Frank Retief was pastor at St James Church Cape Town for 31 years, having planted the church in 1968 with his wife Beulah. He became the Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa until he retired in 2010. Frank remains active in ministry through preaching, teaching, pastoral work & writing, and has authored a number of books.
Matthew 6 v 26: Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your Heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Our Lord appeals to the birds of the air, the lilies of the field and also the grass of the field for one purpose. To remind us that the Creator of the world is also the sustainer. He keeps it going by meeting all its needs. Then Jesus reminds us that this great creator and sustainer is our Father and furthermore in creational terms, we are much more valuable to God than the rest of creation. He will sustain us as well. Therefore, says Jesus, in Matthew 6 v 34 “Do not worry about tomorrow.” Of course we all know how we fail at this point, because we are given to anxiety in our fragile and precarious world. But notice Jesus does not say, do not plan for tomorrow, or work for tomorrow, or make provisions for tomorrow. All these things we should do if we can. But there will always be something about tomorrow that is not in our control. So having done all we can about tomorrow, we should trust our Father in Heaven. “Your Heavenly Father knows that you need them” said Jesus speaking of daily necessities. Therefore we can come in prayer with confidence and pray for our daily bread from the One who is the Sustainer of the Universe, that very one who is also our Heavenly Father.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank you for the caring words of Jesus Christ our Lord. We pray for that carefree and confident spirit that will always trust in you. Deliver us from carelessness and increase our confidence in you. Amen