Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rich Fool...or Rich Toward God

Lord Christ, Luke is wearin' me down. I'm inclined to dismiss your parable of the rich fool. (Luke 12:13-21) Now, I'm wondering: Am I that guy?

Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. (v15)

The rich fool was successful, became obsessed with his wealth and turned to hoarding. I'm not that guy, right? Well...

I have ample resources, yet I always seem to want more. Retirement planning gnaws at me. Is this an update of the rich fool? Am I blinded to a consumer culture addiction?

I don't believe you oppose success or planning, but materialism subtly hardens the heart and pushes Kingdom priorities aside. I quickly forget the source of my blessings.

It's time to cultivate contentment, to build trust in your provision. Holy Spirit, intervene. Amen.

Artwork credit
Scripture Union, Learn Contentment

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meek & Mild? Not!

Lord Christ, 

I've been unduly influenced by the famous hymn "Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild." That was not your demeanor at dinner with the Pharisees in chapter eleven of Luke. (Luke 11:37-54)

It seems that you embarrassed the host and insulted the guests. There was nothing meek and mild about your six woes rebuke of the "greedy, wicked" church leaders: 

You keep meticulous account books...but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God’s love. (v42, The Message)

You load people down with rules and regulations...but never lift even a finger to help. (v46)

Would I get the same verbal beat down if you came to my cookout?

Woe to your hypocrisy, double standards and discrimination. Woe to you seekers of status and comfort.  

Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor... (v41)

Message received. Amen.

Artwork credit
Scripture Union, Polite Company?
Charles Wesley's Gentle Jesus, Meel & Mild

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nation Building

Sovereign Lord,

We hear much about nation building in the Middle East. Freedom and democracy are difficult to export. I shouldn’t be surprised. The Old Testament is a story of blessings squandered.

You did a lot of nation building, but that work always came undone. Empires rose. Empires fell. Great leaders and kings - inspired by you - did great things. But they lost their way, or their heirs strayed, and kingdoms collapsed amid intrigue, war and exile.

Lord Christ, you adjusted the strategy. It’s not about leaders or borders, national wealth or military might. It’s about hearts, anywhere and everywhere, hearts devoted to you. Surely, you control history, but it’s the human heart you seek.

I pledge my allegiance - my heart - to your teaching, to your authority, to your Kingdom.

Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near. (Luke 10:11) Amen.

Graphic credit