AMPLIFY: God’s Sovereignty
Lesson 22: Peace-Giving King
Lesson 22, Devotion 1
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” - Matthew 6:26
Out of all the things that Jesus could have pointed people to as an alternative to worrying, he chose birds and flowers. Maybe He liked how the birds flew, or the flowers showed color, but we honestly don't know. What we do know is in one of the most important sermons Christ ever delivered He chose to point us to birds and flowers.
Read Matthew 6:25-30. Birds and flowers. Jesus directed the people to these two everyday things then (and us as we read it now) with the same sincerity He had when He calmed the raging seas. Nothing was beneath being a metaphor for God’s sovereignty, including things that flew and things that were stuck in the ground. We all need God to give us the roots and wings we need to overcome our deepest fears. We likewise sometimes need Him to point out how something right under our nose can lift up our heads.
Think about this:
What “everyday” metaphor might Jesus use to show you that God really has sovereign control over your life?
The people who heard Jesus’ words that day undoubtedly had seen birds and flowers before, but likely saw them differently after that. What is something Christ might want to give you a “second perspective” about in your life?
Lesson 22, Devotion 2
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” - Matthew 6:34
There are times when we have to do something tangible to tame intangible fears. Find some small stones and write a word on each one that represents a worry in your life. Carry these out to a field or forest with soft soil, and push each one into the ground so it can’t be seen or easily found. As you do, commit this area or thing to God as a prayer.
Read Matthew 6:31-34. Sometime later in your week, return back to the general area you buried the stones. Without going on a deep search for what you buried, note that the stones are not visible to the naked eye unless you really go looking for them. This is what happens when we pray – we can release our worries to God, and they become completely covered by His power and love.
Think about this:
Are you generally able to release things to God without going back for them later? Why or why not?
When is a time that you felt someone else in your life had an irrational fear they wouldn’t let go of? When have you been like that person?
Lesson 22, Devotion 3
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6-7
People tend to feel nervous about different things during different seasons of life. Eventually, you realize something you were worried about isn't as big of a deal as the next thing you become nervous over. An old, anonymous saying says, "I wept that I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet."
Philippians 4:6-7. Take some time today to ask different people around you about times in their lives that they felt incredibly stressed. Make sure you interview people of different ages and likewise ask them about things they used to be concerned about but aren't anymore. You will likely see some trends in what you learn. And more importantly, you'll be reminded that God uses time and a growing faith to lead us through our anxiety.