Monday, June 16, 2014

Lessons from nature

"' Look at the birds ... your heavenly Father feeds them.'" Matthew 6:26

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 8:1-9

TO CHEW ON: "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?" Psalm 8:3,4

Here David looks at the vast heavens at night, feels incredibly small, and uses that thought as a jump-off for pondering the place of man in God's creation.

Jesus often uses illustrations from nature in the lessons He teaches.

In the Sermon on the Mount, He draws attention to the birds. Though they live without forethought, they don't lack. He points to the lilies who,  He says, without any effort on their part, are more beautiful than a king in his glory. Surely God who feeds these creatures and clothes these flowers has the ability to care for His listeners then (and us today) without our fretting about it (Matthew 6:26,28).

Another time Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed. Though its beginning is tiny, it grows to tree-like size (Matthew 13:31,32).

When talking about the kingdom of heaven, Jesus compares it to a field of grain. Man scatters the seed on the field but after that "the earth yields the crop by itself" without man's help. Just so the kingdom inexplicably grows, and matures on its own (Mark 4:28).

Walking along the road on day, Jesus points to a ripening fig tree. Just as the changes in the tree alert the passersby to the fact that the summer is coming, He says,  so watching current events should tell those who are alert that the coming of the Son of Man is near (Mark 13:28 and Luke 21:30).

Do you ever see spiritual lessons in nature? Let's look at the natural world with eyes open and alert to see what it might be saying to us about God and His ways.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known - Psalm 19:1-2 NLT.

PRAYER: Dear God I am in awe of the way nature reflects Your ways of working in the realm of the spirit. Please open my eyes to see You everywhere. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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