• Devoted?

    🔎 Focus

    ‌“The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you haven’t been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will entrust you with the true riches? And if you haven’t been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will you your own? No servant can two masters, for either he will hate the one and the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and .”

    Luke 16:10–13 NET

    ‌You cannot serve God and money. Money is the translation for the Aramaic word mammon. Mammon can be defined as an abundance of material possessions and resources. Mammon can also be defined as wealth and riches.

    ‌✟ Devotion

    ‌When we read this passage (or its parallel in Matthew 6:24), we tend to get hung up on money. A lot of that has to do with the hard decisions translation teams have to go through balancing equivalency, adequacy, and length. When we expand our understanding to that which is beyond money, we can see a bigger picture.

    ‌For decades, the US (and other so-called first world nations) have sent their cast-offs to other nations.

    You Can Have It

    ‌An example is the standard tongue depressors in a doctor’s office (i.e., those big flat pieces of wood that look like large popsicle sticks). In the US, per government regulations, they have an expiration date, as do beds and other equipment. Depending on the item, and shipping costs, the expired items (perfectly functional) are sent to other nations, where they receive a second life.

    ‌This is wasteful. Yet, we often demand the latest and best, so such waste is a result of our demands. If such waste is reused, it can be considered okay in our culture, but such waste is also a love of stuff…the latest and greatest.

    We Want More

    ‌We are deluged with advertisements for the latest smartphone that the mobile operator will give us for free (but we’re really paying for it in 24 monthly installments). Such ads and promos work because we love our stuff.

    ‌However, what if it really isn’t about stuff or even our love of it? What if we tweaked it a bit to recognize that while Jesus is talking about material goods and worldly wealth, it is all about our hearts?

    Not Yours?

    ‌“…if you haven’t been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you your own?”

    ‌The often used parallel is that it is all God’s, and as God gave it to us, we are using God’s property. It’s not just about an employer or shareholder or spouse or family, it’s about God.

    Your True Mammon

    Tomorrow (Ash Wednesday) is the beginning of Lent. It is a time to deliberatively think about where our lives are not in line with God’s and to self-reflect on it. What, you may , does this have to do with mammon? The first resource that God gave you is…you. Your life on this earth is not only what you make of it, but what you give of it to God, and how you serve God with it.

    🤔 Reflection

    ‌Have you ever given something to someone and watched them mistreat it or destroy it? How did that make you feel? How did you respond?

    ‌If indeed God gifted you yourself and your stuff, how do you think God feels about the mistreatment and destruction that God’s witnesses?

    ‌⏏️ Act

    ‌It has been said by many that your checkbook (or bank transactions) shows where your is. Yet, if you give all your worldly wealth to evangelism, compassionate care, building funds, to a local , but you don’t give yourself, then are you where God has called you? Where do you shortcut yourself to God, and what small step will you take to fix it?

    ‌As Lent begins, you may or may not be giving up something. Regardless, think through what God gave up and how that applies to your life.

    🙏 Prayer

    ‌‌Gracious God, you have given us so much, and we live in such a blessed state that we are now condemned to only see what we want to keep and what others have that we don’t. Help us to see your gifts as you want us to see them. Help us use your gifts as want us to use them. Guide us to see that these gifts are the extension of ourselves and the state of heart and the state of our with you. Amen.

  • Devoted?

    Devoted?

    Jesus said, “…if you haven’t been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you your own?” It’s not just about an employer or shareholder or spouse or family, it’s about God.

  • Narrowed Ways

    Narrowed Ways

    ‌What if, when Jesus speaks about the narrow gates and hard roads, he was transitioning from treating others as you’d have them treat you to looking out for false prophets? The narrow gate and the hard road become transformed.

  • Our Blindings

    Our Blindings

    When Jesus is asked who is saved, Jesus speaks about the narrow way. What if the narrow way is not about what we think it is?

  • People Past

    People Past

    ‌Read: Psalm 25; Isaiah 25:6-9; Philippians 3:20-21; John 6:37-40 ‌‌🔎 Focus ‌“This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.” John 6:40 (NRSVue) Those who have died, that have been a direct…