In one of Jesus’s parables he said his kingdom on earth offered some of the same benefits a tree offers to the birds of the air.
So we think, “What benefits does a tree offer to birds?” One thing a wild bird is concerned about is protection from predators. There are animals out there that would love a tasty fowl for lunch.
When a bird can perch in a tree it offers it a high place away from land crawling animals that can’t climb. Many birds can camouflage themselves against the background of the tree so that climbing animals or other enemy birds cannot see them. Even the leaves of the trees form a barrier so that these birds cannot be spotted.
Another benefit of these trees is that they provide shade from the hot sun, as well as a shield from the harsh winds to protect birds from physical harm. And even another benefit of some trees is the fruit or seeds the birds feed on.
So how does this compare to the benefits we receive from being part of Christ’s kingdom? Our greatest predator as believers in Christ is the devil himself.
The book of John describes the devil as one who wants to kill, steal and destroy us. He is described as a roaring lion seeking anyone he can devour.
In that same chapter in John, Jesus describes himself as the shepherd of the sheep, and one of the main functions of a shepherd is providing protection from the enemy.
Jesus Christ is also the great physician who is able to heal even the greatest of illnesses. But he can also protect us from ever getting them in the first place. Even if he doesn’t choose to heal us in this life, he has promised us for eternity we will have new bodies that will be free from decay, sickness or pain.
Then just as the birds are fed by their creator, so we are promised that for those who seek Christ and his kingdom as a first priority, he will meet all of their material needs such as food, water and clothing.
God is a good God towards his creation, but like the birds have the responsibility to fly into the trees, it is our responsibility to come to Christ. He is waiting with open arms.