Theme of the Week: Staying On Course
Bible Verse: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5
Scripture Reading: Psalm 118:1-29
In Hebrews 13, marital infidelity is coupled with material idolatry, and we may assume that love of money is just one more temptation to which the recipients of this letter were showing signs of giving in.
Many commentators have remarked on the close connection between marital unfaithfulness and covetousness. One is just as serious as the other in the homes and hearts of believers in Jesus. Not only does the culture-at-large teach us to pursue prosperity and success at any cost, but that message is being repeated from a growing number of pulpits in North America.
In Success, Motivation, and the Scriptures William H. Cook describes a meeting in 1923 of a group of business tycoons. Together these men controlled unthinkable sums of wealth, and for years the media had trumpeted their success stories.
On this day in Chicago they assembled to enjoy their mutual success. Dr. Cook relays what happened to these men in the years that followed: Charles Schwab, the president of the largest independent steel company, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died penniless.
Richard Whitney, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, served time in Sing Sing Prison.
Albert Fall, a former member of the President’s Cabinet, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home.
Jesse Livermore, the greatest bear on Wall Street, committed suicide.
Leon Fraser, the president of the Bank of International Settlement, committed suicide.
Ivar Krueger, head of the world’s largest monopoly, committed suicide.
The success they celebrated proved illusory. Yet today we are made to feel that we need to get more, have more, want more, and if we don’t then something’s wrong with our motivation and we’re missing out on God’s plan.
But Hebrews advises us to “keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5). The avaricious man is never content. He’s ungenerous and grasping. Always wanting more. Always afraid of losing what he has. How different from the sweet Christian who knows that in Christ he lacks nothing. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want” (Psalm 23:1).
Not unlike us today, the recipients of this letter were no doubt anxious about the ability of their heavenly Father to adequately care for them in this time of difficulty. Consequently the author assures them with this promise that has been proven over the centuries: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). No matter how limited our earthly resources may be, we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid!” (Hebrews 13:6).
Content taken from Staying on Course by Dr. Garth Leno, ©2001. Used with permission.
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