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The Hebrew writer said, "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.' So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'" (Hb. 13:5,6). It is wonderful to know that we can depend on God, knowing He will always take care of us.
Contentment is not an easy thing to learn -- but it is a necessary thing if we plan on going to heaven. We can't be driven by an insatiable desire for more and more of the things of this world and still be devoted to the spiritual concerns of the Lord. Jesus said it is an impossibility: "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money" (Mt. 6:24).
Living in an affluent culture, we are surrounded by worldly possessions that delight us. As desirable as these may be, however, there is more to life than the enjoyment of such things. Jesus said, "One's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Luke 12:15).
We may never know whether we depend on God as we should until all our visible means of support are taken away. As long as we hold steady jobs and have adequate insurance policies -- that is, as long as we can see where the money for our needs is going to come from -- we may say we trust God and not know whether we really do or not. But when a different set of circumstances arises and we can see no possible way for our needs to be met, that is when we find out what depending on the Lord is really about.
Let's not take for granted the blessing of having a Creator who cares for us -- a gracious Father who is ready and able to supply our every need. We can live each day in the confidence that we are supported by a power greater than ourselves. The thing most people call "worry" is an emotion we do not need to engage in. So this week, let's learn more about our dependence on God. Let's pray and study about the need we all have to grow in our trust in His goodness. May we have a greater gratitude for His care and keeping of us.
Monday: 1 Kings 17:1-7
Key Idea: God is always mindful of the needs of His faithful people.
Questions for Family Growth: Why did God need to provide food for Elijah? How did God do this? What might have been Elijah's feelings about this situation? What do you think he might have learned about God in these events?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 20:5.
Tuesday: 1 Kings 17:8-16
Key Idea: If we trust God, we will be willing to risk doing without some things we think we need.
Questions for Family Growth: Why would it have been hard for the widow to do what Elijah asked her to do? Should we trust God only in situations where we can see how and when He is going to work things out?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 20:6.
Wednesday: Matthew 6:19-21
Key Idea: If our treasures are material, our hearts will be on earth and not in heaven.
Questions for Family Growth: What are "treasures on earth"? What are "treasures in heaven"? What are some ways heavenly treasures are better and more valuable than earthly ones? Where did Jesus say our hearts will be?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 20:7.
Thursday: Matthew 6:22-24
Key Idea: We need to be sure that money is not the most important thing in our lives.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Jesus mean when He said "if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness"? What is "mammon" (NKJV)? What are some ways we may serve mammon rather than God?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 20:8.
Friday: Matthew 6:25-34
Key Idea: We should put God's kingdom first and not worry about temporal things.
Questions for Family Growth: What is anxiety or worry? Why is it sinful? What is the key to overcoming this problem? What are some things we can do that will help us to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 20:9.