Category Archives: 1st Amendment

Coming Out of Egypt

Coming Out of Egypt

June 25

“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” (Rom. 6:17-18).

Becoming a new person in Christ is part of a life-long journey that begins at conversion. Before coming to Christ, we were living (in a metaphorical sense) in Egypt, in the land of bondage. Just as the people of Israel toiled as slaves in Egypt, we were slaves to sin and worldly ambition.

Before we came to Christ, we sweated and toiled to build our career and acquire material possessions. Work was our idol. Greed was our taskmaster. We may have had all the trappings of power in the business world – a corner office, a staff of our own, a key to the executive washroom – but we were living as a slave in the land of Egypt. We didn’t run our career; our career ran us.

Jesus once said, “No servant can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13). In the original language, the word translated “money” was an Aramaic word, Mammon. This does not refer merely to money as a medium of exchange but also to a demonic spirit designed to promote a mind-set of ambition for riches, power and worldly gain. The word is capitalized in the original text because the people of Jesus’ day thought of Mammon as a false god. Jesus was saying that those who spend their lives seeking worldly gain are idolaters. No one can serve two masters. No one can worship both the true God and a false god.

We cannot experience the grace that God gives to His children because we are too busy striving for riches and enslaved to Mammon. The only way we can be free is to turn away from Mammon and allow the one true God to transform us into a different person.

Ask yourself today if your life is best represented as Egypt or the Promised Land.

The generous eye

June 25
The generous eye
For reading & meditation: Proverbs 28:18-28
“He who gives to the poor will lack nothing ‘” (v.27)

We continue meditating on the subject of generosity. Not only Proverbs, but the Bible as a whole has a good deal to say on this subject, and one of the most powerful statements is made by Jesus in Matthew 6:22. Here is how Moffatt translates this fascinating and intriguing text: “‘ if your Eye is generous, the whole of your body will be illumined.” “If your Eye” – that means your whole outlook on life, your whole way of looking at things – is generous, then your whole personality is filled with light. Jesus was generous toward all – the poor, the meek, the sinful, the unlovely – and His whole personality was full of light. When we are in touch with Jesus, the fount of all wisdom, then He generates that same generosity within us. We begin to see everyone and everything with the same generous eye. It is generosity that is at the heart of all good relationships. I have visited Sweden and Norway on many occasions and I often used to wonder why it is that the Swedes and the Norwegians have such brotherliness toward each other. They seem to have an unbreakable bond that ties them as one people. Then I discovered that many years ago, when Norway wanted to break free from Swedish control, the Swedish people responded to this – responded according to the Christian ethos that was behind the then ruling family. This generosity in giving freedom without war or bitterness created a basic soundness that now flavors all their contacts with one another. The generous eye fills the whole body of relationships with light. Generosity, like love, never fails.
Prayer:
Lord Jesus, Your generous eye saw in me things I could never see in myself. Help me this day to lay generosity as the basis of all my dealings with everyone. May your generosity generate generosity in me. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
For further study:
1. What did Jesus say to the young man?
2. How did he respond?