Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal

Theme: Role of Money, Possessions And Wealth in Christian Life

Volume 4 No. 241 October 10, 2014

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Rev. Fr. Binoy Alexander offers benediction after the Rasa (Procession) at Baselios Church, Ohio Oct 4 2014
Feast of St. Yeldho Mor Baselios, Patron Saint of Malankara World, at St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio - October 4, 2014

Rev. Fr. Binoy Alexander offers benediction after the Rasa (Procession)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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1. Foreword

2. Bible Readings for This Sunday (October 12)

 

3. Sermons for This Sunday (October 12)

Sermons for the 4th Sunday After Sleebo Feast

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_4th-sunday-after-Sleebo.htm

4. Inspiration for Today

If there is anything in us, it is not our own; it is a gift of God. But, if it is a gift of God, then it is entirely a debt one owes to love, that is, to the law of Christ. And if it is a debt owed to love, then I must serve others with it, not myself. ...

5. Featured: The Story of the Shrewd Money Manager

Jesus' story of the shrewd money manager is one that many people have difficulty understanding. However, if we first consider the lessons of the story that Jesus shared at its conclusion, it's easier to understand how the story leads to those lessons. ...

6. A Valuable Lesson on True Wealth - Ask yourself, 'Who has less than me?'

Wealth and poverty are such relative terms. It's so easy to get things out of perspective.  Life gets really blurry when we compare ourselves to the very few who have more, and forget the multitudes who have less. ...

7. Are You Serving the Right Master?

The human heart has only so much room in it. God has designed us to passionately pursue Him so that we can be divinely satisfied in His love and then love others with His love. Love God; and love people. That's all the human heart can handle. But the world, the flesh, and the devil would like us to think that there's room for more. ...

8. Who Then Can Be Saved?

Nearly all of us are rich compared to those who have less than we do. What are the signs that we love our money more than we love God? How can we break the idolatry of money? Why is it truly impossible for any of us to be saved on our own? Name some things that money can't buy but God can provide. ...

9. Jesus Teaches About Material Possessions

For many people, money is their god. Just like a god, money controls their lives, consuming all their energy, thoughts and time. Money is the main source of their joy, and they're never satisfied with how much they have but are always wanting more. This is often true for rich and poor people, and Jesus addressed both groups among His followers during His sermon on the mountainside. He explained how God expects His children to view money and material things, making it very clear that we can't serve both God and money. It's one or the other, but not both.

10. Inspirational: The Secret of Happiness

I was born to parents who right from the word go, instilled in me that happiness is THE most important thing and that life is to be enjoyed. ...

11. Family Special: Measuring Our Success

God meant for us to enjoy the marvelous beauty and material resources of our world. But Jesus wanted to make clear that we can't truly delight in possessions if they consume us while we are consuming them. ...

12. About Malankara World

Foreword
In the passage that provides context to this Sunday's Gospel reading, Jesus Christ talks about the role of money and riches. Unlike popular belief, Jesus never said having money is bad. He, said, you have to keep money at its place. It is the blessing from God - just like your "talents". What you do with your talent or money is what is really important. Don't start worshipping the money. Today's articles goes into this concept in more detail.

Feast of St. Yeldho Mor Baselios

Last week, churches all over the world celebrated the feast of St. Yeldho Mor Baselios. There were "pada yathras" (walking pilgrimage) to Kothamangalam Cheriapally from all over Kerala. In North America, the feast was celebrated in the two churches named after the saint, viz., at Boston, MA and at Cleveland, OH.

The Feast of St. Yeldho Mor Baselios, The Patron Saint of Malankara World, was celebrated at St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio on October 4, 2014. It was a truly memorable event! In addition to the People from the Cleveland area, we also hosted visitors from far away places such as Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus and even from Kerala. A sneha virunnu, organized by the ladies of the church, ensured that people left the service fully satisfied - in mind, body and spirit.

Here are few pictures of the Rasa at Cleveland.

Feast of St. Yeldho Mor Baselios, Patron Saint of Malankara World, at St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio - October 4, 2014
Feast of St. Yeldho Mor Baselios, Patron Saint of Malankara World, at St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio - October 4, 2014
Feast of St. Yeldho Mor Baselios, Patron Saint of Malankara World, at St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio - October 4, 2014

May the intercession of our Patron Saint provide you the shield to protect you and your loved ones at all times.

This Sunday in Church
Bible Readings for This Sunday (October 12)
 

Sermons for This Sunday (October 12)
This Week's Features

Inspiration for Today
If there is anything in us, it is not our own; it is a gift of God. But, if it is a gift of God, then it is entirely a debt one owes to love, that is, to the law of Christ. And if it is a debt owed to love, then I must serve others with it, not myself.

Thus my learning is not my own; it belongs to the unlearned and is the debt I owe them... My wisdom belongs to the foolish, my power to the oppressed. Thus my wealth belongs to the poor, my righteousness to the sinners...

It is with all these qualities that we must stand before God and intervene on behalf of those who do not have them, as though clothed with someone else's garment... But even before men we must, with the same love, render them service against their detractors and those who are violent toward them; for this is what Christ did for us.

-- Martin Luther (from Luther's Works: Lectures on Galatians)

Featured: The Story of the Shrewd Money Manager
Gospel: Luke 16:1-14

Jesus' story of the shrewd money manager is one that many people have difficulty understanding. However, if we first consider the lessons of the story that Jesus shared at its conclusion, it's easier to understand how the story leads to those lessons.

Jesus mentioned at least three lessons His story teaches, and all of them revolve around the use of and our attitude about money. The last of the three is, "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money" (Luke 16:13). Jesus does not want money to be our highest priority as it is for many people. Every aspect of some people's lives revolves around money. For example, when faced with a decision about choosing a career, the most important question they ask themselves is, "What can I do that will make me the most money?" A servant of God, considering the same question, would ask, "What does God want me to do?" Those whose god is money are literally controlled by money, as it directs their every decision. And that was the case with the shrewd money manager. He deceived and cheated his master, sinning against God, because money was his highest priority. It was his god. By their actions, the Pharisees also proved they loved money more than God.

The second lesson was about trustworthiness. Jesus said, "Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities" (Luke 16:10). Trustworthiness is something that must be earned, and it is first earned by proving yourself trustworthy in small things. The shrewd money manager in Jesus' story was found unfaithful, and that was why he lost his job. God is testing everyone's faithfulness by watching what we do with what He's given us, including our money. Christians who don't give anything when they're making only a little money are proving they wouldn't give anything if they made a lot of money, in spite of what they may claim. So why would God bless them with more money? Christians who waste money that God gives them are also proving themselves untrustworthy and provide no reason for God to entrust them with more.

This is more important than many Christians realize. How we spend our money is a primary indicator of our spiritual lives. In fact, it can reveal whether we are truly saved or not. Jesus said, "If you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?" The shrewd money manager in Jesus' story proved, by his mishandling of his master's money, that he was not truly devoted and obedient to his master. So his master rejected him, just as God will reject those who, by their use of their money, prove that they aren't truly submitted to Him.

The third lesson is perhaps the most difficult one to understand, especially if you are reading from a translation other than the New Living Translation. Jesus said, "I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven" (Luke 16:9). The shrewd money manager made friends out of his master's debtors by lowering their debts. Because he'd helped them save money by cheating his master, they'd feel obligated to help him once he lost his job. Jesus, of course, doesn't want us to make friends by cheating anyone, but He does expect that we will assist our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in financial need. And we, like the shrewd manager, will ultimately benefit from helping them when we are rewarded in heaven.

Q. Do you think what we've read today has any application to kids?

A. If they receive any money, either by earning it or receiving it as a gift, it certainly does. They should demonstrate their obedient faith in Jesus by what they do with their money, and it doesn't make any difference how little money they have. In fact, by proving to God at a young age that He can trust them with a little money, kids can ensure themselves a better financial future.

Q. Many people think it's O.K. to tell "little" lies, as long as their lies don't hurt anyone. And they claim they would never tell a "big" lie. How do you think God feels about that?

A. God knows they're lying about not lying! When they're faced with a small temptation to tell a small lie and yield, God knows they'll tell a big lie when faced with a big temptation. God never tells any lies, big or small, and neither should we.

Application:

When you are faced with a decision, are the financial consequences more important to you than the spiritual consequences? Say, for example, that you have just enough money to buy a certain thing you've wanted for a long time. However, you haven't given away any portion of that money yet, to someone less fortunate, to your church or to a missionary. What is the proper thing to do?

Source: Family Style Devotions

A Valuable Lesson on True Wealth - Ask yourself, 'Who has less than me?'

by Pete Briscoe

"What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." - Colette

My Mom grew up in an extremely wealthy home. Her dad invented a version of the modern-day Moped for the English Army during World War II and retained the patent afterward. She lived in a spectacular home in Liverpool and spent summers in a huge English manor in the countryside… when they weren't in Monaco.

Then she married my dad, a missionary with hardly a penny to his name.

My Mom's fall down the socioeconomic ladder could be described as "precipitous." Home for her growing family was now a two-room "lodge" of concrete and cinder block. To her credit, she never had a moment of bitterness. Through her attitude and her actions, she taught us a very important principle: You don't determine how wealthy you are by comparing yourself to those with more, but by asking yourself, "Who has less?!"

At Christmastime, we had very little extra. My mom's mom (our "Nana") would always come through for us grandkids with a pile of gifts. No complaints. It was awesome. But the next day, mom and dad would have us scour the lodge to find extra toys and clothes. We would pile them and ourselves in the car and then take them to the streets' kids and orphanages of Manchester. (It was our family's annual version of England's 1,500-year-old "Boxing Day" tradition.) It was a meaningful blessing for the children in need. It was a powerful lesson for those of us who had more than we needed.

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Luke 12:32-34

Wealth and poverty are such relative terms. It's so easy to get things out of perspective.  Life gets really blurry when we compare ourselves to the very few who have more, and forget the multitudes who have less.

May God, by His amazing grace, give us great joy in the material and spiritual riches He has given us. And may we be wise to know what to do with the extra!

Jehovah Jira, God, my Provider, thank you, Lord, for the incredible blessings You have poured into my life both spiritually and materially! Please give me a more accurate perception of my wealth in all ways. By the guidance of the Word and Your Spirit, lead me into new traditions of giving and generosity starting today! Amen!

Source: Experiencing LIFE Today

Are You Serving the Right Master?

by Pete Briscoe

"Life is a game. Money is how we keep score." - Ted Turner

The human heart has only so much room in it. God has designed us to passionately pursue Him so that we can be divinely satisfied in His love and then love others with His love. Love God; and love people. That's all the human heart can handle. But the world, the flesh, and the devil would like us to think that there's room for more.

Myth #3: I can be fully surrendered to Christ and still love money.

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." - Matthew 6:24

Money isn't evil, but Scripture tells us that the love of money is, and for good reason:

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. - 1 Timothy 6:9-10.

Money isn't really much more than pieces of paper with pictures on them, or virtual numbers in an online statement. And yet, people kill for it. People get divorced over it. Friendships get destroyed because of it. When we love money and put our trust in it for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in life, it always leads to destruction.

The greatest commandment is that we would love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all our soul, all of our strength, and all of our might. All of it. He is our master, our only master, because the human heart only has so much room in it.

Jesus, take inventory of my heart right now. Show me where I love money and the material. I confess that I often want to serve this master. By the power of Your Spirit and the wisdom of Your Word, free me from the master of money so that I can follow You in complete freedom and truth. Amen.

Source: Experiencing LIFE Today

Who Then Can Be Saved?

by Dr. Ray Pritchard

"Who then can be saved?" (Luke 18:26)

The answer is simple, really.

Apart from God no one can be saved.

That's the whole point of the camel through the eye of a needle. Have you ever heard anybody explain this by saying that the eye of the needle represents some kind of tiny passageway into the city of Jerusalem where you had to kneel down to go through it? I don't think that's what it means at all. When he says the eye of a needle, he means the eye of a needle. Like the needle you do sewing with. When he says camel, he means a great big old smelly, ugly camel that you ride across the desert. "Look at a camel and the eye of a needle. It is easier to get a big ugly camel through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to go to heaven."

Why? Because rich people trust in their riches. It's easy for a poor person to get saved because a poor person says, "If Jesus doesn't come through for me, I'm sunk." A rich man says, "If Jesus doesn't come through for me, that's okay. I've got my pension. I've got my stocks and bonds. I've got my options. I've got my golden parachute. I've got my safety net. If he doesn't come through, it doesn't matter. I'm taking care of things myself."

It is impossible, Jesus says, for a rich man to be saved. Which leads to a very logical question: "Who then can be saved?" The answer comes in verse 26: "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Here is the good news of the gospel. Even rich people can be saved if they will give up their trust in their riches. The richest people on earth can be saved, but they've got to stop trusting in their riches and they've got to start trusting in Jesus Christ and him alone.

Whenever you stop trusting in money and the things that money can buy and turn your life over to Jesus Christ, then and only then will your heart be satisfied.

The one thing you lack, God offers to you right now. He offers you forgiveness and a brand-new life. The one thing you need is yours for the asking. If you have discovered that having it all is not enough, then please consider something that money can't buy.

Would you like a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ? It's yours for the asking. Open your heart to him and he will come in.

Father, you promised bread for the hungry and rest for the weary. May those who hunger be filled with the Bread of Life. And may the weary find the rest that only Jesus can give. Forgive us for loving money so much that we have no room for you. Grant that we might realize our deepest need so that you can provide for us the "one thing" we lack. In Jesus name, Amen.

Going Deeper

Nearly all of us are rich compared to those who have less than we do. What are the signs that we love our money more than we love God? How can we break the idolatry of money? Why is it truly impossible for any of us to be saved on our own? Name some things that money can't buy but God can provide.

Source: Keep Believing Ministries

Jesus Teaches About Material Possessions
Scripture: Matthew 6:19-34

For many people, money is their god. Just like a god, money controls their lives, consuming all their energy, thoughts and time. Money is the main source of their joy, and they're never satisfied with how much they have but are always wanting more. This is often true for rich and poor people, and Jesus addressed both groups among His followers during His sermon on the mountainside. He explained how God expects His children to view money and material things, making it very clear that we can't serve both God and money. It's one or the other, but not both.

Wealthy people often reveal that money is their god by hoarding their riches, continually accumulating more and more for themselves, amassing much more than they really need. Jesus said, however, that we shouldn't store up treasures on earth. It's foolish to do so, because everything on this earth is destined to perish ultimately. In fact, most of it is slowly perishing right before our eyes. This was even more obvious to the people in Jesus' day, who didn't have the benefits of moth balls, rust-proofing paint or padlocks! But what Jesus said then is still true today.

For those of us who are saved, hoarding riches on earth is even more foolish, because there's a way we can convert our temporary riches into eternal riches. Jesus said that we should lay up our treasures in heaven. How can we do that? Jesus once told a very wealthy young man that if he sold his possessions and gave the money to the poor, he would then have treasure in heaven (see Matthew 19:21). We can do the same thing. When we give money on earth, it's like making a deposit into our bank accounts in heaven.

Rich people aren't the only people who often make money their god. Poor people frequently become just as consumed with material things. Their concern, however, is not with hoarding more and more riches, but with the simple necessities of life. They become worried about whether or not they are going to have enough food and clothing. Just like many wealthy people, their focus is on material things.

But God expects His children, even those who are poor, to be focused on Him and His kingdom. Jesus promised that if we will live for Him and make the kingdom of God our primary concern, then God will supply all our daily needs. He cares about us, so there's no need for us to worry. Look how well God takes care of all the birds, providing them with food. If you ever see the birds gathered in your yard having a prayer meeting for food, then you might begin to worry about God supplying your needs!

Q. Today we read something that is difficult to understand, when Jesus said, "Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be!" (Matthew 6:22-23). What do you think He was talking about? Hint: Look at the context of those statements.

A. Jesus was talking about two kinds of people, the saved and unsaved. People whose god is money are not saved, because Jesus said it is impossible to serve both God and money. His comments about the eye allowing light into the soul or shutting it out also describe the saved and unsaved. A person with a "pure eye" is a person who is looking for the truth (often symbolized by light), and when he finds it, he lets it into his soul. He then has God's truth within him. A person with an "evil eye" is a person who does not want God's truth, and when the light of God's truth shines in his face, he shuts his eyes because he doesn't want it to get inside him. Many people shut their eyes to God's truth because they think they already have the truth, but really they've believed only lies. Consequently, they are full of darkness even when they think they have light inside them. That kind of darkness is the worst kind.

Q. Can we rightly conclude from what we read today that it is wrong for us to work hard to make money, or save some of the money we earn?

A. Certainly not. We can't give any money away unless we first have some ourselves. Jesus was warning us that money cannot be our main priority in life if we are going to be His followers. Our primary concern should be with His kingdom and living for Him. We should guard ourselves against greed, and shouldn't worry about having enough, but rather, should trust in our heavenly Father's care.

Application:

Many kids don't have a lot of money, but nevertheless, like poor people, money can become their god. Is there evidence in your life that God is your god and not money? Do you give away a portion of what you do receive?

Source: Family Style Devotions; Used with Permission

Inspirational: The Secret of Happiness

by Victoria Phelps

I was born to parents who right from the word go, instilled in me that happiness is THE most important thing and that life is to be enjoyed.

When I was 14, my parents bought a children's camp and activity centre 350 miles from where we currently lived, they thought it would be a great upbringing for me and my three sisters and a new fun adventure for the family.

It was a big change for me and my sisters but an even bigger challenge for my parents. Not only were they up and moving their children out of school into a new area, they were going from a home with a garden and one dog, to a home with 50 acres, 15 horses, 2 pigs, 1 cow, 1 lama, 1 deer, 18 chickens, 1 turkey, a couple of guinea pigs and 54 sheep, oh and they had exactly zero experience with any of the above!

And, just one week after we were to arrive, a coach full of children would also be arriving eager for a week packed with activities, many of which my parents hadn’t even tried before.

However it didn't take us long to learn the skills we needed and we adapted nicely to our new outdoor lifestyle. As soon as I could, I began to assist and teach with the onsite activities, things such as horse riding, canoeing, archery and orienteering. It was always great fun.

At the age of 15, inspired by my parent's courage and tenacity, I decided that I too wanted to be my own boss as I wanted the freedom to earn my own money and make my own decisions.

At 17, I began to put the plan into action and started my own business in the automotive industry; I was young but confident, fearless and enthusiastic.

I set out into adult life intent on earning well so that I could live comfortably, buy what I wanted and travel to different parts of the world. And of course it went without saying that I would also look after myself and be kind and caring toward family, friends and strangers.

I hadn't ever consciously thought to myself at any point that this was the way to happiness, but I wasn't aware of any other way of thinking or being and so just accepted it as the way.

Fast forward 8 years and a couple of business ventures later and where once stood a girl excited and full of beans, now stood a girl who was uninspired, drained and frustrated.

I remember looking at myself in the mirror and wondering who this girl was looking back at me. I said to myself in my mind 'Vic what are you doing, you are getting it all so wrong'.

Fed up with seeing me take life too seriously, one of my sisters suggested that I needed to inject some fun into my life and proposed we take a holiday in the sun, which I eventually agreed to. We decided on a two week trip to Egypt. And little did I know that my life was about to change forever!

After the first few days unwinding and relaxing into the holiday mode, I began to find myself, my thoughts and beliefs being challenged. My ideas about life, happiness, success and purpose - which I had believed were the truth, were suddenly in contrast to the emotions I was feeling and the reality I was seeing with my own eyes. And these contrasts began to cause an unexplainable feeling of familiarity and feeling safe, at a depth far beyond what my conscious mind could know.

And this feeling of familiarity began to raise some questions which I'd never before considered. 'How can I feel so familiar in a country which I have never before visited? Have I lived before? Will I live again? What else have I believed as truth – which isn't?'

It got me thinking that if I had lived before, who was I, who were my family, what did I do during that life time and if I do live again, I could be born anywhere, in any culture and any country, suddenly I felt so connected to everyone.

Dormant emotions within me became stirred, feelings of appreciation and compassion run through every inch of my being. I began to feel a rush of internal peace and happiness and with it came a revelation – being happy isn’t experienced only by fulfilling dreams. The way that we feel is directly linked to the way that we think. True happiness is when we are thinking thoughts that are in alignment with who we really are - our true nature. It is rarely our experiences or circumstances that cause how we feel – good or bad – it is our chosen perspective about our circumstances and situations that ignite our feelings.

Over time, as I put into practice a way of living which reflected my new thoughts and perspectives, I found myself even more aligned with my true nature, my heart and mind continued to open and my world changed. And even though I feel very fortunate to have had this direct experience, I know that it wasn't so much the experience that changed my life but my perspective of life that was born out of the experience.

About The Author:

Victoria feels that if you desire a happier and fulfilling life then you must ensure that you are deliberately thinking the thoughts that feel good and encourage a peaceful, compassionate, content and joyful state. What you think will determine who you are being, so make sure that your thoughts support the person you choose to be and the life you choose to live.

Family Special: Measuring Our Success

by Wayne Brouwer

Gospel: Luke 9:18–27

"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?" - Luke 9:25

Now and again I see mortality clinging to my steps like a lengthening shadow, and I am caught wondering why I am still here. A question chiseled in stone over the grave of a child recycles in my brain: "If I am so quickly done for, what on earth was I begun for?"

Life feeds that cynicism. Since people around us often cannot see our soul inside the material stuff with which we surround it, we are often beguiled into amassing possessions and accomplishments to proclaim our worth.

Yet all of those things can be stripped away from us in a matter of seconds. Recently I cried with a 30-something fellow who appeared to be a glowing testimony of success. He grew up in a close-knit family, has an athletic body and a movie-star face, married a beautiful and intelligent woman, lives in a luxurious home, and is buying a business that could become a multibillion-dollar corporation before he retires.

But now all the good looks and money mean nothing. A foolish action has fractured his marriage and torn him from his children. "Two weeks ago I thought I had it all. Now I don't know if I have anything," the man said. "I would trade everything to have my wife and children back."

His sad words made me think about Jesus' comment to his disciples. Jesus had set his sights on his future suffering in Jerusalem, and he was trying to prepare his friends for that reality. Jesus knew he would encounter denial, devastation and death. Rather than excusing his disciples from such painful experiences, Jesus warned them that they too would face some tough times. Indeed, it was a requirement of following him:

"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23).

God meant for us to enjoy the marvelous beauty and material resources of our world. But Jesus wanted to make clear that we can't truly delight in possessions if they consume us while we are consuming them.

When Jesus made his pilgrimage to the cross, his disciples accompanied him to Jerusalem. True, they would all have their moments of quivering fright that sent them scrambling into hiding, yet they joined him as best they could. And eventually they all suffered great loss as they took up their crosses and followed him.

The greatest thing about courtship and marriage is that we don't have to go through life alone. We share our journey with another. We reaffirm the faith and values we have spoken about in the easy times so that when we have to slog through the swamp of despair or navigate the hard places of loss, we can encourage each other to put our feet in appropriate places and keep our eyes trained on our Savior, Jesus Christ. Together we can follow him.

Let's Talk

What are our 20-year goals? In what ways could those goals nurture or destroy our relationship? How would Jesus nudge us to change or clarify our plans?

What is our net worth? How do we measure it? What questions can we ask to help us think through the true value of our possessions?

What have we accumulated as a couple that we will pass on to our children? How might those things be a blessing? A hardship?

Source: NIV Devotions for Couples

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