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Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Matthew 10 : 16-39

“Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.” -Matthew 10:31[AMPC]

Sparrows are common/everyday birds we see around, and we hardly give much thought to them. If each of those sparrows is noticed by our Heavenly Father how much more thought does He give to each of us- the crown of His creation! If we would give more thought to this thought, our perspective on life would change.

The context of our reading is Jesus’ instruction to His disciples on a mission- to preach: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand…”  (Matt.10:7) and thus further His Kingdom. As he gives them instructions He also tells them of the resistance and difficulties they would encounter in their mission. Jesus tells them not to fear men who would oppose them and persecute them and even take their lives but rather to fear God who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. God would take care of them even keep their soul eternally. But they were to endure to the end (Matt 10:22).

From the key verse, let us take our focus to the value of our lives- to view it from the perspective of:  i)God  ii) man. 

How does God value our lives?: From the account of Creation in Genesis 1&2 we know that man was made the crown of all creation. Man was not just given the most privileged position but made ruler over the rest of creation; what more- he enjoyed uninterrupted friendship and fellowship with God. Yet sin spoilt it all- all the negative effects of sin and separation from God crept into man’s life. YET GOD DID NOT FORSAKE US! Because He places such prime value on our lives, He was willing to give His Son to take our place in death for the punishment for sin so we that our souls would be eternally saved!

“But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you. ….and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven.” (Eph.2:4-6 CEV)

Matthew 10:31 speaks of how much God values our lives! Its mind boggling to think God keeps a count of the hair on our head when we can’t even count the ones that fall off! If we cared less for the sparrow that falls to the ground that God cares for, He still keeps a track of them.  Jesus reminds us we are more valuable than many sparrows! What is He trying to say? We aren’t to worry about our lives! God will take care of us each moment, day by day!

How do we value our lives?: Today much of the world is “image-driven!”- where selfies take prominence. The projection of the Self is so much that we fail to see ourselves in the light of how God sees us or values us. The value we place on our lives is often weighed by the opinion of others or how others see us!! Even as believers we tend to forget that God calls us to be formed into the image of His Son(Rom.8:29)-into Christ-likeness! How our value in God has diminished in our eyes! 

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36) If we go after everything else in this world and lose out on the most precious thing- the salvation of our souls, we have lost it! If we have seen our value in the perishable things such as beauty, wealth, fame…its time we set things right!  You and I are fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator and may His image of us capture our hearts this day on!

To Meditate: “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand…” (Psalm 139: 17,18)

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