“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
I gather sparrows are valuable in Jesus’ culture. Five of these little birds are worth 2 farthings. Even less valuable items gain God’s notice. The hairs on my head “are all numbered” says the Word of God. In other words, nothing escapes God’s notice. He sees, He knows everything about everything. Not only does He see and know, He also cares about everything. He cares about things which we human beings do not value or which we hold in low esteem.
Because God cares about “the little things,” we ought to rest assured He cares about the important things, i.e. about us. We “are of more value than many sparrows.” Since this truth ought to be obvious, why do we live in fear?
God’s Word tells us, “Fear not! You are not forgotten” by God.
“If God thus loves us, dear friends, we in turn are bound to love one another. Though God has never been seen by any man, God Himself dwells in us if we love one another; His love is brought to perfection within us.”
And how do we love as God loves us? “This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit. And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as the world’s Savior. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God — God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.” (1 John 4:13-16, HCSB)
We love as God loves by “confessing that Jesus is the Son of God.” Through His Holy Spirit, we “are bound to love one another.” A binding contract exists forever among God and us and our brothers in Christ. The contract calls for love — selfless, giving, understanding, tolerant, helpful, generous, caring, kind, heartfelt, committed.
“There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, for fear has to do with punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:18-19, HCSB)
“What can man do to me?” asks the psalmist. “If God is for [me], who can be against [me]? He who does not spare His own Son but gives Him up for us all, how does He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.” (Romans 8: 31 – 33, ESV)
“I do not fear.” I do not fear because I praise the Word of God. I do not fear because I trust God. (Psalm 56: 4) I do not fear because I am of the elect, those whose names are written from eternity in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
And “[God Himself] records my wanderings. Puts my tears in [His] bottle. Are they not in [His] records?” (Psalm 56: 8, HCSB) “[He] delivers me from death, even my feet from stumbling, to walk before [Him] in the light of life.” (Psalm 56: 13, HCSB)
“He…graciously gives [me] all things.” (Romans 8: 32, ESV) Therefore, “what can man do to me?” (Psalm 56: 4) “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the One who dies — more than that, who is raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for [me],” for us. (Romans 8: 34, ESV)
“All things work together for good,” says Paul. Paul does not say that only some things work together for good, but all things. He includes those events which, on the surface, appear and feel terrible – the death of a loved one, the abandonment and betrayal of a spouse, the loss of employment, the straying of the heart, the end of good health. None of these happenings are welcome. No one seeks them.
God is the ultimate weaver, taking the broken painful bits of our lives and weaving these in with the less broken, even joyful bits to make a beautiful tapestry. Through all things, He perfects us.
We who belong to Christ are “led by God’s Spirit.” (Romans 8: 14) As His sons, “[we] do not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but [we] receive the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ ” (Romans 8: 15) Because God calls us “according to His purpose,” we know that He foreknows us, predestines us, conforms us to His image, justifies us, and glorifies us. (Romans 8: 28 – 30)
Since God does all these things for us, what have we to fear? asks Paul. Nothing. We have nothing to fear for God is on our side. “Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus sets [us] free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8: 1 – 2)
We are free. Jesus says that He is the truth, and that as the truth, He sets us free.