Friday, February 5, 2016

Daily Devotional:February 5

Week 2, Day 5, The Gospel According to Matthew, Chapter 10

Today's reading is the first instance in which the 12 disciples, Jesus' closest followers, are named. In this story, we see Jesus sending them out to the cities in the region to basically inform people of the teachings and presence of Jesus among them. In this first story of Christ interacting specifically with his closest friends, we see a phrase being used that I think still has tremendous weight in today's world. 

Don't fear, you're more valuable than many sparrows.

Fear is a good instinct and terrible master. It keeps us alive when we listen to it, but it can also cripple our ability to be compassionate when we are mastered by it. We live in a time where people are motivated by fear. The fear that the world they know is changing or that the lifestyle they enjoy might be threatened is causing otherwise sane people to act in ways they would have been embarrassed of 15 years ago. 

In the modern political climate, people prey upon the fears of the masses, painting the "other" as a villain and scapegoat. This is a dangerous path that leads only to death and destruction. In Jesus' day, the "other" was usually the people Jesus was accused of being around with too much. In every instance in which we see Jesus interacting with a marginalized or oppressed group, he never shows them anything but love. These are people many would have been afraid to befriend. 

Don't fear, you're more valuable than many sparrows.

What are we actually afraid of?  That we will be killed? I think that fear speaks more to a lack of faith in what we claim to believe than anything else. Are we afraid we will be disliked? The fear of what other people will say is rooted in our desire to be valued. We want our friends and colleagues to like us. 

Jesus told his disciples not to fear, because of their value. God values you. He loves you enough to give you a love that drives away fear. You're worth a lot to Him. 

Spend time thanking God for valuing you. 

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About Drew

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A follower of Jesus, trying to build myself and others up from the inside out.