Worthwhile: March 15, 2019

Terrible news out of New Zealand last night and this morning. Gunmen killed 49 people and wounded dozens more as they had Friday prayers in Mosques there. It is sickening and white supremacy has no place in the hearts of those claiming Christ. Two tweets in response that sum it up well. From Daniel Balcombe and Russell Moore.

Elsewhere, as Jared C. Wilson’s newest book, The Gospel-Driven Church, released this week the usual self-sanctification tropes have been trotting out. In response to one typical misuse of Scripture Jared penned a piece asking if Hebrews 6 teaches us to move beyond the gospel.

It is worth a read and some significant thought over. I am convinced that is you read Hebrews 6 wrong you miss the whole point of the book of Hebrews. So give it some time, its worthwhile.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this book by the way.

And to close the week why don’t we talk money! Dave Ramsey, the money and anti-debt guru who made it rich dolling out advice to mostly white evangelicals was taken to task, on social media anyway, for a tweet that said essentially, “if you want to be rich, do rich people stuff. If you want to be poor do poor people stuff.”

We get it, mostly.

It was a bad week to tell people to do rich people stuff. But beside that, what about the punchline or platitude approach to life? Is it helpful? As a Christian?

Matt Poppe on Christ and Pop Culture thinks it through for us and there are some helpful nuggets here.

All of us could say a version of what Ramsey said in a way most people would agree with. If your bad habits got you into financial ruin, those bad habits won’t get you out.

The problem is, even with the best of intentions, Ramsey’s sentiments about wealth disparity is an a oversimplification bordering on cruelty. When someone spends years responding to life’s complications with platitudes and proverbs, they tend to think of these teachings as absolutes over time. Particularly when someone has climbed from a state of poverty to one of financial wellness, it’s simple to tell the narrative of the struggles and personal achievement that got us to where we are. By extension, it’s easy to render judgment on those who didn’t do the same.

Money is serious stuff and we don’t like to talk about it. As I am learning as I preach through a series called Awkward. The most engaged people have been is over what I will say when I get to generosity. So this article helps us think more about it.

I have often told people I am not a fan of Ramsey because his philosophy is more Randian (objectivism – which essentially means selfish) than Christian. But this is not the time to rehash that!

That’s it for this week. Have a wonderful weekend. Tell people you love them and pray for New Zealand, pray for all of us.

Content in Christ

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 ESV)

I am not sure if there is a harder command in Scripture. To be content, not clinging to money as our hope, as our future and as our security. They culture we exist in, and every culture since the dawn of man, has been obsessed with more, more for me and more than the next guy. We are told it is the only way to be happy, to store up riches, more toys equals more joys. Even in good ways, think preparing for retirement and saving for difficult days, the accumulation never ends and there is never enough.

This is a never-ending and never-fulfilling race to completion, something money can never provide. And the best among us fall prey to the pursuit every day.

Something better is in store. Hear Jesus saying to you, “I will never leave your nor forsake you.” He is your provision and he will not leave you. Money can’t stick with you but Jesus will never depart. And all of the gifts we have in Christ, justification, sanctification, the promise of the future, are ours because they belong to our Savior.

Strive to keep what you earn, but never lose the bounty you are given by Jesus for his glory! Christ has accomplished and accumulated his inheritance and given it to you to enjoy with him forever. May our present reality of salvation and the future grace we are set to experience drive us to contentment. May we stay there just like Jesus stays with us.