Songwriter Diane Warren penned a Grammy award-winning tribute to her father, “Because You Loved Me.” The lyrics of the song proclaim a love that profoundly influences the life of another. In verses 14-16, the Lord turns the tables on us. “Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.” The Hebrew word for love used in this verse implies an attachment to, a connection with. God responds to the reciprocal love and faithfulness of the relationship. We do not earn or merit God’s protection; we ground ourselves in God, receiving nurture and safety that satisfies. While Warren is “forever thankful” for the one who “saw [her] through, through it all,” the psalmist takes comfort in God’s promise-keeping because of the investment on both sides of the relationship.
Honestly, some days I do not prioritize conversations with God or acknowledge God’s faithfulness in my life. Many of us have days when we slip off our Christian pedestal, and we take actions that could make God question our love and commitment. However, I expect God to protect me and to be with me in times of trouble. I recall an old adage that states, “With great privilege comes great responsibility.” Or even more, Luke 12:48, which notes the following: “To whom much has been given, much will be required.”
Yes, God is faithful and will answer when we call. But the psalmist points to the importance of mutuality in our relationship with God. How many of us expect God to hold up God’s end of the deal when we do not? What can God expect from you? How do we live into God’s promises?
Gracious and loving God, thank you for first loving me. Remind me of my responsibility in our relationship. Show me the way forward so that your faithfulness is not met with my faithlessness. Amen.
The Bible warns about the delusions that wealth brings, repeatedly directing readers’ attention to the poor and the destitute. Luke’s Gospel text culminates in Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus. Only in the next life, when the rich man is rid of his riches, can he see Lazarus, now secure at Abra- ham’s side. First Timothy contains a series of warnings to pros- perous readers that having the basic necessities of life should be enough. Greed diverts attention away from the God “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” And against the best wisdom of all the nancial planners of Judah, Jeremiah purchases the eld at Anathoth. The prophet invests his money in the divine promise, in the outlandish conviction that God is faithful.
• Read Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15. Where do you see God’s prom- ises in your life? How do you act on them? What keeps you from acting on them?
• Read Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16. In what setting do you experience a sense of God’s shelter?
• Read 1 Timothy 6:6-19. With what do you nd yourself content?
• Read Luke 16:19-31. How do you maintain an ability to see those in need? How do you address those needs?
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