Friday, October 21, 2011

Can We Live According to the Promise?

            It’s been six months since Michele and I made the decision that I would not sign my contract and return to the classroom as a teacher. Living on one income in today’s economy is a challenging and at times stressful, but we believe God’s promises.

Deuteronomy 28:1-6 “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” (JKV)

            I understand most of us do not live in an agrarian society – farming and tending flocks as our mainstay. Trust me when I say I have no talent for those endeavors and no desire to abandon centuries of cultural advancements or the comforts of modern life, but I can diligently listen and respond to the voice of the Lord. After all, it is our response to God that ensures His blessing. Every time I have questioned the decision to radically change our married life by cutting our income in half and seeking opportunities to serve the Lord through preaching His Word. God has answered the question with an unexpected blessing.

            The whole concept of an unexpected blessing, and a couple of Sunday lunches with friends sparked my interest. Should we (Christians – the Children of God) be surprised at how God cares for us? In the Old Testament He promised we would be blessed everywhere – in the city and in the field – coming in and going out. In the New Testament we are instructed to make the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness our priority and trust Him to take care of our needs.

Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (JKV)

            I will admit: I wish my phone would ring with invitations to preach or my mailbox would be filled, by publishers, with book offers, but I know I am where God has called me. Right now I am learning to be content.

Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  (JKV)

            Living according to the promise is a choice. It requires commitment and faith. Will you?

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