Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

The Other Jesus, Week 2, Day 6

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MATTHEW 6:19-21

I’ve just finished watching the story of J. Paul Getty staring Donald Sutherland. Getty was one of the wealthiest and most unhappy people who ever lived. His story is a living parable of Jesus teaching about wealth. “Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth,” he instructs, “where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal.” The moth represents the way nature erodes material possessions, with the new becoming old, the fresh outdated, the innovative obsolete. The rust stands for the way time reduces and destroys things. Archaeology is the recovery, from the earth, of precious splendors, long buried and forgotten. Earthly grandeur and wealth, considered against the backdrop of history, is ephemeral. The thief reminds us of the way, within history, much time and life is spent in the protection and defense of acquisitions. Ultimately everything we own is taken from us—except what we “store up in heaven.”

This passage intends to save us from an investment strategy that is financially foolish, emphasizing earthly security and ignoring eternity, rich in things and poor in soul.

Jesus is sometimes portrayed as an idealist, but this teaching is based on a superior realism. Do you agree?

Do you have a strategy for avoiding materialism, the religion of “things”?


What are the signs that show we are investing too much in “earthly possessions”?



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The Other Jesus, Week 2, Day 4

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MATTHEW 5:38-42

Jesus’ encounter with the wealthy young man reveals several things about resources and riches. Money and identity can get mixed up and confused since wealth and status are connected in our world. High earners have access to special seats on airplanes and sporting events, they can carry special credit cards, receive special magazines, join special clubs, and receive special invitations from the powerful. All of this feeds the ego but not the soul. For money confers no status in God’s Kingdom. Instead resources generate opportunity and responsibility, at every income level. Generosity is a concrete practice and a measure of our spiritual health and it is possible for every person, in proportion to their income and assets. In our scripture we are reminded that resource use is also a sign of our allegiance. Freedom from materialism is an indirect witness to the God we trust for our provision.

How often do you envy someone who is wealthier than you are?

How often do you pray for someone who is poorer than you are?


How does your family teach generosity?


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