The Sparrow and the Heart: The Sparrow (Part 1)

I like to think of myself as a pretty laid back guy, but the truth is that I have always been a bit of a worrier. I’ve spent much of my life on the move, running up and down the east coast largely. As a young kid I developed a bit of a nervousness about me, the instability generated some of it no doubt (despite the faithful efforts of good parents to create a stable home). Worry has, therefore, often been a part of my life, even if a part I don’t like to acknowledge. I, like much of the nation, am a worrier. Statistics tell us that anxiety is the most common “mental disorder” in America today, and that roughly 19 million people today have been diagnosed with some form of it. In light of all of this the theology of the Sparrow speaks into my worry and helps me to fight through it. It can do the same for you.

Building this theology starts with a foundational assertion: God is good and He is in control. For a lot of people one of those two assertions is acceptable, but not both of them together. God may be good, but it’s a kind of sweet old grandfather in the sky good. He means well, but the truth is that God can’t really do anything about the mess we find ourselves in. He is good, but he is not really in control. For others, God is most definitely in control. After all what would it mean to speak of “God” technically and yet deny him supremacy over the world. That sort of alters the very definition of God. Yet, because our world and our individual lives bear the marks of chaos, struggle, and instability we cannot assert that God is good. He is in control, but he is certainly not good or he would not allow such things. The Bible teaches quite differently however. It teaches us that God is both good and in control. To get this picture let’s look at Matthew chapter 6.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,  29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34)

Next week we will begin to break this passage down and look at it bit by bit to discern the truth that God is both good and in control. But read it carefully over and over this week. See if you can clearly draw out that conclusion from the Scriptures. See if you can use it properly to motivate your confidence in God. See if you can use it to boldly defy and abolish your anxiety. God’s Word, as we are a seeing in our other studies, is an authoritative and powerful tool. Use it to grow you faith and put to death your worry. Learn from the Sparrow!

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