Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel logo

God’s Word for You

Luke 12:22-26 your heavenly Father will look after your needs

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Do Not Worry
(Matthew 6:25-34)

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “That is why I tell you, stop worrying about your life, about what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap; they have no warehouse or barn; and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable you are than birds! 25 And who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26 Since you are not able to do this little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Jesus has used both sparrows (Luke 12:6-7) and ravens in his examples of how God cares for his creatures. Sparrows were clean (the Jews of Jerusalem ate them as cheap meat) but ravens were not (Leviticus 11:15; Deuteronomy 14:14). Yet God takes care of them both. If he looks after birds—clean or unclean—won’t he also take care of his children, the crown of his creation, whether Jew or Gentile, righteous or sinful?

Jesus isn’t telling us that we should be careless with his gifts or despise them. He is telling us that he will provide what we need and much more importantly that we need to consider what things are important and what things aren’t. What is truly important is his word and for us to know his word. Food for the body sustains us for hours. Clothing adorns us for a longer time, but no clothing lasts a lifetime. His word is eternal (Psalm 119:89).

The Bible is brimming over with examples of God sustaining people who trusted in him when they had little or nothing at all. First, Adam and Eve were sustained in the Garden by abundant food. They were given permission to eat “from any tree in the garden” except one (Genesis 2:16-17), and the perfection of the climate or weather was such that the newlyweds had no need for clothing at all; they were unaffected by cold, heat, storm, insects, thorns, or even shame (Genesis 2:25).

When Adam and Eve fell, they had little knowledge or ability at dressmaking, and their crude clothes were replaced by God’s own handiwork (Genesis 3:21).

When Abraham and Sarah drove Hagar and her son from their camp, the Lord provided a well for her after the water ran out, and he blessed them besides (Genesis 21:18-19).

At the end of the Exodus, God reminded his people: “During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet” (Deuteronomy 29:5).

When David was running from Saul, the High Priest correctly understood the law which the Pharisees would later abuse. He gave David what bread he had (1 Samuel 21:6).

Elijah was fed by ravens (1 Kings 17:6), and the Lord saw to it that the widow of Zarephath did not run out of food during the famine when she fed the prophet (1 Kings 17:16-17).

Just after Elijah was taken into heaven, Elisha was staying in Jericho, and through him the Lord healed the bad water of the city’s well so that it was wholesome “to this day” (2 Kings 2:19-22). Later, Elisha provided an abundance of oil for the widow of a prophet who had no income (2 Kings 4:1-7). He also made a stew which was “death in the pot” wholesome (2 Kings 4:40-41) and fed a hundred men with just twenty small barley loaves so that they all ate and had some left over (2 Kings 4:42-44).

There are more examples than these, and these are only from the Old Testament. Many of Jesus’ miracles did the same thing, and all of Jesus’ miracles were far greater than those of God’s Old Testament prophets. There are also stories by the hundreds of miracles like these happening among God’s people in the earliest days of the church. If his people today do not see his miracles, then we should at least recognize his hand in the blessing of living in a place of such abundance that the miracles of Elijah and Elisha are hardly needed here. But a time will come again when the abundance will be gone, and the last days of the church may be visited with miracles such as the early church once had. But by whatever means, God will look after his people. Do not be concerned about anything so much as how you may give glory to God with everything you say and do, and even with what you think. Devote yourself to prayer and thanksgiving, and your heavenly Father will look after your needs.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

Browse Devotion Archive