Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 28, 2019
Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6:20 (NRSV)
Jesus has a remarkable way of turning established values upside down. He calls into question things that would have been universally seen as good and desirable. And as he does, he invites us to look at them with fresh eyes.
The Lord wants you to know that life in his Kingdom is more real and substantial than the circumstances and challenges you face. He wants you to know that you have an identity that transcends your bank account or list of followers. In fact, according to Jesus, you can be poor and destitute and yet live this very moment as an inheritor of God’s kingdom.
Do we actually believe this?
If you live in the developed West, by historic standards you are incredibly wealthy. It is ironic then to consider how deeply we fear the loss of wealth and devote so much of our time to the pursuit of greater and greater affluence. Yet we often fail to realize how this pursuit is significantly shaping and forming us as human beings. This way of living can make us inward focused, self-absorbed people who miss God’s invitation to live in freedom and give ourselves away for the sake of others.
A significant leader in the early church, St. John Chrysostom, once said, “luxury often leads to forgetfulness.” How true this is! We can forget others and their needs. We can forget our own need for God. And we can forget that luxury is here today and gone tomorrow. To put our hopes and dreams in comfort and affluence is to look at a way that ultimately leads to death and to call it the way of life.
On the other hand, Jesus invites us to join him in the way of life even when it is hard and you are filled with pain and doubt. He wants you to know that there is always a way forward in which your fears and sorrows do not have to define you or derail your faith. Because we are loved and known by God, we are set free from the love of wealth and the endless pursuit of affluence.
Learn afresh the joy that comes from celebrating simplicity and modesty! It turns you outward from your own obsession with self and liberates you to freely give your time, talent, and treasure for the sake of Christ and his Kingdom!
Father, keep our hearts free from the love of money so that we can be free to love others in your name. Amen.
Where does the love of money have a grip on your heart?
Wealth without generosity can cause us to forget God. #WisdomHunters #money
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