Jesus And Birds – Birds Not Sowing

Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) with Hoard or Grainary WikiC

Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) with Hoard or Grainary WikiC

Wow! Where does time go? With all this craziness over the Coronavirus and the uneasiness of our country, time gets away from me. Maybe I need to listen to what Jesus was saying about not being anxious. This is the 4th mention of birds by the Lord while here on earth. 1st Cleansing Of Temple was the last in this series. That was back in May.

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26 NASB) [emphasis mine]

Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala) ©WikiC Feeding

Coppersmith Barbet (Psilopogon haemacephala) ©WikiC Feeding

This time we have the much quoted, and taught, lesson about the feeding of birds of the air. Mathew 6:25-34 is a favorite passage of mine. The Lord encourages us to relax and put our trust in Him. LOOK!!! at the birds, I take great care of them. I WILL ALSO take great care of you!!

Clothes? Look how HE feeds and dresses the birds! Even the plants, are so beautiful.

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” (Matthew 6:27-29 NASB)

QUIT WORRYING!

“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?‘ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Matthew 6:30-32 NASB)

So, how do we quit worring, Look to Jesus and His Kingdom. First by accepting Him as our Savior, and then learning to trust fully in His care and provisions. No, the food won’t fall out of heaven, but the Lord will provide us the means of providing what we can. Then we need to depend on Him to provide whatelse we need. (Not always what we want)

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34 NASB)

Gospel Message

 

Jesus And Birds – 1st Cleansing Of Temple

Doves in Cages ©WikiC

Back to our long-delayed series of “Jesus and Birds.” The last one, “Jesus and Birds – His Dedication was completed not long before everything changed. This Corvid-19 ordeal has left me a bit “discombobulated.” [Discombobulate is a fun, fancy word for “confuse.” If something has put you in a state where you don’t know up from down and you can’t spell your own name, you may be discombobulated.” – vocabulary.com] Anyway, thanks to Dr. Jim (J.J.S .Johnson) and William Wise for continuing to add articles for the blog.

When I first started looking into this cleansing of the Temple sellers, it appeared that there were two cleansings, yet there was a debate. Did Jesus cleanse the Temple once or twice? As you may remember, I am using a Harmony of the Gospels to trace the Lord Jesus’s reactions to birds while in His incarnated body. Here are some of the questions:

This first cleansing is only mentioned only by John.

“And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” (John 2:13-17 KJV)

The second cleansing is mentioned by the other three gospel writers, but not John.

Mathew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, and Luke 19:45-46 [This will be covered in the 2nd Cleansing of Temple post.]

After checking many of the commentaries in the BibleGateway helps, even though Jesus spoke some of the same similar words, the belief is that there are two cleansings. I will cover more about this in the later post.

The main point is that when Christ entered the Temple area, sellers had set up for business. Worshipers needed animals and birds for sacrifices, but they were not supposed to be selling them inside the compound area. Had they been selling outside the area, there would not have been a problem.

In His disgust for what was going on, he threw over the tables, etc. and opened the cages of doves to let the go free.

Freedom – Bird leaving cage ©Pixabay

 

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds IV

Little Grassbird (Megalurus gramineus) Adult Feeding Juvenile©WikiC

While listening to Wisdom For The Heart on BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network), I heard this message by Pastor Stephen Davey and wanted to share it. His message was “Better than the Birds” and of course it caught my attention. There are four parts, but I am only sharing the introduction and part four here.

Better than the Birds

Luke 12:6-31

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds was the introduction to the “Better Than The Birds” message by Pastor Stephen Harvey.

We were told that “1. Worry denies the gracious care of God.”

We were told, “2. Secondly, worry depreciates the higher value of mankind” In  Better Than The Birds II

We were told, “3. Thirdly, worry distorts our perspective in life” In Better Than The Birds III

Now for Part IV

4. Worry diminishes our distinctiveness as believers

Look at verse 29. “And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying [about it]. 30. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek.”

Even as Christians we can get caught up in the world’s idea that we live because of our bodies. And since we think we live because of our bodies, we start living for our bodies.
That’s the way the world lives . . . it’s literally all about your body – your body – what you do with it, what you do for it, what you do to it – what you put on it, what you put in it.
That’s the passion of the world – the body.

Further, one author wrote it this way, “it is characteristic of the secular world to be obsessed with economic questions, to be almost entirely engrossed by consumer concerns, to be preoccupied with finding and getting better and better things.”xi

Jesus says, effectively, all these things are the things the nations of earth are after.

But maybe you’re thinking, well, somebody’s got to worry about my stuff!

So be careful here . . . let’s be balanced. Jesus isn’t advocating that we just stick our heads in the sand and everything will be alright.

Osprey Catching Fish - Viera Wetlands

Osprey Catching Fish – Viera Wetlands by Dan

The truth is, the animal kingdom is busy. Those little birds work hard . . . just watch them sometime. I doubt any of them get 2 weeks of vacation.

The question is, are you actively stewarding or managing what God has given you or are really at heart worrying about what God hasn’t given you or what He might not let you keep?

One author reviewed statistical percentages and summarized that:

 40% of our worries are about the future
 20% of our worries are about the past
 22% of our worries are about our health
 And 8% of our worries are about petty things we can’t do anything about; which means, 90% of what we worry about are things we can’t change.

Which is why one man wrote, “Worry is like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but it never takes you anywhere.”

But what do we do about stuff we worry about?

I read about one man’s solution. He told his friend, “I have a mountain of debt; I’ve lost my job, my car was repossessed, our house is in foreclosure and I’m not even worried about it!”

“You’re not?” his friend said, “why not?”

“Well, I’ve hired a professional worrier. He does all the worrying for me, and that way I don’t have to think about it.”

“That’s fantastic. How much does your professional worrier charge you for his services?”

“Fifty thousand dollars a year.”

“Fifty thousand dollars a year – where are you going to get that kind of money?”

“I don’t know . . . that’s his worry!”xii

There’s got to be a better solution than that.

Jesus effectively challenges us with two solutions. They’re not easy . . . but they’re right.

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

1. Make sure God and His kingdom stays first!

Verse 31, Jesus says, ‘But seek His kingdom and these things will be added to you.
In other words, He’s promised to give you the Kingdom – vs. 32 – now live with the Kingdom of God in mind.
Imagine it this way. Imagine that after this service, I showed you a will that my uncle left – he was a multimillionaire and he just died and showed you where he left all his money to you – all 25 million dollars. He didn’t leave it to me – his nephew – he left it to you – my former friend. You used to go to church here.

Now all you have to do is go to the bank tomorrow morning, sign the papers and deposit that 25 million dollars into your personal bank account.

Now tell me. How would you feel about your car on the way home? Would you pull up at a red light and be embarrassed that it’s so old? What about the interest rate on your home?

Would you worry about that? What about the stock market forecasts on the evening news tonight? Would you be worried about the meeting your boss has asked for tomorrow afternoon . . . would you lose any sleep over any of that?

No . . . why not? Because you are even now a multimillionaire, even though you don’t have one nickel of that money in your account.

But it is effectively already yours.

Jesus says, “You’re going to be given the kingdom – you are a king and queen in the coming spectacular reign of Christ on earth.

Between now and then, how are you going to live? You don’t have the crown or the robe or the throne – but it’s already yours. So keep that in mind live for that . . . pursue that . . . seek first that kingdom . . . keep your future in mind.

Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa) ©WikiC Feeding Young

2. Make sure God and His kingdom stays first!

Matthew’s account adds another phrase to Luke’s account that provides the second solution.

Matthew records in 6:34; So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Can you believe Jesus said that? Don’t worry about tomorrow – it has enough trouble just waiting for you.

Is He being pessimistic?

No . . . He’s also handing out another pearl of wisdom.

Here it is . . . not only should we make sure we put God first; secondly, we should make sure tomorrow stays put!

I’m not sure about the grammar, but you get my point. Make sure tomorrow stays put.

Now, Jesus isn’t saying don’t plan for tomorrow; He’s saying, don’t pull tomorrow’s problems and challenges into today.

God gives grace for today – and He doles out His grace one day at a time; which means Satan will try to crush our spiritual shoulders by trying to make us carry tomorrow’s burdens with only today’s grace.

So, overcoming worry means you develop the art of living one day at a time.xiii

Hudson Taylor often said, “When you are walking with God [today], the responsibilities [of tomorrow] rest with Him.xiv

In the meantime, make sure you put God first;
make sure tomorrow stays put.

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) by Robert Scanlon

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) by Robert Scanlon

The truth is, and the convicting challenge in these final questions we’ve explored, is that you are better than the birds – now live like it . . . live up to your value as you trust your sovereign Lord – who cares about every detail of your life now – and He’s even preparing a kingdom with you in mind.

Martin Luther, that reformer centuries ago once described his favorite preacher. He wrote, I have one preacher I love better than any other; it is my little tame robin who preaches to me daily. I put his crumbs upon my window sill, especially at night. He hops onto the sill when he wants his supply, and takes as much as he desires to satisfy his need. From thence he always hops to a little tree close by, and lifts up his voice to God, and sings his carol of praise and gratitude, then tucks his little head under his wings, and goes fast to sleep, leaving tomorrow to look after itself.xv

That’s quite a preacher . . . quite a sermon to begin living up to – let’s live up to it, today.

This manuscript is from a sermon preached on 4/28/2013 by Stephen Davey.
© Copyright 2013 Stephen Davey All rights reserved.

(Copied with permission from Wisdom for the Heart and Pastor Stephen Davey.)

i John MacArthur, Matthew 1-7 (Moody Publishers, 1985), p. 419
ii Ibid
iii William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (Westminster, 1975), p. p. 160
iv Bruce B. Barton, Life Application Bible: Luke (Tyndale, 1997), p. 314
v Barclay, p. 161
vi MacArthur, p. 119
vii MacArthur, p. 140
viii William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew: Volume 1 (Westminster, 1975), p. 257
ix R. Kent Hughes, Luke: Volume 2 (Crossway, 1998), p. 54
x MacArthur, Matthew, p. 421
xi Grant R. Osborne, Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke (Zondervan, 2010), p. 252
xii Robert J. Morgan, Stories, Illustrations and Quotes (Thomas Nelson, 2000), p. 804
xiii Barclay, Matthew, p. 258
xiv Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor, Hudson Taylor: Volume 2 (OMF International, 1996), p. 31
xv Morgan, p. 804


Lee’s Addition:

What a great series of messages from Pastor Stephen Davey. Wisdom For The Heart

We heard this originally on our local Bible Broadcasting Network station. It is now on the internet at:

BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network),

See:

A Look Back – Christmas at Faith 2016

“Matthew 2:1-12 KJV
(1)  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
(2)  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
(3)  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
(4)  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
(5)  And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
(6)  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
(7)  Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
(8)  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
(9)  When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
(10)  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
(11)  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
(12)  And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

The Gospel Message

Avian And Attributes – Superb

Superb Starling by Lee at Parrot Mountain, TN

I’m delighted to share the signs and miracles that the Most High God has worked in my life.

His signs are superb!
His miracles so powerful!
His kingdom is everlasting.
His rule is for all time.” Daniel 4:2-3 Common English Bible (CEB)

Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) Male non-breeding plumage ©WikiC


Avian and Attributes – Superb

SUPERB‘, a. [L. superbus, proud, from super.]
1. Grand; magnificent; as a superb edifice; a superb colonnade.
2. Rich; elegant; as superb furniture or decorations.
4. Rich; splendid; as a superb entertainment.
5. August; stately.


I was surprised that the regular versions of the Bible did not use the word “Superb.” When I think of Our Lord Jesus Christ and God, the word “Superb” comes to mind. The CEB had 3 verses that used “superb,” but Daniel 4 above is the best one.

There are seven “Superb” birds in the latest list of birds, all of them very pretty birds, and have a super look about them. Don’t you agree?

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus)

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) by Ian Montgomery

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) by Ian

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus)

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) by Ian

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) by Ian

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii)

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) by Ian

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) by Ian

Superb Pitta (Pitta superba)

Superb Pitta ©Surfbirds.com

Superb Pitta ©Surfbirds.com

Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus)

Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus) by Bob-Nan

Superb Sunbird (Cinnyris superbus)

Superb Sunbird (Cinnyris superbus) ©WikiC


More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first or last name starts with “S”

Good News

*
[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]

Avian and Attributes – Sun

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever— The sun to rule by day, For His mercy endures forever; The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever.” (Psalms 136:7-9 NKJV)

SUN, n.
1. The splendid orb or luminary which, being in or near the center of our system of worlds, gives light and heat to all the planets. The light of the sun constitutes the day, and the darkness which proceeds form its absence, or the shade of the earth, constitutes the night. Psalm 136.
2. In popular usage, a sunny place; a place where the beams of the sun fall; as, to stand in the sun, that is, to stand where the direct rays of the sun fall.
3. Any thing eminently splendid or luminous; that which is the chief source of light or honor. The natives of America complain that the sun of their glory is set.
I will never consent to put out the sun of sovereignty to posterity.
4. In Scripture, Christ is called the sun of righteousness, as the source of light, animation and comfort to his disciples.
5. The luminary or orb which constitutes the center of any system of worlds. The fixed stars are supposed to be suns in their respective systems.
Under the sun, in the world; on earth; a proverbial expression.
There is no new thing under the sun. Ecclesiastes  1.

“That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NKJV)”

Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis) at Parrot Mtn by Lee

SUN, v.t. To expose to the sun’s rays; to warm or dry in the light of the sun; to insolate; as, to sun cloth; to sun grain.
–Then to sun thyself in open air.

Sun Lark (Galerida modesta)

Sun Lark (Galerida modesta)

The Sun Lark (Galerida modesta) or Nigerian Sun Lark is a species of lark in the family Alaudidae. It inhabits a broad horizontal area south of the Sahel, ranging from Guinea to South Sudan. Its natural habitats are dry savannah and subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland. (Wikipedia)

Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis) ©WikiC

The Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis), also known in aviculture as the Sun Conure, is a medium-sized, vibrantly colored parrot native to northeastern South America. The adult male and female are similar in appearance, with predominantly golden-yellow plumage and orange-flushed underparts and face. Sun parakeets are very social birds, typically living in flocks. They form monogamous pairs for reproduction, and nest in palm cavities in the tropics. Sun parakeets mainly feed on fruits, flowers, berries, blossoms, seeds, nuts, and insects. (Wikipedia)

More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first name starts with “S”

Good News

*
[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]