We read in the book of Luke as John the Baptist prepares the way for Christ. John addresses the crowds and exhorts them. The people ask in response, “What should we do then?” John’s responses are so interesting. His comments don’t seem all that spiritual, instead each response has to do with money and possessions and how we deal with them. Here is the passage from Luke 3:
7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely —be content with your pay.”
Luke 3: 7-14 (NIV)
Two weeks ago in Wednesday in the Word I suggested a few sermons titled, The Biblical View of Money. In these sermons we hear that money can act as a spiritual barometer. Perhaps this is why John the Baptist uses instructions that are so oriented to money and stuff.
I will confess, my spiritual barometer has some pretty drastic swings. I have one hand open, trying to be generous and the other clinging desperately to money and financial security.
-How is your attitude toward money and possessions?
-If this money-attitude truly is a spiritual barometer, what does it say about your stewardship relationship with the God of Creation?
-Is there a single action that you could take today to loosen your grip on financial security and move toward obedient stewardship?