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February 10, 2020

Has this devotional grounded your resistance to Trump in Scripture and empowered you to act for the common good? If the answer is "yes," then please help us reach more progressive Christians. Become a Patron today.
Trump hits Medicaid, food stamps in push to slash domestic spending.
Trump released his proposed budget to congress: a budget that proposes an increase in defense spending while decreasing safety nets like SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid. - via Politico
“Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” - Matthew 26:51-52
“A budget is a moral document” is an oft-quoted maxim yet still profound. Look at someone’s usual spending habits and financial allocations, and that will tell you about their character and what their priorities are. Look at the current U.S. budget, and right away you can see what the government prioritizes.
The U.S. Federal Budget for 2018 allocated less than half of its discretionary spending toward defense and defense-related departments (more than half of $1.203-trillion). Currently, the U.S. allocates more money to defense spending than the next 10 countries combined. It’s no question that we prioritize security and safety.

Yet, a question lingers for the person of faith: does Jesus call us to be secure or does He call is to put down our swords and follow Him? This isn’t a call for the U.S. to dismantle our armed forces, but the number of resources that we allocate towards defense spending should make us question the amount of security we actually need, and the vital domestic programs and safety-nets that can make better use of our resources. Owning an extra nuke will not make the world any safer, but investing in our infrastructure, our education system, and safety-nets will ultimately yield benefits for ourselves and the globe and also prioritizes the flourishing of American citizens above the U.S. war-machine.
We need to get our house in order, put our swords away, and prioritize our spending based on what (or who) God values.
Personal: Look at your own budget and notice how much you spend, and where you invest most of your time and money. Ask yourself, “What does this spending habit reveal about myself? What do I most prioritize? What do I need?”

National: Keep up with the news about the U.S. federal budget. Track where each tax dollar is being spent and speak up if you don’t agree with how taxpayer money is allocated. Ask yourself, “How can my taxes best serve the interest of my neighbor? How can I help my country lower its sword? What can I do to alter America’s priorities?”
Holy God,
The sword is a temptation that makes one feel secure. Yet, we know that it is a false security. You call us to lower our swords and walk humbly with You. Help us to prioritize what You see as most important. Give us the courage to lay down our weapons, and to lift up those who suffer when we prioritize the sword. Help us to know who we are by what we value, and guide us to alter our lives according to what Your Spirit calls us to be.

We ask for Your grace in the days ahead, and we thank You for Your ever-guiding presence in our lives.
In Your name,
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