Our DAILY Bread: a guest post

Stephanie emailed me this morning with the following. It honestly made me quite uncomfortable. She said I could share it. Please feel free to contribute your thoughts:

Two things I ask of you, LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
– Proverbs 30:7-9 (emphasis added)

do you think we have it all wrong? Do you think that our retirement funds and savings accounts that make us feel secure keep up from trusting and depending on God with our whole hearts? “Give me only my daily bread”…If we have only what we need for today, then we are forced to Trust that God will provide for tomorrow…

And are we really living lives of love when we stand by and watch others suffer? When we have more than we need and others are starving? Are we loving them? Or should their burdens become our burdens as well? I’ve heard a million sermons about giving everything we have to God, but I’ve never once seen anyone do it. Should we be giving everything we have to people who desperately need it in an act of love, so that we can know what it’s like to depend entirely on the Lord? If people saw us living this way, wouldn’t it radically change people’s view of Christianity?

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About Dan Allen

Just some guy trying to figure stuff out... View all posts by Dan Allen

6 responses to “Our DAILY Bread: a guest post

  • Fred

    There you go, ruining a perfectly peaceful day. 🙂 I don’t know how that works out in the day-to-day, and I’ll admit that I’m a little afraid to find out.

    • Dan Allen

      Those questions bothered me as well!

      It is a very scary thought, and incredibly contrary to our modern western comfort culture. The inevitable question it leads me to is: what do I actually need and how much of my spending is on comfort while others lack fulfillment of their basic needs? Would I cancel my cable or cellphone if MY kids were starving?

  • Marshall

    To do (steady on, without going back) what Jesus invites, we must first be changed. Otherwise, a preempted or token effort will be the best we can manage as on our own.

  • Stephanie

    I’m not sure I understand you, Marshall…

  • Mark

    Stephanie,

    I think you hit the nail on the head with all that you said. I will take the liberty to explain what I think Marshall means by his comment, as I think he is right on also.

    We have grown up in the culture of America, and even though we may have lived our whole lives in church, that doesn’t mean that we have adopted the true culture of the Kingdom. If we read scripture as you quoted, we see that our cultural norm is not in line with scripture, but we also have to recognize that the rest of the body is still stuck in that same culture. If we simply recognize the discrepancy and begin giving to whoever we feel needs it we stand the risk of falling on our face. What I take from what Marshall said is that we have to seek the face of the Lord on this issue, begin walking in faith regarding our finances as He leads us, and allow that process of walking in faith to bring change to our hearts and our character. Only as we learn to walk in the Spirit and in faith on this issue will we truly be able to function in a Kingdom manner regarding our giving. The other side of that is that, giving in the wrong time can stunt someone’s spiritual growth. In my own walk I am learning to walk in faith. Had someone come to me 2 months ago and dumped a bunch of money in my lap, I would’ve relied on that money, and not fully recognized Christ as the giver of that money. Having continued to walk forward in this issue, I have since matured, and now realize that even what I make from my own labor is a gift of God. Again, however, a gift at the wrong time would’ve been problematic to my long-term growth.

    Regarding retirement plans, etc., I think the issue is the heart. If I lay up for myself because my trust is in my savings, I am in sin. If, on the other hand, I feel led of the Spirit to lay up for the future, then I am blessed in that endeavor. I am not settled in my own heart on the issue of retirement. In an ideal scenario, we might expect that the body will care for the body, and therefore retirement funds may not be necessary. On the other hand, I recognize that the Body is very dysfunctional, and there may be a need to, through His provision now, lay up to meet the need later. I can’t say that I know what the answer is there, but the primary issue is the heart and motivations.

    I think what we have to recognize about the body is that it is VERY ILL. We are very weak and under-developed, and therefore a lot of what scripture details regarding the function of the church may not be feasible, because we are so weak and anemic. We need a rehab program of sorts for the Body, so that each member can learn to function in their God-given talents, and therefore have something to offer to others.

    Sorry this comment is so long.

    Mark

  • A Plethora of Good Posts | The Assembling of the Church

    […] Dan (or Stephanie, actually) at “The Ekklesia in Southern Maine” with “Our DAILY Bread: a guest post.” […]

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