Numbers 35:1–3, 9–5, 30–34; Romans 8:31–39; Matthew 23:13–26
Years ago, I was part of a mission project to repair homes for less fortunate folks. After working a few days, I found out why so many were poor. The land they owned was deeded decades ago when no one wanted it. Decades later, the land was highly sought after for resorts and vacation homes. The land owners did not want to sell, so the unscrupulous drove the property values up, and thus, the tax values to where the homeowners were spending all they had to pay the taxes. If they could not pay, the property was seized, all legally, and then developed into resorts and vacation property. Many of the developers were “Christians” who gave generously to their churches. They tithed on the spices from their gardens but neglected the weightier matters. Luther’s explanation of the seventh commandment says it best: “We should fear and love God so that we do not take our neighbor’s money or property, or get them in any dishonest way, but help him to improve and protect his property and means of making a living.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me fear and love you so that I am always honest with my neighbor and protect them in every way. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Steven King, Pastor of Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lincolnton, NC.