Can birds give sermons? I just might as well let you in on it. Yes, birds can give sermons! How is that possible?
Well, God one time spoke through to Balaam, the prophet, through a donkey. That donkey was given a sermon to Balaam. That’s not the only case where God used a member of the animal kingdom to speak to people. God is the Creator. He made all of creation, and there’s lots of sermons going on all the time for folks who will pay attention. I hope you’re paying attention.
We’re working our way through the Sermon on the Mount. We’re about to look at a section where Jesus let us know that birds sometimes gives sermons. It’s in the section all about money and possessions. We’ve talked about this over the last two Little Lessons. Matthew 6, and verse number 19 down through about verse number 24 where Jesus clearly contrasts the difference between the person who’s serving God and the person who’s serving mammon. He makes it very clear, there’s nothing in between. You can’t serve God and mammon. It’s impossible. You’re going to love one, hate the other, or vice versa.
It’s worth thinking about and looking at our lives because you can’t separate your true heart’s attitude with your actions, and neither can I. That’s the ruling thing, where your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be also. When people say, “Well, God doesn’t ever look at our bank accounts. He just looks at our hearts.” Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. God knows what’s in our hearts by looking at our bank accounts. Sure. Absolutely. That’s irrefutable, incontestable, unquestionable.
Our actions reveal what’s in our hearts, and our words, of course, as they are also actions, reveal what’s in our hearts. Do you love God? Well, it shows up in your actions. Jesus said, “If you love me, you’ll keep my commandments.” It’s very simple. You look at our lives, and we look for evidence of obedience to the commandments of God, and that shows our love for Him.
Do you love your neighbor as yourself? Well, look at your life, and you know. Why are we looking for more than just “I’m a nice person to my next-door neighbor” because a lot of people who are professing to be Christians are nice neighbors and decent folk, but do you have compassion on the poor? Do you love the least of these of whom Jesus said He Himself is incarnated within them because He said, “When you do it for the least of these, my brethren, you do it for me.” Again, our love for Jesus is expressed by our love for the poor and the suffering within His body. These are things that pop up quite frequently in Scripture and pop up quite frequently in my teaching, and, well, can’t get enough of it. I can’t get enough of it. We need to be reminded of it.
Jesus has contrasted these two people. We’ve talked about it for the last two episodes. One, storing our treasure on the earth because that’s where their heart is. They’re totally focused on this life. They think that life consists of possessions. They’re just piling up as much as they can, and they’re stupid because they’re going to lose it all one day when they die, and a lot of it’s slipping through their fingers as they try to grasp.
Jesus, what about the moth and the rust and the thieves and so forth, and this person is contrasted with a person who’s laying up their treasure in Heaven. They eliminate all the risk of losing anything because it’s permanent up there, and then right along, you’ve got this guy laying up treasure in earth because that’s where his heart is. This guy’s heart’s in Heaven. This guy’s got an evil eye, a bad eye, a greedy heart. He’s full of darkness. This guy, he’s got a good eye. He’s full of light and revelation of the truth. This guy is serving mammon. He’s not serving God. This guy is serving God. He’s not serving mammon. He’s doing what God said to do with his mammon, and of course, God has things to say about what we should do with our money.
Now, it continues. Again that’s why it’s so important to read all of this in context because Jesus says in the next verse, right after He says, “You cannot serve God and wealth,” “For this reason, I say to you,” so that connects what He’s about to say with what He’s just been saying. The subject hasn’t changed. They didn’t take a break and say, “Well, come back for part two. I’ve got a new chapter.” No, no, no. Just flowing right along. Here’s the context. “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 life not more than food and the body more than clothing?”
Now, it’s very clear now that His words are applicable not just to the wealthy, those who have the capacity to lay up a lot of earthly treasure, but He’s talking to people who would be tempted to be worried about food security and clothing security, something of which most people in developed countries have never experienced, never really had to worry about.
They worry about having to pay their mortgages and so forth and are paying their car payment or paying their rent, but not a lot of worry going on about food, in most people. Now, I know there are exceptions to that, but I’ve traveled in about 80 of the world’s countries to this date in my life, and most of them have been the underdeveloped countries. I’ll tell you that this stuff is a reality.
We help farmers, poor farmers in Africa through The Ministry of Heaven’s Family with a ministry called Farming God’s Way. We teach subsistence farmers how to use better agricultural methods so that they can double, triple, and quadruple their harvest, which they do. They go from being subsistence farmers … But they’re not even subsistence farmers because many of these farmers have gone through all their lives what they refer to as the hunger season. That is when last year’s crop that they’ve been storing up in their house, little huts, runs out, and they’re waiting for this year’s harvest to come in hopefully to end the hunger season.
You see, it’s a whole different world than what many of us are used to. But to them, and to us, but less applicable to us because we’re not worried about this, don’t worry about what you’ll eat because God loves you, and He’s going to take care of you. Don’t worry about what you’re going to wear, and then He says the birds are given the sermons. “Look at the birds of the air,” He says. Now, who made those birds? Well, Jesus made those birds, so you see, He’s got sermons flying around us. “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?” Every time we see a bird, we outta think about how good God is and how trustworthy He is. Look. He’s taken care of the birds, for goodness’ sake. Well, of course, He’s going to take care of me.
All right, we’re out of time for today. Thank you so much for joining me on this Little Lesson. Hope to see you next time. God bless.