Devotional Word for Wednesday, July 22, 2020
No matter what coin denomination of United States Currency you have in your billfold or purse, you will find two statements imprinted on your money. The first is E Pluribus Unum, a Latin phrase meaning, “Out of Many, One”. The second is “In God We Trust”.
We handle money practically every day, even though we are leaning more and more to become a cashless society; for we buy almost everything with a charge or bank debit card. We have nearly stopped buying and selling using cash.
We prefer to do our financial exchanges using plastic cards rather than federal currency. And there has been talk of eliminating some metal coinage altogether because of the cost savings it would generate for our government.
For those of us, who still like to handle currency when shopping, down to the last cent, we probably do not take notice of these two statements. Instead, we focus on the denominations to make sure we have the right amount needed for the transaction. The E Pluribus Unum and “In God We Trust” has no bearing on the business at hand, nor acquiring of the products we want to purchase. The inscriptions are just there on the currency; it is no big deal! Right?
But did you know that the phrase E Pluribus Unum, our national motto, was advocated by a committee charged with developing our nation’s Great Seal in 1776? And that according to the U.S. Treasury, E Pluribus Unum was first engraved on federal gold coinage in 1795 and on silver coins in 1798.
On February 12, 1873, this inscription was made law for all U.S. coinage, and it is inscribed on most U.S. currency today. It was not until 1956 that the U.S. Congress adopted “In God We Trust” to be engraved on all U.S. currency.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to not have money? What would you do if you needed food, shelter, clothing, medicine, and had no money? Just think what life would be like if you were poor, sick, hungry, cold, and without money? How would you live or survive?
Unfortunately, most of us go through life never thinking about our dependency on U.S. currency, nor the meaning of these two statements printed on our money. It is just money, right? It is nothing more than a means to an end.
Most likely all of us listening to or reading this devotional are not in such desperate conditions. We have plenty of food in our frigs, cloths in our closets, a cozy home or apartment, and we still have U.S. currency to spare.
Our familiarity with money and its common availability causes us to take it almost for granted; for it is a known commodity and security in our everyday life.
Likewise, we can handle the Scriptures with the same attitude and presumption. Especially those portions of Scripture we have known from childhood, like John 3:16. We know where these passages can be found, but their meaning for our lives and our relationship with God has lost its weight of importance and possibly drifted away into a place of obscurity.
In Proverbs 3:5-6 we read, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” As you began to hear or read this passage today, your mind and eyes most likely gestured away as you recited from memory this text. The point is, we know what the text says; but its commonness has caused it to have little or no impact on our lives. It is like the two mottos engraved on U.S. currency; we know of them and can possibly recite them; but they have no actual bearing on our lives today, except for the fact that they are printed on money we use daily.
Instead of building our lives on the commodity and security that money offers us, we need to place and keep alive a wholehearted trust in the LORD. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
What this means for us is this, we will no longer place trust solely on our own understanding and means. We will trust God and His written revelation of truth as the standard we live by today and every day of our lives. When we follow the LORD in all our ways, we are promised that “… He will make your paths straight.”
Dear friends, let this passage from Proverbs be engraved deeply on our minds and souls; for if we do, our relationship with our living God will be portrayed and known by others by this motto: “In God we Trust!”