How Should we Respond to the Current Economic Situation as Christians?
How should we, as Christians, respond to the current Economic situation?
- God is Providentially STILL in Control!
I will shake all things, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace,
whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear.
II Timothy 1:7
God has not given us a spirit of Fear, but of Power and of Love and of a Sound Mind
Fear versus Faith (This is a Testing or our Faith. Do we have a Faith that works,
even during trying times, even during Tribulation, even during the Crucible of Life?
Can we have FAITH, HOPE & LOVE (CHARITY!) even in the midst of difficult times?
Man’s Part (Stewardship through Diversification and Asset Allocation)
"Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth."
If we are to be Wise Stewards we should:
- Properly diversify and make sure that we don’t have all of our “eggs” in one basket
- Reassess our Risk Tolerance and talk with your Financial Advisor if your Investment Objectives and Risk Tolerance have changed. They may have more conservative options if you need to be positioned more conservatively
- Recognize that God is in Control. Don’t Panic! Apply your Faith, don’t live in Fear!
God’s Part versus Mans Part (Ownership versus Stewardship)
I Chronicles 29:11-12
" Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your Kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the Ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength."
Spirit of Fear and a Spirit of Poverty
Are we experiencing Poverty or just an Adjustment in our Prosperity???
- Proper & Biblical PERSPECTIVE
- God IS in Control!
- He Owns it All, we are His Stewards
- I believe the Real Estate, Stock Markets & the Economy WILL Recover
- If they Don’t, there will be NO Safe Place to Hide anyway
- IF they don’t, it’s all part of God’s Prophetic Plan
- God is still on the Throne! None of this catches Him by Surprise.
- None of this causes Him to worry or fret a bit (and it shouldn’t cause us to worry or fret either!) (Matthew 6:25-34)
- He is still Jehovah Jireh—The God who is the Faithful Provider
- God is our Provider
- God is our Protector
- Most Valuable Commodity? (Gold? No! Silver? No! Farm Land? No! A Horse? No! A Bicycle? No! The most Valuable Commodity in a Global Economic Meltdown would be…Lead! Meaning Lead Bullets and a Gun.
If you have the Gold and I’ve got a Gun; I’ve got your Gold J!
If you have Food and I’ve got a Gun; I’ve got your Food J!
Obviously, I speak in jest, although there is an element of truth in what I said and I believe in exercising our 2nd Amendment rights to keep and own guns and ammunition (and that people should be trained in how to use them by good organizations like the NRA!) and that we should prudently prepare much like we in Florida prepare for hurricanes; with appropriate provisions needed for short-term survival. In a true Global Economic Meltdown, there would be Chaos & Anarchy and “lead” (guns and ammunition) will be a helpful commodity (resource). However, realistically, if the government sends the Army, Marines and Air Force with tanks and fighter jets we will quickly be “outgunned”; so our hope better not be in our guns either!
- The True most Valuable Commodity in a Doomsday scenario or Global Economic Meltdown would be our Faith and the Promises of God!
- God’s Promises are our Best Hope; in fact, His Promises are our ONLY Hope!
- Psalm 37:17-28--Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever; they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance. But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish--like smoke they vanish away. The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives; for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when He delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing. Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever. For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
- Matthew 6:19-34
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew 6:24 says "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:25-34 tell us, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
God has given us some amazing Promises in His Word! Are we willing to apply our Faith and Believe God will do what He Promises? Do we have a “flimsy Faith” or a “Faith that Works”?
- God’s Principles need to be Obeyed and Applied
As Ron Blue has stated, God has 6 Transcendent Financial Principles we need to live by and apply.
Follow God’s Transcendent Financial Principles
- Spend less that you make
- Avoid or Eliminate Debt
- Build Margin (and Liquidity) into your Finances and Portfolio
- Give Generously
- Set Long-Term Goals (and maintain a Long Term Perspective)
- Understand that God owns it all (and that God is always in Control!)
Here are other Principles from God’s Word that we need to obey and apply:
- Proverbs 30:8-9—Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
- Philippians 4:4-13—Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Verses 11-13 tell us, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
- I Timothy 6:6-21—Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things.
Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time--he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
Verses 17-21 say, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called "knowledge," for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.
These verses tells us what our responsibilities are as “Rich people” in this present age. We are to avoid the “Babbling Talking Heads”. I believe this includes even the Conservative Talk Show Hosts who in some cases do not even know the Lord and in other cases, they may know Him but are NOT promoting His Promises or His Principles. Too often, they are promoting Fear rather than Faith.
They are telling people to put their Hope in GOLD rather than put their Hope in GOD---and that is WRONG! Gold is NOT the ultimate “Safe Harbor”; Faith in Jesus Christ is! In fact, God’s Word tells us what the ultimate end of Gold is, it will be the ultimate “Crashing Commodity”. Revelation 21:21 tells us that the Gold that we consider so precious will be the Brick Pavers for the Streets of the new City of Jerusalem in the new Earth.
I Timothy 6 tells us NOT to put our Hope in the “Uncertainty of Riches” but rather to put our Hope in God. It also tells us “to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
We are to be Generous and ready to share, not only the resources we have as “Rich people”, but also the Hope that we have and the Faith that we have. We are to be Ambassadors of Jesus Christ to a Lost and Dying and Hurting world that desperately needs the “Good News” of the Promises of God. They need to know the Reason for the Faith that we rely on.
As Ron Blue says, we need to encourage people to “Turn Down” the Static of the World and “Turn UP” the Volume of God’s Word!
Let’s point people to God and not to Gold and point them to Faith in Jesus Christ, not Fear of Economic Uncertainty!
© Copyright Jeff Rogers 2008, 2015
Jeff Rogers, CEP®
Stewardship Advisory Group, LLC.
885 Sedalia Street
Ocoee, FL 34761