The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Can’t worship God and Money (readings for May 25, 08)

with 3 comments

Pawnshop from WikipediaHere I sit in the richest nation on earth. Perhaps it should be no surprise, then, that the conflicts over which we Americans fuss most (Iraq, immigration, health care) are about our own wealth.

The question that’s ever before us goes something like this: Do we address these issues to protect the poorest or to protect ourselves alone?

One way follows the example of Jesus. But only one. Read on.

Proper 3 (8)

May 25, 2008 (Because of the early Easter, the readings from Epiphany 8 are used.)

Isaiah 49:8-16a; Psalm 131; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Matthew 6:24-34

Matthew 6:24-34

24″You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.

25-26″If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

27-29″Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion-do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

30-33″If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers-most of which are never even seen-don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34″Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

1-4Don’t imagine us leaders to be something we aren’t. We are servants of Christ, not his masters. We are guides into God’s most sublime secrets, not security guards posted to protect them. The requirements for a good guide are reliability and accurate knowledge. It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I don’t even rank myself. Comparisons in these matters are pointless. I’m not aware of anything that would disqualify me from being a good guide for you, but that doesn’t mean much. The Master makes that judgment.

5So don’t get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When he comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of-inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any one of us get to hear the “Well done!” of God.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Isaiah 49:8-16a

8-12God also says:

“When the time’s ripe, I answer you.
When victory’s due, I help you.
I form you and use you
to reconnect the people with me,
To put the land in order,
to resettle families on the ruined properties.
I tell prisoners, ‘Come on out. You’re free!’
and those huddled in fear, ‘It’s all right. It’s safe now.’
There’ll be foodstands along all the roads,
picnics on all the hills-
Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty,
shade from the sun, shelter from the wind,
For the Compassionate One guides them,
takes them to the best springs.
I’ll make all my mountains into roads,
turn them into a superhighway.
Look: These coming from far countries,
and those, out of the north,
These streaming in from the west,
and those from all the way down the Nile!”
13Heavens, raise the roof! Earth, wake the dead!
Mountains, send up cheers!
God has comforted his people.
He has tenderly nursed his beaten-up, beaten-down people.
14But Zion said, “I don’t get it. God has left me.
My Master has forgotten I even exist.”
15-18″Can a mother forget the infant at her breast,
walk away from the baby she bore?
But even if mothers forget,
I’d never forget you-never.
Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Psalm 131
A Pilgrim Song

1God, I’m not trying to rule the roost, I don’t want to be king of the mountain.
I haven’t meddled where I have no business
or fantasized grandiose plans.
2 I’ve kept my feet on the ground,
I’ve cultivated a quiet heart.
Like a baby content in its mother’s arms,
my soul is a baby content.
3 Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope.
Hope now; hope always!

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


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Written by Monte

May 22, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Politics

3 Responses

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  1. Each week people of faith enter churches and houses of God to worship and learn more about Him through the scriptures and messages presented by their pastors or spiritual teachers. During most services, believers will sing
    religious
    songs, clap their hands, and praise God as a form of worshipping and exalting Him.

    rashidajones

    July 28, 2010 at 2:09 am

  2. God is loving and protects us from evil. We can confidently trust Him in every important aspect. Even though some “dreams” do not come true, all our needs will be met according to His unfailing love. Let us rejoice in the Lord always and from our hearts love and pray always. I look forward to what God has prepared as “no eye has seen nor heard what God has prepared for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.” Jesus Christ is coming back and I deeply pray that Revelation will not be confused whereas to what it is all about. Hopefully there will be more truthful news of prophecy. Pray for me and our business. God bless you all!

    Linda Cheng

    July 1, 2010 at 12:41 am

  3. I hate money lovers

    Monte Says: Raymond, thanks for your comment. Do you mean it as a good thing, or is it a confession?

    Raymond

    September 18, 2008 at 12:02 pm


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