CONSIDER THE LILIES                                                                                                                   Andy Hollifield 10-5-17

Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (26) Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (27) Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? (28) And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: (29) And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more than clothe you, O ye of little faith? (31) Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (32) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (34) Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Consider the lilies of the field. Instructions by Christ himself. Used as an illustration about clothing which was a concern for the disciples going forward. Jesus used the phrase to illustrate God’s provision even for the lilies in all of their beauty. They did no labor but God made them beautiful and cared for them. Also he used birds and how God feeds them as an illustration of God’s care and followed it up with “are ye not much better than they?”

As I began to look at this scripture, I realized just how much work God puts into meeting our needs. Oh, I am sure it is nothing too him but it is everything to us. When we feel like we can’t go on another step and the world is howling at the door and we are hunkered down in fear of getting injured in battle, he is there to give comfort and peace. Christ was trying to emphasize the fact that God can meet the needs of anyone in spite of their circumstances. I don’t believe Christ even mentioned anything about “death” in the verses above and probably because he wanted to meet the needs of those that were more concerned about living. Christ isn’t looking so much for someone who is willing to die for him but he is looking for people who are willing to live for him.

Fear is the biggest problem we face as a Christian; we are often afraid of failure and looking bad in front of our friends, family, or coworkers. No one likes to be laughed at and that fear often keeps us from obeying the will of God. As great of a man as Elijah was, he was wrecked by fear after praying a 63 word prayer and slaying 450 prophets of Baal. It was also after God burnt up a sacrificial offering to some idols and after he outran a horse and chariot.   Elijah also ended a drought with his prayer but the very next thing we read about Elijah is that he was holed up in a cave hiding from Jezebel and wanting to die.  God sent a strong wind, and a fire, an earthquake and finally got his attention with a still small voice.

The main point of emphasis is to help us realize how much God does care for us and how bountiful his provision is on a daily basis. The fact is, God didn’t send his Son to die for anybody or anything except mankind. He didn’t send him for animals or nature or any other part of his creation, only for man. The fact also is that Jesus is heaven’s very best; perfect in every way.  Rather than just destroy mankind from off the face of his creation because of our sin, God gave perfection for imperfection. He gave greatness for depravity. He gives loving kindness yet receives abuse and rejection. But in all of this; God still loves us. Can you imagine how hard that must be, to love people who constantly reject and disobey you? Especially when they turn around and ask for everything under the sun even though they show little appreciation and gratefulness for what they have already been blessed with? That is what God does on a daily basis. He loves even though we are unloveable. He gives in spite of our ungratefulness. He is faithful even in the face of rejection. He is protective especially in our carelessness. He is forgiving even though he knows we will often do the exact same thing again. He gives peace even in the midst of despair. He is longsuffering to a fault and bountiful beyond measure. As Jeremiah 29:11 says,”For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” As Psalms 116:12 says, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? Matthew 10:29-31 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. (30) But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (31) Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” As Job stated  in Job 7:17 “What is man that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? Also, in 15:14 he says, “What is man that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? The Psalmist said it this way in Psalms 8:4 “What is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”

We could go on and on about how much the Lord loves and cares for us. Not just those who have accepted him as their Savior, but also those that he wants to draw to him. That includes all men, women, and children;  present, and future. “Whosoever will” means exactly what it says and the offer is still open to all. Isn’t it good to know that whatever you may face today, there are important discussions about you on the very throne of heaven. Plans are being made by God and carried out by the Holy Ghost at this very moment on your behalf. The pain you may of just had; God prevented it from being fatal. The near accident that you were almost in today; God shielded you and piloted your vehicle. Every second of every moment of every day and every week and every month and every year throughout your life, God has his eye on you and has set his heart on you to love you. All that God does is for the benefit of and because he loves you. If that doesn’t brighten your day to know that you are the beloved of the creator of all, consider the lilies. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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