Pause

Close your eyes and breathe deeply.

The Psalmist says to “Enjoy the LORD, and he will give what your heart asks” (Psalm 37:4).

What does your heart ask today? What is your desire?

Hold that thought as we explore this week’s theme of wisdom and wealth.

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Listen

Hear this, you who trample on the needy and destroy the poor of the land, saying, “When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath so that we may offer wheat for sale, make the ephah smaller, enlarge the shekel, and deceive with false balances, in order to buy the needy for silver and the helpless for sandals, and sell garbage as grain?”

The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget what they have done.

Amos 8:4-7

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Think

We live in a world driven by possessions and greed. If we turn on the television or check our cell phones we see tantalizing ads that keep us wanting that next “must-have” item. The loudest voices we encounter encourage us to live bigger and bigger, to never be satisfied. Face it, in today’s world, as in the world of Amos, we can easily forget our principles, cut corners, and even cheat others to get ahead. Today, we learn that God doesn’t forget our deeds when we seek the wisdom and wealth of this world. Where is the “good news” in that?

There is good news! The Christian pursuing Christ’s likeness will gradually find themselves more attracted to Christ’s values than the values of this world. Values like caring and service, authenticity, selflessness, humility, love, compassion, and kindness. The really good news is that when we fail to live like Christ, there is always forgiveness, grace, and mercy.

A day doesn’t pass that I’m not thankful for our opportunity to be reconciled to God through Christ. What about you? Reconciliation is there for the asking.

Bill Ogletree

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Pray

God, teach me to emulate the values of Jesus, and reconcile me through your forgiveness, grace, and mercy when I don’t. Amen.

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Go

What of the wisdom from above? First, it is pure, and then peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good actions, fair, and genuine.

James 3:17

Leave this time sharing God’s wisdom today.

Bill Ogletree

Billy T. Ogletree is a professor at Western Carolina University. He is forever grateful for the love of his wife and two adult children and appreciates little more than living in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. Dr. Ogletree is the author of the 2018 book Mean Christianity: Finding Our Way Back to Christ’s Likeness available through Wipf and Stock, Amazon, Kindle, and Audible.

Rêverie, L. 68

Garry Bailey

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