Today: Proverbs 6:1-11; Mark 8:14-38; Mark 9:1; Exodus 37 & 38
Debt is a trap. People willingly sell themselves into the slavery of debt. Our culture tells us that we need lots of material things to be happy, a big house, fancy car, designer clothes, expensive toys. If you don’t have the money for it, just use your credit card! Marketing taps into greed and we eat it up like hungry puppies.
Proverbs 6 tells us that if you find yourself in debt, “free yourself.” Don’t wast any time, “give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids; save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand, and like a bird from the hand of the fowler.” (v.3-5)
My husband and I live a Proverbs 6 life. Our only debt is a house mortgage. We only buy used cars that we can pay for with cash and trade-ins. We don’t run out and buy the newest gadgets. Credit cards are paid in full every month so money is never wasted on interest. We have a strict budget and we stick to it. If we can’t afford it, we do without it, simple as that.
Big spenders may think that a Proverbs 6 life sounds really boring. But I’m not bored. We have amazing adventurous lives without the burden of debt crushing our souls. A Proverbs 6 life is FREEDOM.
The disciples often appear clueless. We should extend a bit of grace to them though. Jesus’ teachings and behaviors were radically different than anything anyone had ever seen before. Radical shifts are painful. The disciples’ brains needed some time to catch up. There is great comfort in familiarity, in “we’ve always done it this way” thinking. Jesus pushed them way outside of their comfort zones.
The disciples were still mentally living in the physical world. Jesus has shown them that the physical world does not really matter. Five loaves of fish multiply to feed five thousand. Blind men see and lame people walk. Obviously, Jesus was never constrained by physical limitations. He continually tries to gently but firmly shift the disciples from their physical mindset into the spiritual.
But the physical world is all they’ve ever known. And we are just the same as them. We are programmed into this physical material world, brainwashed into participating in a frenetic rat race of enslaving ourselves into debt to get more and more things, and then working to pay it off. Jesus calls us all out of that physical trap into a spiritual eternal place. Physical things are only temporary. They don’t really matter. Jesus asks all of us the same question he asked the disciples, “Do you not yet understand?” (v.21)
Peter was halfway there. He recognized that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the promised Messiah. He just didn’t yet understand what that was going to look like. He expected Jesus to be a physical ruler, he was still stuck in that physical mentality. But Jesus never came to impact the physical world. He is the Savior of our souls.
When Jesus tells the disciples He is going to be killed, Peter takes Him aside and reproaches Him. “Get behind me, Satan;” Jesus rebukes Peter, “for you are not setting your mind on God’s purposes, but on man’s.” No more Mr. Nice Guy… this sort of thinking is a serious problem. It is a lie from Satan.
Jesus had to die. It was the only way for us to be saved. And Jesus is the only way to salvation. Any other thinking is a lie from the devil himself.
Wealth never saved anyone. True salvation is completely FREE to everyone who asks for it.
Why did God give such specific instructions for building the temple? Why are we given such intricate details about it in Exodus? The temple is where God was going to meet with the Israelites. That is not something to be taken lightly. I believe the Jewish temple was a replica of God’s holy temple in heaven. It is a foretaste of the extravagant beauty of our eternal home. God wanted a familiar place to reside. And He wanted us to have a taste of heaven.