Matthew 15:1-20; Leviticus 24-25; Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
We read about them all the time. They are religious shysters who promote a form of godliness with their lips, but the more they speak, they reveal that money controls their hearts. “God will bless you! (…if you send me your money.)” Jesus dealt with Pharisees who had the same heart problem. “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me.” (Matthew 15:8) Let’s face it. The real issue isn’t money. The real issue is a heart that longs for convenience; for instant gratification; for ease of life. Today that’s expressed in a “gospel” that calls on God to provide health and wealth to its followers and shames anyone who isn’t healthy and wealthy for their “lack of faith.” Their words speak of God, but their hearts are focused on something else. Jesus called us to take up our crosses and follow Him; not send money to build a monument to a man. Jesus called us to a life that lends itself to being persecuted by those opposed to God; not one of ease and oppression of others. It’s true that following godly principles may lead to financial prosperity in some cases. In those cases, the wealth is a blessing given by God to help others. It’s more likely that the blessings of following God include enduring persecution with the strength to continue sharing the gospel; or enduring the hardships of each day as we struggle to make ends meet. Our call is not to health and prosperity; our call is to brokenness and service. May we always honor God with our hearts and our lips.
Lord, our society teaches that great blessings come from You. We just like to define what a blessing is. Help us to keep our minds and our hearts open to Your way. Let our lives honor You as we keep our hearts focused on You and then honor You with our words.
Sorry this is late. I got away from home and realized that I hadn’t posted this.