As our Father God, the Personal Knowledge of the Loving Father.
Read Matthew 10:24-32
“The very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear.”
I remember my first sermon and still have the notes in my files. I preached my first message in the small church my family attended (and still attend). I was nervous enough preaching my first message, but it made it worse that I was preaching to people I knew, half of whom were relatives. Afterwards, my aunt came up to me and said, “Glenn you are normally so quiet but when you are up there you just keep talking.” I was never quite sure how to really take that, although I think she meant it as a compliment.
Those same feelings of apprehension must have been felt by the disciples in Matthew 10. In chapter 10, we find Jesus sending the disciples by pairs on their first missionary venture. They were to go throughout the nation of Israel, proclaiming the arrival of the kingdom of heaven and calling people to repentance. His graphic words in verses 16-23, that they were going as sheep in the midst of wolves, (hardly a picture one wants to envision as they start a new ministry), would have elicited fear in the bravest of them. Rather than giving them promises of success, Christ instead promises them that they will be beaten and hated and arrested. If I were them, I would have been seriously tempted to go back to farming.
Recognizing their fear, Christ reminds them of his divine authority. They were commissioned by Christ to proclaim his message. Consequently, they are not to be afraid to openly preach the kingdom of God. Furthermore, they were to be comforted by the fact that the Father has an intimate knowledge of their lives. Our heavenly father is not some indifferent deity who merely gives an occasional glance in our direction to see what is going on. God is completely engaged in the affairs of his world. Even the sparrows are of value to God. Consequently, how much more valuable are his followers. To emphasize both the value and knowledge that our heavenly father has of our lives, he points to the most insignificant aspect of our life, the number of hairs on our head. Our father’s interest in our lives delves into the smallest and most trivial detail. Because he is that attentive, we should not be afraid.
This changes our perspective in the midst of our struggles. As a loving father is ever watchful over his children, so our heavenly Father is watching over us. We are so valuable to him, that he continually remains alert to every circumstance we face. Psalm 56:8 states, “you keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (NLT). God is never indifferent, never forgetful, never distracted, from his watchful care. This is why we do not need to fear, for God is sovereignly overseeing every facet, circumstance, and situation in our life and he is orchestrating all things to achieve his purpose in our life. Therefore, we are not to allow present adversity to cloud our eternal perspective. Today, as you face the challenges of life, remember God as your attentive Father is paying close attention to every circumstance you are facing. If God cares for the sparrows and what happens to them, how much more does he care for you and what is happening in your life today!