Monday, January 08, 2007
Wherever the words of Jesus echo in the Old Testament scripture I always take a closer look. “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” Proverbs 30: 8-9. This reminds me of the Lords Prayer when Jesus instructing us how to pray say’s “Give us today our daily bread.” Matthew 6: 11. For me it is quit clear from scripture that we are not to pray for more than we need. Continuing in chapter 6 of Matthew, Jesus teaches that we are not to worry about tomorrow concerning what we are to eat or drink or what we are to wear. He ends his comparison to us with the lilies of the field: So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’ Or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows you need them. Matthew 6: 31-32. Please beware of wrong teaching. Jesus compares the pursuit of material possessions with paganism. It is of the world and not of God’s kingdom. King David also assures us, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.” Psalm 37: 25-26. My favorite scripture concerning wealth and poverty comes from the Apostle Paul and should be our attitude as well. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want, I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13. May the presence of Christ be with you and me.