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Consider the Flowers of the Fields

26 Apr

Every Sunday with the children of our Home Church we look at a portion of the Gospel according to Matthew.  This last week we shared from Matthew Chapter 6 verses 25-34 where Jesus tells us, “Do not worry about your life.”

As we spoke of how Jesus drew two examples from nature, the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, some birds began to sing louder and sweeter in the patio where we were meeting.  We said, “Each time you hear a bird sing, remember that God will take care of you as He takes care of them.”

Then today three families from our Home Church took a field trip to a vegetable production and exportation plant where a young man from our church is the Administrator.  After giving us a tour of their plant, we loaded into his truck and he took us through some neighboring flower fields.  The words of Matthew 6 came to life as we drove past the rows of bright hued blooms.

"Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow."

“I tell you not to worry about your everyday life–whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.”

"They don't work or make their clothing."

“Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?”

"Solomon is all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are."

“And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you…your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs.”

So don’t worry about your life….

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Cleansing the Temple=Love

23 Apr

I had an amazing thought the other day.  It wasn’t amazing because I had it, but rather because of Whom I was thinking about.

And this was the thought–everything Jesus did during His life on this earth was motivated by love.  Everything.  Every single thing.  I pondered this and then I questioned, “What about the time when He blasted the Pharisees and Experts in Religious Law?  Was that motivated by love?”  I believe it was.  It was His love that yearned for those who were so committed to their traditions and practices to taste the true love and grace of His Father.

Then my thoughts turned to the occasion when He cleansed the Temple and threw out the moneychangers who had set up shop there.  I grew up hearing that we could classify Jesus’ strong reaction in that setting to “righteous anger”, and maybe that’s accurate.  However, could it be called loving?  I pondered that for a while too and had to conclude once again that it was.  My conviction is that He was not only zealous for His Father’s house, but His heart ached because they were missing the point of being in the Temple.

Then just a few minutes ago I read one of my favorite blogs:

http://conversationsforthejourney.com/2011/04/15/palm-sunday-reflection-he-looked-around-at-everything/

It is written by our dear friends Bart and Linda Tarman.  God has used them in our lives over the past 15 years to encourage us in our faith journey as we follow Jesus and to grow together with an international community of believers.  In this post Bart was reflecting on the very same scene in the temple and one of his concluding statements put an exclamation point on my own thoughts.

“…the temple was meant to be a house of prayer for all people.  It was not supposed to exclude and divide- but invite.  Invite all.  To meet the God of unbounded love.”  

So, as we anticipate and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, may we follow in His steps and be instruments of His unending, unspeakable and “unbounded” love.

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