remember that you are worth more than many sparrows.
Pray with me that at the end of this rough season, we, like Paul, may be able to say “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)