How Much More

Summer Devotional 2023

Getting Started

What physical sensation do you experience when you worry about something? Is it a sinking feeling in your stomach, or maybe heaviness on your chest? Perhaps it’s jitters in your arms and legs, or tension in your neck and shoulders. Regardless, each of us feels anxious at times, some of us even chronically so. Whether you struggle with anxiety on a clinically diagnosed level or just when stressful situations arise, Jesus understands that worry is both common and exhausting.

In his Sermon on the Mount, recounted in Matthew chapters 5 through 7, Jesus shares important wisdom about worry and anxiety:

Matthew 6: 25-34 | Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Questions to Consider

  1. What do Jesus’ two examples of birds and wildflowers have in common?

  2. Why does Jesus use these two examples?

  3. How are we like the birds and wildflowers? How are we different? 

  4. Maybe you’re not worried about food, drink, or clothes; what are you worried about instead? Reread Jesus’ teaching here with those things substituted for food, drink, and clothes. What might God be saying to you about your worry over those things? 

  5. Do you believe that God knows what you need and will provide for you? Is there anything preventing you from fully believing that? 

  6. How might your life change by living from the peace and trust that Jesus offers us in this passage?

Closing Reflection

At the core of Jesus’ words is the idea that (1) God is good, (2) God is good to us, and (3) God is good at being God.

  1. God is good: We can look to Jesus’ death on the cross as proof that our Heavenly Father is more loving than we can even imagine and that we as his children are the desire of His heart. God’s perfect love is kind, faithful, and trustworthy. 

  2. God is good to us: God wants to be in relationship with us and work in our lives! Corrie Ten Boom, a 20th-century Christian writer, famously said, “Nothing is too great for His almighty power. Nothing is too small for His love.”

  3. God is good at being God: God can do more in a moment than we can do with hours, weeks, or months of our best efforts. After all, He is the one who placed the stars in the sky, the creatures in the oceans, and everything in between. Therefore, He is the best place to put our trust regarding the things we need and worry about! 

Jesus’ words about worry and anxiety here are not trite, unhelpful advice from someone who doesn't understand, nor are they empty suggestions like, “Just calm down,” or, “Loosen up.” These words are the direction of the One who knows us most deeply, the One who has loved us every moment of our whole lives, the One who created our minds, hearts, and bodies.

No matter the extremity or the object of your anxiety, Jesus sees it, knows it, and has compassion for it. Just as this passage expresses, He wants more for us than endless anxiety. In fact, He offers us freedom from it. He wants to hold it so that we don’t have to. 

As you reflect on this holy invitation to release your worry and anxiety today, may you feel God’s power, Jesus’ nearness, and the Holy Spirit’s peace in your surrender

About the Author
Campus Staff Minister


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