Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2001

Subject: “Show Me the Money!”

Good Morning Ethan & Emily:

I did not see the Tom Cruise movie “Jerry Maguire,” but I do know that the most famous script line from that movie is:  “Show Me the Money!” said with much energy!!

As I have my morning devotions today, I got the same impression of Joshua’s commitment and emphasis as he addressed the Israelites one final time just before his death.  Many years had passed, and the Lord had brought them into their promised land of Canaan.  Bringing everything down to the bottom line, Joshua, as recorded in the 24th chapter of Joshua, admonished them:  “…choose today (living for the Lord as I have said before…requires a conscious decision) whom you will serve.  Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served….?  Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live (worldly priorities & emphasis)?”  (vv. 14 – 15)

The people responded:  “‘ We would never forsake the Lord…we…will serve the Lord, for He alone is our God.'” (vv. 16 – 18)  When Joshua reminded them of their waywardness and history of doubt and sins, they responded with vigor:  “‘No, we are determined to serve the Lord!'”   Joshua then clarified to them that since they had made this choice, “‘You are accountable for this decision….'”   To this, they responded in affirmation: “‘Yes…we are accountable.'”

“‘All right then, Joshua said, ‘SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!…..Destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.'”

Not only Joshua but also God tells us that our obedience demonstrates our love and commitment to Him.  Words mean something but our actions SHOW what we’re all about. We “…SHOW our faith through our good deeds…we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.” (James 2:18 – 24)  In this passage, James reminds us that “Abraham was declared right with God because of what he did—by his actions….” (vv. 21 – 23)   To put it bluntly:  “…faith is dead without good deeds.” (v. 26)

I can just hear Jesus saying SHOW ME THE MONEY (albeit I’m sure in a quieter voice) when he said simply and succinctly:  “‘All those who love me will do what I say.'” 

And for those who do “show” the Lord “the money” and who live lives of loving obedience, Jesus has promised: “…My Father will love them (in addition to me), and we will come to them and live with them.'” (John 14: 21 – 23)

What could be better than having the assurance of God being with us as we journey through life! 

As we close, I want to go back to Joshua who is one of my all-time favorite Bible persons.  As he challenged those he served to demonstrate their commitment to follow the Lord, he put himself 1st in line as he stated (and I believe with great emphasis and force):  “But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24: 15b).

To me…Joshua is ‘da man!  And every morning I model Joshua’s commitment as I pray out on the front porch in the early morning darkness at 5:30 a.m. after picking up the newpaper.  Standing in our front doorway, I repeat those very words for every evil and good spirit to hear:  “…as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

As I go back into the house, then the “SHOWing” part begins…and yes, Lord, my heart’s desire is that I will…SHOW YOU THE MONEY!

My prayer is that you will do likewise.

Have a great day,