Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Category: Wisdom

wealth, poverty & wisdom

by ryan

As the ‘economy’ in the United States struggles and as the country plunges deeper and deeper into debt, many are wondering what they can trust in.  We don’t think wealth is the answer.  There is an old Hebrew proverb that reads:

Those who trust in their wealth are headed for great disappointment,

but those who do right will sprout like green leaves.

 בֹּוטֵ֣חַ בְּ֭עָשְׁרֹו ה֣וּא יִפֹּ֑ל וְ֝כֶעָלֶ֗ה צַדִּיקִ֥ים יִפְרָֽחוּ׃

We don’t trust in ourselves anymore either.  And we don’t believe the government can solve our biggest problems.  Ironically, American currency reads,

In God we trust.

Many Americans don’t trust in God, but we do.  Which means we don’t worry when economies collapse or even when empires fall.  Jesus helps us with this.  He says don’t worry about the basic necessities of life because God knows what we need and he is looking out for us.

Instead, he encourages us to look after others’ needs.  Instead of worrying about ourselves, we get to join God in taking care of people.  Imagine a world where we completely forsake pursuing our own financial security and only seek the good of our neighbors in need.   Imagine a world where instead of exploiting the poor, the poor are cherished.

Jesus says when we care for the poor we are caring for him; when we neglect the poor, we neglect him.

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Time for Faithfulness

by ryan

There are a lot of things we don’t have time for, and that is part of what it means to be a creature, a non-god.

We people are little; we are weak and quick to become frail.  Life is short they say.  And they are right.  In all this shortness, there is a whole lot of busyness we try to cram in.  Why?

People are little who yearn for big.

We were created this way, and I will mention two ways  we can respond.  The first extreme is to try to become a god, to transcend our littleness on our own.  Perhaps we try doing more than is humanly possible, cramming our schedules, skipping out on sleep, or neglecting the Sabbath.  Or maybe we go so far as trying to earn people’s worship.

An alternative to this is embracing our creatureliness, along with its limitations, while at the same time reaching out for God in faithful worship.  What does that look like?

I think of Jesus as he taught his students to feed the multitudes.  If they had tried to provide food for thousands on their own, they would have failed miserably.  But because they were with Jesus and they obeyed him, everyone was fed.

There is a big peace and rest that comes from realizing we are just people, while at the same time realizing that God is God.  And God is here, now.

Now, we have time for faithfulness.

Table Rock

by ryan

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Jordan and I went up with my mom and watched the sunset over Boise.  There’s a big cross up there which is lit every night for the city to see.

Being on a rock like that brings much to mind: Mount Zion, the stone table in Clive Lewis’ Narnia, Jerusalem, and of course, Jesus.

Jesus wept as he approached Jerusalem.  The Gospel according to Luke reads,

Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation. (ESV Translation)

Jesus knows a lot about making peace and I am trying to learn from him.  How about you?  What do you like to make and who taught you how?