Pause

Having enough. That may be the biggest single issue that leads to human conflict. Somebody is afraid of not having enough and so tries to make up the difference by taking from somebody else.

But Scripture tells us again and again that there is more than enough for everybody. In fact, we would do better to worry about how to best give stuff away than to concern ourselves with collecting more.

There's enough time right now for you to consider what you have as a follower of God, and what you might do to give away what you own.

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Listen

As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Mark 12:38-40

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Think

I once knew a pastor who was asked how he felt about the criticism that Christians are hypocrites. He thought about this for a moment, and after taking a deep breath, he said, “Well, sometimes we are.” Every one of us is human, and none of us is perfect.

It sometimes feels uncomfortable being called out on this. When Jesus walked through the neighborhood, He called out hypocrites all the time. Jesus would even get very angry and refer to them as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15). In today’s Scripture, Jesus brings the heat for people who are acting all “holier than thou” on the surface, but whose behavior is egotistical and greedy.

Jesus’ words challenge us to look in the mirror when it’s easier to talk the talk than walk the walk. How can we let go of the attachments that we are afraid to lose and become disciples instead of Christ’s love, justice, and peace?

Marc van Bulck

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Pray

God of mercy and grace, grant me the serenity to be a living offering of your love, mercy, justice, and peace today. Amen.

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Go

Look around right now;
See all that you possess,
All that is yours.

Now remind yourself
That it all belongs to God;
It is in your hands
For just a moment.

Live your life today
Grateful
For the abundance
Of grace that is yours

To give away.

Marc van Bulck

Marc van Bulck is the director of youth ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Bentonville, Arkansas. Marc loves media and storytelling. Some of his favorite hobbies include writing, watching movies, nerding out about Jim Henson, and getting coffee with his friends. He is also a magician.

Here I Am to Worship

Ken Medema

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