Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Master of Sparrows

29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. 32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 10:29–32 (NASB95)

There was once a minister who dreamed he had died. In his dream he envisioned himself meeting Peter at the Pearly Gates. However, he soon learned that unless he could present some credentials he would not be allowed into heaven. “Well, if that’s all you need then no problem,” the preacher said with somewhat shaky confidence. Hoping to impress Peter the Rock, the preacher began explaining how in forty seven years he had never missed a Sunday. He talked about how he had grown churches from 200 member communities to congregations that would fill a sporting arena. He described for Saint Peter how his radio ministry was heard in over forty five countries on three separate continents. He talked about the importance of his standing and the pedigree of his education. But Peter shook his head. The preacher hung his head in despair and was about to give up hope when Saint Peter said “Wait a minute. Aren’t you the man who used to feed the sparrows in the park every morning?” “Why yes” the preacher replied, “but what does that have to do with anything.” Peter looked at the man and said, “Come in. The Master of the sparrows would like to thank you.” I like this story because it points us toward some very important truths for walking with the Lord.

#1 Consecrate yourself to the Lord.
Important positions, accolades and honors generally point to a person’s skills and the special gifts God has given. But commitment, dedication and determined perseverance in the smallest of tasks demonstrates how deeply someone is consecrated. First Corinthians gives us a laundry list of spiritual gifts that would seem to indicate a certain degree of spiritual maturity. However, the point of the passage is that nothing matters in your service to the Lord if it isn’t accomplished within the context of love. The story of the Master of Sparrows drives this point home for us. There is a flock of sparrows somewhere in your life that needs to be fed.

#2 Don’t be afraid.
This little story of the Master of Sparrows was obviously inspired by Matthew 10:29-31. And this verse? Whew! It is jammed packed with theological significance that finds its purpose in providing you and me with the encouragement we’re going to need if we’re going to feed the sparrows. You see, feeding the sparrows may seem like an insignificant task. But the truth of the matter, the minute you start feeding God’s sparrows someone is going to hate you for it. That’s why the thrust of Jesus’ teaching here is about encouraging believers to speak with boldness in the face of persecution. Jesus is teaching his disciples that if God finds value even in a sparrow then they can count on the fact that He cares about them. Therefore, there is nothing to be afraid of when they go out into a hostile world and proclaim the truth of the Gospel.

#3 Feed the sparrows.
Sparrows are the same anywhere you go. They’re driven by a hunger that is attached to a desire to live. The same truth applies to people who don’t know Christ. They are hungry. They desire to live – to truly live. They desire the Bread of Life. More importantly, Jesus desires that they have it and He has sent us to give it to them. How do you feed spiritual sparrows? Confess Jesus’ name before them. He cares enough for you that He provided this opportunity and He has promised to keep you even in the face of adversity. Feed the sparrows. Confess Jesus before men and do it with all your heart.

Scripture to claim
16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 (NASB95)

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