His Eye Is on the Sparrow

Written by Samuel Lawrence
(Read John 10:1-29)

In John 10:10 Jesus says “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The thief of course is referring to the enemies of God: Satan and his minions.

In American Culture today we can easily see the theft, the death and the destruction all around us. We see it in rampant substance abuse nationwide. We see it in widespread sexual immorality and perversion. We see it in the carnal lifestyles both inside and outside the church walls. We see it in the corruption of corporate and government leadership.

Think of those in our culture many would think had it all: fame and fortune. Yet the enemy stole and destroyed their life and in the end took their life.  In addition to the damage to the individuals who fall prey to the enemy’s snares, there are those who suffer the collateral damage inflicted on, and suffered by, those who loved those whose lives the enemy has destroyed… the moms and dads, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, wives or husbands, extended family and friends.

Death Through addiction…

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston

Here is a list of  the tragic loss of renowned celebrities or athletes to a drug or alcohol-related death is an event that often leaves many unanswered questions.>>> Famous and much-loved celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Heath Ledger have been the victims of such unfortunate circumstances.

Death Through a life of sexual immorality and debauchery…

Robert Reed
Robert Reed

Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is transmitted sexually and through sharing contaminated needles (a much smaller percentage also get it from contaminated blood transfusions and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding). “The most frequent mode of transmission of HIV is through sexual contact with an infected person. The majority of all transmissions worldwide occur through heterosexual contacts (i.e. sexual contacts between people of the opposite sex); however, the pattern of transmission varies significantly among countries. In the United States, as of 2009, most sexual transmission occurred in men who had sex with men, with this population accounting for 64% of all new cases.”
Here is a list of famous people who died of AIDS: Everyone on this list has has AIDS as a cause of death somewhere in their public records, even if it was just one contributing factor for their death>>> 

Death Through depression and suicide…

Robin Williams
Robin Williams

Suicidal thoughts have numerous causes. Most often, suicidal thoughts are the result of feeling like you can’t cope when you’re faced with what seems to be an overwhelming life situation. If you don’t have hope for the future, you may mistakenly think suicide is a solution. You may experience a sort of tunnel vision, where in the middle of a crisis you believe suicide is the only way out. Spiritually, we can understand how the enemy uses this snare even on the rich and famous as well as the down and out. The enemy reaches his ultimate goal in a direct way- “to kill” by using the hands of his victims to carry out the act. The following are lists of notable people who intentionally killed themselves. Suicides committed under duress are included>>> 

The sad part is that no one is immune to the temptations, attacks and snares of the enemy. Rich or poor, famous or relatively unknown, religious or unbeliever, the enemy hates us all. His goal is the same for us all: “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” us and all who know and love us.

Yet Jesus Christ gave his life’s blood to pay the price for our sins, to free us from the bondage of sin, so that we “might have life,” and that we “might have it more abundantly.”

“His Eye Is on the Sparrow” is a Gospel hymn. Although today it is a staple of African-American worship services, the song was originally written in 1905 by two white songwriters, lyricist Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel. The song is most associated with actress-singer Ethel Waters who used the title for her autobiography.

The theme of the song is inspired by the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible: “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?” (Matthew 6:26) and “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” (Matthew 10:29–31) (1)

As you read John 10 think about how Jesus wants the best for us, as a shepherd protects and cares for his sheep. He knows you to the point of numbering the very hairs on your head. He knows your faults, your weaknesses, your fears, yet loves you so much he gave his life to give you a life more abundant. Remember…. His Eye Is on the Sparrow!

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Words by Civilla D. Martin, 1905
Music by Charles H. Gabriel, 1905

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;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Chorus:
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For 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;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Chorus

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;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Chorus

His Eye is on the Sparrow – Hymn History

Civilla Martin wrote:

“Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle, true saints of God.

Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh 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 for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience.”
The next day she mailed the poem to Charles Gabriel, who supplied the music (2)

SOURCES:
(1) http://johntroutman.com/lyrics/hiseyeisonthesparrow.html
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His_Eye_Is_on_the_Sparrow