TOPIC: FEAR NOT THOSE WHO CAN KILL ONLY THE BODY!
HIS EYES IS ON THE SPARROW.
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM.
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
The point our Lord was making is this: if God is concerned about the tiny sparrow and notes its fate, how much greater must His concern be for man, who is immeasurably greater in value than the sparrow!
So don’t be afraid of them. Nothing has been covered that will not be exposed. Whatever is secret will be made known. Tell in the daylight what I say to you in the dark. Shout from the housetops what you hear whispered. Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s permission. Every hair on your head has been counted. Don’t be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows (Matthew 10:26-31).
Jesus repeats himself three times in this passage. He begins and ends with the same exhortation, and he repeats it in the middle:
“Don’t be afraid” (26).
“Don’t be afraid” (28).
“Don’t be afraid” (31).
Or said in more forceful terms: “Fear not!”
It is not hard to trace the argument of these verses.
First, do not be afraid because the truth will prevail.
What is hidden will be revealed. What is spoken in secret will be shouted from the housetops. Every evil deed will be exposed in the light of God’s blazing truth. In the end, evildoers will cry out for the rocks to hide them because the great day of Judgment has come at last. No one will be able to hide; all will be revealed. God’s truth wins out in the end.
All they can do is kill us
Second, do not be afraid because God is greater than anything man can do to us.
All they can do is kill us. That’s the worst they can do. Why fear man whose power ends at the grave? Instead, fear the Lord, who made body and soul.
Third, do not be afraid because God takes special care of us.
He sees the sparrow as it falls. He numbers the hairs on our head. We are worth more than many sparrows to the Lord. So why be afraid of anything?
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, why should my heart be lonely and long for Heaven and home, when Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me…
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear, and resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; though by the path He leadeth but one step I may see: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me…
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, when songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him; from care He sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me…
God’s care for us is immeasurable—He allowed His only begotten Son to die in our stead (John 3:16). When we consider the “riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering” this ought to soften our heart, “knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance” (Rom. 2:3-4).
God’s care for us will sustain us throughout life, for “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
God’s care for us extends beyond the grave and into that home of the soul, for those who “do His commandments” have the right to the tree of life, and “may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14).
The title of this message is inspired by the famous gospel song by the same name. It is one of the most loved Christian songs in the world and was made famous by Ethel Walters, who used it as the title of her autobiography.
“His Eye is on the Sparrow” was written by Civilla Martin, the wife of a Baptist Pastor. She described in her own words how she came to write the song. “In the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship with a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for over twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them the secret of their joy in the midst of pain. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: ‘If His eye is on the sparrow, then I know He watches me.’ The beauty of this expression of simple faith gripped my heart and that same evening I wrote the words for the song.” The rest, as they say, is history. If you’re discouraged, afraid of the future, or struggling with the problems of today, listen again to the words of this beautiful song: “Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart feel lonely, and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches over me. His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me. I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free! His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me.”
I’M NOT AFRAID, BECAUSE THE WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN IN THIS LIFE IS THE DEATH OF MY BODY—AND I AM AN ETERNAL SOUL!
Hagar was an Egyptian slave, whose mistress was Sarah, the wife of Abraham. During a difficult moment in her very difficult life, she encountered God in the desert and addressed him as EL ROI, The God who sees me. This is the only occurance of this title for God in the Bible.
In the midst of her difficulties, when all seemed lost, Hagar learned the remarkable truth: though Abraham and Sarah had cast her out, EL ROI had taken her in. Seeing her distress, he sent an angel to help her. Indeed, he’d been watching over her all along, developing a plan to bless her and her child, reminding her of his faithfulness by instructing her to name her son Ishmael, which means “God Hears.”
EL ROI reminds us of the God who knows every hair on our heads and who knows the circumstances of our lives, past, present, and future. Nothing is hidden from Him.
He is an all knowing, all seeing God who keeps his eyes on us and watches over us by day and night. If you have ever been tempted to believe that no one understands you or that no one cares about you, you will have to revise those thoughts in light of the God who revealed himself so faithfully to this desperate slave girl and her son.
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