Making a marriage last

JS

John and Susan Yates

I am so grateful for John and Susan Yates: they and their church launched Restoration 9 years ago.  They believed in God’s power to birth a new community in Arlington, they believed in how God might use me to lead it, and they believed in us-  that we would creatively and strategically build something that would last and influence our county.  Thank you, God for the Yates’.

John and Susan have been married for 46 years (5 kids, 21 grandkids) and they have coached thousands (really) of couples with tips and advice on how to strengthen their marriage.  I appreciate the hard work they have done to articulate the principles and guidelines that have served them over the course of their marriage.  It’s one thing to be faithful to each other over such a long season.  It’s another to be able to pass that on to folks who are coming up behind you.  That’s a gift to me and to many.

We will change things up a bit on February 18.  We all have our routines and so I am sensitive to the disruption that change brings.  We are not doing this haphazardly.  We intend to provide you with meaningful help and hope.

We will have our normal Eucharistic Liturgy at our 9:00am and 11:00am.  It is the first Sunday of Lent and I will be preaching from 1 Corinthians 5.

Then at 5:00pm, we will host John and Susan for a 90 minute seminar on ‘Making a Marriage Last’.  They will teach from the Scriptures and from their life.  There will be opportunities for Q&A.  Everyone is invited to attend.  In fact, I would love for EVERYONE in our congregation to come back at 5 to hear what they have to say.  We will have nursery and a kid movie for children 5th grade and below.

From time to time we want to provide extra teaching on topics that are important to our congregation and to our neighbors.  I hope you will make this evening a priority and maybe invite a friend to come with you.

-David

Explore God

You are here because you have questions.

Perhaps someone invited you to consider something new.  Perhaps you have wanted to settle what you think and feel about ‘God’.  Perhaps something has happened in your life that surprised you.  Perhaps a situation has emerged for which you aren’t prepared.

All of us have something that keeps us up at night or makes us wonder or makes us scared.

We’re all asking questions.

For 8 weeks, the folks at Restoration are wrestling through some of our biggest questions and we hope that you will join us in the conversation.  We know you have something to offer.  We would like to listen.

We would like to Explore God with you.

The questions

If you show up on a Sunday, one of our pastors will offer a 25 minute reflection on how peoples and cultures have engaged the particular question for that week.  As you listen, you might find that you agree or that what they are saying makes you mad or that you hadn’t considered that idea before.  That’s what humble exploration does.

Here are the questions we will be asking:

  1. Does life have a purpose?  (Easter, April 16)
  2. Is there a God?  (April 23)
  3. Why does God allow pain and suffering?  (April 30)
  4. Is Christianity too narrow?  (May 7)
  5. Is Jesus really God?  (May 14)
  6. Is the Bible reliable?  (May 21)
  7. Can I know God personally?  (May 28)
  8. How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?  (June 4)

Did you miss what we talked about on Sunday?  Do you want to hear it again?  We post the audio of each message about 24 hours after it is given right here.  So feel free to catch up or listen again.  Some of these topics require a longer time to process and digest.

The Conversations

The people around you at Restoration are engaging in the question, too, and would love to hear how you might answer.  If you are interested, they would probably tell you their story too.

During the spring, we have chosen a half dozen public places around the Metro DC area to host a weekly gathering of people who are discussing that week’s question.  It’s a place where you can drop in to hear what others are saying and to offer your own take.  Imagine a comfortable space in a local restaurant or park with food and beverages and intentional opportunities to follow up on the questions we are asking.  We are hoping that the locations and times will fit naturally after work as you head home or in the evening or on a weekend.  Everybody likes a good meal and good conversation. 

The Locations

Sunday (1pm) – Rocklands BBQ, 3471 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA
Contact: Matt Hoppe – matt@restorationarlington.org
Monday  (7:30pm) – Lost Dog Cafe, 2920 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA
Contact: Eva-Elizabeth Chisholm – eva.chisholm@gmail.com 
Tuesday (5:30pm) – LePain Quotidien, 800 17th St. NW, Washington D.C.
Contact: Brendan Sorem (703)927-1839

Tuesday (7:30pm) – Los Tios, 2615 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA
Contact: Mike and Jen Dodson – mike.jen.dodson@gmail.com 
Wednesday (7:30pm) – Restoration Anglican Church, 1815 N. Quincy St, Arlington, VA
Contact: Isaiah Brooms – isaiah@restorationarlington.org

Going a bit deeper

As you can see from the video at the top of this page, lots of people are asking these questions.  If you want to do some exploring on your own, we highly recommend this library of readings and videos.  They are short (which is nice) and it is easy to search for a particular topic.  So feel free to poke around as you think about your own convictions and choices.

At Restoration, we are all asking questions.  If you want to ask one of us something in particular, feel free to shoot us a note.

Hope you have a great day and hope we get to meet you this spring as we explore God together.

David Hanke

with the comfort which we are comforted by God

Comfort

Comfort comes with responsibility.

…the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, SO THAT we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1:4

Comfort is the experience of future hope in the present.  At Restoration, one of our core convictions is that the gospel calls us to lives of responsibility and coherence.  As followers of Jesus we become obligated:  To care.  To see the world the way Jesus sees it.

We embrace Jesus’ instruction that,

…everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required…

Luke 12:48

 

For most of us who show up on Quincy Street, this church has been a means of God for our comfort.  It is not necessary an alleviation of pain, but it is a clear reminder that God walks with us into it.

When we get here, we look around and we see friends  friendships that have most often been forged in smaller settings:  one on one coffees, play dates between your kids, golf outings;  serving on a team at AFAC, volunteering with RiLA, going with a group to one of our global partners;  pouring over a small group Bible Study, being prayed for after a service, being a volunteer who helps make our liturgy happen. 

You have experienced the comfort of being known, the comfort of friendship, the comfort of being a part of something that is bigger than your single life. 

So, if Jesus and Paul are right…  and we are comforted so that we may be able to comfort others… then one of the most practical ways we can do that is by giving our resources to the establishment of the thing that comforted us.  In our Restoration context, we are responsible to give our time, treasure, and talents to church planting, which is the creation of communities of hope.

To start, over the last couple of years, we have increased our investment in 2 long term projects in Cambodia and West Asia.

Now we are beginning to aim our resources at the possibility of 2 or 3 local church plants in the next few years.  To that end, we have created a Church Plant Steering Team.  This team is seeking to hire a church plant resident in 2017 who would be looking at a church plant location inside the beltway in Maryland or Virginia in a couple years.  All of this has been imagined in our strategic plan called, Restoration 2019.

Every single one of us will be involved in ‘being a comfort’ by praying and giving towards this effort.  Most of us will remain a part of the work God is doing through Restoration on Quincy Street.  But, some of you will go and experience the tangible joy being a comfort by inviting others into an experience of hope.

This is where it gets fun.  

-David

Gentleness and the Call to Civility

Public Square

 

We are coming to the conclusion of our summer sermon series on the Fruit of the Spirit.  These are 9 characteristics that St. Paul listed out in Galatians 5:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Outside of a relationship with God, they are character traits that we admire in people and most of the world aspires to have more of these.  But for those who have a relationship with God, these 9 traits are not a wish list of what would make someone a better person.  These are the promised manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the life of one who follows Jesus.  As we let Jesus lead more of our life, this fruit is what happens in us and what people notice about us.  Christians aren’t ‘trying to be more joyful or patient’.  No, they are trying to know God, trust Jesus, and be filled with the Holy Spirit–  as those things happen, the fruit of joy, patience, and others comes out.

In talking about gentleness, I mentioned 2 universal relational realities that will always require gentleness but will always tempt us to choose a posture that is harsh and protective:  relating to those with whom we disagree and relating to those who are far from their Father in heaven.  In spite of our natural inclination, choosing to be gentle results in the possibility of real life change for those with whom we disagree and real ‘rest for your souls’.

There are 3 contexts where we could work on the fruit of gentleness, what the secular world calls ‘civility’.  Civility in our households, in our interaction with those who choose to not belong to a church community, and in the public square.  As I talked through those contexts, I quoted a variety of people who have thought deeply about the role of civility and gentleness in our day to day discourse.

In 2011, Tim Keller wrote about backlash and civility for his church newsletter.  Keller gives some ‘rules for civility’ and helps us understand the historical scope of this conversation by interacting with Robert Putnam and David Campbell’s book American Grace:  how religion divides us and unites us.  That book has been very helpful to me as I imagine the kind of church that Restoration could be in the midst of hard and contentious cultural conversations.

In 2008, Os Guiness wrote The Case for Civility:  and why our future depends on it.  Os is so good at providing historical and societal context that is clear and persuasive.  He argues that much of the answer to whether or not we’ll learn to live with our deepest differences depends on rejecting two erroneous responses to the culture wars. First, we must say no to a “sacred public square”—a situation where one religion has a position of privilege or prominence that is denied to others.  We must also say no to a “naked public square”—the situation where public life is left devoid of any religion. This is what is advocated by the new atheists.  The alternative to both is a “civil public square.” one in which everyone—peoples of all faiths, whether religious or naturalistic—are equally free to enter and engage public life on the basis of their faiths, as a matter of ‘free exercise’.  

Tim Challies had a great interview with Os and developed some of these ideas more fully.  It was helpful to me as we imagine Restoration as a place that promotes truth, embraces the reality of pluralism, trusts that the good news of the Gospel will rise above the cacophony of voices, and (maybe most important of all) refuses to demonize those with whom we disagree.

I hope having access to some of the original sources that I was quoting will help you as you talk to God about gentleness and choose civility as your posture with those whom you disagree.  May God, by the presence of the Holy Spirit, use our opportunities to be gentle to make us more like Him.

-David

 

a pastor more than an activist

congestion

 

How’s it going?  Feeling congested in your soul?

This post is a little longer than most, but I want to bring you up to speed with what God has been doing in my heart and the hearts of the people at Restoration.  Thanks for reading.

We just finished our 4th week in a sermon series about Justice and the Generosity of God.  Each week I gave you an invitation to go deeper into what God is saying to us.  Here is a summary if you need to catch up…

Week 1  We began by defining ‘the justice of God’.  It is grounded in his never-ending steadfast love.  God’s justice rectifies wrongs and distributes rights.   The prophet Jeremiah tells us

“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but  let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”

Jeremiah 9: 23-24

If we want to know God and be a part of the things He is doing, we will do justice by practicing these things as well.  I invited you to consider 4 categories that might define your posture as you come to this topic of God’s justice:  the sentimentalists, the suspicious, the frayed, and the hardened.  What have you decided regarding the state of your heart?

Week 2  We recognize that all of us are maxed out.  We have a hard time coming to this justice conversation because we are so pressed and working constantly.  It makes us get so caught up in counting ‘what we deserve from our work’ that we don’t notice ‘what we have received by grace.’   I invited you to make space for justice by practicing the disciplines of gleaning and sabbath–  gifts that God gave to His people so that their lives would look different from everyone around them.  How is it going making space?  

Week 3 I invited you to own what you have been taught about who is on the outside of God’s justice.  We must recognize that each of us learned in our families, our homes, and the places where we grew up–   the people it was ok to leave on the outside.  None of us comes to this conversation with clean hands or completely open minds.  Everyone has their personal criteria for determining who is in or out:  race, social class, level of education, work ethic, place where you live.  We must be vigilant in searching our hearts and admitting our assumptions that this person or group of people do not deserve the steadfast love, justice, and righteousness of our Lord.  How is it going with your searching confession of the criteria you use?

Week 4  I invited you to own what’s been done to you.  It is difficult to have compassion for others when you are bitter about the injustice that’s been done to you.  “Why should I care for someone else when no one cared for me?”  It’s almost impossible to do justice unless you have experienced justice.  It is almost impossible to extend grace unless you have experienced grace.  Our experience of justice often releases us to do justice for others.  So, I carefully, tenderly invited you to remember your injustice:  The things you have done.  And the things that have been done to you.

Walking into the memory of injustice will push you to this question:  Do you believe that God will vindicate the just?  Vindication is the experience of being made right in the eyes of others.  It is the opposite of shame, which is the experience of being exposed as guilty in the eyes of others.   We looked at the heart wrenching story of Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech in Genesis 20.  For those who have perpetrated injustice like Abraham, there is the hope of forgiveness.  For those who have been placed in the way of harm like Sarah, there is the hope of vindication.  How is it going walking into your memory of injustice?

Hard Work

If you have accepted these invitations and engaged these questions, then God has been doing a lot in your heart over the last month.  These are inquiries that probe the depths of our soul and shake our foundations.  It’s hard work.

Why?

Some of you may be asking, ‘David, why are you doing this series this way?  Why start with us rather than the systems and cycles of injustice in the world?’

It’s because I am more of a pastor than an activist.  There are activists who are excellent pastors and teachers (people like Soong-Chan Rah or Shane Claibourne or Brenda Salter McNeil).  But my calling is to create, nurture, and pastor a community of people who will be transformed by the Holy Spirit and be sent out into the world to do the work God has given them to do.

And so, in a sermon series on justice, my first priority is to expose and heal the stuff that is broken in US.  I do that first because I love the people of Restoration.  My heart is crushed by so much wrong, harm, evil, and pain that is in the world–  that comes from broken systems and broken people.  But (and!) out of all the injustices that I want to see God change by His power through His people, the place where I bring all the prayer, love, intellect, and creativity I can muster is the church gathered and scattered on Quincy Street each week.   I am called to you.

We’ll get to some of the big topics.  But we had to start with the place in which we have the most visibility and ability to change–  our own hearts.  How’s it going?

See you soon.

With love,  David

Reading about Justice

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 3.39.52 PM

As we run, jump, shuffle, walk, tiptoe, hop, skip or leap  into this series on justice we are already starting to encounter some great big ideas; certainly I’ve realized there are quite a few ways I need to face up to my patterns of behavior and some perhaps pretty deeply-held previous convictions. Processing these things in small group is amazing (we had a wonderful discussion last night about Sabbath – I hear others did too), but sometimes it’s simply time to read….

We don’t have a library (yet!) at Restoration – but if you buy any of these why not lend them to others in your small group, order them through your library, read them in your book clubs or give them as birthday presents. Feel free to donate old copies to Restoration if you have them! Perhaps we can start a little lending book area?

So to start with some of the books David has been referencing include:

I haven’t read all of them yet… so I’m looking forward to working through the list.  When you’ve read all of  these – come back to us and we’ll suggest some more 🙂 or perhaps you’ve got suggestions of your own to add to the list? Please add comments below. Happy reading!

~ Liz

critical moments

critical moments

Jesus was never afraid to ask the hard question.

In fact, sometimes that seems like the sum of his entire work…  a ministry of hard questions.

On Tuesday night, our Tri2 Small Group Leaders got together for a bit of training as we head in to this trimester.  We spent our time talking about the well-resourced young man in Mark 10.  It is such an encouragement as we think about the critical moments that God gives us with all kinds of different people.

It begins with this man, who seems to have everything (financial wealth, moral obedience, good standing in society) running after Jesus to ask him a question.  And what a question!  “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  It gets at our core longing to know peace and security, to be right with our Maker.  It picks up on our ubiquitous insecurity–  have I done enough.  Everyone asks it in one way or another…  and it is especially poignant coming off the lips of one who seems to have all the answers.

Everyone has an entry point to hear about Jesus-  no matter how much they appear to not need him.

In response to the most important question this man could ask, Jesus says the most difficult thing he could hear—  sell everything you got and come follow me.

The guy balks.  Then walks away in the opposite direction from Jesus.  The answer was too much.  He had too much of his worth, identity, and security invested in his stuff…  and Jesus was not compelling enough to make him leave it.

In between the most important question that one can ask and the most difficult thing that one can hear, Mark notes that Jesus looked at the man and loved the man.  These details of seeing and loving are almost ‘asides’ but they hold the key to the entire interaction–  Jesus says this most difficult thing because he loves him and he sees what he most needs.  Critical moments become life-changing moments when the difficult answers to the hard questions come from a posture of being seen and loved.  

As followers of Jesus, we are called to regularly speak REALLY difficult things.  And, like Jesus, we may very well experience the rejection of others in response.  It happened to Him.  It will happen to us.  Regularly.

Love is how we share in the cost of what is difficult to say.

Our obligation is to say things from a posture of knowing/seeing the person and loving the person.  Love is what allows us to share in the cost of what is difficult to say.  And love is what turns critical moments in to life-changing moments.

We have 2 critical moments on the horizon for our church:

  1. Tonight at 7pm, Dan Allender will begin his To be told conference at Restoration.  Over 350 people will get to consider the critical moments in their story when Jesus intervened to change their life.  It’s happened for all of us–  the invitation is to live God’s story as one who has been restored by grace.
  2. On Sunday we start a new sermon series:  Justice and the Generosity of God.  This is one of those watershed series where almost every part of our private and corporate life comes under the scrutiny of the Gospel of Grace.  As we will see, we can’t escape that ‘doing justice’ is a central (maybe the central?) part of being the people of God.  ‘Doing justice’ is how God expected Israel and then the church to be known.  And the way God described ‘just’ will challenge us every week.  I hope you won’t miss a Sunday between now and the end of June. And I hope you are in a small group during the week to wrestle through the consequences of these passages.

None of us wants to miss the critical moments that Jesus brings in our life.  All of us want to know we are loved.  Some of us will put it together and run after the author of life who loves us more than we ever hoped.

Grateful to be running with you,

-David

the shame of being a vine

the shame of being a vine

In the Old Testament the vine is a common symbol for Israel.  Most remarkable is the fact that whenever historic Israel is referred to under this figure it is the vine’s failure to produce good fruit that is emphasized, along with the corresponding threat of God’s judgment on the nation.

-Don Carson from his commentary on John

For example, on Sunday we prayed through Psalm 80 which refers to the unique specialness of Israel as a vine that God himself rescued and cultivated:

You brought  a vine out of Egypt; you  drove out the nations and planted it. You  cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.  The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.  It sent out its branches to  the sea and its shoots to  the River.

But then immediately refers to the judgement that Israel is facing because of her infidelity and apostasy:

Why then have you  broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?  The boar from the forest ravages it,   and all that move in the field feed on it.

You were my choice, chosen people–  the vine I brought out of Egypt.  But you have wandered from me and not followed my good instruction.  So I have allowed you to experience the consequences of those choices–  just like a vine that is not tended becomes overgrown and ineffective for bearing fruit.

Every time Israel is compared to a vine, it is for the purpose of showing Israel the consequence of her failure, shortcomings, and disobedience.  Take a look at:  Isaiah 5:1-7, Jeremiah 2:21, Jeremiah 12:10(ff), Ezekiel 15, 17, 19.  And maybe most poignantly to us in the most expensive county in the United States…

  Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit.   The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars.  Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt.  The LORD will break down their altars and destroy their pillars.

Hosea 10: 1-2

Every time that Israel was compared to a vine, it was a teaching moment to show them their shame.

So can you imagine what it was like when Jesus said to his friends, in the last evening he had with them, ‘I am the the true vine.’  Their impulse must have been to expect a lecture on how they had failed–  that’s what prophets did when they compared God’s people to a vine.

But Jesus doesn’t bring up this ‘vine-word-of-their-shame’ to criticize them.  He calls himself the vine because He wants to re-write and re-orient the experience of their shame.  We are fundamentally creatures that want to attach.  We want to connect and to be in a vine.  And, like Israel, we are all aware of the ways we have failed in our attachments.

So Jesus explains:  I am securely attached to my Father.  And you can be securely attached to Him through Jesus by the Holy spirit that lives in us.

Abiding in the vine can re-write our story, can re-orient us to what is true, and can attach us to what brings life–  forever.

JESUS is the vine.  We are branches.  Our shame is gone.  Thanks be to God.

-David

You can listen to the whole story right here.

Taybeh

On Sunday, we talked about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  The timing of the story unearths some of our deep tension between the goodness of God and the reality of suffering.  What do we do when it seems like God is absent or not paying attention or not fixing what is broken?  What do we do when evil goes unchecked as is demonstrated in the actions of ISIS?  What do we do when our suffering makes us ask, where were you?

If you read the rest of John 11, you see that many of the people who see what happens to Lazarus choose to believe in Jesus.  This wave of interest and allegiance causes the people in charge to re-assess ‘the problem of Jesus.’  They ask,

What are we to do?  For this man performs many signs.  If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.

It is a significant existential and political crisis.  They can’t let Jesus go on like this.  So they settle among themselves that they will kill him.  Caiaphas, the high priest argues, ‘it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.’  And they agree.  Yes.  Jesus dying makes life better for everyone.

Jesus is now in the liminal space that is created by his life being in danger, but it’s not quite time for him to be killed.

He therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples.

As he did SO MANY times, Jesus withdrew to rest, to pray, to be renewed with his friends.  Today, the town of Ephraim goes by the name of Taybeh.

Taybeh

Taybeh, February 2015

I was in this town just a few days ago.  It is located in the West Bank and is populated almost entirely by Palestinian Christians.  It is quiet, beautiful, and just on the edge of the desert.  The hills offer spectacular views and the landscape is restorative.  I spend a few hours with some Palestinian entrepreneurs who have created a micro-brewery, winery, and hotel.  Each of the enterprises are boutiques that reveal the artisan craft and creativity of the town.  Their goal is to show the world the beauty that exists in Palestine, to export a cultural narrative that is different from the way the region is often portrayed.  Those precious hours were some of my favorite.  The business owners are taking a tremendous risk–  in faith hoping that a Palestinian state will exist into the future and that they can promote it’s nascent economy.  I loved hearing about their dream and their love for this land.

Taybeh is a place of rest and dreams.  When Jesus finished his most profound miracle short of his own resurrection, he went to Taybeh to be restored.  Today, as we pray for this land and the peace and security that is so elusive, we cry out for Jesus to again to a significant miracle and to bring wholeness and shalom again.

-David

PS.  You can’t get Taybeh beer in the US, yet.  But it’s worth a flight…

Do you love money?

snares

 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.  It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

1 Timothy 6:10

It was Tim Keller who said, “It is really hard for us to see our greed.  No one thinks they are greedy.  In fact, as a pastor, I find that it is easier for people to talk about their sexual sin then about their greed.  I cannot recall anyone ever coming to me and saying, ‘I spend too much money on myself.  I think my greedy lust for money is harming my family, my soul, and people around me.’  Jesus warns people far more often about greed than about sex, yet almost no one thinks they are guilty of it.  Therefore we should all begin with a working hypothesis that ‘this could easily be a problem for me.’”  Counterfeit Gods

One of the ways we can discern if ‘the love of money’ is a problem for me is by asking lots of questions that come at our emotions and behaviors around money.  You will have a chance to process your answers with your small group this week.  And you can listen to my thoughts on contentment and greed right here.

These are a tool to honestly dig out what is going on in your heart.  Hope they help you avoid the snares and live in freedom.

  • How do you treat people when they ask you for money?  Are you proud that you have something they need?  Are you annoyed that they can’t figure out how to get it on their own?
  • Are you doing a job that you don’t love but you can’t leave because of the income?  Are you loving money more than vocational flourishing?
  • Do you want to be noticed and recognized when you give generously?
  • Do you expect lots of accountability when you give a financial gift–  This better not be wasted or used for something different?
  • Do you only give to a point that it doesn’t affect your day to day life?  Have you ever had to say no to something you want because of the money you gave to someone else?
  • Do you get mad about money?  Do you fight with your spouse about what the other is spending or who makes decisions or who has control?
  • Do you want people to notice what you wear, what you drive, or what you talk on?  Do you like it when people ask you—  ‘where did you get that?’
  • Have you ‘spent all your money’?  Are you carrying consumer debt of any kind?  Do you live beyond your means?  In a weird irony—  sometimes the ability to save money is an indication that you don’t love money.
  •  In a weird irony, sometimes your choice to save is a clear indication that you love money.  Are you ‘spending all your money’ by saving it so that you feel secure?  How much do you need to feel secure?  What’s your number?
  • Do you worry about money?  Are you distracted because you are not sure how much you have?  Do you wonder how you are going to pay that bill?
  • Have you ever just given a lot away?

Tim Keller says that money is a surface idol that can lead us to our deep idols–  the ones that drive us and we aren’t even aware.  Our love of power, approval, comfort, and control.  These are the deep idols that shape how we love, trust, and serve a surface idol like money.  Those deep idols are the ones that can destroy us.  Those deep idols are where we need to be rescued by the grace of Jesus Christ.

God loves you.

-David

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