Congratulations! You may have already won $1,000,000!

Bible Reading:
Rules for Purification Leviticus 12:1-8; 14:1-32; 15:13-15, 28-30; Numbers 19

"When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering.... If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering" (12:6-8).

Joseph and Mary brought the offering of a poor person when the time of Mary's purification for the birth of Jesus was over (Luke 2:22-24).

Who would want to be poor if they had a choice? Jesus did. But why? He could have chosen to be born into any economic class he wanted. If he wanted to avoid the stigma of being rich, why didn't he at least choose to be middle-class? I wonder how many times Mary thought, "How am I supposed to raise the Son of God without any money? Why doesn't God supply more adequately for the upbringing of his own child?"

I've often wished, and even prayed, that I could have more money. I've dreamed about seeing the Prize Patrol roll into my driveway, knock on my door, and hand me a giant check with my name on it! I have reasoned with God that, if I could win the sweepstakes or something, I could do so many good things with all that money. Of course, he would get ten percent. (Isn't that, in itself, enough of a reason to make me rich? My church could really use the money!) I would be able to help my friends who are struggling financially. I could randomly stick money in people's pockets at church, and then maybe they would come to church more often! And if I didn't have to worry so much about where the money was going to come from to pay the bills, I would be less stressed and, therefore, much easier to live with! Doesn't God want that? (I'm sure my family would appreciate it!) I would have more emotional and physical energy for worthier things. I'd be sure not to get selfish, greedy or prideful, and I would definitely be grateful; I wouldn't fail to thank God and recognize that the blessing came from him. I can understand if God doesn't want me to be TOO rich. But, if I was God, I would at least give me just enough to be both comfortable and generous. I've spent most of my life wishing that God would give me just a little more. I'm finally comfortable with what he is supplying, but still, if I could have just a little bit more....

Lord, thank you for your provision through the years. Thank you for all the ways you've built my trust in you when I've had to trust you to supply financially. You know what it's like to go without. You even chose that kind of life. Refocus my attitude when I experience financial tension. Help me to value relationships more than possessions or security. Thank you for the early years when we had to "live on love" and for the years we've had to raise a family on a "shoe-string budget." We created so many fond memories. Even the difficult memories helped build a stronger foundation of love and trust. We learned to lean on each other and depend on you more. You taught us so many hard lessons. Thank you for each one. Don't ever stop teaching us; don't ever let us stop learning. When the money is tight, help us to look to you for wisdom and strength and trust you to supply our needs. If we have to go through another period of unemployment or financial loss, remind us how you've always strengthened and cared for us before. Calm our anxious hearts. Teach us to trust you more.