There isn’t a single thing that the birds at my feeder do to deserve the largess that I bestow on them. I bought the feeders that contain the seed, I continue to buy seed to fill them. My grandson and I take turns filling the feeders. When a feeder needs repair, I repair it. Everything—everything is done for those birds; it’s pure grace! Yet, it’s interesting to see a Dove chasing four others away from the food that falls on the ground as the sloppy eaters (largely Finches) spill it in large quantities. He acts like he owns the territory. Perhaps he thinks he does!

And when it’s hummingbird time, and we hang out the sugar water feeder, you can be absolutely certain that one bird will claim it as his own and defend it to the end of the season. Indeed, you can see him sitting on a bare branch, watching it, daring any other to approach the jar. If they so much as get near, he’ll zoom down on them at mach speed and chase them away with his long, pointed beak. There are always star wars when the hummers return for the summer!

But think of it. How much like humans these birds are. God has provided all things for us freely to use. In grace He has provided even more for the believer in Christ Jesus. Yet, there we are fighting over things as if any of us deserved anything. It all is God’s. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills; indeed, He bought us with a price—we are His property, His slaves. Anything He gives us—the world, our finances, health—is a gift for sure. We have no claims on Him. And the salvation we enjoy in Christ as believers is, again, entirely of grace. Yet, are we not going about as brothers and sisters in Christ, claiming things for ourselves? “That part in the choir is mine; how dare she try to usurp it!” Or, “They’re our members; how dare you to invite them to a service at your church?” Thousands of similar sentences are uttered every Sunday by Christians who have taken possession of that which is owned and graciously provided by our Father in heaven. Isn’t it time we considered rising above bird life?

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