Sermon on the Mount
It was the first day of Spring. I woke up to a steady downpour of rain and joined a group of faithful sisters on a weekly early morning “Cry Out” call. Our facilitator led us in Praise, for His Name and His attributes. Then she led us to pray any Scripture God had laid on our heart. Because of our world’s pandemic, it was not surprising that one of those was Jesus’ words to his disciples in Matthew 6:25-34.
As it was read, my eyes followed and then God seemed to lift a portion off the page. “Consider the lilies” (Matt. 6:28). After prayer, I went back and began meditating on these words.
Because the section begins with “Therefore”, it was important to understand the context of the text. So, I went back to Matthew 5 and read through Jesus’ famous “Sermon on the Mount”. Jesus is compassionate and knows they need time to understand this teaching. He sits down with them to teach them intentionally how to live, love others, forgive, fast, give, pray and ask for needs. He knows they need much instruction and illustrations to help them understand.
Jesus then uses two practical visuals to teach them what is not the best way to live…” being anxious about your life” and redirects their attention to “consider the lilies”.
(Suggested: Read Matthew 5-6:24 first).
Do not be anxious
Taking up at Matthew 6:25 ESV…
“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? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 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.”
Jesus gives them a way to see and experience His teaching. Jesus knew theirs and He knows our thoughts. Without a word from them, He said, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them” (food and clothing). BUT, he then turns to their greater need, the root of the matter…“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (all the ways He had just taught them about the best way to live).
I pondered, googled pictures and meanings of lilies. I was so strengthened. THEN, God had me go “live it out”. I work from home but have been intentionally quarantined with a son with Down Syndrome who has a compromised immune system. My parents and dear friends have brought us groceries. But, this morning, I sensed God was calling me to go. Who would have thought that making a grocery run would take such faith?
Consider the lilies
As I stepped cautiously into this friendly grocery store, immediately, I was met with this amazingly fragrant aroma. Ahhhh a heavenly scent! And at once, I turned my head and knew instantly… God was showing me. Lilies! Tubs of lilies! Cascading here and there, with no apparent care in the world…just as Jesus taught. They held nothing back, opening like trumpets with their glorious white blooms unfolding. And the sweetest aroma they were offering every shopper to freely enjoy.
I sensed this sort of Amen on what Jesus was instructing His disciples and is still showing us today. And I was in awe of the truth, beauty, and goodness of God. He is our Peace. I took several deep breaths to try and capture it in my soul. He showed me He is so near and worthy of my trust. This morning I read a great definition of faith. Faith – Forsaking All In Trusting Him. Today’s experience helped me treasure the eternal security of His Word and Promises. To be reminded He sees and knows what is best for us. And He is our Provision for every need.
Maybe God wants to offer you a bouquet of lilies for whatever you are going through today. Our heavenly Father knows our every need. “Do not be anxious…Consider the lilies” today.
PS… God closed the day with a full, brilliant rainbow with an aura of glory inside it… delivered right to our “quarantined” door.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10.23 ESV).