In Deuteronomy 6, Moses expresses hopes for a future he will not even see; a soon-coming-day in which others will partake in the dream Moses worked for. In that climate, Moses concerns himself less about threats from without, or even threats from beside. He warns about the enemy within. Along with Jesus in Luke 12, Moses is keenly aware that sometimes what sheep need protecting from are the things that come naturally to them (but are bad for them). This sermon will explore God’s invitation to learn to protect our sheep, even from themselves.
To “break” what we possess is to multiply it or develop it, so that we can grow or expand our faculties, our talents, our resources and opportunities. Together with our commitment to “bless” it (or to live within its means) this is the key to our long-term giving and it is the key to giving more.
Long before stewards can be generous, they must learn to live more simply. While striving to live fruitful lives (ambition), they must be grateful for what they already have (contentment). The key to this freedom is not just following whatever impulses they have, but cultivating the right impulses for, “a life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”