Over the past several weeks we have been journeying together through what it looks like to live a generous life in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This week, as we continue on in that journey together, we are going to ask God to help us focus on only what we can do through God.
Jesus’ response to the disciples’ outrage provides a clue to what is important in God’s economy. Our motives are often more important than what we do. How we utilize our resources, what we prioritize, is more important than how much we have or how much we spend.
Jesus spoke about money as much as any other topic and more than most. Why do you think that is? The Bible is about our spiritual lives, right? So why did Jesus feel it so important to talk about money all the time?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. Wise words. The first part of trusting God seems easy enough, but that second line instructing us not to rely on our own insight or understanding is a little harder. God gave us intuition, knowledge, brains to learn, etc after all. Why should we not use them?
These verses serve as advice to 2nd century followers of Jesus (probably Jewish Christians). Times were difficult for them politically and religiously. They had been scattered from their homelands and were in the minority, trying to live counter-cultural lives.
This passage of scripture is often referred to as the Great Commandment. An expert in the law, which would have included the commandments and other instructions for Jewish people, questioned Jesus about the law.
In the book of Acts, we learn about the early followers of Jesus. We see what it meant to be the “church” in those initial days. It was not about a building or even a specific meeting place, rather it was a way of being in the world. It was a way the people interacted with others in their group and others outside their group.
Most of you are over-burdened right now. You are doing too much. Your schedules are too full and you feel overwhelmed. Your soul is withering under the weight of it all. And the sad part is, most of us think this busyness is making us a better person.
In the scripture above, Paul tells us exactly where to focus our attention to find a meaningful life. First, he tells us to rejoice in God. Instead of worrying about our lives, we should pray to God about our concerns, and here is the added note, “with thanksgiving.”
In these verses, we hear Moses speaking to the Israelites who are about to enter the promised land. They have been rescued from slavery in Egypt and then wandered in the desert for 40 years. During that time many died, many were born, and now all can see the promised land across the Jordan River.
When you read the above scripture, do you think to yourself, “Yea, those rich people should not be so arrogant or put their hope in wealth?” Do you think of other people as “rich”? Do you find that no matter how your lifestyle increases over the years, or how much money you make that you never see yourself as rich?
How many times have you heard the phrase, “You can’t take it with you,” meaning when we die, we can’t take any stuff, money or accumulation with us. In these verses, Paul reminds us of this fact. He also says the love of money is the root of evil.
In the Gospel of Matthew, we are told that we should store treasures in heaven where those treasures are never destroyed or stolen. This implies that treasure here on earth can be destroyed or stolen, and of course, we know this to be true.
Prayer Walk Today try a prayer walk. If you are unable to get outside, simply walk around your house. Stop and pray in specific areas. Here are some examples:
Prayer is response, communication, relational, personal, and transformational. We pray to know God, know ourselves, to discern God’s will, to ask God’s help, and to offer God thanks. When we pray we address God, praise God, are honest with God, petition God, and wrestle with God.