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A Sacred Affluence

Deuteronomy 8:11-14
“Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God.”

Oh how self-destructive our tendency to become less grateful the more we acquire! We always crave more, and the more we get, the more disconsolate we become in our agitation. In fact, my wife and I have already had a few heart-to-heart conversations this week with our eight-year-old son about this very issue. Micah has such a tender heart and is usually full of gratitude, but recently, probably because he’s been so spoiled by his granddad who buys him gifts every time they go to the store, he’s started demanding things whenever mommy takes him out to run errands. A new toy, new cards, new clothes, special treats, whatever. And his disgruntlement has become more pronounced of late.

We’re no better though. Think of the first time you heard your wife or husband say the words, “I love you!” Remember how they washed over your complexion, filled your heart with euphoric bliss, how you felt undeserving of the affection and believed you’d never for a second take that love for granted? Well—do those words mean the same thing now?

What about the moment you first became aware of your need for God’s mercy. Maybe it was a long season of suffering that led you to Christ’s arms, or years of sinful striving that awakened your confession, or maybe you accepted Christ in your early childhood years and all you remember is the surge of happiness that flooded your young spirit when you asked Jesus into your heart. We were all grateful once upon a time, right? We all fell on our knees in one form or another, with arms lifted to heaven, in sackcloth and ashes, crying out, “LORD, have mercy on me, a sinner!”, didn’t we?

Oh Christian, if we be affluent in anything today, may it be our gratitude to a God Who continues to lavish us with mercy!