Nazarene Principles ©2000
#259. The Nazarene prayed, ‘Give us our bread for this day.’ (Matthew 6:11) And with this simple phrase he introduces to his world a revolutionary attitude toward life and material things. It is the Fifth Nazarene Principle and it is completely at odds with human nature313 in its sinful condition. It flies in the face of modern commercial competition, a characteristic reflected in the Nazarene’s disciple James: ‘”Today or tomorrow we will go into this city and we will spend one year there and we will trade and will make a profit.” Come now, you do not know of the morrow. For what is your life? A mist which appears for a brief moment and then vanishes.’ (James 4:13, 14) Indeed, the Fifth Principle cuts to the bone in the human struggle between spirituality and materialism. Like water and oil, the two do not mix well. In the human need for security with its attendant worries about tomorrow, amplified by occasional arrogant self-preservation, spirituality is sacrificed, placed in a secondary place, or abandoned altogether.
|313||HUMAN NATURE. Compare Luke 12:13-21; Psalm 49:6, 11. Note Eccelsiastes chapter 2.|
#260. The prayer of the Nazarene reflects this mental inclination of not being overly concerned about tomorrow, for he asks the Father only for today’s bread, not tomorrow’s. Not tomorrow, not the month after. This disposition is right at the top of the Nazarene’s teachings. He not only taught it, he lived it. The idea is exactly what we would expect from a highly spiritual individual with absolute faith in his Father.
#261. First, examine the life of the Nazarene. How different he was from many modern religious leaders. No matter the religion you wish to examine you will likely find religious men living in either grand style, or at least one considerably above their “flock” in general. (1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:7, 11; 1 Peter 5:2) From East to West, it is the same, even among those who have taken so-called “vows of poverty.” Today the Gospel of Success is proclaimed by prosperity preachers. “Give to me and God will give to you,” is a recurring theme. It all flies in the face of the Nazarene’s teachings.
#262. Admittedly, a Western reader living in a society driven by materialism and greed, or a person raised on the upper middle class norms of affluent countries, will find the Fifth Principle “unrealistic” or “foolish”314 and difficult to live by. This teaching of Jesus315 contradicts every materialistic principle to which these capitalists have been exposed. But, the Fifth Principle is a goal to strive for as one seeks balance between material concerns and spirituality in a simply life centered on God.316
|314||FOOLISH. Compare the Physical Man’s attitude at 1 Corinthians 2:14.|
|315||THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS. Compare Luke 18:18-30. That riches are a danger and should be shared in charity is a characteristic of the Nazarene’s teachings: Luke 3:11; 6:30; 7:5; 11:41; 12:33, 34; 14:13, 14; 16:9; 18:22; 19:8. See the NJB footnote on Luke 18:18-30.|
|316||GOD-CENTERED. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:28: “God is everything to everyone.” (MOF)|
#263. When a young Jewish scribal copyist suggested he follow the Nazarene, the Lord’s response was a simple, ‘Birds have roosts and foxes have dens, but the Son of Man has no where to lay his head.’ (Matthew 8:20) When a rich young prince asked what he had to do, he was told, ‘Go, sell all your belongings and give to the poor and then come317 and follow me.’ (Luke 18:18-30) The rich prince’s reaction, and that of the disciples, prompted the famous, ‘How difficult it will be for those with money to enter the Kingdom of God. Really, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of Heaven.’ Peter’s answer to this was: ‘Master, we have left all things to follow you.’ To which the Nazarene said, ‘Really, I tell you, any who have left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God will receive many times more now and in the coming New Age life everlasting.’
|317||AND THEN COME. The man had to actually sell all before becoming a disciple of the Nazarene!|
#264. The Nazarene made plain his teachings on material things, and the anxieties associated with them, during his famous Mountain Teachings at Matthew 6:19-34:
‘Save318 no treasures for yourselves on earth, where it may be turned to dust by worms and weather, where thieves come in by force. But, keep saving your riches in heaven, where neither moth nor wear-and-tear destroys and where thieves cannot break in and steal. For where your treasure is you may be certain your heart will be there too.
|318||SAVE. In the Christian Scriptures there are only three references to saving money. (Matthew 25:27; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Ephesians 4:28) The later two both encourage the sharing with others exactly as the Nazarene taught. The word here “save” is a paraphrase of the Greek thesaurizete which is usually translated “treasure (not)”. Various renderings are: KJV: lay not up; WMS: stop storing up; PHM: don’t pile up.|
#265. The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is focused correctly the whole body will be illumined. But, if your eye is selfish and envious, the whole body will be blind. If the very source of light in you is darkness, how intense must be that darkness! No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be loyal to the one and make light of the other. You must serve God or money. You cannot serve both.
#266. Stop worrying about your life as to what you will eat or drink nor wondering what you will have to wear. Surely, life means more than food. Surely, the body means more than clothes. Look at the wild birds. They sow not, neither do they reap. Yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not much more valuable to Him than they are? But which of you with all his worry can add a single hour to his life? And why should you trouble over clothing? See how the wild flowers grow. They neither work nor weave and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not dress like one of these. But, if God so beautifully dresses the wild fields of grass, which are green today, but tomorrow is dry and thrown into an oven, is He not more likely to clothe you? O, people, how little you trust Him!
#267. So, do not worry and do not keep saying, “What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear?” For the people of the world run after all these things. Your heavenly Father already knows you need these things. But, you must make His Kingdom and uprightness before Him your greatest care. Seek first the Kingdom! And all that you need will be yours over and above. So never be troubled about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself. Every day has trouble enough of its own.’
#268. What a powerful statement to rock the obsessively self-satisfied and security conscious who claim to be disciples of the Nazarene! The Nazarene also made it clear how to earn “credit” with the Father by the use of one’s material possessions:319 ‘Give to everyone asking you and do not ask back from the one taking your things. As you wish men to do to you, you do to them. And if you are loving only those loving you, what credit or reward is there in that? For sinners are loving those who are loving them. And if you only do good to those doing good to you, what credit or reward is there in that? Sinners do the very same thing. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit or reward is there in that? Sinners are lending in order that they might get back at least the same.
|319||MATERIAL POSSESSIONS. The following phrases are found in Luke 6:30-38; Matthew 5:42, 48.|
#269. Be loving even your enemies by doing good to them, lending to them,320 hoping for nothing in return. And then you will be Sons of the Most High. Because He is kind toward the unthankful and the wicked. Become merciful and compassionate in your giving even as your Father is merciful and compassionate. You must be complete in this matter of giving just as your heavenly Father is complete.
|320||LENDING WITHOUT INTEREST. This breathes of Nehemiah 5:10, ‘Let us cancel these pledges’, and Proverbs 19:17, ‘Whoever is kind to the poor is lending to Yahweh who will repay him the kindness done.’ (NJB) Compare Psalm 37:26; 112:5. Jews were discouraged by Moses to take advantage of loans to fellows. (Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-37; Deuteronomy 15:7, 8; 23:19, 20) Jews could loan to Gentiles with limitations. (Deuteronomy 23:20) Jewish commentators understand this to apply, not to cases of need, but to business loans. (The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, edited by J. H. Hertz, London, 1972, p. 849) Note also Psalm 15:5; Ezekiel 18:7, 8, 13. With the coming of Christianity periods arrived in which Christian businessmen were prohibited banking and usury which they then allocated to the hated Jews. After centuries of this practice, and the Jewish profits which came from it, the economy in Europe reached a stage which finally led to the Holocaust.|
#270. Stop judging and being critical and you will not be judged or criticized. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Release others from their debts and you will be released from your Debt. Practice giving. Give to the one asking and do not turn away from the one wishing to borrow from you.’
#271. This will unsettle many in the modern Western world, even that part which professes Christianity. For proof of spiritual sonship is found in the way one uses material possessions. It is one of the single most apparent ways God judges a person. It is in this unselfish giving, without any agenda, that one has “credit” with God. When the Nazarene teaches about love it is almost always couched in the context of material giving.
#272. The Nazarene continues to teach after the parable of the rich farmer and the shrewd steward, ‘Make friends with your unrighteous riches in order that when these material things fail the angels might receive you into eternal dwellings.’ (Luke 16:9) It is this phrase “when these material things fail” which frightens the materialistic. For there are many ways for financial security to fail: theft, extortion, bank failures, wars, catastrophic illness with its attendant medical expenses, accident, or some unknown electronic failure of the world’s computerized systems.
#273. Well, did the Nazarene live this way. Surely he did. We see him leading a simple, even an austere life. A guest here and a guest there. Sleeping nights in the open mountains or deserts with only his cloak. (Luke 5:16; 6:12; 21:37; Mark 1:45) Accepting hospitality from one quarter then another. (Mark 2:14, 15; Luke 5:27) Humble and appreciative enough to allow a group of women to ‘minister to him from their belongings.’ (Luke 8:3) In no way did he take advantage of this charity for he leads a simple life and on occasion was actually hungry and tired. (Matthew 4:2; 21:18; 25:35; Mark 11:12; Luke 4:2; John 4:6)
#274. The Nazarene taught his disciples to do the same, for when he sent out his Apostles, and later the Seventy Disciples, he told them: ‘Take nothing for your trip. No staff or food pouch or bread or money or extra clothing.’ (Luke 9:3) He was to teach them a lesson in faith, for later, after his resurrection, he reminded them, ‘When I sent you out without money or food, did you want for anything?’ His Apostles said, “No.” (Luke 22:35)
#275. Many efforts have been made to liberalize or water-down the straightforward teachings of the Nazarene on the subject of property and material things. The hidden agendas behind some of these should be obvious. His language is too simple and plain: follow the simple life, free of worry, and trust to the Father to provide your elemental needs. He clearly taught and lived the divestiture of all “things.” To that small circle of his Apostles, he said: ‘Fear not, little flock, for your Father has approved of giving you the Kingdom. Go and sell everything and give charitable gifts (to the poor).’ This he also taught in the parables of the pearl of great price and the hidden treasure. (Matthew 13:44-46)
#276. The same theme runs through Paul’s writings: ‘Reverential devotions along with contentment are great gains. For we did not bring anything into the world and it is for sure we are not leaving here with anything. But, having food and clothing, we will be satisfied and content with just these. However, those who are resolved to be rich321 fall into temptation and a snare and many hurtful things which sink them to the bottom of ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a source of every kind of evil and by resolving upon this kind of love some Christians have been seduced and distracted from the faith, inflicting themselves with many pains.’ (1 Timothy 6:6-10 PME) These words are very similar to those of the Nazarene’s parable: ‘And other seed are those sown among the thorns. These are the ones who heard the Word but the anxieties of this Age, and the seduction of riches and the desire for things, choke the Word and it becomes unfruitful.’ (Mark 4:18, 19)
|321||RICH. The definition for the word “rich” from a Biblical standpoint is one having a “surplus.” (Mark 12:44; Luke 21:4; 2 Corinthians 8:14) Standard definitions in English vary but generally keep the word “rich” in a careful abstraction: “having large possessions.” The word “large” makes it clearly a matter of perspective. Webster’s New World Dictionary (College Edition 1960) explains “rich” and related words: “SYN.---rich is the general word for one who has more money or income-producing property than is necessary to satisfy his normal needs; wealthy adds to this connotations of grand living, influence in the community, a tradition of richness, etc. (a wealthy banker); affluent suggests a continuing increase of riches and concomitant lavish spending (to live in affluent circumstances); opulent suggests the possession of great wealth as displayed in luxurious or ostentatious living (an opulent mansion); well-to-do implies sufficient prosperity for easy living.”|
#277. Paul does not give commands for rich Christians to divest themselves of their wealth, but he does give these “orders”: ‘Lay this charge to those who are rich in this Age, not to be high-minded but to put their hope, not on non-existent riches, but upon God. Work at good. Be rich in fine works. Distribute well to the needy. Be ready to share. Treasure up a fine foundation on the Future and thus attain Life in reality.’ (1 Timothy 6:17-19) Under such a charge, the rich who claim to belong to the Nazarene Community of Christian Saints, or the Christian Church, must look well to their charitable spirit, lest they experience shipwreck of the Faith. This is an individual decision which other believers should never criticize.
#278. However, Paul’s disposition was clear. He wrote, ‘I consider all things a complete loss because of the priceless privilege of knowing the Christ, Jesus my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of everything, considering all of it lot of dung that I might gain Christ.’ (Philippians 3:8) In 2 Corinthians 8:9 he echoes the Nazarene’s spirit, ‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: though he was rich he became poor for your sakes that you might become rich by his poverty.’
#279. Further, Paul writes in words that could have come from the Nazarene: ‘I have learned, in whatever state or condition I am, to be self-sufficient. I know how to exist in humble circumstances. I know how to have an abundance. In every situation I have learned the lesson of both how to be filled and how to hunger, how to abound and how to lack. I can do anything by the One empowering me, Christ.’ (Philippians 4:11-13) And another time, ‘Let your life-style be free of the love of money, satisfied with the present things. For He has promised, “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.”’ (Hebrews 13:5)
#280. HOW DID THE DISCIPLES RESPOND? Did the Apostles and those later disciples of the Nazarene take this so literally? How did Peter, John, James, Paul and others live as adherents of Jesus Christ the Nazarene?
#281. The historical account in the Book of Acts makes it clear they took the Nazarene quite literally: ‘And all the believers were together and had all things in common. Their goods and possessions they sold322 and distributed them to everyone as they had a need. They shared food in gladness and simplicity of heart. And no one claimed any of his possessions as his own but all things were common among them. For neither was anyone needy among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses, sold them and they brought the value of the things sold and laid them at the feet of the Apostles. And it was distributed to each according as any had need.’ (Acts 2:44-46; 4:32-35)
|322||SOLD. Compare also Acts 4:36, 37.|
#282. This was the ideal Paul recommended to the rich and urban Corinthians. He relies on Moses for this: ‘For if the eagerness is there first it is proper according to what a person has and not according to what a person does not have. Not that I want to be hard on you and easy on others. But, just for now, if your surplus was equalized, you could compensate for their lack, so there should be some kind of equalization. So it was written (regarding the collection of manna), “The one with much did not have too much and the one with little did not have too little.” (2 Corinthians 8:12-15; Exodus 16:18) Paul outlines the standard for the Nazarene Community: social and economic equality by mutual sharing in a classless community of Saints. Obviously all the above can only come about among a people genuinely selfless and in love with humanity. It is not something everyone can or will do.
#283. This does not mean there were not rich and propertied Christians. The Corinthians are an example of such. However, this communal sharing in equality was on a volunteer basis. This was to be a personal choice without judgmental criticism or reverse snobbery. But, there is no ignoring the fact that when the rich are mentioned it is either in a negative context or couched in what can only be described as extreme caution. (Matthew 13:22; 19:23, 24; Mark 10:5; Luke 6:24; 8:14; 12:16, 21; 16:16, 19, 22, 23;1 Corinthians 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; James 1:10, 11; 2:5, 6; 5:1; Reveation 3:17)
#284. The earliest example of this kind of warning involved the Christian couple, Ananias and Saphira, who hypocritically sold some property and gave the appearance of contributing all. However, they held back some of the value of the sold property. Peter says they played false to the holy spirit and as a result both died. (Acts 5:1-11) Peter does establish in his condemnation of Ananias that this was voluntary despite what might appear to be peer pressure from the Nazarene Community, ‘As long as the property remained in your name did it not belong to you?’ The couple’s sin was not one of refusal to share their property, but lying about it. This case ought to stress the serious danger of hypocrisy as well as that principle found in the Nazarene’s teachings. (Matthew 6:3, 4)
#285. Paul questions the rich Corinthians, so slow in fulfilling their year-old promise to use their riches to help needy brothers, ‘You are already filled323 and satisfied? You are already rich? You are ruling like kings,324 and without us? Down to this hour we apostles325 continue to hunger and thirst and to be poorly clothed and to be homeless and unsettled.’ (1 Corinthians 4:8, 11) Some did not ‘share with the Saints according to their needs.’ (Romans 12:13) Paul mentions this to the Philippians: ‘All the rest are seeking their own personal interests and not those of Christ Jesus… When I departed from Macedonia not a congregation shared with me in giving and receiving but you Philippians alone. Yes, you sent something not once, but twice, for my need.’ (Philippians 2:20; 4:15, 16)
|323||FILLED. Compare Luke 6:24, 25.|
|324||KINGS. Compare Matthew 11:8; Luke 7:25.|
|325||APOSTLES. Is it clear that of this date, about 60-65 AD, the Apostles had literally followed the Nazarene’s command at Luke 12:32, 33.|
#286. Paul, like the Nazarene, did not take advantage of the hospitality of his brethren for in Acts we find him working as a tentmaker for a brief period about the time he visited Corinth and Thessalonica. For he writes to the Thessalonians, ‘You know how you ought to imitate us because we were not disorderly, nor did we eat food free, but night and day we labored and worked so we were never a real burden on anyone. We used to give this instruction: “If anyone does not work neither let him eat.”’326 (2 Thessalonians 3:6-11)
|326||NO WORK NO EAT! This phrase is quoted by Mao in his little red book.|
#287. This does not mean the Christian minister or teacher who has responded quite literally to the Nazarene’s teachings at Luke 12:33 is not “worthy” of some stipend or hospitable assistance. For Paul quotes the Nazarene to the Corinthians: ‘Do I not have authority to refrain from secular work? Who is it that serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants and does not eat the fruit? Who shepherds and does not drink the milk? If we have sown spiritually why is it so big that we reap physically? However, in your case, we have not used this authority, though the Lord ordained that those proclaiming the good news could live by the good news.’ (1 Corinthians 9:6-14) There Paul alludes to what Jesus said to his disciples when sending them forth, ‘The worker is worthy of his wages and food.’ (Matthew 10:10; Luke 10:7)
#288. Paul again uses this principle of the Nazarene with Timothy: ‘For the Scripture327 says: “The workman is worthy of his wages.” (1 Timothy 5:18) Indeed, there is much to learn about Christian economics in the two letters to Timothy: the caution regarding riches; and, financial responsibilities to family and others. In part some of these injunctions include: a) caution regarding expensive dress (1 Timothy 2:9); b) elders not to love money (1 Timothy 3:3); c) deacons not given to greed or dishonesty (1 Timothy 3:8); d) recompensing parents and grandparents (1 Timothy 5:4); e) providing for family members (1 Timothy 5:8); f) double honor to hard-working elders (1 Timothy 5:17); g) warning against taking advantage of religion (1 Timothy 6:5); h) warning regarding love of money and riches328 (1 Timothy 6:9-19); j) balanced view of making a living (2 Timothy 2:4).
|327||THE SCRIPTURE. Paul includes Luke 10:7 as part of Scripture, which would indicate the Gospels were already written and available.|
|328||RICHES. Paul’s instruction to the rich at 1 Timothy 6:17-19 is drawn right out of Deuteronomy 5:4-11; 24:14; Job 29:16; 30:25; Psalm 69:33; Proverbs 14:31. To Timothy himself, Paul warns in his second letter to the young presbyter: ‘No enlisted recruit gets involved in enterprises for making a living so that he may satisfy the officer who enlisted him. He must be wholly at his commanding officer’s disposal.’ This echoes the famous, ‘You cannot serve God and Riches.’ (Matthew 6:24)|
#289. Interestingly, in all of this, Paul never makes use of the Nazarene other than Luke 10:7. For example, he does not use Jesus’ instructions to the apostolic “little flock”: ‘Sell everything and give charitable gifts.’ (Luke 12:32, 33) This would have been a strong argument to present to the Corinthians or others. Unless the precise injunction of Luke 12:33 was directed specifically to that “little flock” of the Twelve. It seems reasonable to assume that the Nazarene’s anti-materialistic themes are not intended to violate that care of family and others which is inferred in God’s own command to Adam and Noah: ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’ (Genesis 1:28; 8:17; 1 Timothy 5:4, 8)
#290. In addition to this, Paul encourages those disciples and learners of the Nazarene’s teachings, ‘The (person) under (Christian) instruction should be willing to contribute toward the livelihood of his teacher.’ (Galatians 6:6 PME) This kind of charity was common both in the Jewish and Greek world and judging from Paul’s own life-style this counsel did not mean maintaining a “teacher” in a luxurious manner. (2 Peter 2:1, 13) Paul would not expect it, and neither would the Nazarene.
#291. In the Book of Revelation, we have the Glorified Lord, upon his inspection of the congregations, warning the lukewarm Laodicean presbyter, ‘You claim, “I am rich and have gotten wealthy and I have no need at all.” But, really, you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.’ (Revelation 3:17) The Nazarene had not changed in his disposition toward riches and the love of money.
#292. However, it is left to the Lord’s brother, the disciple James, to give the most stinging denunciation of the selfish rich. Note the following from a variety of verses in the letter of James which echo parts of the Sermon on the Mount or the Plain Teachings: ‘Let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high estate as a Saint, but the rich at being reduced in circumstances. Because as the flower of the fields, the rich shall pass away. For as soon as the sun is up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass and the flower withers, its lovely appearance ruined, that is the way the rich will fade and die in the midst of their pursuits.’ (James1:9-11)
#293. ‘Are you not drawing class distinctions in your minds and proving to be critics with evil motives? Listen, God chose poor men whose only wealth was their faith and the promise as heirs of the Kingdom by the God that loved them. But you rich in contrast have insulted, humiliated, dishonored and shown contempt for the poor. Is it not the rich who grind you down and domineer you? Are not (the rich) who drag you into law courts?’ (James 2.4-6)
#294. ‘Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow, we will go into this city, spend a year there, go into business and make money,” although you do not have the slightest knowledge of tomorrow. Your life, what is it? You are no more than a mist, seen for a little while and then disappearing. You ought to say instead, “If the Lord is willing329 we shall live and we shall do this or that.” But, as it is, you pride yourselves on your pretentions. All such pride is wrong. The principle is this: that whosoever knows what is right to do but fails to do it, he is guilty of sin.’ (James 4:13-17)
|329||LORD IS WILLING. Paul uses this formula. (Acts 18:21; 1 Corinthians 4:19)|
#295. ‘Listen to me, you rich330 men, weep and wail for your hardships which are coming on you. Your wealth has rotted and your fine clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is tarnished and their rust shall be a testimony against you, biting into your flesh like a fire! You have piled up wealth in an Age331 that is near its close. Behold, the hired workers in your fields, they cry for their wages, which you have been fraudulently keeping back. They are crying out against you and their cries for help have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.332 You have lived in luxury and dissipation here on earth. You have gratified your appetite, fattening yourselves for the day of slaughter.’ (James 5:1-5)
|330||RICH MEN. There is the disturbing thought that he has in mind, not rich men in general, but those within the “synagogue” or Christian meeting places. (James 2:2) When James defines the phrase “faith without works is dead” he explains ”works” to be that of charity toward those in need. (James 2:15-17)|
|331||AGE NEAR ITS END. Compare Matthew 24:3; Hebrews 9:27; Daniel 9:27 and the end of the Jewish Temple Age.|
|332||LORD OF HOSTS. This is a Hebraism drawn from the OT and it is possible, but not likely, that YHWH could occur here; however, if James adhered to the Jewish custom he would have used “Lord” in its place. Josephus wrote: "Then God revealed to him His name, which ere then had not come to men's ears, and of which I am forbidden to speak." (Jewish Antiquities, II, 276 [xii, 4])|
#296. The last few pages are enough to document what the Nazarene taught about daily material needs. How the apostles responded to it and how later disciples copied the Lord’s life-style and teachings. The entire testimony of the Scriptures reinforces the simple principle of the Nazarene: lead a simple life free of anxiety and put spiritual priorities first. If you consider living a life without anxiety and without those modern industrial diseases brought on by a competitive financial world interested only in profits and greed --- Yes! If you consider your family and loved ones more important than your credit limit or check book balances --- Yes! If you consider a longer life without stress --- Yes! If you compare the alternative of humble discipleship to the Nazarene with the promise of wealth in heavenly proportions --- Yes! If you consider first service as a disciple of the Nazarene and selfless giving to your neighbors as part of your worship of the heavenly Father --- Yes! If you want to have the freedom to read and meditate on the Nazarene’s teachings --- Yes! If you wish others learn of the Kingdom hope taught by the Nazarene --- Yes!
#297. Make your humble prayer: ‘Give us our bread for this day.’ (Matthew 6:11) Then live your life in harmony with your sincere petition.
Nazarene Commentary 2000©
Mark Heber Miller
©2000 All Rights Reserved