Simplify

Text: Luke 4:3-4
The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.” ’ (NRSV)

As Linda and I are moving closer and closer to retirement, I find myself caught up with financial calculations.  It seems I wake up almost every morning wondering if I have the right numbers plugged into my spreadsheet designed to capture all our needs and wants and what it will cost to live the quality of life we have hoped for in retirement.

If you talk with financial planners, they will tell you that this is exactly the right thing to do.  You need to measure your anticipated income with your anticipated expenditures and then figure out how to manage the gap between the two if there is one.

But our scriptures tell us that it is just as important, if not more so, to make sure you have cared for your spiritual needs as well.  Luke simply tells us that Jesus’ response to the devil was, “One does not live by bread alone.”  But in Matthew’s version of this same episode in Jesus life adds, “but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

There is a danger in focusing only on the physical things of life.  If we get too focused on the things, we may lose sight of our relationship with God.  Yes, it is important to make sure you have enough money in retirement to eat, but it is even more important to make sure that you have simplified your life enough so that you have time to spend with God.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of relationship help me to simplify my life so that I am not so caught up with the things of this world that I leave little time for my relationship with you.  Remind me that I do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of Your mouth.  AMEN.

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