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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

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2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Psalm 112
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

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out on a limb

"Let me say this much: He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully." —2 Corinthians 9:6

We are in the middle of three weeks of reading Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In the first ten days, Jesus has commanded us to do the impossible. For example, He told us to choose poverty and persecution (Mt 5:3, 10). He set a standard of holiness that was "out of this world." We aren't allowed even to get angry or look lustfully (Mt 5:22, 28). Jesus went so far as to require that we offer no resistance to injury, turn the other cheek, and love our enemies (Mt 5:39, 44). He finally was "totally unrealistic" when He told us to be made perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (see Mt 5:48). Obviously this is impossible.

Jesus understands our dilemma. He said to the young rich man: "For man it is impossible but not for God. With God all things are possible" (Mk 10:27). The Son wants to give us a profoundly deeper trust in our Father so we will let Dad grace us to live the Sermon on the Mount. The Lord is calling us to give alms, pray, and fast as we may never have done before (Mt 6:1ff). We need to take some calculated risks financially, prayerfully, and even physically. We need to get out on the limb by giving a major contribution, praying for hours, or going on a long-term fast. When the limb breaks, we will discover that our heavenly Father will catch us (cf Ps 94:18, RNAB). We will trust Him to work more radically in our lives.

Prayer:  Abba, do anything You want in, through, and with me — anything!

Promise:  "God can multiply His favors among you so that you may always have enough of everything." —2 Cor 9:8

Praise:  Charles took a leap of faith, began tithing, and soon found that his credit card debt began to dwindle.

Reference:  (Go out on a limb. Do Biblical counseling. For encouragement, order our tape series on Biblical Counseling on audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-1 or video starting with V-13A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

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