May 28, 2017

What Does God Give?

Malachi 3:13-15

“You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord. “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God.’”

—  Malachi 3:13-14

Sometimes it can seem futile to serve God. These verses point out that sometimes arrogant people are blessed, evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge and test God seem to get away with it. It can seem that it’s better to be bad than to be good.

Many people today make this same mistake and ask the same questions. It’s not that they are mistaken in what they see; often­times arrogant, wicked, and brazen people do acquire more wealth and power than others. But the mistake the people are making is in what they consider a blessing.

In the Lord’s Prayer, God’s people pray for God’s glory, his kingdom, their daily bread, forgiveness, and delivery from evil. The measure of success is not wealth, fame, and power. If we complain about the blessings that evil people receive, we are actually exposing the immaturity of our own faith. We show that we are still struggling with the desire to place our trust in material blessings rather than in Jesus Christ. That begs the question of how we might bend or break the rules if we have the opportunity to gain wealth or power. Maybe our hearts are not yet so different from those wicked people whose prosperity we covet.

What does it look like to covet God’s kingdom and his will? Where do you place your trust?

Dear Jesus, forgive our envy and jealousy. Wean our hearts from the desire for wealth and power. Replace that with the desire for your kingdom and glory. Help us to grow in our trust of your provision every day. Amen.

About the author — Scott DeVries

Scott DeVries has served as a church pastor and as a ministry ­coordinator in the Holland, Michigan, area. He currently works at ­facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages.

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